This Week in Short Fiction


There’s a chance you’ll hear Peter Ho Davies read the first sentence of his story Chance and you’ll be hooked. There’s also a chance you won’t, but either way, it’s worth a visit to Drum, the “literary magazine for your ears” that publishes audio of writers reading their fiction, essays, and interviews.  This week, you can also rendezvous with Do You Have a Place for Me,” a story by Rumpus Essays Editor Roxane Gay.

Leave it to a science fiction writer to publish new work nearly 10 years after her death. This month, Open Road Media released the eBook Unexpected Stories, which includes a previously unpublished novella and short story by Octavia Butler, who died unexpectedly at the age of 58 in 2006. Last December, literary scholar Gerry Canavan was invited to be the first to dip into the archives of Butler’s unpublished work at Huntington Library in southern California, and this week Canavan wrote a two-part series for the Los Angeles Review of Books on his experience. The first reviews Unexpected Stories and the second explores Butler’s many starts for the unfinished third book in her Earthseed series, Parable of the Trickster. Butler might have been describing the unveiling of her unknown works in the epigram Canavan found for Trickster:

There’s nothing new
under the sun,
but there are new suns.

The uninitiated can check out this “Meet Octavia Butler” video primer from Open Road Media.

The jury for the 2014 Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award has released their 89 strong long list, a global snapshot of notable story collections released over the past year. The jury plans to release the names of the six finalists for best collection of 2014 today on their homepage.

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 →