Among all the mundane business of moving house I have found the time to submit a couple of things lately, one of them was even a new composition, and as a result I have a couple of acceptances of what’s variously been described as hint fiction, nanofiction, and picofiction. Leaving aside what the description of something as both nano and pico when it’s the same length (140 characters in this case) does to someone with years of physics behind them, I’m quietly pleased.
Speaking of shorter fiction, I read the first Dalziel and Pascoe book last week, having previously read more recent ones (yes you miss some of the chronology of backstory but mainly they’re stand-alone crime novels) and I noticed how much shorter it was. A Clubbable Woman was published in 1970, and as with Stephen King , Reginald Hill seems to have started off with standard-length paperbacks (by which I mean half to three-quarters of an inch thick), and over the years become more verbose until each book is at least twice that size. Is it a fashion thing? Value for money? Is there genuinely more to say in each tale now? It seemed a perfectly enjoyable and complete story, there was no sense of skimping on detail or questions unanswered, and (I admit this is tenuous) it fit neatly in the small shoulder-bag I take to work, with no battered corners. Lessons could, I’m sure, be learned here.
And to my immense satisfaction Dalziel never once uttered a bizarre ‘northern’ spelling.