If no writer can be named, I'll take this as confirmation of the decline of the art form.
When I taught a 20th Century American Fiction class I chose a novel and story to represent each decade. For the 1990s short story, I chose one from Aaron Cometbus. If I had to choose a story from the 2000s to represent this last decade, I'm not sure what I would choose. Perhaps one of the many flash fiction tales that zip around the 'Net, or again something from the underground (one of Sean Carswell's short stories perhaps, or Crazy Carl's, or even your own "War Hysteria"). The closest thing to a mainstream story I'd consider would be "Mines" by Susan Straight or "Brad Carrigan, American" by George Saunders. I'm sure there were some other fine mainstream stories this past decade but they're too hard to find in the mass of decent but boring workshop style stories that get published in the litmags. So I'd guess I'd go with Cometbus or Robert Coover as my choice since all my other short story writer picks are dead (Carver for the 80s, Bukowski for the 70s, O'Connor for the 50s, Thurber for the 40s, Welty for the 30s, Hemingway for the 20s, Anderson for the 10s, and London for the 00s--if you're curious the novelists I picked were Erdrich, Acker, Morrison, Vonnegut, Kerouac, Wright, Faulkner, Fitzgerald, Cather, and Wharton)
(Sorry for temporarily screening posts, so I don't get sidetracked in too many arguments. I believe Mather's comment referred to my first comment.)
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