Deal Me In Challenge, 2015 Edition: Sign-Up and Story Roster

Deal Me In

The Deal Me In challenge hosted by Jay at Bibliophilopolis was a really rewarding challenge for me in 2014. I was exposed, through my own reading and the posts of others,  dozens and dozens of new-to-me authors and stories I would surely have otherwise missed.  I enjoyed this challenge so much that I’m signing up for the 2015 edition.  In fact, it’s the only yearly challenge I intend to participate in for the year, in keeping with my resolution to relax the constrictions and self-imposed rules on my reading.

Jay has an excellent run-down of the challenge goals in his information and sign-up post, but here’s the gist of the thing:  Make a roster of 52 short stories you would like to read, collected from any sources you like. Assign these stories to the cards in a standard deck of playing cards.  Draw (physically or via online generator) one card per week to read (and optionally review if you are so inspired.) There are several less intense options for reading fewer stories at the sign-up post, as well as suggestions for incorporating other short formats such as essays, speeches or poetry.

I’ll be attempting the full 52-story once-weekly option again.  I’m excited to have a list of new-to-me stories to explore in the coming year.  I’ve gathered a handful of collections of stories from which to assemble my roster:  “Russian Short Stories” from Penguin Classics, “The Oxford Book of Victorian Ghost Stories”, “Kwaidan: Ghost Stories and Strange Tales of Old Japan” collected by Lafcadio Hearn and the 2000 edition of “The Best American Short Stories of the Century”, as well as a suit’s worth of stories available freely online.

I will be tracking my progress and linking to any reviews I post on the “DMI 2015” page listed at the top of this blog.

Here are my selections for the year:

Spades – Russian Short Stories:
(Penguin Classics)

A. “The Fatalist” by Mikhail Lermontov
2. “Bobok” by Fyodor Dostoyevsky
3. “In the Cart” by Anton Chekhov
4. “The Monster” by Lidiya Zinovyeva-Annibal
5. “Love” by Teffi
6. “The Lion” by Yevgeny Zamyatin
7. “Quadraturin” by Sigizmund Krzhizhanovsky
8. “Lalla’s Interests” by Vera Inber
9. “The Embroidered Towel” by Mikhail Bulgakov
10. “Salt” by Isaak Babel
J. “Electrification” by Mikhail Zoshchenko
Q. “The Old Woman” by Daniil Kharms
K. “What a Pity” by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

Hearts – The Oxford Book of Victorian Ghost Stories & Kwaidan: Ghost Stories and Strange Tales of Old Japan:
(collected by Lafcadio Hearn, Dover)

A. “The Old Nurse’s Story by Elizabeth Gaskell (Victorian)
2. “To Be Taken with a Grain of Salt” by Charles Dickens (Victorian)
3. “The Captain of the Pole-Star” by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (Victorian)
4. “The Body-Snatcher” by Robert Louis Stevenson (Victorian)
5. “The Open Door” by Charlotte Riddell (Victorian)
6. “The Kit-bag” by Algernon Blackwood (Victorian)
7. “The Story of Mimi-Nashi-Hoichi” (Kwaidan)
8. “Oshidori” (Kwaidan)
9. “Of a Mirror and a Bell” (Kwaidan)
10. “A Dead Secret” (Kwaidan)
J. “Yuki Onna” (Kwaidan)
Q. “The Story of Aoyagi” (Kwaidan)
K. “The Dream of Akinosuke” (Kwaidan)

Clubs – The Best American Short Stories of the Century:
(ed. by John Updike and Katrina Kenison)

A. “The Other Woman” by Sherwood Anderson
2. “Blood-Burning Moon” by Jean Toomer
3. “That Evening Sun Go Down” by William Faulkner
4. “Here We Are” by Dorothy Parker
5. “Crazy Sunday” by F. Scott Fitzgerald
6. “That in Aleppo Once…” by Vladimir Nabokov
7. “The Interior Castle” by Jean Stafford
8. “The Country Husband” by John Cheever
9. “A City of Churches” by Donald Barthelme
10. “Gesturing” by John Updike
J. “The Shawl” by Cynthia Ozick
Q. “The Way We Live Now” by Susan Sontag
K. “You’re Ugly, Too” by Lorrie Moore

Diamonds – Online Science Fiction by Women:
(online stories from these lists: &

A. “A Vector Alphabet of Interstellar Travel” by Yoon Ha Lee
2. “A Word Shaped Like Bones” by Kris Millering
3. “Amaryllis” by Carrie Vaughn
4. “Cuts Both Ways” by Heather Clitheroe
5. “Each to Each” by Seanan McGuire
6. “Immersion” by Aliette de Bodard
7. “Love Is the Plan, The Plan is Death” by Alice B. Sheldon, aka James Tiptree, Jr.
8. “Non-Zero Probabilities” by N. K. Jemisin
9. “Patient Zero” by Tananarive Due
10. “Spider the Artist” by Nnedi Okorafor
J. “The Cartographer Wasps and the Anarchist Bees” by E. Lily Yu
Q. “The Case of the Passionless Bees” by Rhonda Eikamp
K. “Timeline” by Elizabeth Bear


11 thoughts on “Deal Me In Challenge, 2015 Edition: Sign-Up and Story Roster

    • Thanks!

      I almost didn’t include Kwaidan, as there is no real indication of original authors, and in most cases original authors are probably unknown. But I decided I really wanted some traditional stories AND some Japanese stories, and this collection fit both criteria.

  1. What a fascinating set of lists! The Spades section in particular appeals to me 🙂 – there are some wonderful authors there – good luck!

  2. Very happy you’re joining us again this year, Candiss. I always look forward to your posts.

    I’ve only read seven of your stories before, and they’re all clubs. No coincidence I guess since I own that anthology too. I was a little surprised that, even though I did a suit of Russian stories last year, there is no overlap with yours this year. I look forward to hearing about those.

    I need to read more sci-fi myself. I have a few anthologies and a huge eBook of stories that made available free for awhile last year so I have the resources – I just need to utilize them. 🙂

    I’m anxious to get started too. The planning of these is so much fun. Enjoy your reading!

  3. Not a one of them sounds familiar, but it all sounds so exciting! I love the various categories you have, and I was quite surprised by the names under ‘hearts’! Have fun!…I’d love to keep tabs on your short story reading journey next year. 🙂

  4. Pingback: Deal Me In – Week 1 Wrap Up | Bibliophilopolis

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