Saturday, May 17, 2008

Sampler of Short Stories in Several Sub-genres

Laura Vivanco

Over at the Smart Bitches, someone's got an unusual request:
The course I'm designing is primarily on the *rhetoric* of the romance (and just plain romance itself)--how it's talked about, portrayed in the media, presented in bookstores, used in advertisting, etc. However, in order to give my students a better sense of the genre as a whole, I'd like to give them reading assignments from the primary source material.

[...] Are there anthologies of diverse short romance fiction out there? Anthologies that have samples from paranormal, suspense, regency, contemporary, even inpsirational? Are there anthologies that incorporate multi-ethnic, interracial, or basically anything other than all-white, all the time romances? If not, can the Bitchery recommend some short stories that I might build into a coursepack for my students? I'd like a diverse sampling from across the genres.
I'm a little concerned about copyright issues, but it occurred to me that problem could be avoided if the students were introduced to a range of online short romance stories. So far I've come up with the following list, some of which I've discussed on this blog previously, but quite a few of which I haven't:

Jo Beverly's The Christmas Wedding Gambit (historical with white, English, heterosexual, aristocratic protagonists)

Jennifer Crusie's Meeting Harold's Father (contemporary, American, heterosexual protagonists)

Lynn Emery's A Darker Shade of Midnight (contemporary romantic suspense paranormal with African-American, heterosexual protagonists)

Eva Gale's The Seduction of Gabriel Stewart (historical erotic inspirational romance, heterosexual white American protagonists)

Matthew Haldeman-Time's Ten Weird Things (contemporary with white gay male American protagonists)

Georgette Heyer's The Black Moth (full-length historical romance with aristocratic, heterosexual, English protagonists)

Monica Jackson's The Choice (paranormal contemporary with heterosexual African-American protagonists)

Jayne Ann Krentz's Congratulations, You've Just Won (contemporary, heterosexual protagonists)

Mercedes Lackey's Balance and its sequel, Dragon's Teeth (fantasy, heterosexual protagonists)

Bettie Sharpe's Ember (erotic romance reworking of a fairytale, paranormal, with heterosexual protagonists)

Linnea Sinclair's Silent Run (which she describes as "futuristic", with heterosexual protagonists) and Tales from the Second Chance Saloon: Macawley's List (science fiction with heterosexual protagonists)

Deborah Smith's Sweet Hope (contemporary, white American heterosexual protagonists)

I think this list includes stories from most of the major romance sub-genres, and includes a variety of different kinds of protagonists. Do you know of any others you'd add to the list? Or if you can think of a print anthology, maybe you could add your suggestion to the comments at the SB's site.

The sampler is from the Museo Vasco, Bilbao and the photo of it can be found at Wikimedia Commons.


  1. I have a real sampler somewhere, done by an ancestress of mine in 1832, when she was nine years old. Amazingly good work--says the Mole, who can JUST manage to sew on a button.

  2. I've sewn a sampler (though when I was considerably more than nine years old) but it came as a kit because although I could do the sewing without too much difficulty, my design skills are limited.

  3. The DREAMS & DESIRES anthologies from Freya's Bower contain roughly 20 different stories in each volume (there are 2 now). There's no unifying theme to the anthologies, so the reader gets everything from flash fiction to short novellas. The stories are contemp, para and historical and range from sweet to erotic, including some m/m.