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18 issues for $21
I first heard about One Story a long time ago, when it was first starting out. The premise was simple: one story per issue, every three or so weeks, for a low price of just over a buck. To date, the stories publishing in One Story have been reprinted in The Best American ... series and the Puschcart Prize series, and even the O. Henry award.
I really took a genuine interest after I read "Reasons for and Advantages of Breathing," by Lydia Peele in the Pushcart Prize 2009 anthology. I'm not entirely sure what the editors of One Story eat every morning, but they seem to have an amazing knack for seeing the types of stories that are absolute gold. I know that sounds like a given, but subjectively choosing from a slew of great stories to find one single piece worthy of publication is a lot harder than you might think.
Here's an excerpt from "Frost Mountain Picnic Massacre," by Seth Fried:
Last year, the people in charge of the picnic blew us up. Every year it gets worse. That is, more people die. The Frost Mountain Picnic has always been a matter of uncertainty in our town and the massacre is the worst part. Even the people whose picnic blankets were not laid out directly upon the bombline were knocked unconscious by the airborne limbs of their neighbors, or at least had the black earth at the foot of Frost Mountain driven under their eyelids and fingernails and up into their sinuses. The apple dumpling carts and cotton candy stands and guess-your-weight booths that were not obliterated in the initial blasts leaned slowly into the newly-formed craters, each settling with a limp, hollow crumple. The few people along the bombline who survived the blast were at the very least blown into the trees.
The year before that, the boom of the polka band had obscured the scattered reports of far-off rifles. A grown man about to bite a caramel apple suddenly spun around wildly, as if propelled by the thin spray of blood from his neck. An old woman, holding her stomach, stumbled into a group of laughing teenagers. Someone fell forward into his funnel cake, and all day long we walked around as if we weren’t aware of what was happening.
You can click here to purchase a subscription to One Story. 18 issues for $21. That's 18 short stories you're pretty much guaranteed to enjoy and ... hey look at that! They even offer a free trial guarantee! Well now you have to try them ...