Tag Archives: Short Stories

Lost the Plot – Episode 25 – Short Stories

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Show Notes

My Birthday Presents

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My book skirt!

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My most beautiful book 😦

Murder in the Mail and Magic in the Mail
Felicity Banks’ Facebook page
Murder in the Mail Kickstarter Campaign
Magic in the Mail
Lost the Plot Episode 22 – Interactive Fiction

Street Library Interviews
ABC News Story – Curious Canberra
Lil Street Libraries
Lost the Plot Episode 9 – Street Libraries

Sekolah Gunung Merapi campaign
SGM’s facebook post
SGM’s website post
Lost the Plot Episode 13 – Books for the World
Books for the World website

Hugo Awards and
2018 Hugo Awards Finalists
1943 Retro-Hugo Awards Finalists

2018 Nebula Awards
Winners Announced
My Review of “The Stone Sky”
Peter S. Beagle newest Grand Master

2018 Stella Prize
Winner
My review of “The Fish Girl”
My review of “Terra Nullius”

2018 Australian Book Industry Awards
Winners
My reivew of “Nevermoor: The Trials of Morrigan Crow”

20 Books by Women that Changed the World
Full List

2018 Vogel’s Award
Winner

Nobel Prize for Literature
Canberra Times article

Diary of Anne Frank – hidden pages
CNN article

Upcoming Releases
“Any Ordinary Day” by Leigh Sales
“The Fall of Gondolin” by J R R Tolkein
NOT the Winds of Winter, by George R R Martin
“Nine Perfect Strangers” by Liane Moriarty

TV and Film Adaptations
ABC’s Shakespeare Retelling project
Choose Your Own Adventure
The Bookshop
The Secret Garden

Describe Yourself the Way a Male Author Would
Electric Literature article
Bored Panda article
Electric Literature Male Author Description Chart

Children’s Book Author takes on Fashion Giant Zara
9 News article

Fake News: Children’s Books NOT Banned by Victorian Councils
The Guardian article
Victorian Liberals Statement
SBS article
University of Melbourne page on ANU study

Top 10 Most Challenged Books of 2017
Full List

 

 

 

UTAS Law Library Book Disaster
The Mercury article
ABC article

Canberra Streets named after Librarians
Ten Daily article

Story Time From Space
Facebook page
Website

Things that Sean and I talked about:

capital-yarns
Edgar Allen Poe’s short stories
Stephen King’s short stories
“On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft” by Stephen King
“The Tommyknockers” by Stephen King (don’t read this, I implore you)
Road Dahl’s short stories
The darker side of Roald Dahl BBC article
“Go the F*** to Sleep”

“I’m a failed poet. Maybe every novelist wants to write poetry first, finds he can’t and then tries the short story which is the most demanding form after poetry. And failing that, only then does he take up novel writing.” – William Faulkner

The quote I referred to is often attributed to Mark Twain, but has apparently been used by many people. Mark Twain himself said “You’ll have to excuse my lengthiness—the reason I dread writing letters is because I am so apt to get to slinging wisdom & forget to let up. Thus much precious time is lost.”

“The Handmaid’s Tale” by Margaret Atwood
“13 Reasons Why” by Jay Asher
“Decoding the Opposite Sex” by Sean Costello
Send in your requests to: http://www.capitalyarns.com.au/who/
“Capital Yarns” by Sean Costello
Definition of ‘yarn
I have also partaken in yarnbombing
“Hey Sister” by Sean Costello
Human Brochure Campaign
Mocan and Green Grout
Capital Yarns Podcast
Arranged Marriage for the Modern Indian Man Podcast
Audiocraft Podcast Festival
“Anzac Day” by Sean Costello
Trace Podcast
Serial Podcast
Evil Genius TV Series
Welcome to Nightvale Podcast
Hello from the Magic Tavern
This American Life
Birdman
“Dreamsnake” by Vonda N. McIntyre
Biopunk
“Birdman” by Sean Costello

“The Anchoress” by Robyn Cadwallader

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Artefacts and Other Stories

I received a copy of this eBook courtesy of the author.

Artefacts and Other Stories

“Artefacts and Other Stories” by Rebecca Burns is a collection of short stories. Set largely in the UK, many of the stories are set before, during or in the aftermath of World War I. These are stories of ordinary people with jobs, families, memories and traumas as much as they are about the people who have left them behind.

The short story is a tricky art form, but Burns’ vignettes are compelling. Each story tackles the delicacy of human life and the fragile beauty of love, and finishes on its own unique and poignant note. Burns uses objects and everyday events to explore the complexities of human emotion, and some of my favourite stories in the collection were “The Last Game, August 2014”, “The Bread Princess” and “The Greatcoat”. “Artefacts” also stuck with me long after I had finished the book.

I do think some of the stories were stronger than others. Burns has a real knack for capturing the tone of early 1900s England and those historical fiction stories about the tragedy and futility of war really stood out.

If you enjoy short stories, or are fascinated by World War I history, then I think you’ll get something out of these.

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Filed under Book Reviews, Historical Fiction, Short Stories

The Brief and Frightening Reign of Phil

This book has been sitting on my to-read pile since my dad lent it to me at New Year’s. I thought the first eponymous story was just one of several short stories but it actually is more like a novella with several shortish stories afterwards. I toyed with the idea of just reading the first one, but the completionist in me won and I finished the book.

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“The Brief and Frightening Reign of Phil” by George Saunders is a novella about a micro and fictional country called Inner Horner which is only big enough to hold one citizen at a time. The remaining six citizens wait their turn in the short term residency zone of the surrounding country of Outer Horner. One day, with no warning, Inner Horner shrinks and only 1/4 of the current citizen in residence is now able to fit. Opportunistic Outer Hornerite Phil declares this event an invasion and disaster for the Inner Hornerites ensues. Tacked onto the end of this novella is “In Persuasion Nation” which is a collection of short stories mostly centred around themes of advertising and television.

The novella is a really interesting story that walks a fine line between satire and surrealism. Saunders takes an issue of incredible complexity (border control), and simplifies it down into its most basic and wacky elements. This story could really apply to any place or any time (and I can think of a few places right now) where internal pressures outside their control force people to leave their country and some unlikely megalomaniac uses that as as springboard to ascend to power. Saunders is a very imaginative writer with a keen eye for the ridiculous. The rest of the short stories were a bit more of a mixed bag. I really enjoyed some of them, especially “my flamboyant grandson”, but some of the others were a bit too abstract or a bit too blunt in their messaging.

“The Brief and Frightening Reign of Phil” is a timeless reminder that success shouldn’t be achieved by taking advantage of someone else’s misfortune. Even though this story was first published in 2005, it would have applied just as easily in 1945 as it does today.

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Filed under Book Reviews, Science Fiction, Short Stories