Sunday 25 May 2014

The irresistible rise of the short story

Why the short story is the perfect literary form for the 21st century.

The following paragraphs are extracted from an article in the Daily Telegraph 25th May 2014. The full article can be found here

There’s no doubt about it, the short story is having “a moment”. It started this time last year, when Lydia Davis, not so much a short-story writer as a short-short-story writer (some of her tales are only a sentence long) won the Man Booker International Prize, a decision that took the literary world by storm.
When Davis’ triumph was followed by a Nobel Prize for the Canadian short-story writer Alice Munro, people started to mutter that something significant was afoot. While two successive prizes could be coincidence, the renaissance of the short story was confirmed when the American George Saunders won the inaugural Folio Prize at the start of the year for Tenth of December.

Publishing wisdom says short-story collections don’t sell. But the prognosis is good. According to The Bookseller, the trade magazine of the publishing industry, short-story sales rose 35 per cent in 2013 – and that was before Saunders won the Folio. But it is technology that has cemented the short story’s popularity this century. Suddenly, after years out in the cold, the short story finds itself the perfect fit for our attention spans and our mobile devices.

Many people struggle to find the time to engage with a full-length novel when they’re dealing with emails every second of every day or having to meet deadlines or rush home to put the kids to bed. A short story offers the perfect antidote – it’s the equivalent of listening to a single track of music instead of the whole album.

At their best, ... (short stories) are a whole world in miniature, they are like perfect small gifts. Like a brief encounter, they can be transforming and transfixing, but, unlike long relationships, they never flag.

You can find all Barnaby's Short Stories here . 8 volumes, with ten complete stories in each,
in a wide variety of genres. Each story the perfect length to read during a coffee break, in the bath or on the train.

There is more information about Barnaby's short stories, full length novels or quirky poems on his website

Monday 19 May 2014

Is a picture worth a thousand words?

It's often claimed that 'a picture is worth a thousand words'. The exact origin of that phrase is uncertain, but the earliest known usage of a similar phrase (Use a picture. It's worth a thousand words) can be found in a 1911 newspaper article discussing journalism and publicity (Syracuse Post Standard (page 18). March 28, 1911). The meaning would appear to be fairly clear, that a complex idea can be conveyed with a single image, but Barnaby wonders, if that's true, why would anyone bother to write at all? It's so easy, nowadays, to create pictures, on a mobile phone for example, and to share them with the world at the press of a button, that labouring over a novel, or a piece of poetry would seem to be wasted labour. All those hours, agonising over the exact word or phrase to convey a moment, an emotion, an idea, could simply be expunged by a few clicks on your digital camera.

Instead of a hundred thousand word novel, you would simply have a one hundred frame picture strip.

The problem with this approach, it seems to Barnaby, is that you would only have access to the pictures that the author/photographer supplied, whereas we all know that the best pictures are the ones the reader constructs inside his/her head. Hence the enduring popularity of the radio, newspaper and the printed book.

So, Barnaby has resolved to keep placing one word after another, in order to construct a framework, be it short story, poem, or novel, onto which you, dear reader, may hang your own pictures. To get you started, though, he will continue to include one picture on the cover of each published book. A selection of which are printed below.
You can find information about the books in the pictures at


Wednesday 7 May 2014

Chameleons -- Sci fi anthology

A woman dreams of chameleons every night; a man in an orange jumpsuit finds himself marooned on a featureless plain; the first confirmed message from an extra terrestrial source; a cube with a mind of it's own and a bored space explorer all feature in this collection of sci fi short stories in the old style.

No magic, no wizards, no warlocks, no werewolves and not a vampire in sight.

What if aliens were really small? Is time travel possible? Who will be the last man standing? Ten stories plus a bonus glimpse of the next Sci fi novel from Barnaby Wilde. Tales with a hint of mystery, a touch of humour and a twist in the tail.

'Chameleons' is available now as an ebook in the format of your choice from Smashwords or Amazon

You can find out more about Barnaby Wilde's books at , follow him on Twitter or read his blog.

Thursday 1 May 2014

Barnaby thinks about immortality

Barnaby's attention was caught by a newspaper headline this week concerning life expectancy in the UK. It seems that life expectancy for males has increased by 8 years during the last 30 years. That is, a baby born today has a life expectancy of 8 years more than one born in 1984.

This improvement is largely due to improvements in health care.

This astonishing increase means that life expectancy has increased by more than one year in every four, or three months in every year.
It occurs to Barnaby that this is the equivalent of an improvement in life expectancy of six hours every day, or fifteen minutes every hour, and he wonders if this means he will live for ever, since life expectancy will improve by fifteen seconds every minute?

Sadly, it does not and the only way that he will achieve immortality is through his books, should anyone choose to read them. He has resolved, therefore, to continue writing in the hope that this will keep him young forever.

You can find all his books at including all eight volumes (80 stories) in the Barnaby's Shorts series.

So, why not slow down and use today's fifteen minutes increase in life expectancy to read one of Barnaby's short stories? It's a great way to use that extra time.