Praise From Readers      
     
  "I love novels, but if I were ever stuck on a desert island and could only take one book, it would be a short story collection. A short story is a narrative distilled to its essence, and a whole batch of well-written ones create an amazing symphony. This collection stands with the best I have read." -- Amazon customer review

"I received my beautiful copy of the Short Story anthology and was happily purring over it, admiring the cover and wondering which story to read first, when my husband, on leave from working as an engineer in Maseru, Lesothu, ( not a town noted for its bookshops or even a library) pounced on it and "borrowed" it before I had read even one. Well what could I do, he's a voracious reader and had run out of good books. When he came back for his next break, he confessed he'd finished it but lent it on to a fellow engineer who had gone off to Uganda for a month. Now he's back again, with my anthology, and it's not going anywhere! It's well thumbed and there are coffee stains on some of the pages, but still beautiful and a well travelled book which has given reading pleasure to lots of people. Now it's my turn! Thanks for a wonderful collection."
Cheers, Ginny Swart, Cape Town, South Africa

"I always go through spells with short stories. I read them non stop for two years then meander to novels only. This collection sold me on them again. Unique voices, satisfying punch to most of the stories, this was one of my favorite reads this winter." -- Amazon customer review

"As I read the fifty-six stories in this exceptional anthology, the characters became real. I empathized with them, even though their experiences differed widely from mine. I got inside the heads of, among others, a shy shoe salesman, a woman in a coma, a man on a raft out to steal a pig, a husband whose wife executes sparrows, a truck-stop waitress who understands the value of crayons, a professor who has been swallowed by a tiger, a woman who can't bear to part with a sheep-killing dog, a beggar who's paid in wine to guard a home, a boy who hears a bird chirping in a forest, a couple and their young daughter who each view a marital spat from different perspectives, an impatient driver who attempts a bad pass, a Malaysian woman who visits her pregnant daughter in London. -- Amazon customer review

After I finished each story, I found it wasn't over. I kept thinking about the people, revisiting their choices, imagining how their future lives might go. I liked to savor each story awhile before I started reading the next one." -- Amazon customer review

"I remember the days of grade school, high school, and Comparative Literature discussing my favorite short stories. At the time, I loved the "Most Dangerous Game" and the "Lottery," and many other great tales. In the Short Story America Anthology, I have finally found a refreshing and excellent modern short story collection that reminds me of my old lit class discussions. I love the fact that these stories move me in a way that cannot often be found in today's era of novels. What a thrill to discover this book and its stories and authors." -- Amazon customer review

"With over five hundred pages containing fifty-six stories, Short Story America's anthology is wonderful value for money. There is excellent writing within its covers, stories that lingered in my mind long after I had read them, reminiscent of those by greats such as Raymond Carver, John Cheever, and Alice Munro.
I thoroughly enjoyed escaping into the authors' worlds. I highly recommend this volume and look forward to the next." -- Amazon customer review

"I discovered the website of Short Story America some time ago and every Friday a terrific new story arrives in my inbox. So when I saw there was an anthology available I was first in the Q! And this handsome volume exceeds all my expectations. The stories are so varied and so well written that I had to force myself to put down the book and save some for later. So many of them stay in my mind- in particular I loved Janet Tay's Winter, and Laura Jones' Fallout Shelter. And The Errand by Tim Johnston..... no, as I page through it again , there are just too many outstanding pieces to single out one or two. This is the sort of book I want all my friends to read so we can discuss the stories afterwards. This is the first anthology- I look forward to the next one."
-- Amazon customer review

"Short Story America has dashed to the forefront of the literary journals. This anthology, with its 56 superb stories, displays the verisimilitude of SSA's vision, the humor, sadness, subtlety, and range of styles and genres that few publishers and literary journals can match. The volume includes work that espouses a literary fine art tradition as compared to fiction that is ephemeral, shallow, or gimmickry. Stories such as Tim Johnston's "Friday Afternoon" are simply wonderful, as is T.L. Crum's "Crescent Moon" and so many others in the collection. I would highly recommend this beautifully produced hardback book." -- Amazon customer review

"The Short Story America Anthology is the best collection of short stories to come along in a very long time. At a story a night, I have enjoyed nearly two months of uninterrupted, first-rate reading (and re-reading) entertainment. I'm giving it to the readers on my Christmas list!" --a reader in Florida

“The contemporary stories at Short Story America are astonishingly good!” -- a reader in New Jersey

“It is rare to find such consistently high quality as is found among the short stories at SSA. This is a literary publication that has been a long time coming, and not a minute too soon. Thank you, Short Story America, for connecting me with great stories both old and new!” – a reader in Los Angeles

"This is the best format for reading classic or new short stories online that I've ever seen.  Thank you for putting the classics in PDF!  What a great resource.  I'm a teacher, and this is a blessing for reading, margin notes, highlighting, and saving money for my students and their parents!  And the brand-new fiction is outstanding!"  --a teacher in Florida

“Friday Afternoon” by T. D. Johnston is a masterpiece that ranks with ‘The Swimmer’ and ‘The Lottery’. Something about being both predictive and horribly suspenseful at the same time: you know what is going to happen, but you are on nerve-wracking edge the whole way to the satisfying end. A champion literary piece. Bravo.” -- a Canadian author and reader

“Short Story America is not only a great place to read, but the one-stop library of new and classic fiction is a fantastic resource for the classroom. Thank you!” – a teacher in North Carolina

" 'Fallout Shelter' is a brilliant story, full of suspense from beginning to end. I'm so tired of reading depressing or incoherent stuff, full of self-pity. This story is truly a breath of fresh air." -- a reader in New Hampshire

“Friday Afternoon” is a short story masterpiece. For me, it ranks up there with "The Lottery" and "The Most Dangerous Game." Thank you for sharing it. I love the Classics Library too. Short Story America will be the impetus for a much needed short story revival.” – a reader in Athens, Georgia

“Wounded Moon” is a superbly crafted story that gnaws at the reader long after it’s read. It awakens a universal fear - our perfect lives can disappear in the blink of an eye. And if/when that day comes, how will each of us come to grips with the aftermath? “Wounded Moon” is a visceral journey through one man's personal hell. Thanks for a fantastic read!” – a reader in Ohio

“Friday Afternoon” is a powerful story with a poignant message. I enjoyed it very much.” -- ‘bookjunkie’

"It's the details, folks. The best fiction takes you someplace you've never been, lets you get inside the head of someone you've never been and never will be. 'Light in the Window' does that. From the logging to the selling, the story vibrates with telling details. Are they all correct? Hell if I know. But they FEEL correct. That's what matters. Well done, Martin (McCaw). Very well done indeed." --a reader in New Jersey

“This is Not My Beautiful Life” is such a powerful story, brimming with bitter-sweet memories.” – a reader in Ohio

“T.D. Johnston's blistering page-turner 'Friday Afternoon' is surreal, savagely funny and entertaining, proving that 'the short story' is in good hands, and here to stay..." -- a film producer in Hollywood, California

"Bravo to Simon Larter for his emotional and engaging short story 'Silence Like Deep Water.' The expertly executed second-person narrative pulled me in from the first sentence. I was mesmerized by the vivid characters and transported by the sensory descriptions of Paris, woven into the story. Coming to the end was like waking from a dream, when the world around me came back into focus." --a reader in New York

“My palms were sweaty reading ‘Friday Afternoon’! It was a page-turner! I loved the phrase, "Panic's early-to-rise cousin, Misgiving, rattled awake . . ." – a reader in South Carolina

“Friday Afternoon" is deftly-written, a thinking piece that never loses momentum. It epitomizes what a short story should do: execute a powerful but small glimpse into the characters' lives, while not wasting a single word or description. Craft-wise, this is a great story. Story-wise, I was floored.” – a reader in San Antonio

“I think that humor is one of the toughest things to do well, especially in a literary form. “Von Claire and the Tiger” (by Canadian author Rolli) was a fantastic example of how to do it right, subtly, while allowing the story's message to permeate each line. I wholly enjoyed this story.” – a reader in Texas


"Israel's Pig" is a very enjoyable read on a cold winter's afternoon. Faith and love, it warms the heart! --a reader in New York

I'm imagining the ending of "Friday Afternoon" in a movie. The screen gets darker until it's black. Then all the audience is aware of are the two voices in the dark. I can hear Pablo's giggle and his last words, "And so have you." Wow! I've been replaying the scenes and the powerful ending ever since I first read the story three months ago." --a reader in Washington

"The narrative style of 'Silence Like Deep Water' reminded me of Albert Camus's novel The Stranger. Though this was in the second person, the narrative style seemed tantalizingly disconnected in the same way that Camus's narrator seems distant from very personal events relevant to his life and happiness. The sensory descriptions were also spectacular, not just of the setting but also of the characters' emotions made into physical feelings ("hot emptiness"). A beautiful effort that's really what short fiction should be--a brief, compact, blinding glimpse into the cracks between events and within a person's life." -- a reader in Kentucky

"Israel's Pig" is masterfully written, so poignant in all the deeper themes, and very well researched. --a reader in New Jersey

“Richard Hawley's "For Love" has caused me, in a delightfully wistful way, to remember my own attempts to deal with my first all-consuming crush (in the second grade...her name was Ramona), and I am thankful to Hawley's young Jonathan Force for bringing back my own memories of clumsily but enthusiastically discovering the concept of Love, and how to convey it. Thank you, Mr. Hawley, for this excellent tale. Bravo!” – a reader in Florida

“Friday Afternoon” is a real page-turner! I couldn't put it down. Really enjoyed reading while on a bus ride to NYC. I look forward to more stories.” – a reader in Connecticut.

“Scapegoat” was such a moving story and so well written, the writer really pulled her reader in. She's obviously a dog lover of note, and her main character certainly made the right decision at the end! LOVED this story. – a reader in Oregon

“Just got finished reading "Friday Afternoon" and I can't even find the words to express how much I enjoyed it. It's certainly one of the best short stories I've had the pleasure of reading.” – a reader in Canada

“I really enjoyed the aspect of Douglas Campbell’s "Shopping for Birds" that causes the reader to take a look at his or her own relationship with spouse or significant other. Douglas Campbell's use of the "compromise bagel" was particularly skillful in showing the lazy rationalizations which are insufficient substitute for true commitment to the little unselfish and considerate actions that make relationships work, day in and day out. Terrific story.” – a reader in North Carolina

“Wounded Moon” is well-written and haunting, well after the story ends. The tale compels the reader to face what most wish to avoid, life is ephemeral, mortality real.” – a reader in Cincinnati

"Wow, 'Fortune's Harvest' was good. A perfect example of 'distant' intimacy between two people whose love is probably futile, but worth working to save. The use of the mirror and photograph for a rehearsal was especially original, because people do actually do that. More clearly than most short works, the story captures a heart working against itself, which is my favorite sort of conflict. Perhaps the man has given up hope--his affair suggests that--but he seems committed to restoring something lost even when everything is falling down around him. It hints at plenty of inner contradiction. A powerful effort." -- a reader in Kentucky

“I really enjoyed “Killing Sparrows” by Gary Buslik. Top notch.” – a reader in Saskatchewan

“The Interruption of Thomas Darrow” was a totally riveting read! My eyes were glued to the page. Wonderful story-telling here! Well done. – a reader in Ohio

“I'm always fascinated when a writer finds a new or seldom used story line. Fergus, with his murderous past and senile dementia, was such a quirky story line. Laury Egan managed to make him both a little evil and a little pathetic in her terrific story, “Fergus.” – a reader in Cincinnati

"Love the story of the week! "Friday Afternoon" is such a rush. Incredible building action, actually had the heart racing by the end." -- a reader in Chapel Hill, NC

"I was COMPLETELY blown away by Friday Afternoon. It reminded me so much of the writings of Stephen King, my all-time favorite author. It scared the hell out of me and I loved it!! I cannot wait to read more" -- a reader in Beaufort, SC

“I really enjoyed the flash piece, "The Boy and the Rabbi." Mark Ehlers has captured in several pages the essence of why baseball became America's pastime in the first place. If a boy cherishes his dad's memory in part because of the experience they shared in admiration of a game and those who make the game great, then all the talk about ballplayers being overpaid takes a backseat to what's really important: sharing a passion with your mom or dad, or with your child. Well done, Mr. Ehlers, and thank you for reminding me of my own father.” – a reader in South Carolina

"Friday Afternoon" is one hell of a ride! This is one of the best new stories I have read in a long, long time. -- a reader in Charlotte, NC

“Heartbeat in Shadow” is hauntingly beautiful and rife with raw emotion.” – a reader in Cincinnati

“Tim Johnston's "The Errand" is one more brilliant outing for SSA's publisher. From the first paragraph, the reader "knows" the protagonist, Robert, whose portrait has been accomplished with astonishing compression and accuracy. Tim has managed to elicit our sympathy for him with little fanfare or elaboration. And manages to leave us with foreboding about the future of Robert's life and marriage, despite the few pages. Bravo! – a reader in New Jersey

“Shelley Stack's “Along for the Ride” is an impressive portrayal of the family triangle, the bond between father and daughter, the problematic relationship between mother and daughter. Having endured some of the same dynamics, I found this piece very realistic and tautly executed. An impressive piece!” – a reader in New Jersey

“The tension and pacing in “The Errand” are perfect.” – a reader, home state unknown

“There is so much in so few words in Mark S. Jackson’s “Partaking.” The story leads us from the mundane, to strange, utter hopelessness, to a tiny glimmer of hope. Thank you.” – a reader, home state unknown
 
     
     
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