I have been working on this anthology over the past several months, revisiting all my short fiction, a huge body of work fifty years in the making… both published and unpublished work… selecting those stories that I consider to be my very best and combining them in some kind of logical order… a difficult task, since this is an extremely eclectic collection of fiction.
Following months of work in compiling, editing, and formatting, the book, properly an anthology, is essentially complete and it has been put into the proper file configurations required to produce both print and e-book versions. I will, hopefully, publish both versions simultaneously through Amazon in the very near future… perhaps sometime in early autumn… as my sainted grandmother might say, “…if the Good Lord is willing and the creek don’t rise….” which is a more colorful way of saying, “…barring any unforeseen impediments, difficulties, or calamitous events.” We’ve seen a few of those in recent months, calamitous events.
The print version of book will be soft cover, 6″ x 9″ in size and approximately 170 pages in length. Both print and Kindle versions include stories ranging in length from a very short 150-word experimental fragment in the style of magical realism… to an award-winning and more traditional short story of over 4,700 words. Both published and unpublished work is included in the anthology, all newly edited, but representing my work from as early as 1973 through more recent times, the latest being a short story published in March of 2020. The theme and the title of the book are derived from a poem I wrote a while back, and it is included in the front of the book as a kind of prologue:
Shrapnel: A modern American koan
Truth is never elusive.
It sits pretty on the table
like a hand grenade.
Pull the pin.
A good story does more than entertain. It reaches out for the truth we need to hear… picks it up and pulls the pin. Hopefully, one or several of the stories in my anthology will do just that for my readers, pull the pin on some truth we need to hear and consider. Good fiction will rock your world. Beyond mere entertainment, such is my intent.
It’s always been my belief that fiction is a more perfect way of telling the truth unimpeded by personal inhibitions and fear. When the story is divorced from the reality of a personal connection on the part of an author, we can express those hidden things we never otherwise would even so much as whisper to ourselves in the dark night of our dreams. If the writer dares and succeeds in the risk, the reader will be changed accordingly. As Norman Mailer suggested, writing is the “spooky art” and I maintain that it can be entirely subversive when properly applied. Even dangerous.
Once this preliminary project is completed and out there, I have about a dozen novels in various stages of preparedness for publication that could follow in its wake at the rate of about two or three per year. More about that later.
Watch this space for further announcements as the publication date draws near.
“Shrapnel: Short Stories…. Coming soon. An eclectic collection of short fiction selected by the author.” by James Lloyd Davis is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.
Exception to the CC License as follows: The poem, Shrapnel: A modern American koan (© 2020 James Lloyd Davis) and the book cover rendered above and for the book, Shrapnel: Short Stories are covered by applicable US copyright law and may not be reproduced without permission by the author.