My first published short story, ‘Satisfaction Guaranteed’, came second in a competition held by the late FEAR magazine. The prize was a signed, slip-cased, illustrated, limited-edition copy of Douglas E. Winter’s horror anthology Prime Evil. It’s a handsome-looking book, a very nice prize. Since then I’ve had a further twenty-odd short stories published, several in anthologies edited by that fine chap (and, as we have seen, possessor of impeccable taste in fiction) Peter Crowther. I’ve also co-written three short stories with this same fellow, including an Elric adventure (published in Tales of the White Wolf) and ‘Even Beggars Would Ride’, a story that was rejected for DC Comics’ Sandman prose collection but then appeared, in slightly revised form, in Cemetery Dance and The Third Alternative to great acclaim and was short-listed for a British Fantasy Award.
Imagined Slights comprises a baker’s dozen of my solo short-fiction works, including the above-mentioned ‘Satisfaction Guaranteed’. I really enjoy the creative sprint that is the short story. I often write one as a break from the marathon of a novel. If I’m getting bogged down in a novel, a short story can act as a sort of palate-cleanser, a way of clearing the head. I like being able to start with a first line and just let the story lead me on, travelling hopefully, knowing I’ll reach my final destination in just a day or so. Novels, being so much bigger, need to be plotted. Short stories tend to evolve of their own accord, and are all the more satisfying for that.
- Imagined Slights [Gollancz, June 2002] – ISBN 978-1857988017
- “… an abundance of intriguing character detail and finely-wrought emotional payoff … Mostly exquisite and ultimately moving, Imagined Slights is a refreshingly elegant and subtle collection” – SFX
- “James Lovegrove … is a born storyteller and his fiction is always thought-provoking and imaginative. Imagined Slights is a tremendously entertaining collection … Lovegrove has a knack for creating vivid characters and situations in just a few pages. This collection is a must for all horror fans and it’s a chance to check out James Lovegrove who is one of Britain’s (and the genre’s) best kept secrets” – Andy Fairclough, Horror World
- “… these are intensely human documents, SF in the service not of concept but of feeling. Wry and immediate, they truly explore only the present. Imagined Slights is a very contemporary book.” – Nick Gevers, Locus
- “…most definitely the good stuff. I thoroughly recommend this collection as the perfect antidote to the ‘I don’t read short stories, me’ malaise. Whatever excuse you’ve used before, prepare to cast it aside and lose yourself in some truly excellent prose” – The Alien Online
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• Filed under Books • 08/06/2002 •