Since I've been spending a little too much time on this blog talking about TV, I thought I'd let you know about a few stories I've read recently.

I was stumbling around the Bellevue Literary Review website the other day and came across an amazing little story by Elizabeth Downs. It's called "In Lieu of a Better Plan," and you can download a PDF version of the story here. It's definitely worth your time--a compelling situation, a great voice, and an extraordinary use of tropes.

This one isn't available online, but in the Winter/Spring 2006 issue of Crab Orchard Review: "Current" by Kevin A. Gonzalez. "Current" won the Charles Johnson Student Fiction Award last year, and yes, if you hop over to the website, you'll see, beneath the photo of Mr. Gonzalez, the name of some writer-guy named Chad who was a finalist for the contest, but, alas, didn't win. When I read "Current," I was hoping, of course, to be able to tear it apart, to decry my loss of the thousand bucks, etc., but the story's pretty remarkable, and I must say, though I'm not much for "competing" stories, Mr. Johnson picked the right winner.

And, finally, if you still haven't read Dan Chaon's "Shepherdess" in the current issue of Virginia Quarterly Review, go and do so. It has one of the most unique break-up scenes I've ever read; plus, one of the most unique closing images. You'll never hear a car alarm twitter in the same way again.

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