Does anybody else feel the same away? A few years ago when I bought my first Kindle, I downloaded a number of cheap and free volumes. If you read a lot of sci-fi, you’ll probably have heard of the Mammoth books. The Mammoth Book of Apocalyptic Sci-Fi, The Mammoth Book of Steampunk, The Mammoth Book of Nebula Award Winners and so on.
I’ve put off reading some of these volumes for a while and when I do read them, I’ve come to understand why – I no longer find short stories satisfying to read. To write, yes. I’ve really enjoyed creating the serials in my Snippet Sunday feature but when it comes to reading the work of others, I tend to give up reading them rather easily. With the volumes mentioned above, I have been known to give up on a story within two pages or so – approximately 500-600 words.
A short story needs to grab within the opening paragraphs and many do not. Perhaps my tastes have changed, perhaps readers tastes have changed, but when reading I need something to get myself into and mull over. Often, short stories have finished long before I’ve had the chance to really digest it.
Yet short story competitions are alive and well so they must be selling somehow and people must still enjoy reading them!
What do my readers think? Have tastes changed or is it just that short story volumes don’t really work?