The Best Short Story I've Ever Read (Asterisk) Smackdown!


First, the asterisk: Thank you so much to everyone who played along, and for the extra effort it took (in some cases) (okay, not mine) to produce a real, live pie. You are all awesome, and I wish we could sit down together and eat and talk. I also have to thank everyone for bringing such thoughtful short story suggestions to the table. I can't wait to read!

Without (much) further asterisking: The winner of The Best Short Story I Have Ever Read (Asterisk) Smackdown is...

Sarah Hina!!!

Although it was a tight field, Sarah won the all-around based on our three "fluid, gooey" criteria: An adorable photo of her enjoying the pie she made (plus cuteness points for her daughter), an actual connection between her pie and her story, and a beautifully-written description of why Richard Bausch's "Letter to the Lady of the House" was the best short story she's ever read. Congratulations, Sarah!

And now her prize: Sarah will be receiving two "judge's choice" short fiction collections. Davin has selected The Laws of Evening by Mary Yukari Waters, and I have chosen Arranged Marriage by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni. 

Sarah, if you could email me and let me know if you prefer e or real books, that would be great!

Thanks again to everyone who participated!

It's here! The smackdown!

For details, click here. The quick and dirty? Email me a picture of a pie you've made (jazobair AT comcast DOT net) to post here, and in the comments, make the case for the best short story you've ever read.  Bonus points for any pie/story connections.

It's not too late! Throw a pie together! Tell us about your favorite short story!

This submission comes from talented author Sarah Hina, with help from her adorable daughter. It is a lemonade pie. Now I wish we'd required everyone to submit a picture eating the pie (or throwing the pie or somehow acting on the pie). Clearly, Sarah is getting extra points for the action shot. The cute factor is fairly sky high as well.

And this is a cherry pie from Canadian writer/activist Richard Levangie. This? Is a very serious pie. This is the pie that made my children call my own pie "pathetic" and suggest I visit a bakery this morning. In fairness, I didn't use props with mine. Davin, can we get a ruling on the flowers? It seems to lend a certain Martha Stewart gravitas to his pie, and I may have to cry foul. Mostly because he is making me look bad.

This is a pie of unknown fabulousness from amazing photographer Catherine Vibert. It is gorgeous and looks like something that should be in a magazine. Of course, she is a professional photographer and this may be as big of an advantage as Richard's flowers and Sarah's daughter. Does anyone play fair these days?

What can we say about this submission from brilliant writer Davin Malasarn? It is a crustless bread  pudding "pie" that I cannot stop staring at. Because you know what? I don't like pie and I would eat that. Also, who are we to judge? And let's keep that thought in mind for the next pie, shall we?


And this is my pie. It is a chocolate pudding pie, and it is, actually, not the first pie I made yesterday. I made the first one and then--I kid you not--ate a huge piece BEFORE I took a picture. As though I forgot about the smackdown. In my defense, I am working on my copyedits? The first pie had graham cracker crust, which is the only crust I really like. This is an Oreo crust and pleases my children immensely.

Did I mention I don't like pie?

Photo used under a Creative Common License

Okay, this is picture was submitted by Indian writer/programmer Aniket Thakkar and is a "Raspberry Pi" which a credit-card-sized single-board computer developed in the UK by the Raspberry Pi Foundation with the intention of stimulating the teaching of basic computer science in schools. This? Is kind of cool. And creative. I might have to award some points. Especially if he can prove he made it.

This is a blueberry/raspberry pie from talented writer Scott G.F. Bailey . Note that it also looks like it could be in a magazine, and therefore makes my pie--to quote my kids--look (additionally) "pathetic." Who knew you all were such skilled pie makers? Seriously. And whose idea was pie??



To the comments!