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Chicks Kick Butt, edited by Rachel Caine and Kerrie L. Hughes - Barnstorming on an Invisible Segway [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
Marissa Lingen

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Chicks Kick Butt, edited by Rachel Caine and Kerrie L. Hughes [Jun. 5th, 2011|02:47 pm]
Marissa Lingen

Review copy provided by Tor.

There are several kinds of anthology in this field. One of them is the, "Hey, this genre and the authors in it have novel series that are selling like hotcakes! Let's do that, then!" kind. And that's where this book falls.

Seriously, constructing short stories and constructing novels is not the same skill set. Incluing readers on a situation if they don't already know the ongoing characters--and doing it without dragging a short story out of shape--is even harder. I would love to say that these authors, by and large, managed to do that very well, but honestly, they didn't. P.N. Elrod and Jenna Black at least managed to write readable short stories in the context of their ongoing heroines, but even those were not, to my way of thinking, outstanding examples of the short story form.

If you have favorite ongoing paranormal romance series, and you want to be completist about reading them, it may be worthwhile for you to check out the table of contents on this book. If you don't follow any of these authors in their ongoing series, I can't think this anthology will be of much interest to you. If you're interested in paranormal romance and want to see who does it well, I have every hope that these successful novelists do it better at novel length.

From: diatryma
2011-06-06 02:31 pm (UTC)
Short stories published independently are not bonus material for readers of your novels. I wish that more authors understood that. You can write them as bonus material, but then you put them on your website under Free! and everyone is happy. If the story is a promotional tool, you have to make it good for people who have no idea who anyone is.
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[User Picture]From: swords_and_pens
2011-06-17 05:13 am (UTC)
I'm not very good (or at least, not well practiced) at short stories, so I am dubious about doing something like this, should the offer come. And yes, it is *very* much a different skill set. I have a great deal of appreciation and respect for someone who can craft an excellent short story. They are very much a rare beast for me to create, and so I tend to approach them with perhaps more caution than I should.

All that said, if I ever did take the anthology plunge, and should said story be set in an existing world of mine, I long ago decided that the story would be with new viewpoint characters. I would hope that there is enough going on in my world, and enough interesting people & places populating it, that I could find a few other stories to tell beside my usual protagonists'. I know some people greatly enjoy side-jaunts with their favorites, but I think something like this would be a wonderful chance to play with new toys, or at least look at your playground from a different perspective.
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[User Picture]From: mrissa
2011-06-17 12:16 pm (UTC)
Having just finished Among Thieves, I can definitely see the room in the world for other stories and other kinds of stories to be told. That doesn't mean that you will or will not find the short story skill set easy to switch to if this comes up--I don't know, I'm not you--but at least you haven't boxed yourself in with the worldbuilding!
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