What do you hate most about science fiction short stories?

Stoddard’s Two Cents

Here’s an intentionally provocative post from Jason Stoddard*, who suggests that we might get some interesting ideas about improving genre short fiction by saying what we hate about it:

“Back in my audio days, we used to ask our dealers and our customers a simple question: “What do you hate most about your gear?” And, based on the answers to this question, we’d frequently create products that drove stunning business growth.

Because it really isn’t important what they’re thrilled with. What matters is what they hate. Hate is a red-hot emotion that drives change.”

An interesting idea – there are already some stimulating comments on Jason’s post that are well worth a read, if only as a demonstration of how various the range of attitudes really is.

My Two Cents

I’m not going to go overboard here, because I’m a comparative newcomer to short fiction, and I don’t feel I have the same degree of emotional connection to (or experience with) it that a lot of longer-standing fans do. But here’s a few little nuggets:

  • Heinlein’s Capable Men – they may have made sense in Heinlein’s era, but these stories just rub me up wrong when done by modern writers.
  • The PKD rewrites – great stories in their day. Leave them be and write your own.
  • The Hollywood screenplay – I know it’s a short story, but a soupcon of description and depth wouldn’t go amiss. My imagination loves a workout, but it needs calories before it can exercise.

Your Two Cents

What do you hate about the short fiction you read? Or is it all just fine, thankyouverymuch?

[* I’m late out of the gate with this one, I know; I have a mass of things to post about that other commitments have held me back from covering, and this is me beginning to catch up on the backlog.]

[tags]genre, short, fiction, stories, problems, dislikes[/tags]

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