One of the effects of the ebook, and Kindle specially, is that it’s given a new lease of life to the short story collection. As recently as only five or six years ago, the traditional publishers had dropped short stories almost entirely in book form (with the odd exception like Jeffrey Archer and Roald Dahl).
Twenty years ago magazines and newspapers regularly published short stories to satisfy reader demand and many great writers got their start as professionals by writing them – especially SF writers like Philip K Dick, Isaac Asimov, and Brian Aldiss but also mainstream fiction writers like J.D. Salinger.
But now Kindle readers are keen on the short story format again – probably because it enables them to finish a story at a sitting – on the train or bus or tube, or during the lunch hour.
This is good news for old school writers like me who love nothing more that to craft an unashamedly old-fashioned short story with a twist or two in the tale, because it means there is once more a market for our work.
My contribution to the genre is a new Kindle book titled True Stories. The tales are about crime and punishment and every story in the book is true – except one. Some of them sound pretty far-fetched but they have been related to me by friends – and enemies.
Just in case Scotland Yard comes knocking on my door, I should say that I am not in possession of any information that was not already known to the police or in the public domain.