year in review

2016 Round-Up: Short Stories

Happy New Year, and 久しぶり*!
*”long time, no see”

Starting today, I’ll be doing a round up of the best short stories, poetry, and finally, books I read in 2016.

Betty and the Squelchy Saurus, by Caroline M. Yoachim (Fireside Fiction)

(1) Closets and under the beds are monster territory. Children may obtain items from the closets during daylight hours, as long as they knock before entering. Items that fall under the bed should be considered lost forever.
(2) Monsters must not be seen during daylight hours. Monsters are free to roam the orphanage at any hour of the day or night, so long as they are not seen.
(3) Monsters may not eat children during daylight hours.
(4) Monsters may eat children at night ONLY if the child (or any portion thereof) leaves the safety of its bed.
(5) Children may ask adults to check for monsters under the bed or inside the closet. However:
(6) Children may not, under any circumstances, request that an adult drag a monster out of its territory to shoot or otherwise kill the monster. Violation of rule No. 6 will release the monsters from the terms of this treaty.

If You Were a Dinosaur, My Love
, Rachel Swirsky (Apex Magazine)

If you were a dinosaur, my love, then you would be a T-Rex. You’d be a small one, only five feet, ten inches, the same height as human-you. You’d be fragile-boned and you’d walk with as delicate and polite a gait as you could manage on massive talons. Your eyes would gaze gently from beneath your bony brow-ridge.

Not by Wardrobe, Tornado, or Looking Glass
, Jeremiah Tolbert (Lightspeed)

“All my life! All my life, I’ve read stories about fantasy worlds. I used to dream about being whisked away to my real parents, to where I really belonged.” Langford offered a tissue, and she daubed at her tears with it. “When the rabbit holes opened, I thought it was only a matter of time. I looked everywhere, but I couldn’t find mine.”

She shouted it, didn’t care who heard her now:

He nodded, let her cry for a moment, and then said quietly, “I bet that made you feel like a real Susan Pevensie.”
“Exactly! What did I do to deserve being left behind? At first, it was about escape. It’s all I ever dreamed about, you know? But now, it’s about—”

“Feeling abandoned.”

If I had to pick a favorite, I would, hands down, give that award to “Not By Wardrobe…” which is the only short story of 2016 that got it’s own entry in my personal blog, complete with excerpt.

My goal was to read at least one short story a week. That… didn’t always happen, but I’m making it a priority for 2017. This time next year, I should have more short stories to choose from to share with you.

2 thoughts on “2016 Round-Up: Short Stories

  1. Jeremiah Tolbert here. Really glad to hear how much you enjoyed that story. Sometimes, for us writers, it feels like a story comes out and doens’t leave a trace. Posts like this really help me keeping at this. Thanks again.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wow! I can’t believe I missed this earlier. I’m glad you liked my comment; I loved this story, and posted the same excerpt in my private journal when I first read it. I want to share it with everyone.


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