December 12, 2018

Stories I Love: November 2018

I’m discovering something interesting about the stories I love. There are a few common qualities:

  • Immersive. Beautiful language is nice, but what I want is a story that pulls me in and takes me somewhere else.
  • Strong ending. I need some plot. I need things to happen. And I need that to resolve in some way at the end. I’ve read lots of stories that are gorgeously written but spend all their words on description and the story just doesn’t move much. I also don’t want be confused at the end.
  • Unique. It’s good for a story to have something different, something unexpected. I’m not talking about twists, but about a story that makes me think thoughts I haven’t thought before.

If you take two of the above, you have a good story. If you have all three, and it fits my tastes, you end up with a story I love. There are some good ones below, two you can go read right now.


Stories read in November: 33

Words read in November: about 120,000

Stories read this year, so far: 342

Words read this year, so far: 1,138,000

OMG I So Love These Stories!

These are what I consider “must read” stories. As in you MUST read them! Now!

A Catalog Sunlight at the End of the World
A. C. Wise
Clarkesworld, free, approx 6,600 words
I wish I had written this one. Wistful. Sweet. Moving. A very human take of a life nearing its end on a planet nearing its end.

Octo-Heist in Progress
Rich Larson
Clarkesworld, free, approx 7,300 words
This story is so fun. It is a cyber-punk flavored sci-fi story featuring an octopus involved in a heist. So well written, crazy fun!

Other Stories I Love

I love these stories too, just with a bit less passion. It’s okay, I can love some stories more than others.

Ellen Double Prime
Alexandra Brandt
Fiction River: Wishes, $6.99 for the ebook, approx 6,400 words
Strong voice, sweet story. What happens when you end up in a life “worse” than yours? A simple story, but with it being so well done, I found that refreshing.

What I Am
William Ledbetter
Asimov’s Science Fiction, $2.99 per e-issue, approx 12,000 words
I’ve never seen a piece of flash in Asimov’s, but this piece is innovative, dense, and heartwarming.

If you’ve really loved a story recently (short, long, TV, movie, whatever) let me know in the comments.

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Robert J. McCarter is the author of more than ten novels and over a hundred short stories...... learn more

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