0 Responses to “today’s random poll(s)”

  1. rosefox


    I might have strong feelings about this.

    • desperance

      Ooh: you do, don’t you…? I used to write afterwords/acknowledgements to my novels, until a friend said that he found them interruptive: the end of a book leaves the reader in a particular mood, and a sudden “I want to think so-and-so, and by the way I researched this by such-and-such a method” he found to break that mood too soon. Which I found persuasive as an argument, and I shifted acknowledgements thereafter to a foretext; and I think the same applies to stories, tho’ not perhaps on the same scale. I quite like chatty introductions to a story, but I want to walk away from it feeling what the story wanted me to feel, not thinking about how it came to be.

      • desperance

        (“thank”, not “think”, in that second sentence there…)

      • rosefox

        Whereas I want the story to stand on its own and don’t want to be influenced, when reading it, by whatever the author or editor wants me to think about it.

        I think acknowledgments are quite different and don’t mind those being gathered up front.

        • desperance

          Oddly, I am more of your persuasion at live events; I hate when poets hold forth about what inspired them and what a poem means, before delivering the actual poem. But that is much more a poetry thing; short story writers don’t tend to talk much about what it all means, I find. I wouldn’t want an agenda presented in advance.

          I’m at SF in SF tomorrow, where I’ll be reading from a novella that is all about art and identity and bodyswapping and gender confusion – but I won’t discuss any of that in the forespiel. I’ll talk about how it came to be, not what it is. The story about the story. I think that’s a different thing.

  2. houseboatonstyx

    I like the notes individually before (assuming short and no spoilers). But I’m the sort of person who can easily skim and skip

  3. stevie_carroll

    Where the notes go, in my opinion, depends very much on the type of collection. If I was planning another collection of mostly new stories, I’d want to write an introduction explaining what inspired each story and where it’s been published before and/or where related stories have been published. For collections of already published stories, I like to see an introduction giving the reason behind the collection and then notes with each story: either before or after, depending on whether the notes might be spoilery or not.

  4. mastadge

    I like “. . .and Other Stories” but I prefer when it’s more fun. Streetcar Dreams and Other Midnight Fancies. Worming the Harpy and Other Bitter Pills. Stories of Your Life and Others. The Longest Single Note and Other Strange Compositions. That kind of thing.

  5. mrissa

    Titles are hard, and I don’t want to insist on separate collection titles because: hard.

    The placement of notes should depend on the content of the notes.

  6. Anonymous

    The Island of Doctor Death and Other Stories and Other Stories.

  7. marycatelli

    On the comments, before and after depends on whether knowledge of the story helps fathom the comments.

    (You want an extreme case of these titles? The Island of Dr. Death And Other Stories and Other Stories Gene Wolfe really did have a story in it titled “The Island of Dr. Death and Other Stories”)

  8. marycatelli


    This is why I will comment first and then read comments. Otherwise other commenters will take the wind out of my sails.

  9. Anonymous

    For some collections/anthologies, the Bob’s Country Bunker approach works: Have both kinds — before and after. Paradigmatic example: Dangerous Visions.

  10. Anonymous

    Everything about this is shiny and cool. Congrats! BVC deserves it.

Comments are closed.