Rampaging behemoths, giant, washed-up fishtails, mysterious briefcases, role-playing cuddly toys... The world of the short story is a weird and wonderful one, made even stranger by the unique assortment of characters that crop up in them. Incongruity seems to be their secret ingredient - or rather the right kind of incongruity, an artful one that punctuates the flat realism of most literature and inserts an isolated moment, an atomised truth. Comma's second anthology of new writers showcases 20 of the most imaginative and daring voices taking up the form; writers dedicated to charting the far reaches of this terrain right at the outset of their careers; writers who prove it's best to stay short. As with Bracket, the first in this series, all the writers here have no major publication behind them, but show remarkable skill and daring in their work. Stories were drawn and edited from over 600 submissions, after a call out to aspiring writers and creative writing courses the length and breadth of the UK. Unlike Bracket, Parenthesis called specifically for experimental writing. And whereas its predecessor was found by critics to have 'an impressive amount of control on display', Parenthesis celebrates just those writers who take a risk and cut loose.