30th Street Fiction’s Proof Anthology is a collection of short indie fiction featuring speculative, historical, and mainstream contemporary fiction. The theme of proof, in all of its interpretations and boldfaced glory, weaves these diverse pieces together.
- JvL Bell: “The Traitor”
- Caitlin Berve: “The Mortician’s Assistant”
- Maggie Brydon: “Bring a She Goat”
- Richard M. Hamp: “The Father, Son, and a Glass of Holy Spirits”
- Lezly Harrison: “What’s in a Name?”
- Kate Jonuska: “Prince Charming”
- Jessica Lavé: “Coyote Junction”
- Ian K. Long: “Dead Air”
I don’t think I’m too bold in saying this anthology was my idea. I’ve been working and writing with my critique group, 30th Street Fiction in Boulder, Colorado, for over two years. After seeing one of the other organizations I’m a member of, Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers, and their process of putting together their biannual anthology, I thought it would be a fun project for our critique group to put together our own short collection of stories. While it was my idea, it was absolutely a team effort among all of those who contributed their stories and those of us, myself included, who served as editors on the project. It took longer than I think any of us anticipated, but we are all pleased with the end result.
The stories are all vastly different, ranging from topics like artificial intelligence to zombies, kidnapping to family history, but I think that we arranged them in an interesting and compelling way to keep the reader engaged from one piece to next, which could be starkly in contrast. The stories listed above are alphabetical by author, but within the book, we arranged the stories in a particular order with consideration for pacing and flow.
I started my story, “Coyote Junction” (originally titled “Rearview Mirror”), as an ode to the X Files. I wanted a one-off strange occurrence that remained somewhat unresolved. But after my critique group kicked my ass twice on that version, I scrapped a lot of the subplot elements I had (which didn’t belong in a short story anyway) and homed in on a few more precise details about my main character Emelie, her grandmother, and the strange coyote she encounters when she leaves home. I built a new, very different story around her experience and her family history, and it worked a lot better.
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