In many ways short stories have been replaced with other forms of media. The graphic novel is for the most part just a highly illustrated form of the medium. You would think that in the attention deficit afflicted world in which we live, short stories would be the preferred format, but the truth is that those of us with those short attention spans often need more stimuli than reading offers. Maybe it’s just habit after trying to pack so much productivity into our relatively short lives. Personally, I find reading while catching up on some type of news program on television works best for me.
Besides the quick pace within which we all live our lives these days, there are other reasons why short stories are less abundant. The biggest reason is that print media itself is disappearing. Many magazines are going digital and reducing the amount of content they provide. Those same magazines at one time provided outlets for authors of short stories. That was the path of the late great Ray Bradbury. Others like Ian Fleming and Clive Barker were able to publish collections of short stories. Barker’s Books of Blood were a personal favorite of mine, but perhaps the writing was on the wall, as even those were hardly profitable for the author.
The Crimson Pact is a project conceived by Patrick M. Tracy and Paul Genesse. It sets Tracy’s The Failed Crusade, the first story in Volume One as an introduction and allows the short stories by a variety of authors, which they recruited, to continue what they started throughout the multi-verse. The common theme is that all of the stories tell of the “Demons of Rusted Vale.” Without giving too much away, these demons come in the forms of human, demons, aliens, extra-planar life forms, and others. The settings and genres range from urban fantasy, mystery, romance, steampunk, to alternate history.