The closest writing gets to rock n roll is deciding the running order of stories in a collection. Like putting together an album, what goes where is important; and nothing is more important than the opening salvo. A great opening story informs the reader of the kind of fiction they are likely to expect, while giving them a good reason to keep going. They should also be able to be read independently, and lose nothing from the experience.  

The following opening stories all fulfil this credo, or at least they do for me. I hope they lead you to the stories, as well as the collections they so admirably head up.

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