HarperCollins imprint, 4th Estate, has launched 4th Estate Shorts - a hub for when only high-quality short fiction will do. The launch delivers "big-name authors and new, exciting voices", in a form suited to mobile devices (and looks dashing while doing it).
We've all been in the situation...no time or inclination to commit to progressing through a novel, but still the burning desire to be fired up by narrative magic. For those times, short stories can delight, devour minutes and determine that our needs are just.
Now 4th Shorts' hub offers a target, but that's not all. To tie in with the launch, the imprint is publishing two collections of short stories. The first, by Lauren Holmes, is titled Barbara the Slut, and the second, Single, Carefree, Mellow is by Katherine Heiny. Both come as pocket-sized paperbacks.
On the launch of the hub, assistant editor Lettice Franklin hopes "4th Shorts will continue to establish 4th Estate as the home of the best short stories being written today."
And on the two, wonderfully named collections?
As soon as I read both Barbara the Slut and Single, Carefree, Mellow on submission, I wanted to give a copy to each and every one of my friends to brighten their daily commutes. The reviewers seemed to agree with me, greeting both books ecstatically. So for their second publication we are doing something slightly different – both portable and giftable.
Ms Franklin suggests either could be good for Valentine's Day gifts too. But we recommend buying the books just because.