What is the Last Short Story Project?
The LSS Project is an attempt to read every short story published. A team of foolhardy readers set out to digest every short story published during the year to let YOU know what we like! We all post about stories that move us during the year, and as the year draws to a close we publish our lists of favourite stories. My wrap up is here!
Why am I doing it?
I've been so busy raising children that I'd forgotten I used to read for pleasure! The startling re-discovery came a few months before the end of 2008, and when the chance came to join this group, I knew exactly what I wanted to do - outread every one! That didn't quite happen (mutter mutter) but I did a nice 300 plus, so I am very happy. I also wanted to see what was new and exciting in the publishing areana, and thought that LSS would provide me a short, sharp shock on that exact topic.
So what did I learn?
I learnt that happy, uplifting stories are stupidly rare. I learnt that hopeful stories are slightly less rare. I learnt that unhappy endings are incredibly common. It's led me to wonder if maybe we write unhappy endings because it's easier to manipulate the negative emotions of loss and confusing and sorrow, whereas every person has a different and subjective idea on happiness.
I also learnt that there's a lot of stories published in a year! I also learnt that this year's Fantasy has been pretty outstanding, and that I like people drive stories over concept driven stories. The concepts can be as cool as you like, but I am demanding more characterization in my stories now.
Plus I learnt that of my top 18 stories, 8 were by men, 9 by women, and 1 unknown. To me, this shows that there are awesome stories written by both genders.
Of the 308 stories Excel tells me I read, 164 were male, 127 were female, 1 was co-written by a mixed gender couple, and 16 were names that I was unable to spot the gender of, or used initials. I could play with Excel all day, but I have work I need to do.
Would I do it again?
HELL YES. And, I am! Come along and see what gems we find over 2010!