• What would you pay for the perfect short story? To read it? To write it?
    Don’t post your answer. Instead write the story.

  • 13-52. Forty Stories

    By Harper Perennial

    Last year, after twelve stories,
    we took temporary leave.
    We owe you thanks,
    for your patience.
    We also owe you stories.
    Here they are.
    Forty new pieces of work,
    some rich, some strange,
    all surprising.
    Taken together,
    they fill me with awe.

    Click the image
    or link at right
    to download
    this collection
    to your device as a PDF.

    On July 17, we’ll also make Forty Stories available as an ebook through all the major retailers.
    For free, for good.

    Thank you for waiting. And enjoy.

    Click here to download.

    About

  • Welcome, gentle reader, to the fabulous, most beautiful, I mean really swinging Fifty-Two Stories—our little experiment in social engineering through the regular administration of short fiction. Here at Harper Perennial, we love those self-contained, crystalline, newborn, perfect creatures called short stories, and this is our third year celebrating them by sharing a new one every week. We hope you’ll visit, subscribe, and submit your own work: After all, you may be the best writer of your generation.

    The theme for year three is ASK.
    I believe you’re all up to the task.

  • Got comments? Questions? Stories of your own? Send them here.

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    • 11. Alaska

    • By Tom Franklin

    • Our aim was this: Alaska. To abandon Mobile at dawn without telling anybody, not even our girlfriends or our boss at the plant. Bruce knew a bail jumper who got a deckhand job on a crab boat off the Alaskan coast where she made five hundred dollars a day. Bruce was divorced for the third time and I’d never been married, so we planned to sell our cars and Bruce’s house trailer and buy an olive... Read More.

    • 10. The Cure

    • By Rahul Mehta

    • I told the doctor over the phone I needed an appointment fast—tomorrow, if possible. Are you going to hurt yourself, she asked, or someone else? No, I said. I was burning money. She said, Tomorrow at three, and I asked, Do you take check or credit card, because obviously I can’t carry around cash, ha ha, but she didn’t seem to get the joke. I was at my best friend Yvonne’s house when I called.... Read More.

    • 9. The Great Frustration

    • By Seth Fried

    • In the Garden of Eden, a cat steadies itself on a branch while quietly regarding a parrot. The air in the garden is heavy and mixed with the stink of all those animals resting below. No blood is spilled in the garden, and so the roles of most of the animals are greatly reduced. Though most of them are still, as yet, unaware of this fact. They linger in vague proximity to one another, marveling at their... Read More.

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