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The SE++ Short Story Thread

Raijin QuickfootRaijin Quickfoot I'm your Huckleberry YOU'RE NO DAISYRegistered User, ClubPA regular
edited December 2016 in Social Entropy++
Hey everyone! I don't know about you but I love reading. However, as @Rorshach Kringle likes to remind me I am swimming in kids and I don't have a lot of spare time. Therefore, I've been reading a lot more short stories recently. Quick satisfaction! So let's talk about our favorites here and link to them if it's kosher.

A list!

To Build A Fire by Jack London
The Lottery by Shirley Jackson
The Things They Carried by Tim O'Brien
Anything by Edgar Allen Poe
Shattered Like A Glass Goblin by Harlan Ellison
Basically anything by Ellison...

I could sit here all day and make a list of great shirt stories but I'm at work and nobody wants to just read through a list.

Let's discuss some of these! Let's talk about new short stories or obscure ones that maybe you don't think anyone has read. Or some of the all time classics.

Lets get some material up in this hizzy

Raijin Quickfoot on

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    OmnipotentBagelOmnipotentBagel floof Registered User regular
    Oh I thought we were going to write a short story here.

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    ChicoBlueChicoBlue Registered User regular
    A Fruitless Assignment by Ambrose Bierce.

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    Indie WinterIndie Winter die Krähe Rudi Hurzlmeier (German, b. 1952)Registered User regular
    do you like short stories? do you like noir? do you like lovecraft?

    well here's Hammers On Bone

    i.e. What If An Ancient Being Inhabited A 1920s Detective And Now He's In Twenty First Century Croydon

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    Theodore FlooseveltTheodore Floosevelt proud parent of eight beautiful girls and shalmelo dorne (which is currently being ruled by a woman (awesome role model for my daughters)) #dornedadRegistered User regular
    Oh I thought we were going to write a short story here.

    damn this might be the new baby shoes never worn, bagel

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    Raijin QuickfootRaijin Quickfoot I'm your Huckleberry YOU'RE NO DAISYRegistered User, ClubPA regular
    I mean, you can write a short story if you want. I'm not going to stop you.

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    OmnipotentBagelOmnipotentBagel floof Registered User regular
    I mean, you can write a short story if you want. I'm not going to stop you.

    No need, I've got stopping me covered.

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    XaquinXaquin Right behind you!Registered User regular
    When I was in 5th grade, we had the scholastic book fair and I ordered 'Yukon Ho!' (the Calvin and Hobbes book). The company sent me 'To Build a Fire' instead.

    I was pretty upset. Then I read the short story and was pretty upset AND pretty horrified.

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    Raijin QuickfootRaijin Quickfoot I'm your Huckleberry YOU'RE NO DAISYRegistered User, ClubPA regular
    Hey, if you can whip up a new Harlan Ellisonesque short story for me to read I'm all for it.

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    Raijin QuickfootRaijin Quickfoot I'm your Huckleberry YOU'RE NO DAISYRegistered User, ClubPA regular
    Xaquin wrote: »
    When I was in 5th grade, we had the scholastic book fair and I ordered 'Yukon Ho!' (the Calvin and Hobbes book). The company sent me 'To Build a Fire' instead.

    I was pretty upset. Then I read the short story and was pretty upset AND pretty horrified.

    They're basically the same thing.

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    XaquinXaquin Right behind you!Registered User regular
    Xaquin wrote: »
    When I was in 5th grade, we had the scholastic book fair and I ordered 'Yukon Ho!' (the Calvin and Hobbes book). The company sent me 'To Build a Fire' instead.

    I was pretty upset. Then I read the short story and was pretty upset AND pretty horrified.

    They're basically the same thing.

    I've never understood how it happened but whatever!

    I got Yukon Ho! for christmas later that year anyway =)

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    PoorochondriacPoorochondriac Ah, man Ah, jeezRegistered User regular
    My very favorite short story isn't online anywhere ("The Complete Absence of Cats is Another Definition for Silence," by Stephen Graham Jones), so here's a different Stephen Graham Jones story (source) that I also like very much:
    Cops & Robbers
    My wife’s glasses were driving her crazy, so before too long she started killing people in quiet ways. She was remarkably efficient. As a homicide detective, I had nothing but respect for her manners. However, the fact remained that she was breaking laws I was sworn to uphold. Over the next few years, then, we did the dance we were supposed to do—hunter, prey; prey; hunter; she almost but never quite falling for our many baits, me slamming my badge down on my captain’s desk so many times that it bent the clasp—but at the end of the song we had to acknowledge that we were evenly matched. Any good marriage counselor would have told us the same thing. Our dinner talk and our pillow talk were formal, polite, model. We both washed our hands after work, commented in our individual ways on the bodies piling up in the newspaper, and kissed each other off into the city the next morning. Soon enough, retirement was looming before me, and she was the only active case I hadn’t been able to close. At my farewell banquet she held my large hand in her smaller one, and then, that night in the foyer, the bulb overhead not yet warm, her mask slipped a bit, her killer’s fingers reaching under my suit jacket, to my shoulder holster, but after twenty-five years on the force I was expecting this too. She came up from the formed leather not with my service revolver, but a pair of gold-rimmed reading glasses. They matched my new watch. She inspected them from every angle then lowered her face to them, looked up to me with them on—looked out of them to me—and said nice, turning to face object after object in the foyer, as if they were all new, and in this way we walked together into what was supposed to be our twilight years, but felt more like dawn.

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    Theodore FlooseveltTheodore Floosevelt proud parent of eight beautiful girls and shalmelo dorne (which is currently being ruled by a woman (awesome role model for my daughters)) #dornedadRegistered User regular
    Forum poster Raijin Quickfoot blearily opened his bloodshot eyes to the incessant screech of his antique alarm clock. Heh. Another day, another dollar, he thought to himself pensively. It made sense because he'd been dreaming about fucking Scrooge McDuck on a big pile of money. Funny thing was, the vault was filled with greenbacks, and everybody knew that the duck only fucked with gold. "I've got a pretty good life, baby," Raijin announced as he rose to make breakfast for his family.

    ~the end~

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    Theodore FlooseveltTheodore Floosevelt proud parent of eight beautiful girls and shalmelo dorne (which is currently being ruled by a woman (awesome role model for my daughters)) #dornedadRegistered User regular
    I'm open to collaborating on sequels to this story if anyone is interested

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    ShortyShorty touching the meat Intergalactic Cool CourtRegistered User regular
    The Things They Carried is one of my favorite war stories

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    ShortyShorty touching the meat Intergalactic Cool CourtRegistered User regular
    it's also one of those rare few trick stories that isn't totally insufferable

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    CharmyCharmy Registered User regular
    edited December 2016
    "So Much Water, So Close to Home" by Raymond Carver is one of my favourite stories, short or long, and I recommend it to everyone.

    I've also recommended the Hugo-nominated Selkie Stories are for Losers by Sofia Samatar to a lot of people and not one has been disappointed. It's a quick read and well worth your time to check out.

    Charmy on
    I have a twitter.
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    OmnipotentBagelOmnipotentBagel floof Registered User regular
    I'm open to collaborating on sequels to this story if anyone is interested

    Ugh, yet another perfect work of fiction cheapened with a needless follow up in a blatant cash grab

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    ShortyShorty touching the meat Intergalactic Cool CourtRegistered User regular
    good ol' Ray Carver

    it's not for nothin' people compare him to Chekhov

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    ShortyShorty touching the meat Intergalactic Cool CourtRegistered User regular
    my favorite Harlan Ellison is I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream, which in addition to being very very excellent throughout also has possibly my favorite title of anything ever, not least because it's in iambic quadrameter

    also "Repent, Harlequin!" Said the Ticktockman is super great

    man I wish Harlan Ellison hadn't spent the last fifteen years yelling at the internet instead of writing

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    MorivethMoriveth BREAKDOWN BREAKDOWN BREAKDOWN BREAKDOWNRegistered User regular
    For sale: internet forum, never posted

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    OmnipotentBagelOmnipotentBagel floof Registered User regular
    I mean, you can write a short story if you want. I'm not going to stop you.

    You probably should have stopped me.
    I once had a good friend, who, for the purposes of this story, we will call Randall (for that was his name). Although Randall and I had never met, we were, nonetheless quite close to one another, as we spent a good deal of each day talking to one another online. At first it was the sense of anonymity that allowed us to open up to one another on a level neither was comfortable with in person, but soon that connection, ironically, led to a deep and, I had thought, long-lasting friendship.

    One day, I logged to my instant messenger software and Randall was not there. This was not entirely unprecedented, but it was certainly unusual, as Randall was up earlier than I and, like myself, was almost never without a connection. But the day went by and never did the small light next to Randall's username, StalwartDefender, alight. The next day came and passed with no change, as did the following. By now I feared the worst--something had happened to my friend, and with no connection beyond this single digital courier, there was no way for me to know. I reached out to several of our other mutual online acquaintances, but none had heard from him either. In spite of our intimate knowledge of one another as human beings, we knew almost nothing of each other as people. I knew he lived, or claimed to live, somewhere on the east coast, but that's the most he'd ever shared. We had always treated our offline lives as a sort of afterthought, some other thing that was not truly important. It was only then that I realized the folly in this.

    I continued to sign on every day, for I had other friendships to maintain, and in time, I forged new bonds, none as strong or as deep as the one I had known, but fulfilling in their own ways. Still, always a small part of me held out hope that one day I would log on to a greeting from StalwartDefender, welcoming me as if we'd just spoken hours before. That day never came.

    Some years later I was in Maryland on business and stopped at a local coffee shop for breakfast. The man in front of me in line reminded me a bit of Randall, who had shared with me many funny pictures of himself (a true mark of our friendship as this was before the era of social media). I dismissed this as a flight of fancy, until the server called out an order for a "Rambo", surely meaning Randall. So I approached the man, mentally rehearsing the rather awkward introduction I had to present, but only got as far as "Excuse me," before he smiled and said, "I was wondering if you were going to say something."

    "So it is you," I replied. "Where have you been? What happened?"

    Randall explained to me that his life had been in a rut, that he wasn't happy, and that, after a lot of soul searching, he realized he'd been using technology as a crutch, as a way of avoiding the problems in his real life. And he decided that the only way he could fix it would be to take away the crutch, so he got rid of all the technology in his life. And the results were incredible--he'd never been happier or healthier. The only thing he missed, he said, looking a bit guilty, was the long-distance friendships he had given up.

    "We told each other everything," I said, still trying to process what I learned. "Why didn't you just tell me what was going on? I would have understood, we could have stayed in touch some other way. Why did you just disappear."

    "I didn't know HOW to tell you," he replied softly. "It had to be a clean break--I couldn't have reminders of that part of my life distracting me, tempting me back. But I didn't know how to end it, so I just stopped

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    MalReynoldsMalReynolds The Hunter S Thompson of incredibly mild medicines Registered User regular
    A old fashioned duel in a laser tag arena with laser tag guns except SOMEONE SET THE LASER TO 'KILL' and it's a murder mystery

    "A new take on the epic fantasy genre... Darkly comic, relatable characters... twisted storyline."
    "Readers who prefer tension and romance, Maledictions: The Offering, delivers... As serious YA fiction, I’ll give it five stars out of five. As a novel? Four and a half." - Liz Ellor
    My new novel: Maledictions: The Offering. Now in Paperback!
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    Bizzaro StormyBizzaro Stormy I am Bizzaro Stormy. I am Bizzaro Stormy.Registered User regular
    I am Bizzaro Stormy.

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    XaquinXaquin Right behind you!Registered User regular
    ahahahahahah yeeesssssss

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    OmnipotentBagelOmnipotentBagel floof Registered User regular
    @Bizzaro Stormy what did you think of my short story?

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    Macro9Macro9 Registered User regular
    I'm sorry but all my short stories involve ghosts, vampires, and lots of butt stuff. Completely inappropriate for these forums and the world really. It is how I made my fortune, though.

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    CharmyCharmy Registered User regular
    Macro9 wrote: »
    I'm sorry but all my short stories involve ghosts, vampires, and lots of butt stuff. Completely inappropriate for these forums and the world really. It is how I made my fortune, though.

    You're Chuck Tingle?

    I have a twitter.
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    cB557cB557 voOOP Registered User regular
    Charmy wrote: »
    Macro9 wrote: »
    I'm sorry but all my short stories involve ghosts, vampires, and lots of butt stuff. Completely inappropriate for these forums and the world really. It is how I made my fortune, though.

    You're Chuck Tingle?
    Of course he's not, or else that list would include dinosaurs.

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