Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Deal Me In Short Story Challenge

For the second year I will be participating in the Deal Me In Short Story Challenge, hosted by Jay at Bibliophilopolis.

In 2015, I kept up with the reading and reviewing of short stories in the first half of the year, but fell off in the second half. Nevertheless, I am eagerly joining in again, and even increasing my participation. I have a lot of short story books, I did enjoy almost all of the short stories I read last year, and I want to keep the momentum going.

What is the goal of the project?

To read 52 short stories in 2016 (that’s only one per week). There are other variations that allow a lower story requirement, reading as few as one a month if preferred.

The challenge is set up so that the participants choose the short stories they plan to read for the year, and assign each to a card in the standard 52 card deck. Each week you choose a card and read that story. It is not a requirement to post some thoughts on the stories read, but many participants do share their experiences on their blog.

Below is my roster of short stories to read:

♦ Diamonds 

Ace – "Miser's Gold" by Ellery Queen (EQMS)
3 – "Anniversary Gift" by John Collier (EQMS)
4 – "Is Betsy Blake Still Alive?" by Robert Bloch (EQMS)
5 – "Tropical Disturbance" by Lester Dent (EQMS)
6 – "Adventure of the Martian Crown Jewels" by Poul Anderson (EQMS)
7 – "Hurry, Hurry, Hurry!" by Paul Gallico (EQMS)
8 – "The Footprint in the Sky" by John Dickson Carter (EQMS)
9 – "Murder is a Public Matter" by Ross Macdonald (EQMS)
10 – "The Habit of Widowhood" by Robert Barnard (HW)
Jack – "The Women at the Funeral" by Robert Barnard (HW)
Queen – "Dog Television" by Robert Barnard (HW)
King – "Perfect Honeymoon" by Robert Barnard (HW)

♣ Clubs ♣

Ace – "Neck" by Roald Dahl (TOU)
3 – "The Phantom of the Subway" by Cornell Woolrich (MSA)
4 – "Professional Man" by David Goodis (BANC)
5 – "The Homecoming" by Dorothy B. Hughes (BANC)
6 – "Nothing to Worry About" by Day Keene (BANC)
7 – "Gun Crazy" by MacKinley Kantor (BANC)
8 – "The Chicken Soup Kid" by R. L. Stevens (MOM)
9 – "The Same Old Grind" by Bill Pronzini (MOM)
10 – "The Norwegian Apple Mystery" by James Holding (MOM)
Jack – "The Last of the Winnebagos" by Connie Willis (IT)
Queen – "Schwarzschild Radius" by Connie Willis (IT)
King – "Ado" by Connie Willis (IT)

♠ Spades 

Ace – "Dead Man" by James M. Cain (MSA)
3 – "That Hell-Bound Train" by Robert Bloch (MSA)
4 – "Sweet Fever" by Bill Pronzini (MSA)
5 – "The Man Who Loved the Midnight Lady" by Barry N. Malzberg (MSA)
6 – "Death Ship" by Richard Matheson (TTA)
7 – "Needle in a Timestack" by Robert Silverberg (TTA)
8 – "Another Story or A Fisherman of the Inland Sea" by Ursula K. LeGuin (TTA)
9 – "Yesterday was Monday" by Theodore Sturgeon (TTA)
10 – "Fish Night" by Joe Lansdale (TTA)
Jack – "What If" by Isaac Asimov (TTA)
Queen – "In the Tube" by E. F. Benson (TTA)
King – "If Ever I Should Leave You" by Pamela Sargent (TTA)


Ace – "Skin" by Roald Dahl (TOU)
3 – "Nunc Dimittus" by Roald Dahl (TOU)
4 – "The Way Up to Heaven" by Roald Dahl (TOU)
5 – "Fire Burning Bright" by Brendan DuBois (DSOM)
6 – "A Dark Snow" by Brendan DuBois (DSOM)
7 – "A Ticket Out" by Brendan DuBois (DSOM)
8 – "Precious: Winners and Losers" by Michael Malone (RCBC)
9 – "Charmaine: White Trash Noir" by Michael Malone (RCBC)
10 – "The House Party" by Stanley Ellin (SHOS)
Jack – "Death of an Old-Fashioned Girl" by Stanley Ellin (SHOS)
Queen – "The Twelfth Statue" by Stanley Ellin (SHOS)
King – "The Last Bottle in the World" by Stanley Ellin (SHOS)

Because I read mostly from the mystery genre, the majority of the stories chosen are mysteries. But not all of them. The short story anthologies that these stories come from are:

  • Murder on the Menu edited by Carol-Lynn Rössel Waugh, Martin H. Greenberg, and Isaac Asimov (MOM)
  • The Specialty of the House and Other Stories by Stanley Ellin (SHOS)  
  • The Time Traveler's Almanac edited by Ann and Jeff Vandemere (TTA)
  • Midnight Specials: An Anthology for Train Buffs and Suspense Aficionados edited by Bill Pronzini (MSA)
  • Ellery Queen's Murder-- in Spades! edited by Ellery Queen (EQMS)
  • A Dark Snow and Other Mysteries by Brendan DuBois (DSOM)
  • Impossible Things by Connie Willis (IT)
  • Tales of the Unexpected by Roald Dahl (TOU)
  • Red Clay, Blue Cadillac: Stories of Twelve Southern Women  by Michael Malone (RCBC)
  • The Habit of Widowhood by Robert Barnard (HW)
  • The Best American Noir of the Century edited by James Ellroy and Otto Penzler (BANC)


pattinase (abbott) said...

Neat challenge. I did one a day a few years ago and found it very helpful to both my writing and learning more about the genre.

Anonymous said...

I think this is a terrific challenge, Tracy. And I know I enjoyed reading your reviews from last year's challenge. I hope you'll like the stories you read this year.

col2910 said...

Good luck. I am tempted to read a short story a day for a month, just to clear up some I've picked up over the past year or so. Probably won't post on them though.

TracyK said...

I am looking forward to the challenge, Patti. I do hope to read at least 2 short stories a week, one from this list and one from other sources, but I will have to see how that affects my reading of novels.

TracyK said...

I did enjoy reading some stories from authors I had not tried before last year, Margot. This is a real challenge for me. Something I want to do but will find it an effort to keep up with.

TracyK said...

Thanks, Col. I don't have a lot of single short stories on my Kindle, but do have some short story books on the Kindle that I want to read.

Prashant C. Trikannad said...

What a great lineup of short stories! I like Roald Dahl, Robert Barnard, and Isaac Asimov. I plan to read Bill Pronzini this year. Good luck to you, Tracy. I hope to read a lot of shorts too.

TracyK said...

I am excited about reading the short stories this year, Prashant. I am going to get back to Bill Pronzini's Nameless Detective series this year.

Mathew Paust said...

Intriguing idea, Tracy. I have too much on my late right now to consider such a regimen, but I'll be interested to see what you come up with. Good luck!

TracyK said...

I love this challenge, Mathew, but it does take a lot of time (for me). I just hope I can keep up with it better this year.