Who Reads Short Stories?
I and most of my friends do, but we increasingly feel cut off from the general public, who would rather sit in front of ‘The Nation’s Fattest Teenager’ than pick up a book of short fiction. For the last few years – actually, longer than I care to remember – I’ve been writing columns for a magazine that was once called ‘The Third Alternative’ and is now called ‘Black Static’.
If you want to find out where the quality short stories and reviews all went to in the printed form, look no further than the slickly elegant ‘Black Static’ magazine. Editor Andy Cox has exacting criteria which make for a regular bevy of well-chosen tales. The magazine isn’t sold in WHSmith – they’re too busy stocking their shelves with ‘Caravan Monthly’ and porn. Instead you need to do it the old-fashioned way, with a subscription. Six months’ worth of these highly collectable magazines is the same price as a round of beers, and can be bought online here.
The danger is that you’ll want the back-issues once you start collecting them. Apart from the stories, you get steered toward the weird and wonderful coming up in all media – the magazine is a great guide to upcoming dark films, DVD and books.