Sunday Spotlight: Short Stories… So, Why is This Post So Flippin’ Long??:
*Short stories, those wondrous opportunities to cleanse the palate before your next big read.
*Short stories, pocket-sized bits of brilliance that count on every word to exhale with meaning, and cling to us with desperation while offering celebration.
*Short stories, these captivating worlds that allow us to slay demons, feel the heat, and fall in love, all before our tea gets cold.
Short stories, baby novellas, wee bitty gems, or whatever you would like to call these brief yet lightning bolts of storytelling, they all spell one thing: well, actually a lot of things, and those things are what I want to have some fun talking about today. Shall we snag a seat, get comfy, grab our tea or coffee and enjoy some discussion about something we love? Yup, I agree, so here we go…
So… free. Everyone likes free, right? Freedom, free drinks, free will. For me, free short stories are just as valuable.
Free short stories can open up so many literary doors, ones we didn’t even know were there, waiting, hoping we’d open them and enjoy the latest adventures, heartache, surprises, discovery, failures, love and everything else under the lime green, silver blue, tangerine or sepia colored skies.
And most of all? The best thing that may be waiting for us behind one of those doors? An author whose work you read for the first time and say holy fucking hells bells, I want… nay, I need more of that!
Some of my absolutely favorite sandwich board showoffs from this category? I present to you:
Julio-Alexi Genao’s When You Were Pixels …
“I loved you even when you forgot me. And – for a little while – you loved me back.”
A hauntingly, calmly presented story that kept me buzzing long after I finished it. This one shot right for the core of my heart and speared me like so many futuristic hunters honing in on their quarry. It may take place in a deceptively perfected society, but it’s about as human as human can be. Every word is loaded for bear and unceasing in its goal of universal domination of my emotions.
Lisa Henry’s The Last Rebellion, which you can download here, and from my review on Goodreads: Brutal, blinding, a whirling dervish of emotions that cause that seed to grow, making you re-evaluate your interpretation of others’ motivations, actions. Do we ever really know? Truly? In other words, how well do you know someone, really.
Henry’s writing is precise in its emotion, unrelenting. She’s clever in the way she tosses everything on their collective heads, surprising me with revelations about these two main characters, these men, who find themselves in an extreme situation, forced to play their roles. In other words, it’s not what you think: “Rho Smith is fighting a losing war, and Miller doesn’t doubt that he’s smart enough to realise it. It’s also irrelevant. What happens in that cell happens between two men, not between their politics. Miller knows it, and Rho is certainly becoming aware of it. When it happens, the boy will submit to him, not to the Government.”
I love when an author challenges me. Bring IT.
Both of these authors have participated in the writing events put together by the M/M Romance Group and represent themselves and their fellow authors with high quality storytelling.
So here ya go. Freebies. Who doesn’t love freebies? Good freebies, at that. Over at the http://www.mmromancegroup.com/ link, you can download free stories, many of them shorties, that are wide ranging in their subjects, styles, levels of heat, romance, angst, humor and so much more. Keep checking the link for new stories. And when you need more? The stories submitted in previous events are archived and all available for your page-turning pleasure.
One of my favorites from this year, so far, is The Court of Lightning by Amy Rae Durreson.
Pretty damn exciting! Inventive, highly creative, and a world in which I could spend ooooooodles of time, if the author were to be so generous and give us more. Here that, Amy Rae Durreson? Oh and there be swords and beasts and hotness.
But wait! There’s more! More free stories, that is, and by some freakishly talented writers.
As members of the Shousetsu Bang*Bang gang at http://www.shousetsubangbang.com/, writers like Domashita Romero (also known as whitachi, on AAOOO ) and shukyou (also known as ladysisyphus on AAOOO ) give us stories about unlikely duos rising from sometimes crazy, sometimes mundane, sometimes magical circumstances that never fail to make me flail with rather unabashed glee. I’ve not once been anywhere near the precipice of disappointment with any story written by either of them. Ever.
If, for some wild ass reason, you only choose one story to read from each of them, do try these:
El Presidio Rides North , a most unique road trip set during a zombie-pocalypse (or On Earth My Nina friends to lovahs) by Romero.
Bodies In Space is a frustrating and beautiful look at true love (or Duet for Tenors and Transradial Orthosis by shukyou.
Speaking of zombies, how about giving this little ditty a try? Sevener by Thea Hayworth is… well, I’m pretty sure you can put one and one together and get the right two. 😉
“The dead man nodded, lifting a cautious hand to touch the brim of his hat in greeting, but he didn’t say a word. Wheeling his horse completely about, he rode away at a fast walk, never once looking back.
He should have. I was gripping my pistol so tightly my knuckles creaked, and if he couldn’t feel my eyes boring holes in his back, he had to be even deader than he looked. “
In my review on GR, I said: I demand to know if a man who feels of scraped wood and dried leather gets to have his time with a smart, sweet, capable fella.
Intrigued? Even a little? Then git thee to Smashwords, do not pass go, do not collect two hundred buckaroos. Instead, collect a fantastic story for a mere $.99. Yup!
Tentacles? Tentacles, you say?? Really???
Yup, really. Truly. 😉
I recently reviewed Situation Normal here on PBA.
If you haven’t yet stuck a toe into the thrilling and chilling waters of tentacle sex, this is a great way to accomplish this lifelong dream and knock it off of your bucket list.
Juuuuuuust to be on the safe side and make sure you have a true variety to choose from, we also have both The Tentacle Monster Everyone Wanted (also free) by Evie Kiels, which is sweet, cute and hot, and Gay Tentacles From Space! by Charlotte by Charlotte Mistry (also available on Kobo), which is surprisingly chilling, exciting and squirm-worthy.
Speaking of variety, it’s the spice of life…
Whether you want a sweet first meeting, getting to know you kind of story like Out in the Sticks
… or maybe something a little more… biting, in the form of vamps n weres n such, like For A Ghoul Like You
… or maybe a hot little numbah such as Spanish Heat, my latest review of a short story here on PBA. Truly a delectably well written bit o fun.
There’s a short story out there waiting, just for you. Yep, just for you. Ever feel like a book was written just for you? Of course, we all have. Short stories do a kick ass job of that, too, and you get your payoff quicker, sometimes with more impact, heavy and unforgettable, hot and fulfilling.
One-stop Shopping, aka the Anthology
Earlier this year, I reviewed Shakespearotica: Queering the Bard, which is chock full of humorous, twisty and sexy takes on many o The Bard’s stories. I did a mini-review for each story. After all, each author wrote a story, it was the least I could do. 😉
And then we have this one, which… wow. Crack the Darkest Sky Wide Open is one of those collections that causes a healthy dose of covetousness, that feeling we all revile and yet get a thrill from when we feel it prickling our book-loving, story-hoarding (yep, I said it!) selves.
In closing… for now 😉
One of the reasons I really like reviewing short stories here on PBA is to give people some sense of the ones I’ve read and help you decide whether you want to do the same. For me, if a short story is really enjoyable, it’s worth the price. I feel like I make up for any expenditure on them when I get good deals on longer novels LOL. If it’s quality, then it’s worth it because I get to have that experience, an experience that can never be taken away from me. One more tendril of a connection made between me, the words, the story and the characters, and the feelings they engender.
What are your favorite short stories? What kinds do you find yourself gravitating towards? Do you want to try something from a genre you haven’t yet tried, and what would that be?
Share the recommendation love! We all know that adding to our TBR lists is wonderfully addictive. 😉
Thanks so much for stopping by, for reading any or all of this ‘splosion of short story love, and most especially for trying an author or story type that is new to you. 😀
Oooh and come back and let us all know how it went!
I have a number of paperbacks, most of which are signed, to giveaway. Over the between now (11 Mar 2017) and 31 Mar 2017, every comment on the blog (this post and all other new posts), will be entered to win 1 of these paperbacks. There are also some misc swag items, so there will be a few packs of these to give away as well.
Thank you so much for your support over the last 4 years. Prism will be closing its doors on 1 April 2017. All content will remain available, but no new content will appear after 31 Mar 2017. As such all request forms have been turned off. Again Thank you,
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