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Eclectica Magazine Best Fiction V2: Celebrating 20 Years Online Paperback – December 9, 2016
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To name just a few of the stories I really, really liked, Raul Palma's "American Leather" is a big "for example." Oddly enough, I absolutely hated the characters. These are not my kind of people. They are the kind of city-bred neurotics I hold in (Buddhist-tempered) contempt. But I absolutely LOVE the story! How does Palma do that? He exposes life—in all its unfairness—perfectly. And Anne Leigh Parrish's "Loss of Balance." A father and daughter heal on her spiritual power, not his. I loved this so much I searched the web until I found the author, then wrote to tell her how much I enjoyed the story. Chika Unigwe's "Dreams" tells you where you do not want to go and then drags you there against your will. Paul Silverman's "The Home Front" takes about three minutes of clock time and shatters it like glass, the slivers giving you a glimpse of the whole. This is what I love about the Web. This is where you go to read honest fiction, real fiction, painful fiction, diverse fiction, risky fiction. Eclectica has all that in spades.
I thought this morning about calling Eclectica an "esteemed magazine." I'm not sure the establishment editors would concede that honor. Not yet. But once again, time will tell. In another 20 years, when people look back on literature's ongoing evolution, they will bestow that honor on Eclectica, and on Tom Dooley, it's editor. You don't have to believe me. Read the stories for yourself and let them do the talking.
And just for the record, my real name is Dr. Melvin Sterne. I was the Senior Editor and Publisher of Carve Magazine for six years. I currently coordinate the first year writing program at the Chinese University of Hong Kong (Shenzhen Campus). I have published more than 30 short stories and, no, none of them are in this collection. I also have a novel in print, another novel forthcoming this spring, and a collection of short stories in print. But I wanted you to know this wasn't a fake post. It's a great anthology. Read and Enjoy.