I don’t read much fiction. That’s probably a trait common to career minded historians. Not because we consider fiction ‘trivial’ or anything like that but because we (or at least I) accept that gnomic wisdom that truth is often stranger (or more interesting) than fiction. That said, I will read anything that is well written and short fiction can provide some of the cleanest examples of good writing you will find in any genre.
The internet is full of short fiction, and while Kurt Vonnegut considered the vast output of the ether as final clinching proof that the million monkey typists + a million years = Shakespeare logic experiment was fundamentally flawed, there are a few stories that approach Marlow, or Spencer, if not the ‘Bard’ himself. Although, having just said that I can’t, for the life of me, find proof that this was Vonnegut, but it sounds like him.* Odds are, anyone who has read much of this blog over the years can guess why I like the little gem, nestled deeply in the crowd-sourced cannon of the SCP foundation, linked below. An almost complete lack of context should not impede the reader’s enjoyment as it would likely not relieve any of the reader’s confusion.** If you have been following the Oxford Noir entries, the appeal of this story will make more sense.
Stare (first published in 2012, by contributor Escobar)
*And if that isn’t a Gordian knot of a joke, then I don’t know anything about anything.
** Speaking of complete absences of context, why is this the first blog entry in 4 months? Any story you make up will be better than the reality I think. And yes, Mr. Whitman, I will contradict myself, if you please.