Growing old1, I find myself increasingly interested in short fiction, both as a reader and a writer.
Maybe it comes from the realization that time is running out, who knows.
Or maybe it’s because, having appreciated the challenges of writing short stories, one comes to enjoy much more the short stories out there.
One of the gifts I made myself for having finished my novel was Alex Bledsoe‘s two-story ebook, Next-to-Last of the Tiger Men & Mack’s Rhino.
I read both the stories two nights ago, and I am awed by the author’s skill and sensibility.
Both Next-to-Last of the Tiger Men and Mack’s Rhino are big game hunting stories.
Is there anything more classic than hunting stories?
Hemingway and all that.
And yet, these are also stories about hauntings – very different hauntings.
Not scary, but… deep.
Both stories feature Tennessee-born professional hunters Linda Fontana and T.S. Bunch, and in the characterization of these two, and their relationship, Alex Bledsoe’s skill shines as much as it does shine in his ability to summon a whole world, a whole set of sensations, in a very short narrative space.
I’ll have to re-read this ebook again, and again – and try to learn as much as I can.