Online Literary Roundup: Stories by Chad Simpson, Renee Thompson, Steve MacKinnon


Time once again to share some good reads I’ve discovered in online literary journals. Two are short-shorts, a form that’s well-suited to reading on the web, and one is a satisfying longer piece of historical fiction.

Chad Simpson’s “Phantoms“, from the new issue of Freight Stories, offers a surprising and beautiful perspective on the phenomenon of phantom limb sensation in amputees. I know, that doesn’t sound like a feel-good topic, but watch what he does with it.

Renee Thompson’s “Farallon“, a recent Story of the Week from Narrative Magazine, is a quietly compelling tale of redemption. Set in the 19th century, its main character is a criminal who’s been exiled to a rocky island to harvest gulls’ eggs. The reader, like the protagonist, may initially despair that anything meaningful could happen to a man marooned in this bare environment. Thompson solves this dilemma in a skillful and heart-tugging way.

Finally, Steve MacKinnon’s “Read Me One“, from The Pedestal Magazine, puts two men in a booth in a diner, one reading love letters to the other. This brief meditation on the nature of intimacy, and its failures, is never what you’d expect.

13 comments on “Online Literary Roundup: Stories by Chad Simpson, Renee Thompson, Steve MacKinnon

  1. Jendi, thanks so much for your kind words about my story, “Farallon.” I workshopped this piece with Ron Carlson at Squaw Valley last summer — he’s witty and smart, and a joy to work with.

    I look forward to reading more of your blog!

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