I’ve been thinking about short stories the past few days. Not so much the writing of them (more on that another time) but about reading and the enjoyment of them. I know that there are people who really enjoy short stories and there are those who don’t take to them so much.
Me personally, I like them. And there are a few reasons why I like them.
The first is simple; because they’re short. I’ve mentioned before that my most common time for reading is at the end of the day, curled up and waiting for sleep. A short story can be perfect for this time.
Another reason is that they can give me a chance to sample writers without embarking on a full length novel with them. A case in point: I’ve been reading the copy of Rogues that I picked up at Bubonicon, on and off lately. It features some authors who I’d had on my planned reading list for a while but hadn’t got round to yet and also some that had recently been suggested to me. Based on the stories in Rogues, I will certainly be trying their books in the near future.
A third reason, and this applies mainly to ones that are part of an overall series, is that they can fill in gaps between books or in back-story. That’s one of the things I want my House Valerius short stories to do. Or they could be set in an existing universe (Star Wars, Star Trek, etc) and give you a new perspective on the characters you know. Or both.
Like I said at the top, some people may not like short stories and prefer something with greater depth. They want to immerse themselves in something. But, to me, a good short story is like a day trip instead of a vacation. A small treasure.