This fortnight on BookMachine I talked about two of my great loves: short fiction and the digital revolution!
There’s no way around it: short fiction is having a moment. With events like the London Short Story Festival growing an extraordinary amount each year, the publishing industry’s liminal little brother is taking its fair share of the limelight. And it’s got a few things to teach us into the bargain.
A short history of short fiction
The short story in the modern day form, outside the folktales and poetry of Scheherazade and The Canterbury Tales, sprang into existence at some point in the mid-19th century. Through the first short story was arguably Walter Scott’s The Two Doves, short stories really took off outside the UK, mainly in Northern America. Short fiction did not become fashionable in Britain until the 1880s, when writers such as Kipling, James and Wells brought it to the fore.
In the 1920s, the proliferation of magazine publishing helped short stories to flourish and different styles started to develop. The short story was here to stay. The public’s interest in short stories has never completely diminished, though some decades have been more successful than others. [READ MORE]