Should the new short story be entertaining?
ONCE, not much over 100 years ago, the short story was the most popular art form. The American public consumed stories voraciously– work by Jack London, Frank Stockton, Richard Connell, O. Henry, Stephen Crane– even from more refined types like Edith Wharton and Henry James.
What was the hallmark of the short story?
They were entertaining.
Build a better story, we believe, and the public will beat a path toward your door. We’ve already seen steps– baby steps anyway– in that direction in the prestigious-and-usually-snobby pages of The New Yorker. which recently for the first time in decades published a story that some people actually wanted to read.
And so, we give you a tale of suspense and mystery– “The Rottweiler” by Alex Bernstein, one of the best new practitioners of the short story art going. You’ll find in the work a touch of humor, and perhaps a rottweiler or two. Jump into the adventure. . . .
“On the plus side – if we kill you – we don’t have to put up with all this fuss and noise all the time. On the negative side…mm…Woolsy, what was the negative side, again?”
(Painting by Claude T. Stanfield-Moore.)
Our mission is to publish terrific fiction.
Today we present a short story, “Clarity,” from one of the best story writers around, Alex Bernstein. The title of his story is apt, because Bernstein writes with distinct clarity– clarity of thought and clarity of style, which makes him one of the sharper commentators on the American scene today, combining humor with understanding. See if you agree.
“Julie – you can’t be happy with that guy. He takes undead hair scraps from people’s armpits and buries them in their scalps! He makes beer in his living room! Is that what you want?”
With all of us bombarded by bad news from mainstream media on a daily basis, we at NEW POP decided it was time for some humor. After all, we advertise ourselves as the MF (More Fun) website. Sit back, turn off the world and read John Gorman’s “Rejects from the Pretzel Factory.” Humor with heart. But watch out for bad puns!
Has anyone done something so nice for you you’re mad as hell at them? You’re mad because you need to pay them back, not because they expect it, but to squish it from your conscience. After Nick ducktaped my knee at the factory he nursed me in an inexcusable way. He made my life rosier. He talked the head honchos into getting me to play Auntie Bloom, the fake founder of the pretzel franchise.