The title of this post should be "Best Five Short Stories Recently. There are plenty of classics from plenty of dead authors that I'm inspired by, but when I'm inspired by contemporary writing, I know I've read something that's too good not to share. The following are my top five favorites, linked (except one), in no particular order:
Study, for Solo Piano (Genevieve Valentine)
I'll be honest, I'm not really sure of how to pronounce Genevieve's name. But her stories are pretty remakable. Study, for Solo Piano was originally published in Fantasy Magazine, but her stories are all over the internet.
Where the Electrician Went (Micah Dean Hicks)
I know how to pronounce Micah's name. I'm lucky enough to know him in person, but that has nothing to do with this selection. It follows the life of an electrician (backwards through time) who fixes lives.
Heaven Photographed by Hubble Telescope (Rachel Jensen)
This one's short, a little more than a thousand words. The title says all--what happens when astronomers discover Heaven?
The Last Thing We Need (Claire Vaye Watkins)
Published in one of the best literary magazines out there, The Last Thing We Need is a short told in the epistolary style. The story in my opinion is perfect to the extent that I've tried to duplicate the effect it had on me in the ending. I don't think I'll ever be able to pull it off like Watkins.
My Last Attempt to Explain to You What Happened with the Lion Tamer (Brendan Mathews)
I honestly can't find the story anywhere online, but it was originally published in the Cincinnati Review, and has appeared in Richard Russo's "Best American Short Stories" (2010). Buy that book if you ever come across it. It's filled with stories that are just as awesome.
I've read plenty of great stories all over the place--some appearing in markets that are barely visible on the radar. The above are simply the ones that came to mind as I began the post. And for the sake of including a fifth story readily available online, here is Zack Crawford's "Harbor Survival", located at Wonderfort. Harbor Survival may be poetry, prosetry, I can't really tell the difference. But I know it's full and great considering the word count.