The Short Story Gets New Life

Observatory, Reading & Writing

With the rise of the Kindle and the iPad, a new breed of publisher is making short stories available for the price of a chocolate bar. The credit crunch is forcing publishers to think of new ways to reach the reading public, and one that’s appearing in a number of new forms is the short audio tale.

No longer just a case full of cassettes for your gran, the new generation of audiobooks means that single-track downloads are particularly suited to short fiction. I recently wrote an exclusively audio-only tale for Maxim Jakubowski’s ‘The Sounds Of Crime’ anthology, and found the finished recording exemplary.

Traditionally authors are told that ‘nobody reads short fiction’. It’s never easy reading an entire book of short stories in one go, so maybe this is a way around the problem. I’ve always been surprised that it takes an economic downturn to make us start coming up with innovations. Audio tales are a great way of catching up on the best stories of authors you’ve been meaning to get to for years – and a train or bus journey is ofte the perfect length for listening.