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Short story Options
schrodinger's cat
Posted: Tuesday, October 12, 2010 12:45:20 PM
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I have to write a paper on an American short story of my choice this year, so I was wondering if you have any suggestions (besides Poe). I like anything that is extraordinary, as in science fiction, philosophy, absurd, irony, etc. Something that makes me think, and of course, the story has to be written by an American author, that is, someone living in USA, when he/she wrote the story.

On a side note, if you know of a great story that does not follow the American criteria, mention it anyway. Perhaps I, or someone else would enjoy reading it as well in our spare time. :)
Jyrkkä Jätkä
Posted: Tuesday, October 12, 2010 1:02:57 PM

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Nick Adams Stories by Hemingway came in mind immediately, especially The Killers.
saintvivant
Posted: Tuesday, October 12, 2010 2:00:17 PM
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Try "The Lottery" by Shirley Jackson or "A Rose for Emily" by William Faulkner or "The Short Happy Life Of Francis Macomber" by Ernest Hemingway.
Apple Blossom
Posted: Tuesday, October 12, 2010 2:00:58 PM
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Schrodinger's Cat,

I recommend A Dog's Tale by Mark Twain. I presume you are a cat fancier; perhaps also a dog fancier. The story is not science fiction, but does have a scientific element, bordering on the absurd, with plenty of irony and pathos.

2thescream
Posted: Tuesday, October 12, 2010 3:01:04 PM
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O. Henry - Good stories with a twist.
Jazzy
Posted: Tuesday, October 12, 2010 4:08:10 PM
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Kurt Vonnegut’s “Harrison Bergeron” and Flannery O’Connor’s “A Good Man is Hard to Find” are some of my favorites!
RuthP
Posted: Tuesday, October 12, 2010 4:41:59 PM

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These are all old, old SF. For some of the stories, you need to accept the older technology of the '40s or '50s.

The Cold Equations
by Tom Godwin ("The Cold Equations" at Space Westerns)
This is a very well-known story, which raises passions both for and against. I first read it at about 12 or 13 and it made a big impression on me. The critics have some valid points, but so do the supporters.

(Rats, I was going to give you an Arthur Clark that I'm very fond of, but he was British - The Nine Billion Names of God, if you want to read it later.)

Nightfall by Isaac Asimov, but you need the 1941 short story. Asimov and Silverberg wrote a novel some time in the 1990s, but the novel was nowhere near as good as the original story.
In a lighter vein (and much more recent writing), Asimov wrote a lot of short stories about Azazel, a two-centimeter demon. I think the first one was Getting Even

Anything by Ray Bradbury; a few of my favorites are:
The Veldt
A Sound of Thunder
The Million Year Picnic
The Fog Horn
There Will Come Soft Rains
boneyfriend
Posted: Tuesday, October 12, 2010 5:01:54 PM

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I second 2thescream and advise O'Henry. You have many suggestions here and I don't know what you will pick, but sometime in your reading experience, give O'Henry a try.
gradyone
Posted: Wednesday, October 13, 2010 1:33:26 AM

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schrodinger's cat wrote:
Something that makes me think, and of course, the story has to be written by an American author, that is, someone living in USA, when he/she wrote the story.

Some very good, time-tested stories already have been suggested. Joyce Carol Oates comes to mind as a contemporary master of the short story form. And so does Raymond Carver, taken by lung cancer in 1988 at 50 years old, just having reached his masterful stride before he got sick. You can read his story, A Small, Good Thing, here.
Romany
Posted: Wednesday, October 13, 2010 2:58:08 AM
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I am probably going to get shot down in flames here, but have you ever read any of Stephen King's short stories?

I know many Americans think he is a minor writer. In fact, it has always appeared to me that he is more popular outside of America than in it? Perhaps this is because his evocations of American society, speech, mores, scenery and middle-class childhood, are unsurpassed by any of his contemporaries that I have encountered. Thus, for those of us who aren't American, King helps us gain insight into contemporary culture in that country. In fact my understanding of some of the AE posts (and people) on this forum come to me courtesy of Mr. King.

And as a supplier of plot twists, stings in the tail, the unexpected, and thought provocation, he is one of the best.

In fact, if there is anyone who hasn't actually read his work, but turns their nose up because he "just" writes Horror, why not delve into some of his short stories as well? You might not only be surprised, but feel rewarded.

schrodinger's cat
Posted: Thursday, October 14, 2010 3:41:28 PM
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Thank you everyone for your suggestions. Now I just have to sift through them. :)
memol
Posted: Thursday, December 2, 2010 4:28:32 AM
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hi
tomorrow I will deliver a lecture about Edgard Allan Poe's short story, The Tell Tail Heart. ;(
I'm searching for his biography and s.th special about his works.
do you want to mention any thing?
lenam
Posted: Thursday, December 2, 2010 4:40:18 AM
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Welcome, memol, to forums! Please check whether this site and this site help.
TOOTS
Posted: Thursday, December 2, 2010 5:29:46 AM
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Romany wrote:
I am probably going to get shot down in flames here, but have you ever read any of Stephen King's short stories?

I know many Americans think he is a minor writer. In fact, it has always appeared to me that he is more popular outside of America than in it? Perhaps this is because his evocations of American society, speech, mores, scenery and middle-class childhood, are unsurpassed by any of his contemporaries that I have encountered. Thus, for those of us who aren't American, King helps us gain insight into contemporary culture in that country. In fact my understanding of some of the AE posts (and people) on this forum come to me courtesy of Mr. King.

And as a supplier of plot twists, stings in the tail, the unexpected, and thought provocation, he is one of the best.

In fact, if there is anyone who hasn't actually read his work, but turns their nose up because he "just" writes Horror, why not delve into some of his short stories as well? You might not only be surprised, but feel rewarded.



I'm with you Romany - I don't think I have read anything by Stephen King that I haven't been impressed with.
On another note, what a lovely list of stories in the posts above that I am going to have to read now!
memol
Posted: Thursday, December 2, 2010 5:35:24 AM
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thanks alot my friend , lenam :)
uuaschbaer
Posted: Thursday, December 2, 2010 6:10:52 AM

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The Cosmicomics are stories that are short, and they're good, but they're not American.
lenam
Posted: Thursday, December 2, 2010 6:21:00 AM
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You're welcome, memol.
dev_sircar
Posted: Friday, February 25, 2011 9:19:13 AM

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Location: Kolkata, Bengal, India
schrodinger's cat wrote:
I have to write a paper on an American short story of my choice this year, so I was wondering if you have any suggestions (besides Poe). I like anything that is extraordinary, as in science fiction, philosophy, absurd, irony, etc. Something that makes me think, and of course, the story has to be written by an American author, that is, someone living in USA, when he/she wrote the story.

On a side note, if you know of a great story that does not follow the American criteria, mention it anyway. Perhaps I, or someone else would enjoy reading it as well in our spare time. :)


Why do you not choose the Caption as “schroedinger's cat” and write a science fiction on Felix-the cat’s thoughts in confinement; taking a cue from Nobel Laureate schroedinger's bizzare but well known thought experiment?Eh?
boneyfriend
Posted: Friday, February 25, 2011 6:17:23 PM

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Location: Columbia, South Carolina, United States
You may have written your paper by now but may I suggest Carson McCuller's "Ballard of the Sad Cafe."
Alias
Posted: Sunday, February 27, 2011 12:19:15 AM
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Joined: 10/12/2010
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Location: Australia
My first choice is Kurt Vonnegut.
Short Story Collections: Welcome to the Monkey House and Armageddon in Retrospect are good places to start.

An early short story; Harrison Bergenson is seminal.

Also Theodore Sturgeon who was an influence on Vonnegut (and many others)
is a great source of Sci Fi short stories.

Otherwise I would also recommend Phillip K Dick. Clever, witty,insightful.


Non Sci Fi, Mark Twain is the master of the short story and, really, is without peer. However there are swathes of material written about him and his work so its difficult to be original.



Quote: [i]"The only difference between Hitler and Bush is that Hitler was elected[/i]" Kurt Vonnegut Jnr.

NB Vonnegut was a war hero awarded the purple heart and was trapped in the fire bombing of Dresden in WW11 as a POW in a a concrete animal slaughterhouse called Slaughterhouse 5 ..the title of one of his most famous novels later mafe in to a film.
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