How Are You Observing National Short Story Week?

I love the idea of National Short Story Week; just because the nation in question is the U.K. doesn’t mean we can’t observe it on this side of the Pond. Maybe I’ll read one of the enormous collections that can really only be consumed in full over a four-day weekend. If you’re a SFWA member, you could get started reading and rereading Nebula-eligible works, now that nominations are open.

Angry Robot is–pardon me, they’re British, Angry Robot are–observing the holiday by announcing the December 1 launch of individual digital short story sales through their online store. You can buy stories individually or bundle them in a sort of make-your-own-anthology setup. I’ve wanted this sort of thing for years, though of course in my ideal world the store wouldn’t be limited to stories from a single publisher, and you could share your anthology TOCs and see which ones were most popular and turn them into POD print books as well as e-books. As I see it, the short story is the closest publishing equivalent to the song. It’s high time we started treating anthologies and magazines like albums, and giving customers the opportunity to make their own mix tapes.

In nonfiction news, the Science Fiction Oral History Association (which I did not know existed until this weekend) has launched an extraordinary podcast, Space Dog, which will broadcast recordings from SF history. The first episode features Arthur C. Clarke, Isaac Asimov, Lester del Rey, Frederik Pohl, and Gordon R. Dickson shooting the breeze in 1976. Wow.

5 thoughts on “How Are You Observing National Short Story Week?

  1. Chaz Brenchley

    …And not only do we have a National Short Story Week, but this year we are also promoting National Short Story Day – on the shortest day of the year (for us), 21st December. Website at http://www.nationalshortstoryday.co.uk/ (tho’ it doesn’t say very much yet, we’re still organising events etc, never mind publicity). It’s going to be a lot of fun, compressed into a very narrow window. Which is kinda the point, I think.

  2. Marie Brennan

    Re: your second paragraph — are you aware of Anthology Builder? They’re pretty much exactly what you describe: authors contribute (previously-published) stories to the database, and then users can compile the anthology of their choice, which gets shipped to them as a PoD book. Meanwhile, you can see what TOCs other people put together. The only aspect lacking, from what you list, is that you can’t do an e-book — which, now that I think of it, I might suggest to Nancy Fulda, who runs AB.

    1. Rose Fox Post author

      I think I knew about them once and then forgot! And yes, e-books are an obvious step there.

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