I discovered Small Beer Press through Jedediah Berry, and his Manual of Detection which I blogged about earlier. He is one of the editors at the Press, back in the day (and is listed as "roaming editor" now). They publish a couple of collections of short stories, essays and poetry that I've been intrigued by. Yeah, it goes a bit Literary, but then Ursula K. Le Guin showed up there. She has never really been classifiable as anything other than Speculative Fiction as far as I'm concerned. I'm sure her books get filed under fantasy and science fiction, but that is the individual book. As a writer she spans the realm of what is now being called "interfiction".
I got to see her in person, one year. She did a reading accompanied by the Berkley Women's Philharmonic. She is, has been for a long time, my guide and teacher. Only through her writing, of course, but definitely a guide. I'll be re-reading my collections of her short pieces, soon. I've never been much of a fan of short fiction. Not until I started writing it and discovered how much pleasure there was in the process. Or in seeing how much pleasure someone gets from reading it.
I had the pleasure of sitting in the circle of one of my crit groups, listening to their critical comments and having them be so complimentary. To discover how effective writing can be, how much pleasure there is in it, that's the gift of being a writer.
Now, I'm going looking for my own pleasure in reading. I am looking forward to taking you on the journey with me, looking at all the jewels the short form has to offer. New writers. Experiments in the craft. Inspiration and entertainment. When I was learning to write film scripts, I was told that short stories make the best movies. There is nothing to cut. This year, I'm hoping to take you to the movies with me, even if it is in our own minds.
Happy Reading all!