Story Challenge for February, part two

I had a few book reviews due–Walter Mosley’s Down the River Unto the Sea, and Eva Dolan’s incredible This is How it Ends–so I’ve cut back on the short stories a bit. Now I’m back at it, and here are some favorites:

360_degree_fractal_death_valley_1214_mandelbulb_3d_by_schizo604-d9mr095
Death Valley, by schizo604

“Fractal” by Joyce Carol Oates at Lit Hub. She writes many kinds of stories, but this genre tale about a child prodigy with abilities we can’t understand is a real winner.

“Nobody’s Fool” by R.D. Sullivan at Shotgun Honey has a nice twist. Sullivan is a new voice on the crime fiction scene and one to watch.

Blacktop” by Mrs. Fringe is an entertaining read about a cocksure never-been character some of us know well. There’s always one of them at the gym or on the court.

Mendelsohn,” in Tin House, by Seth Fried, is a bit long but an entertainingly bizarre suburbia story. I like this in part because I wrote a terrible suburban story about an anthropologist at war with a raccoon that keeps eating his trash. It was never published, the characters were caricatures, but it was good practice, and I liked reading what an experienced writer could do with the idea.

I have a book due at the library- I blew through the excellent House. Tree. Person. by Catriona McPherson, a gripping but entertaining and light psychological thriller, and now I need to finish the forgotten classic Black No More by George Schuyler in a few days, so I won’t be reading more short stories yet!

If you like short stories, my collection Life During Wartime was just released by Down & Out Books, and contains “The Big Snip” which was chosen for The Best Crime & Mystery Stories 2016, as well as a Jay Desmarteaux yarn, three Denny the Dent tales, and “The Cronus Club,” which has never before appeared in print. Signed copies are available from Watchung Booksellers and The Mysterious Bookshop.