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How much richer are our lives because of short fiction? Imagine a world without the classic short stories written by the past masters of this form.

To enter into other lives, other worlds, and to visit them for a brief time, is a wonderful gift, one that perhaps too often falls to movies or television.

Today's busy readers need an alternative, quality short stories that can be read in one sitting, to avoid slipping into the trap of easy entertainment.

Such short stories are still being written by all kinds of authors, both established novelists and new writers who are honing their literary art. They appear regularly in hundreds of literary magazines.

Our mission is to pluck these stories from the specialized world of literary journals and bring them to a wider audience of everyday readers. We do this by focusing on the anthology -- short stories from different authors, with each book assembled around a common theme.

Mark Twain is often quoted as saying about one of his works: "If I had more time, I would write a shorter story." Short fiction indeed takes a long time to write. But the good news is it takes less time to read, and therefore it is more accessible. By focusing on quality fiction of shorter length, the publishers hope to make a small contribution to contemporary literature.

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