Looking back, Chris Power at The Guardian declared 2009 “the year of the short story,” citing Alice Munro’s Booker win and a new edition of a Raymond Carver’s What We Talk About When We Talk About Love as evidence that “rumors of the death of the short story – so often forecast that almost every review of almost every collection seems duty-bound to repeat and thus propagate it – are greatly exaggerated.”

It was a good year for story collections.  And short story writers need all the help they can get, which is why a great debut collection, such as Wells Tower’s Everything Ravaged, Everything Burned carries more weight than Munro’s win.  Yes, the prize is important because it will broaden her readership, but she’s a shoe-in, and the general public needs a new crop of short story writers tempting the public to pick up collections written by people other than the old – excellent! – standards.  Powers thinks 2009 bodes well for 2010, and well, I hope he’s right.  I’m feeling optimistic.  For real.

Looking forward about 10 years, Mark Coker of Smashwords, an awesome e-book publishing company that’s author and indie friendly told Galleycat he predicts that 95% of authors will be indie authors (I can guess what he means, but I bet he means something more nuanced than what I’m able to come up with) and that 95% of reading will be “on screens.”  A year ago I would have made a show about how awful that sounds, or whatever, but it seems inevitable.  I’ll still buy new book and love my old books, but I’m open to e-readers.  My mom still doesn’t have a computer and I’ve seen what it’s done to her.

Galleycat spoke with a whole bunch of industry people about their predictions for the future, including Richard Nash, formally of Soft Skull, who said this:

Long-form text-only narrative will continue to thrive as it has since cavemen gathered around the fire, just as painting has thrived since Lascaux. The advent of more and richer iterations of multimodal entertainment and edification will not kill off others (either multi or single mode) in the future, just as they did not in the past, though they certainly will kill businesses with an overdeveloped sense of entitlement based on past success in a given mode.

In other news, Galleycat will soon feature book reviews. Meow!

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