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Short Story Long

We spend a lot of time talking about novels here at Speculative Faith, but I’d like to make a quick pitch for short stories today and list a few places you can find well-written, short spec-fic written from a Christian worldview or at least non-hostile to a Christian worldview, for free or cheap.
| Aug 23, 2011 | No comments |

Not necessarily written by short authors.

We spend a lot of time talking about novels here at Speculative Faith, but I’d like to make a quick pitch for short stories today and list a few places you can find well-written, short spec-fic flowing from a Christian worldview, or at least non-hostile to a Christian worldview, for free or cheap.

Sometimes you don’t have time to chew through a 100,000-word tome, or don’t feel inclined to. You want a complete story, with a beginning, middle, and end that you can finish over lunch or during the bus ride home from work, or in those rare moments when the kids are asleep and you’re not.

Short stories are, by necessity, more focused than a novel. A novel is an artillery barrage of people, places, events, politics, and intertwined relationships. A short story is a laser-guided missile. It may only have two or three characters and describe one defining event in their lives. It can take a single theme or issue and, as they used to say in the old Outer Limits intro, “sharpen it to crystal clarity.” Great short stories start fast, hit hard, and leave you pondering their implications for days afterward.

Interested? Here are some places to look. Most of these publish stories that may at times fall beyond the boundaries of “Christian fiction,” depending on how you choose to define it, but often feature stories from an unambiguously Christian worldview and aren’t at all hostile to stories with Christian characters and themes:

Avenir Eclectia: Science fiction. An ongoing short-fiction experiment–brief vignettes build a mosaic picture of life in a lost space colony.

Digital Dragon: Science fiction and fantasy.

Einstein’s Pocket Watch: Science fiction, fantasy, and a smattering of other genres.

Fear and Trembling: Horror and paranormal suspense.

Mindflights: Science fiction and fantasy.

Ray Gun Revival: Space opera.

Residential Aliens: Science fiction and fantasy.

Wherever it Pleases: Numerous genres, including science fiction, fantasy, horror, mystery, and romance.

That ought to get you started. I’m sure some of you have other favorite spots to go when you’re hankering for a short story, so feel free to add your own recommendations.

 

 

Fred was born in Tacoma, Washington, but spent most of his formative years in California, where his parents pastored a couple of small churches. He graduated from the U.S. Air Force Academy in 1983, and spent 24 years in the Air Force as a bomber navigator, flight-test navigator, and military educator. He retired from the Air Force in 2007, and now works as a government contractor in eastern Kansas, providing computer simulation support for Army training.Fred has been married for 25 years to the girl who should have been his high school sweetheart, and has three kids, three dogs, and a mortgage. When he's not writing or reading, he enjoys running, hiking, birdwatching, stargazing, and playing around with computers.Writing has always been a big part of his life, but he kept it mostly private until a few years ago, when it occurred to him that if he was ever going to get published, he needed to get serious about it. Since then, he's written more than twenty short stories that have been published in a variety of print and online magazines, and a novel, The Muse, that debuted in November 2009 from Splashdown Books, which was a finalist for the 2010 American Christian Fiction Writers Carol Award for book of the year in the speculative genre. Speculative fiction is his first love, but he writes the occasional bit of non-fiction or poetry, just to keep things interesting.

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Kessie Carroll
Member
Kessie Carroll

There’s lots of old classics at http://www.gutenberg.org . I read Dicken’s short stories on there sometimes. They’re all free.

Nissa Annakindt
Guest

Thanks. I’ve never been big on short stories as when I was a child I was always so sad when a story ended, so I read novels, usually novels that were part of a series. And histories, when I discovered there could be loads of books retelling the same story in different ways when it’s history.