I've been reading short stories all year in prepartion for the annual collection Marty Greenberg and I do. Because our deadline has been moved up by three months my reading has been intense lately.
I'd need three volumes to reprint all the deserving stories. Every sub-genre from hardboiled to traditional-cozy to paranormal deserves its own book. I have my prejudices, of course. I feel closest to noirish fiction but when I read a Robert Barnard or Nancy Pickard story I get just as excited. I suppose because my generation was raised on realistic fiction I like to see every day life explored and writers like Robert and Nancy do that with poetic expertise.
I've never gotten over my thrill of discovering a story that works perfectly. I was joking with Carol the other night after I read a story in an original anthology--I said I want to call this guy up and tell him how good his story is. It was after two a.m.
I find it impossible to keep up with all the new novelists. But I can at last get a sense of those who write short fiction. And believe me 2008 was a bumper crop.