This issue is actually Spring/Summer 2004, but I was too embarrassed to put that fact in the post title. I know that I’d started this way back then–there are a couple of bookmarking slips of paper within the pages, which always gets my hopes up that I only have half left to go. But I started from the beginning on this, and none of the stories sounded familiary–except for the story itself. Just about halfway through now, this issue having an extraordinary number of stories, nineteen in fact.
I’m surprised by the number of relationship stories, several already being about the guy who’s just been dumped or can’t commit to a woman. A rather odd one about leprosy, and a few goodies in the group so far, but overall, they have me rethinking short story fiction. Several of them have some serious tell instead of show issues, basically of the "where the relationship went wrong" type. A majority of them are "feeling" stories; reflections on self and others. One is a first person pov from a rather egotistical rock-climber, and is particularly well written because it is such a great case from the unreliable narrator that I would use it as an obvious example if teaching fiction writing. Very well done. But a few of the stories are high-school boy-girl type subject matter, despite good writing, and it makes me wonder how they were selected for this rather elite magazine.
Because of the age of this issue, I won’t be going into detailed reviews on the stories unless there’s something really new or different to report.
And by the way, this article on a man reading 30 books currently makes me feel a whole lot better about the six or so books and projects I have going on, and had been feeling so guilty about not getting through them quickly enough. Guess it doesn’t matter after all. Thanks to Scott Esposito at Conversational Reading for the link.