Can you stand it? I'm not sure I can. But there's yet more discussion of whither the short story over on Galleycat, with links to more stuff thereafter.
And that's all I was going to say, really. Until I casually began to look at some of the comments at the end of Larry Dark's guest post on the NBCC blog, which is linked to by Ron Hogan on Galleycat. There I found a comment by Samuel Edmonson which kind of took my breath away. Here is just part of what he says about what he, and I, regard as the literary-magazine racket.
Now I don't know who Samuel Edmonson is, and Google doesn't offer much enlightenment. But one thing's for sure: he punches above his weight. What is more, he agrees with me, so naturally I admire him. See my post of 16 October, which contains links to my earlier pieces about the official and true histories of the short story.
First of all, commercial magazines pay money and for working writers such as myself it's a job, a career, we earn a living wage; the tiny literary magazines pay nothing or close to it. So to get your stories published in them, you actually have to PAY because even if you sell a story for $100 you'll never recoup the cost of postage, copies, equipment, and so on. It is impossible to run a business on it. It is not a career. You need another job (in academe, of course).
Secondly, these journals are tiny, no one reads them except for academics who are trying to get published in them. You are so completely wrong about their impact and by the weakness of your argument I suspect you know it -- these literary journals have no impact on the world at all. But as a writer, I want to be READ. I'm writing for the man on the street, not for the politically correct chair of some college's English department.
Thirdly, the academic journals strongly, strongly favor teachers and MFA graduates. Read any of these academic journals and you'll see that most of the poetry and prose is from the academics. The writing, the worldview, the ideas, the very words are all so insular -- and if you operate outside of that world, they will ignore you. They have to support their buddies. Spend a few hours to put the names and their affiliations in a spreadsheet and you'll see what I mean about connections. And if you're not only MFA-less but also politically incorrect, you might as well save your stamps because they'll never, ever touch what you've sent.
None of which, however, really solves my problem, which is finding short stories, week in and week out, that are the kind of thing I actually want to read. I suppose the only solution is to write my own.
More comment (brief) on Mason Fiction. And there's more about Stephen King on short stories in The Smart Set; if, as I said at the beginning, you can stand it; and I for one couldn't.