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Sudden Fiction (Continued): 60 New Short-Short Stories

3.73  ·  Rating details ·  178 ratings  ·  27 reviews
Remember Sudden Fiction International—that bounty of short-short stories from all over the world? Literary folks loved them. Students carried the book around with them. And people on the run found the length of each story (no more than 2000 words) perfect respites from their busy lives.

Responding to America's love affair with the short-short, editors Shapard and Thomas con
Paperback, 320 pages
Published July 17th 1996 by W. W. Norton Company (first published June 17th 1996)
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Feb 25, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Brilliant. If you want to read some great modern short-short stories, go here (after reading the first volume, if possible).
While a few of these are on the lackluster side, the truly great ones make up for them. And there are no real failures in the lot.
I can't even begin to pick favorites..."My Life as a Bat?" "The Liberation of Rome?" "On the Rope?" "I Owned Vermont?" "Blue Hair?" "We Bad?" "A Bar in Brooklyn?" "Crossing to Abbassiya?" There's a kind of genius in each of these.
But don't overlo
Dec 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
I've had this book on the shelf for a tad over 20 years and finally got around to reading it. I shouldn't have waited so long. As the title indicates, "Sudden Fiction" is a collection of 60 different short stories. The fact that they all fit into just under 300 pages is due to the fact that these are "short shorts". Each of the stories is just a few pages long, the authors delivering their emotion, image or little bit of humor in powerful little packages.

There isn't a bad story in the bunch, th
Apr 29, 2019 rated it it was ok
I usually enjoy short stories, but this collection really didn't do it for me. ...more
Eric Hinkle
Jun 20, 2014 rated it liked it

A lot of great stories, a lot of interesting stories, and some that I was honestly grateful to finish, despite being under 1000 words in length apiece. There's certainly a lot of different kinds of writing, something for everyone, including some great stories by authors who seem to be forgotten or short-lived (at least as far as Goodreads has documented their work).

I haven't read the other collections in the series, except for Flash Fiction, which is an excellent collection of even *shorter*
Oct 01, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is my bathroom reader right now. For anyone who knows me well, I am already on page 98. :-)

I've finally finish this delightful book. Short stories are great to read when you are craving a conclusion.

I really enjoyed the following stories:
The Writer's Model, by Molly Giles
We Meet at Last, by David Leavitt
I Owned Vermont, by Bret Lott.
The Visitation, by Fernando Sorrentino
The Birthday Cake, by Daniel Lyons
Flatland, by Richard Plant
Arnie's Test Day, by Barry Peters
The Fish, by Steve Adams
Jul 30, 2011 rated it liked it
A collection of stories all under 1000 words, this arrangement hits highs and lows. Engaging stories include "The Sundress", about a couple who move into empty homes and spruce them up before the owners return, " I Own Vermont," where a couple's fight leads to a man claiming the state of Vermont as his own, and "Jacob's Chicken" - where a young boy's odd drawing becomes a real animal. Some of the translated stories do not hold up as well, while others tend to be forgettable. ...more
Oct 22, 2007 rated it really liked it
I read this about 10 years ago. And never quite got over this genre. Perhaps it says something about my limited attention span or soemthing, but i found most of these stories outstanding- I loved how so much was said in so few words. Of course, this was also the time when I couldnt get over the Imagists...when two line poems and haiku were the best thing after pink floyd :)

But this remains a book I strongly recommend
Nov 13, 2009 rated it liked it
A lot of mediocre writing, but some pieces really shone, including:
Denis Johnson's "Out on Bail"
Molly Giles's "The Writers' Model"
Margaret Broucek's "Alvin Jones's Ignorant Wife"
Charles Baxter's "Scheherazade"
Kenneth Bernard's "Sister Francetta and The Pig Baby"
Bret Lott's "I Owned Vermont"
Robert Olen Butler's "Relic"
Lynn Grossman's "Cartography"
Daniel Lyons's "The Birthday Cake"
Catherine Alpert's "That Changes Everything"
Richard Plant's "Flatland"
Joshua Rigsby
Mar 11, 2015 rated it liked it
A decent flash fiction anthology. As with any book with this many authors I liked some, tolerated some, and abhorred others. The stories run the gamut from experimental to sentimental, literary to humorous. I think I'll keep it around and pick a story out at random from time to time.

Jessica Heck
Jul 20, 2013 rated it really liked it
I use this book in my creative writing class. Short stories just long enough to go with a writing lesson to demonstrate a technique. I have to be choosy about which stories I use since some of them are a bit mature for high school students. But overall, a good example of what a good writer can do in a few well-chosen words.
Oct 30, 2008 rated it liked it
I wasn't too excited by this book's prequel, Sudden Fiction, and was pleasantly surprised with the anthology, New Sudden Fiction, and for me this one rates somewhere in between, but closer to the former. There were several stories that excited, or evoked something in this reader, but far too many didn't. But still, Sudden Fiction is worth the read if this genre is of interest. ...more
Hannah Jane
Aug 12, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction
A lot of so-so writing. I was thrilled with the first piece; it's almost impossible to go wrong with Margaret Atwood, but that thrill slowly dissipated until I read Traci L. Gourdine's "Graceful Exits." That piece was pretty darn remarkable. After that the book went back to being so-so. ...more
Jun 04, 2008 rated it liked it
Shelves: short-stories
I picked this up after reading its predecessor, Sudden Fiction International (which I loved). Right from the beginning, the stories in SFC didn't grab me as much, but it is still an okay collection of short fiction. ...more
Oct 16, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Great stories, alternating with not so great stories. But opens your mind to other ways of telling a story. Also, good to have in the car when you are waiting for the kids. Gives you something interesting to think about!
Nov 17, 2007 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: short-stories
I read the book. I liked it.
Sarah Gioia
Jan 24, 2016 rated it liked it
The last story in this book is great-especially for anyone who has ever read for a living. Otherwise, a handful of good ones, many not very good at all.
Apr 14, 2015 rated it really liked it
many great stories by new (to me) authors
Mar 05, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: short-story
Great collection of stories in many different styles from various authors.
Oct 15, 2008 rated it liked it
Shelves: short-stories
For my Creative Writing Class in college - like many collections, half are forgettable, half are decent, and of those, a handful are fantastic. Regardless, it's nice to have on the shelf. ...more
Jan 01, 2008 rated it liked it
Some of later selections become tiresome, and eventually the already known names became the only ones reading, but those are the usual odds with a collection like this.
Carma Spence
Aug 14, 2011 rated it really liked it
You can read my review of this book here: ...more
May 23, 2008 rated it did not like it
There are a few gems in the rubble, but this doesn't even come close to meeting the standard of the old international edition... ...more
Jul 01, 2015 rated it really liked it
Worthy collection......
Tim Williams
Aug 19, 2009 rated it liked it
These are rather '90s in their devotion to "1. surreal thing. 2. quiet vague longing" but I'm sucker for shorts so I loved even the unsatisfying ones. ...more
Sep 08, 2011 rated it really liked it
A great collection. There's a lot to learn, a lot to enjoy. ...more
Deborah Sheldon
Oct 11, 2009 rated it liked it
A mixed bag of lollies that attempts to appeal to all readers. Overall, an entertaining read.
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Jul 20, 2007
Jul 01, 2012 added it
loved this book of short stories
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Aug 10, 2008
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Jan 28, 2012
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