When Electric Literature was no longer releasing their print volumes with five stories each, and were instead focusing on their Recommended Reading project, I had two issues left in my paid subscription. They were kind enough to send me numbers 2 and 3, which I did not yet have. I wanted to make sure I had this particular issue of the lit mag for two reasons: Colson Whitehead and Lydia Davis.
October is almost over, which means it’s nearly time to say goodbye to our annual horror series, 31 Days of Halloween. As we round up this year’s posts, here’s a quick look at some horror-related writings around the web.
You know a book is good if you only stop reading so that you can tell the author, at 1 a.m.via Facebook, how much you are enjoying it. The evening I began reading it, I’d plans to watch Doctor Who, which, if you know me, is serious business. I thought I would read a little, then turn on the TV. No, I kept reading. Let it be known: Gregory Spatz’s new story collection, Half as Happy, is a wonderfully gratifying little book.
A few years ago, I read Nick Antosca’s novel, Midnight Picnic, a ghost story unlike any I’d read before (though, admittedly, that might not mean much, as my horror-swath is not so widespread). I enjoyed it immensely, so when I was able to get my mitts on his new collection of short stories, The Girlfriend Game, I had high expectations for satisfyingly surreal, dark situations.
Not many short story collections are entirely wonderful. One or two stories, while not necessarily un-enjoyable, usually feel like filler. And yet, Jessica Francis Kane’s new collection, This Close, is quite near perfect. It left me wishing for one more story, which likely means that the length of the book is exactly right. Twelve stories, some related and some standalone, navigate the yearning for connection and the complex interior lives that we all have. Read More Book Review: This Close: Stories by Jessica Francis Kane
Often I hear it said that the only people who read literary magazines are other writers. There might be some truth to that, but it doesn’t have to be that way. In a time where many newspapers and magazines are still not giving women their equitable due, sometimes it pays to look off the beaten path for new voices. Read More Lit Mags I Have Known: A Short Guide
Oh, lovely men of the water! Not that I have anything against the Navy, but what a relief to see that Neil Plakcy’s edited collection Sexy Sailors did not solely focus on gay men who were involved in military service. Military-themed erotica is a whole other people-in-uniform subset that one often sees in collections, but this one branches out to include men who know their way around shipping vessels, yachts, basic sailboats, and more. Not every story takes places on an actual boat, but all are tied to the sailing profession in some way. Though the book is a scant 200 pages, most of the stories are quite good and full of fun, hot scenes that should satisfy anyone who likes reading about men who are attracted to each other.
This second printing of Violet Blue’s collection of erotica is rather uneven, but it still provides a fair number of good, hot stories.