Saturday, July 16, 2011

All About Ten Pop Stories


Hyperbole? Sure. But the short and simple tales collected in Ten Pop Stories are set among the here and now, amid a diverse collection of folks from high to low. My objective was to create fiction as simple and clear as a hit pop song, hopefully with each work having a "kick" to it. Whether I succeeded with all of them or any of them is for you to judge. The price makes the collection strictly a low-risk gamble. The upside is discovering the new-- an alternative path for what has become over the past several decades a dead art form.

How do we revive the short story form?

We do it first with tales that are simple and fun. With that foundation, and holding to that foundation, we can build in meaning and complexity while retaining a superstructure of pop clarity.

Here then are short descriptions of the Ten:

The H Group
A terrorist's bomb explodes on an airliner over the Atlantic.

Strange Mummer Creatures of Philadelphia
What or who are the Mummers? Why do they celebrate? Will Maggie the Mummer find her lost Mummer love?

Saturday Night in Detroit
A hectic car chase through the violent streets of Detroit.

The Machine
A young writer takes a job in a mysterious office building.

Elvis Meets Frankenstein
A legendary happening in the life of America's greatest folk hero.

The Red Door
Fast-paced adventure as an American Marine is trapped in a deadly maze.

The Strange Case of Mr. Box
A masked vigilante arrives in a troubled east coast city.

Fake Face Meets Senator Crupt
The cynical gangster Fake Face encounters a man even more evil than himself.

The search for a missing heiress leads to mayhem along the Detroit River.

Bohemian Wedding
A mismatched couple prepares to jump into matrimony.

Quite a lot going on! You get your money's worth.

Purchase the ebook now as a Nook Book at Barnes & Noble, or at the Kindle Store at Amazon. The future of the American short story is here.


  1. Gotta say first that I like literary fiction, but maybe "having read" more than the actual reading- not for snobbish identity reasons but because I like the contemplation that comes when I have the entire story in my head. I tug at the layers, turn things around, and see what's there.

    I'm only four stories into the ten in your book, but I'm liking the reading itself. Never looking ahead to see how much I have to go. I want to know what's going to happen and I'm reading fast. Not too fast to appreciate the writing. I'd hold up the skill you use to put the Mummers parade in your reader's head with anything I've read lately. Looking forward to time to read the rest of the stories.

    Re: Franzen and Kissinger. Their writing makes them rich men. I consider your release of 10 stories to be an act of community and I'm grateful to you for it. Thank you! Barr

  2. Thanks for your comments re Ten Pop, Barr, and thanks for buying the book!
    I wasn't aiming for a lot with these stories other than that they be readable and accessible to anybody. Hopefully a few of them have a kick or "pop" to them of some sort. Some of them may be goofy.
    My target audience, frankly, is that huge part of the population that doesn't read fiction at all. With these stories I was trying not to be literary. I believe that literature will prosper only by expanding its audience.
    Almost all short stories published today (I discount Ellery Queen's M.M. and such) come from MFA'ers. I did some fast checking. 7.62% of the American population have Masters degrees. (Incidentally, 60% of them women.) My opinion is that we need stories from and for the rest of us.
    My next ebook, Mood Detroit-- already a Nook Book, but don't tell anyone-- is more artistically ambitious; three long stories with actual themes. The third of them is one of the most ambitious things I've written, but I have a lot more on the drawing board.
    I'd rather be simply selling and promoting other writers, but I've found that writers are a suspicious bunch who desire evidence that a person knows what he's talking about.