The Raven Short Story Contest always rounds out our year nicely, and Autumn 2019 produced a wonderful crop of tales sure to sustain us well into the new year. JJ Lee joins us fresh from Issue 24 as our featured author, now acting as ultimate decider for this season’s winner. From his deliberations, a clever raven emerges victorious:
Mike Donoghue for ‘Life4Sale’
‘Life4Sale’ showed in its epistolary structure a great command of character voice. The world building and the weird factor are efficiently established without ever forgetting that character motive and conflict are what make a short story tick. It never bogs down in the spec fic mechanics. I appreciated how it is the kind of story you may find on Black Mirror or, if you’re old enough, classic Twilight Zone.
The runners up garnered additional praise
MFC Feeley for ‘Dannemora Sewing Class’
‘Dannemora Sewing Class’, a very short short story, daringly makes a section and POV break in the middle and it works. The focus is on a single interaction and we discover through the POV switch that it has ramifications. The story demonstrates the writer’s skill and his or her ability to inhabit characters with a realistic diction.
Rob McInroy for ‘Zoroman’s Cave’
‘Zoroman’s Cave’ is a throwback with the hyper intelligent yet sinister narrator reminiscent of Lovecraft’s high-pulp style narrators. The volume of verbiage and contortion of the narrator’s thoughts can come across as quite dense, high falutin’ even, yet it flowed. It made for a smooth read. For that I thought it should be recognized as a standout and a great nod to the classic weird story genre.
Congratulations to these authors! Thank you to JJ Lee for his perspicacious eye, and thank you to all submitting authors for bringing us your best and supporting Pulp Literature Press.