Short Stories 366:147 — “Lightning Bugs in a Jar,” by Greg Herren

I have to admit I love a good revenge story, and if there's a single sort of anti-hero motivation I can get behind, it's one of comeuppance or vengeance. That probably doesn't speak well of my character, but the real world isn't often fair or balanced, so I enjoy seeing such things righted in fictional … Continue reading Short Stories 366:147 — “Lightning Bugs in a Jar,” by Greg Herren

Short Stories 366:140 — “Acts of Contrition,” by Greg Herren

I keep coming back to a particular place as I read my way through Greg Herren's Survivor's Guilt and Other Stories, and it's this: Herren does such a solid job of unreliable narrators. In this latest story, "Acts of Contrition," I spent the first third of the story so completely unsure whether or not our … Continue reading Short Stories 366:140 — “Acts of Contrition,” by Greg Herren

Short Stories 366:133 — “Housecleaning,” by Greg Herren

There are some first lines that just snatch your attention, and "Housecleaning," the next story in Survivor's Guilt and Other Tales from Greg Herren, has one of them: "The smell of bleach always reminded him of his mother." It's a statement that, in another collection, could feel mundane, but here it comes through the lens … Continue reading Short Stories 366:133 — “Housecleaning,” by Greg Herren

Short Stories 366:119 — “A Streetcar Named Death,” by Greg Herren

There are some topics I try to avoid reading in fiction of any kind, unless they're written by people who I know and trust to handle it well—most often, that has to do with "ownvoice" or knowing something about their lived, breathed experiences—and surviving violent crime is one of those topics. In the hands of … Continue reading Short Stories 366:119 — “A Streetcar Named Death,” by Greg Herren

Short Stories 366:112 — “Keeper of the Flame,” by Greg Herren

If there's an unfolding theme of Greg Herren's Survivor's Guilt and Other Stories, it's in his use of the unreliable narrator, or in his slow twists of character into noir revelations. This is put on layered display in "Keeper of the Flame," where we meet Colleen, the daughter of an author who had a kind … Continue reading Short Stories 366:112 — “Keeper of the Flame,” by Greg Herren