Love and Other Distractions edited by Christiana Miller

A collection of short stories on the theme of love written by an eclectic group of Hollywood screenwriters.

The short stories in Love and Other Distractions are as delightfully varied as I’ve ever seen in an anthology. A fundraiser for the charity Kids Need to Read, the collection shows how different writers can be one from another. Shelly Goldstein’s ‘The Vagina Dialogues’ takes a witty, refreshing look at the way women talk about love, while ‘Full Moon Fever’ by comedian Doug Molitor will have you thinking about vampires in a whole new way. Christiana Miller uses the paranormal, like she does in her novels, with a twist that puts the ‘creepy’ in ‘romantic.’ And Keith Domingue revisits the frighteningly prescient main character of his thriller Luthecker in a story set in Tibet where he hopes to find answers–though in his case, because of his preternatural abilities, “the answer could mean almost anything.”

My personal favorite was Steve Chivers’ ‘String Theory,’ about a reluctant cougar and the younger man who wants “Netflix and spooning and someone to make coffee for and read weird shit out of the paper to… but let’s be realistic. Those are snapshots. Advertising.” It’s an excerpt from a novel but felt like a standalone story, and I really enjoyed the way the characters interacted with each other.

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