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jlc · 2009-05-31 · Original thread
A related, interesting read is Michael Chabon's intro to the 2005 Best American Short Stories, reprinted in his essay collection _Maps and Legends_.

His argument is, basically, that Modernism (here meaning the Joycean/Chekhovian "epiphany" story) has damaged the short story, or at least that it has played itself out, and that the old-timey plotted, adventure story looks fresh again.

But really, as others have mentioned, commercial short story markets have been in decline for 60+ years. Science fiction magazines are one of the last holdouts of the pulp era, and they're not all that healthy (commercially). This is making (has made?) general short fiction more like poetry. That ain't all bad. One upside may be that as commercial short fiction declines, writers and readers may be less inclined to think plotted short fiction == bad fiction.

Anyway, there is still a lot of quality contemporary-ish short fiction out there. If you like short fiction, you will certainly like some of it: Denis Johnson, Lorrie Moore, Alice Munro, Matthew Klam, Arthur Bradford, George Saunders, T.C. Boyle, and on and on and on.

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