Sunday Shorts – “Whet,” by J.D. Romann

I’m sure y’all know I adore short fiction, and by now you probably also know I love stories that step sideways into the paranormal or the speculative. You probably also know how much I love that the world e-publishing has allowed the short story a new ability to be experienced – authors can release a single story, or even a small collection that would never be enough for a print publication, and readers – and authors – benefit.

There’s a great example of said benefit in today’s Sunday Shorts.

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Whet, by J.D. Romann

The four erotic pieces that make up Whet have all the hallmarks of good speculative fiction, and are frankly finely written to boot.

Previously published in other anthologies, there are four Romann short stories collected together here: a singer who has lost his voice; a pair of sailors who are lovers who fish a nearly frozen man out of the sea; a big Hawaiian hunk who is courted by someone or something dark; and a man whose fame has left him adrift in the sea, only to be washed ashore at the door of another lost soul – an encounter which might help both of them chart a new course.

The erotica in of the stories is presented in a very literary and fantastical style – which is not to say the scenes aren’t hot. They are, but those seeking a more earthy or gritty take on the erotic will likely find themselves having to adjust a bit. Go in with the expectation of a that different level of prose, and you won’t even blink (but you will blush). The narratives themselves are very good – I liked the characters, who feel real even when reality is melting around them, and the stories are fully fleshed even though they are short fiction pieces (always a delicate balance). And loosely, the four stories all have at least a few moments of cold and/or water to tie them together in a what makes them a themed quartet.

These tales are really striking, and I’ll be looking for more Romann.

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Not that I’m in any way lacking for new tales to plunder, but have you read any awesome short stories lately that I should know about? Let me know – I’m always looking. And until next time, keep it short.

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