My 2nd Annual Short Story Reading Awards

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The Shorties – My 2014 Short Story Awards!

Last year, Edgar Allan Poe’s character “Hop-Frog” was my honorary host of “The Shorties.”  This year, for the Second Annual edition, we welcome the George R.R. Martin’s Tyrion Lannister, brilliantly brought to life by actor Peter Dinklage in the HBO Series, Game of Thrones. And… once again, as I did last year, I’ll stress that “shorties” is intended as a term of endearment not a politically incorrect disparaging remark about short people. 🙂

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1. Favorite New (to me) Author:
a) Katherine Vaz
b) Mark Helprin
c) Roxane Gay
d) Nikolai Gogol
e) Monica Westeren

Really a toss up here, between Gay and Vaz, but I’m going to have to go with Katherine Vaz. Both her stories in my Deal Me In deck  and another I read ad hoc) were amazing!

2. Most Memorable Female Character
a) Tanya (Twenty-Six and One by Maxim Gorky)
b) Margot (“All Summer in a Day” by Ray Bradbury)
c) Mrs. Bullfrog (“Mrs. Bullfrog” by Nathaniel Hawthorne)
d) Lia (“From Brussels South to Ottignies” by Monica Westeren)
e) Avie (“Axis” by Alice Munro)

I’m going to go with Lia. This may be a bit of an upset, but I really liked her character’s emergence into her own person.

3. Most Memorable Male Character
a) Eduardo (“Undressing the Vanity Dolls” by Katherine Vaz)
b) Lazarus (“Lazarus” by Leonid Andreev)
c) Roger (“Perfection” by Mark Helprin)
d) Mateo (“Mateo Falcone” by Prosper Merimee)
e) Kovrin (“The Black Monk” by Anton Chekhov)

As much as I love Kovrin, it’s Lazarus in a runaway. That story and character really unsettled me. I still may not have recovered wholly…

4. Most Memorable writing
a) Gertrude Atherton
b) Peter Watts
c) Kate Chopin
d) Katherine Vaz
e) Alice Munro

As much as I loved all of these, its gotta be Vaz. The quotation that clinched it: “The red tide was drifting south, the neon blue receding, and as easily as that, as easily and swiftly as a comet arrives, passes on, and does not return again, not in one’s lifetime, the moment for Dias to ask Reginald why he had given him the silent treatment, and for Reginald to ask if the letters were never for Alicia out of a well-founded guilt, came and left, and would present its chance to be regarded no more. Such nullifying moments exist, and their vacancy is as strong as all else that one might name.” Winner.

5. Favorite Story
a) The Cloak by Nikolai Gogol
b) Lazarus by Leonid Andreev
c) Undressing the Vanity Dolls by Katherine Vaz
d) Story of an Hour by Kate Chopin
e) The Things by Peter Watts

So tough to decide, but I’m going to go with Kate Chopin’s “micro-story” Story of an Hour. I’ll be recommending this one to people for years to come.

Well, those are some of my favorite stories, characters, and authors from this year. Which were YOURS?