some_stars: (kids! stay in school!)
fifty frenchmen can't be wrong ([personal profile] some_stars) wrote2013-12-11 04:28 pm

(no subject)

hey guys, so, i'm working on a unit plan for the final project in my most beloved class, and i've got it worked out and most of it drafted, but i need a few data points from people who read and/or remember more short stories than me. our units have to be built around a single short story; i'm using "The Building" by Ursula K. LeGuin (or possibly "The Nna Mmoy Language"--easier for a HS class, fits the theme of the lesson a little better, but omg my love for "The Building" you guys I can't even--anyway, one of those). the main content focus of this unit is about structure and style--different ways to tell/write a story, why and how and what's the effect, etc. etc. so like, the stories in Changing Planes are in the form of reports from a traveler, describing and explaining the other worlds to people back home. and it's pretty complex, it creates a persona for the reader as well, it offers a certain lens that's especially useful/interesting in writing SF/F, it gives the stories and the whole book a distinct flavor.

and so on and on, anyway, the point is: as one v. important lesson in this unit (which i have to describe day by day and is 2-3 weeks long), i want the class to read and discuss other stories, or more likely short excerpts from such stories, that are written in non-traditional narrative formats, so they have real patterns to compare to, not just the Le Guin story and the anthropologist-report format. like--well, epistolary and journal-form stories are p much traditional at this point, but they're the kind of thing i'm talking about, a frame other than "direct" experience of time (obviously never direct, mediated by the narrator, etc. etc. this is not a college class i'm pretending to teach). and then there's document fic, the kind of stuff that locates the reader in an alternate universe and the reader has to puzzle out what's different based on indirect evidence.

and just, anything, anything that could be described as a short story and uses some kind of frame, format, something like all that blather up there. Because, my brain being what it is, and given how little short fiction i read, i can remember exactly one (1) example that isn't fanfic and would be appropriate for a high school class. (it's comp.basilisk FAQ by David Langford, which is not ideal--how many 17 year olds in 2013 would have ever encountered a newsgroup FAQ or even heard of usenet at all--but i can remember that it exists.)

so please, just any short story like this you can remember, throw it at me. don't worry about the approrpirate-for-HS thing, i'll sort that out, just anything professional/published, at any time in history (as long as they're written in more or less modern english obv). if you know the name of the collection where i can find it that's extra magical but if not, w/e, i have google and two university libraries and two public library systems to work with, i'll be okay.

so: do you guys know any examples? :D? :D?
jain: Dragon (Kazul from the Enchanted Forest Chronicles) reading a book and eating chocolate mousse. (domestic dragon)

[personal profile] jain 2013-12-11 11:17 pm (UTC)(link)
"The Soul Selects Her Own Society: Invasion and Repulsion: A Chronological Reinterpretation of Two of Emily Dickinson's Poems: A Wellsian Perspective" by Connie Willis. Here's a good review of the story including its publication history.
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[personal profile] boxofdelights 2013-12-12 12:25 am (UTC)(link)
I think I've read more than one science fiction story written as excerpts from a dictionary or an encyclopedia, but the only one I can think of now is not a whole story but a part of The Bird is Gone: A Manifesto by Stephen Graham Jones, which would suit your needs perfectly if you needed a short novel: its narrative keeps being interrupted by folk tales and historical material in I think four different fonts, all of which helps to tell the top-level story.

I got good suggestions at my DW and LJ.

Also check out John Barth's Lost in the Funhouse. All those stories are experiments. I remember one of them is meant to be played on a tape recorder while the author stands silently next to it. He talks about the despair caused by the futility of writing, or living. He says, "I can't go on." But the tape recorder keeps spinning, right? Because what other options does it actually have? And the author, presumably, keeps standing there. And then the voice on the tape says, "I go on," and the story goes on.
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[personal profile] boxofdelights 2013-12-12 12:32 am (UTC)(link)
The Joanna Russ story, "Useful Phrases for the Tourist", was printed in The Zanzibar Cat. I have also seen it online with some stupid additions that really really do not make it funnier.
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[personal profile] azurelunatic 2013-12-12 06:59 am (UTC)(link)
Oh god, um. What was that MayorEmanuel tweetcollection? That's not traditionally published though.

The Tough Guide to Fantasyland is perhaps rather long.

Isaac Asimov's Thiotimoline papers.

Installing Linux on a Dead Badger.

The SPC wiki is not professionally published, but *dayaaaam.*
ruthi: a photograph of a dormouse eating a berry (Default)

[personal profile] ruthi 2013-12-12 04:28 pm (UTC)(link) ? It's not the sort of thing you can print out and give to students, I think. Because the moving text is kind of the point of it. Ip over avian carriers (and )

"Pierre Menard, Author of the Quixote" by Jorge Luis Borges

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[personal profile] laurajv 2013-12-12 07:53 pm (UTC)(link)

They usually end up being approximately short-story length: choose-your-own-adventure books. almost always written in second person POV, too.