I like short stories. Done well, it’s a great format that engages you, tantalizes you, and presents a big enough idea and/or leaves enough open ends to keep you thinking about the story well after you finish it.
My typical rhythm is to read a short story (or two) between the typical books I read for entertainment. Since most of my entertainment books are built around science fiction, it’s a bonus when I can find a good collection of sci-fi shorts.
One such collection that appeared in my recommendations was Miniatures: The Very Short Fiction of John Scalzi which is, of course, by John Scalzi. Scalzi is a prolific writer. I normally see a lot of his long-form novels in my recommendation feed, so I figured reading some of his short stories would be a good way to see if I liked his writing enough to read some of his longer format works.
Miniatures is more a collection of skits rather than short stories. The skits are short and humorous without any substantive characters or plots associated with them. They are fast, fun reads that will keep you entertained.
For me, it was a bit disappointing. It’s on me for not doing the proper research and reading the book description more carefully. I was hoping that the writing would entice me to read more Scalzi novels, but the collection didn’t give me a good enough feel for his longer form writing to make the call. Since my current reading list is fairly extensive, I expect that I’ll stick to what I have there for now and circle back to Scalzi’s work at some point in the future. There’s certainly a lot to choose from, so I’ll need to do my research (of course, I’m open to any recommendations on where to start in the comments).
If you’re looking for light, humorous, entertaining reads, they you may like this collections of shorts. If you’re looking for more engaging stories with characters and a plot, that I’d recommend checking out another collection such as Stories of Your Life and Others, The Wandering Earth, AI 2041, or Selected Stories of Philip K. Dick.