When I came up with topics for each day of #ShortStoryMonth, I didn’t always have a specific story (or anthology or collection) in mind to refer to, and was banking on my future self having ideas throughout the month to answer the prompts.
Today, I’m a little stuck.
The idea of the prompt today is more-or-less wide open: what things, or theme, or characters or settings or what-have-you is your total jam when it comes to short fiction. I can break that down into notions easily enough: give me queer stories with chosen family, conflict not about being queer, and/or a healthy dose of magic or psychic or somehow other? That’s what I love to read. Toss in some Canadian content or places outside of the US (no offence to the US, just, been there done that, fictionally speaking as it were), and I’m even happier.
And then I tried to think of examples, and sort of fizzled, because those are the things I love the most but not necessarily the things I bump into—and often a story has most but not all of what I listed above.
Still, if I’m gonna settle in one spot to look? There’s almost always a tale or three in any issue of Wilde Stories that hits all my favourite themes (or at least on a two-out-of-three). I was super-sad to see the Wilde Stories series go, frankly.
Another name that makes me sit up impatiently when I see it on an anthology editor credit? Jerry L. Wheeler. The man is a king of anthology themes with unusual frameworks—be it erotica themed around trains (Riding the Rails) or food (Dirty Diner) or circuses (Tented), just for three examples, when Jerry’s name appears, I’m always interested, and I know I’m going to find an unusual range of stories.
What about you? What are the things that make you go Oh! This is a story for me! and do you have any go-to places (or people) to get them?