Short Reading Ephemera: January 2022

Ephemera might seem an odd choice, since it means something small with value for only a short time. These suggestions won’t change, but we humans like to focus on the new. So it’s the value of the timeliness of these posts that becomes ephemeral as we look at new suggestions in the next post.

I write a fair amount of short fiction, and I used to read a lot of it too. But the last couple of years have shredded much of my reading; both long and short. The list of things I want to read gets longer and longer. I pluck along reading a story occasionally. It feels like I’m playing the old game of snake, but I’m never in danger of the snake getting long enough to trap itself. I’ve decided to change that. 

Well, at least feed the snake more often. And I’ll be honest, while publishing stories feels good and like accomplishing work, not being able to discuss recent stories with people, both readers and writers, feels like I’m missing out on community.

Deadlines often work for me, so I figure if I set a deadline of posting some of the best things I read regularly, I can find my way back into the community and force myself to read more. And by force, I mean make the time to enjoy.

These offerings span 2021 but, as I mentioned, I’m well behind the curve.

Godfather Death, in His Own Words’ by John Wiswell

It’s rare that I don’t have at least one John Wiswell story in my recent reading. This one offers an interesting twist on the premise of making bargains with Death. It’s a little darker than some of John’s stories, but it is at the same time a true John Wiswell story.

The Truth Each Carried’, by E. Catherine Tobler

This story felt heavy with memory, some regret, and secret joy. It was rich and pulled me into a strange, heavy world. And let’s be honest, we all know there’s more to carousel animals than a frozen pose and bright paint.

Fanfiction for a Grimdark Universe’, by Vanessa Fogg

This was a story full of heart about loving the stories we tell and the stories we become. Yes, it is about a Grimdark universe and about Fanfiction, and yet, it contains so much more in a small space.

Good People’, a poem by Mary Ness

Mary is one of my favorite poets and this sticks to the back of my mind like a bramble on my shirt. A prickly reminder of the experience.

I would like to post these weekly, but my reading pace really only gives me enough content to post once or twice a month. Until next time; read deep and read widely.


If you enjoy these short fiction suggestions but would also like book recommendations, I post short (5-sentence) reviews over on BookBub. Follow me there!