The short story (still) doesn't need saving

"Save the short story!" is nothing but a fundraising rallying cry, raised by short-fiction publishers looking to build their subscription lists and grant base. It works, at least to a degree, because short-lit fans, writers, and editors know they're a tiny group, see the explosion of non-print media, and the collapse of traditional publishers, and draw the logical conclusion that their beloved endeavor is threatened too. But the logical conclusion, in this case, is the wrong one. The short story is more vital than ever, with an explosion of short-fiction outlets, enabled by the rise of the Web, and dramatic fall in the price and difficulty of publishing in print.

True, nobody's getting rich off any of this - but has anyone, really, ever? In the history of civilization, has there ever been a society in which more than a handful of artists, of any kind, have even made a living off their work? No. Indeed, with the rise of the MFA industry, and mushrooming of university-sponsored journals, jobs for serious writers and editors are more plentiful now than ever before.

So let's enjoy this boon, rather than wringing our hands about it. And let's also celebrate those - like Andy Hunter and his colleagues at Electric Literature - who, handwringing aside, are working to bring more great short fiction to more people, both in print and online.