This Week in Short Fiction

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For a weekly dose of fiction, checking in at the New Yorker is probably business as usual for most, and this week it’s definitely worth scoping out Amelia Gray’s story, “Labyrinth.” It’s a story infused with Greek mythology, dark humor, and a little small-town creepiness besides. The story is one among many forthcoming in Gray’s April 2015 story collection, Gutshot.

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This week, the Los Angeles Times reported that the late Dr. Seuss will be publishing a new book for short readers in July 2015. His wife, Audrey Geisel, and his secretary stumbled upon the unpublished manuscript, What Pet Should I Get?, in a box from his study in the fall of 2013. While the story will be new to us, it’s believed Seuss wrote it sometime between 1958 and 1962 as it features the same set of characters from One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish.

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On Wednesday, the New York Times Magazine gave themselves an online makeover. That alone is exciting. But upon their debut, they also published a write-up (“My Dear, Dear, Dear Watson”) by Jenna Wortham that outlines some new terminology in the world of fan fiction. In particular, she discusses “shipping,” a term that is short for “relationshipping” and which she says describes the imagined matchmaking and wishful romances fans create and root for in fictional universes even when those relationships don’t actually exist in said fictional universes. As the story’s title suggests, she provides a popular example of the imagined relationship fans have added in the margins between BBC’s Sherlock (Benedict Cumberbatch) and Dr. Watson (Martin Freeman). Variations on the terms include “slash,” gay matches between fictional characters who aren’t really gay in character, and “crack pairings,” which span fictional universes and species of characters.


Jill Schepmann's stories have been read on NPR and have appeared in Parcel and Midwestern Gothic, among others. She worked as a fiction and nonfiction editor at Nashville Review while getting her MFA at Vanderbilt. She lives in San Francisco and tweets @jillypants. More from this author →