I didn’t write yesterday. Not here. Not anywhere else. I figured I would use the fact that Wes has already missed days as enough justification to take a sick day. Even though I still feel pretty bad today, I’m back at it. Minor victories and whatnot.
With my favorite writer releasing a book almost three weeks ago, it may come as a surprise that I haven’t already binge-read Gaiman’s newest book of short stories. I got it the day it was released, and started it right away, but I’m savoring instead of rushing right through. Reading a short story here, another there, all the while reading other books, just to stretch this out as long as possible.
I’m about a third of the way through, and I’m again in love with Gaiman’s imagination, his light and beautiful prose, and the way that he can take just a few paragraphs to build a world that hints at unending depths and unexplored nooks and rabbit holes.
He is one of the best at crafting short fictions, and short fictions are often wildly underappreciated. Short stories are usually considered dead things, remnants of the past when serials were still a great way to release fiction. I think the opposite may be true, and that they might be a big part of the future. It’s just that no one has figured out how to market them effectively yet. In our world of shortened attention spans, and people convincing themselves they are all terribly busy (they’re usually not), what could be more appealing literarily than a beautifully well-written story or vignette that someone can read in one sitting, in the time it takes to watch a television show or two?
People didn’t know how much they’d love tablets, or binge-watching television shows in which all the episodes are released at once. Not until they tried it out and realized they’d never go back. Short stories can be like that, and be a medium that has been ignored long enough to feel new and fresh. Now the trick is just figuring out how to get folks to try it in the first place, Gaiman would be a great place to start.