It's been a good few weeks for Hamilton-based short story writer Stephen Ross. First, the regular contributor to the Ellery Queen and Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazines found himself amongst the Edgar Award finalists in the short fiction category (for his AHMM story "Monsieur Alice is Absent"); read a Waikato Times story about that achievement here.
Now Ross has been nominated for a 2011 Derringer Award, given out by the Short Mystery Fiction Society, for another story, "The Man with One Eye" (published in EQMM, December 2010). Ross has been nominated in the novelette category (8001 – 17,500 words).
The Derringer Awards were created in 1997 by the Short Mystery Fiction Society to honor excellence in the creative artform of short mystery and crime stories. The name “Derringer,” after the palm-sized handgun, was chosen as a metaphor for a mystery or crime short story — small, but dangerous.
I love reading full-length crime novels, but I do also really enjoy crime-centred short stories, whether in the form of author collections like Peter Robinson's enjoyable The Price of Love, collections with numerous contributors like the recent The Dark End of the Street: New Stories of Sex and Crime by Today's Top Authors edited by Jonathan Santlofer and S.J. Rozan, or one-off stories in mystery magazines or on the Internet. It's nice to be able to just dip in and quickly finish a good story.
So, congratulations to Stephen Ross. New Zealand has a great tradition of short story writing, thanks to the likes of Katherine Mansfield, Frank Sargeson and CK Stead, as well as many contemporary practitioners, and high-profile competitions and awards like the Sunday Star-Times Short Story Awards and the BNZ Katherine Mansfield Short Story Awards - but it's terrific to see some Kiwi-penned mystery short stories also getting recognition, overseas at least.
Do you enjoy mystery short stories?