kaberett: Euphorbia cf. serrata, green crown of leaves/flowers central to image. (spurge)
[personal profile] kaberett
I really struggle with short fiction, particularly in anthologies. I'm averse to getting started and I have to make myself pick them back up, even if I know I like the authors, even though I know I frequently really like several pieces in any given anthology.

It's about task-switching, isn't it. Every new short story is a new task, with new information and names and mechanics to keep track of, and anthologies condense those down, and I never have time to settle in and stop doing the work of understanding all of the surface (in order to understand the innards). And that's why even individual shorts by authors I know I adore are difficult (if they're out-universe to novels).

It's nice to know why, at least.

(no subject)

Date: 2015-07-27 06:08 pm (UTC)
hilarita: trefoil carving (Default)
From: [personal profile] hilarita
Yup. I find short fiction difficult for this too. Well, obviously, this doesn't apply to fanfic, because you've already bootstrapped all the knowledge.
Also, I find graphic novels difficult, because I'm distracted by the art on the opposite page, or on feature panels. I find Girl Genius much better, because it's only a page at a time (and I can spot the wasp-eater weaseloids!)

(no subject)

Date: 2015-07-27 10:08 pm (UTC)
rmc28: Rachel smiling against background of trees, with newly-cut short hair (Default)
From: [personal profile] rmc28
Yesyesyes! This is why I find short pro fiction hard but can mainline a dozen 1000-10,000 word fanfics in an evening. It's the context-switching.

(no subject)

Date: 2015-07-28 01:19 am (UTC)
shehasathree: (fountain pen)
From: [personal profile] shehasathree
Yeeep. *identifies with*

(no subject)

Date: 2015-07-28 06:55 am (UTC)
el_staplador: (Default)
From: [personal profile] el_staplador
Ah, that goes *ping*. (I do enjoy short stories, but not at all for the reason I like poetry. ETA: but the majority of short stories that I read are not sci-fi, so there's less worldbuilding to get my head around.)
Edited Date: 2015-07-28 06:57 am (UTC)

(no subject)

Date: 2015-07-28 04:50 pm (UTC)
hilarita: trefoil carving (Default)
From: [personal profile] hilarita
Likewise. Mind you, poetry often comes light on context to load for that poem. I mean, it often comes with cultural wossname, but I've often assimilated that already (e.g. mystics, Christian symbolism, 19th century industrialisation).
Or you can read Paradise Lost, where you have fucking forever to load the context...

(no subject)

Date: 2015-07-27 06:17 pm (UTC)
frith_in_thorns: October Daye - "An Artificial Night" cover (OD Toby)
From: [personal profile] frith_in_thorns
I was finally able to realise a year or so ago this is why I'm generally reluctant to watch films, and only rarely get around to doing so. A canon packed into two hours which then just stops is waaaaay less enjoyable to me than being able to marathon TV shows. Or read books. Nice long ones. :)

(no subject)

Date: 2015-07-27 08:22 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] xmc
Yes! Me too! Also: picking a TV show takes just as much effort as picking a film, but you get so much more story out of a show.

(no subject)

Date: 2015-07-27 06:31 pm (UTC)
rysmiel: (Default)
From: [personal profile] rysmiel
Oh, that makes a lot of sense. I think that's pretty much why my brain is no good with short fiction, also; it's certainly a very good match for how.

Also, hi. *hug* Sorry for not being around so much recently; brain is taking advantage of significant time on my own to go flop a lot.

(no subject)

Date: 2015-07-27 07:56 pm (UTC)
simont: (Default)
From: [personal profile] simont
*nodnod* Yes, I've always thought this too. I'm often reluctant to start reading new pieces of fiction in general, because the effort of getting into a new story and orienting yourself in its universe, characters, backplot etc is the most chore-like part of the whole business, and if I'm a bit tired or low on cope, it can be daunting. And with a full-length novel, that initial outlay of effort is paid back by getting to read and enjoy the rest of it, but with a collection of short stories, every 30 pages I've got to do it all over again.

(no subject)

Date: 2015-07-27 08:53 pm (UTC)
forestofglory: E. H. Shepard drawing of Christopher Robin reading a book to Pooh (Default)
From: [personal profile] forestofglory
Interesting, this makes a lot of sense. (Do you have an easier time with linked short fiction? Or short fiction set in the same world as novel you like?)

(no subject)

Date: 2015-07-29 12:40 am (UTC)
forestofglory: E. H. Shepard drawing of Christopher Robin reading a book to Pooh (Default)
From: [personal profile] forestofglory
Huh, I the Imperial Radch stuff is pretty disconnected form the books, wasn't sure it would work for you.

Are you an N.K. Jemisin fan? She's just put out a collection of shorts set in her Inheritance Trilogy world.

For interconnected shorts I'd recommend Aliette de Bodard's Xuya stories

(no subject)

Date: 2015-07-27 10:22 pm (UTC)
sfred: (Default)
From: [personal profile] sfred
Yes, me too. It's taking me months to plough through Long Hidden (anthology) even though it's great, because of a new start every few pages.

I find collections of short fiction all by the same author much easier because I don't have to get used to a new voice, especially if they're not SFF or are all set in the same universe.

(no subject)

Date: 2015-07-27 11:49 pm (UTC)
sgsabbage: (Default)
From: [personal profile] sgsabbage
Interestingly, for me I find this holds for short fiction by authors such as Neil Gaiman - I bought Trigger Warning a while back and am finding it quite hard to work through at the moment for this very reason. It's a lot of work to pick up a new story that I don't have much energy for.

On the other hand, I can devour a book of short sci-fi stories by Arthur C. Clarke or his like. Perhaps because he often explains the world you're dropped into. Or maybe it's because it's meant to be our future, and so the logic leaps to reach it are often much smaller than that of fantasy.

That said, I have a deep love of hard sci-fi, so.

(no subject)

Date: 2015-07-27 11:51 pm (UTC)
shehasathree: (happiness is)
From: [personal profile] shehasathree
Oh. Yes. thank-you!
Maybe I can start convincing myself that my apathy/antipathy towards short stories isn't a personal failure!

(no subject)

Date: 2015-07-27 11:52 pm (UTC)
vass: Jon Stewart reading a dictionary (books)
From: [personal profile] vass
Me too! Exactly! Thank you.

(no subject)

Date: 2015-07-28 03:05 am (UTC)
umadoshi: (Newsflesh - First Lady (kasmir))
From: [personal profile] umadoshi
*lightbulb* That makes so much sense.

I think I may also have a bit of resistance to short fiction because if I don't bond with the characters, I don't tend to feel much connection to a story (in any format), but if I do, I'll want more time with them. :/

(no subject)

Date: 2015-07-28 04:00 pm (UTC)
fyreharper: (Default)
From: [personal profile] fyreharper
This makes sense! Mostly if I read short stories it is on the train, which is a short ride and I can get through a story or maybe two and then I'd have to put it down anyway. So then it is nice to have a thing that I can get through all of, and don't have to reload later and it won't keep distracting me from doing the next things I should be doing (like feeding myself, or work).

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