Until a few days ago, it had been quite some time since I perused a short story anthology that includes one of my tales.
The book, published in 2003, is Electica Magazine: Best Fiction, Volume One
. Electica is an online litmag which, like the vast majority of such publications, doesn't pay contributors.
The no-pay policy tends to make me angry, but I submitted my short story because Eclectica seemed interesting and superior in quality to most online magazines.
I was grateful when Eclectica editor Tom Dooley selected my story "Confessions Of A Nihilist" to appear in the anthology, but after I received my free copy in the mail, I read only a couple of the other stories.
The other day I dusted off the book and began reading the other 29 stories.
I consider "Confessions" one of the 6 best short stories of the 80+ I have written. But there are many
stories in the anthology that are at least as good and in most cases better.
They were written by better writers than me who never got paid for them. That struck me as disturbing, not to mention depressing. These are extremely talented writers who will almost certainly never make a living from their fiction, just as I haven't.
Do yourself a favor and buy a copy of the anthology online at Amazon.com
. Don't bother with my story, read the others.
Then read a short story or chapter in a novel by Stephen King, John Grisham or one of the other best-selling authors who got filthy rich by cranking out garbage.
If you can keep your lunch down after this experiment, you have a stronger stomach than me.
(PS: I'm not posting this to make money. The anthology is self-published and hasn't sold worth a damn. Even if it did, each author would receive so little in royalties as his share it wouldn't amount to beer money.)