The Dreams of Bethany Mellmoth by William Boyd
William Boyd is a great champion of the short story, though by no means underestimates its trickiness. In an opening remark in a Guardian article in which he looks to set the parameters of the form, he refers to William Faulkner, who found the short story harder to conquer than the novel.
When Notes from the Underground launched in 2007, we firmly believed, as we do now, that the short story can be a gateway through which readers could find try out new authors. When we found out that we would have the opportunity to further publish William Boyd we couldn’t quite believe it.
He kindly offered a short story to us for our inaugural issue; Bethany Mellmoth was born. Bethany was a creation that Mr. Boyd immediately suspected had potential; she has since featured as the title character in various short stories, including in The Spectator and
special shorts collection created to celebrate the Royal Parks. The Dreams of Bethany Mellmoth can be seen in various installments online .
To tie this story into SFTW’s more typical themes, it could be seen as featuring a very primitive form of transmedia storytelling, but it probably isn’t. It does however bring to life a quite brilliant Bob Dylan song, and gives a pretty good insight into a dying relationship.