Short stories are literally a godsend. I have grown up reading anthologies, short story collections and now that I am a working woman, reading them on Kindle. There’s nothing like cleansing your reading palette with a short story, especially when it is a well written story with a good plot.
I have listed five here which I thought would be an issue (or an issue if they were all Neil Gaiman stories) but I actually could list so many more so if anyone wants to hear me rant about short stories, I’m all here for it.
I also would like to note that short stories are truly where the wide genre of books I read tend to be best displayed. I tend to love literary fiction short stories especially and there is at least one here. Without further ado;
- Title: ‘The Lonesome Place’ (1948)
- Author: August Derleth
- Genre: Horror
- Collection taken from: American Supernatural Tales, Introduction by S. T. Joshi, Edited by S. T. Joshi and Guillermo del Toro
I loved this story so much I use the term ‘lonesome place’ in everyday life, based my final degree year on it and I genuinely watch out for them. I walk home a lot and it’s easy to spot these places. This story is a bit Bradbury-esque with the narrator detailing the account from his younger years but it is unsettling with a sense of dread you take from the page into your everyday life.
- Title: ‘The Price’ (1999)
- Author: Neil Gaiman
- Genre: Horror, Fantasy
- Collection taken from: ‘Smoke and Mirrors’/ ‘M is for Magic’
This story has stayed with me for years now. I always look at my cats that come home a bit torn up with a strong sideways glance. This is the first ever short story I read by Neil Gaiman and I think it really drove home for me how exceptional his shorter work is. There is no way you will see the ending coming. It is in 2 collections also so it is widely available.
- Title: Significant Moments in the Life of my Mother (1987)
- Author: Margaret Atwood
- Genre: Literary Fiction
- Collection taken from: ‘Bluebeard’s Egg and Other Stories’
I will advise anyone who is not into the literary fiction quality about certain stories that depict humans with a very bleak brush will not like the short fiction of Margaret Atwood. I had a hard time picking one book from this collection but this one was the one that left the kind of deepest impression on me. Atwood writes characters I want to shake sometimes, but I never do forget them
- Title: ‘In the Forest Dark and Deep’ (2015)
- Author: Carrie Ryan
- Genre: Horror, Young Adult
- Collection takne from: ‘Slasher Girls & Monster Boys’, stories selected by April Genevieve Tucholke
This entire collection is YA horror done right and I mean very right. It was hard to pick on as there is a story as well in this collection by Leigh Bardugo that I also really love but this one really took me by surprise. Each tale in this collection is based on another famous horror story and this one in particular is based on Alice in Wonderland. And I promise, you won’t be disappointed.
- Title: ‘Dracula’s Guest’ (1914)
- Author: Bram Stoker
- Genre: Classics, Horror
- Collection taken from: ‘Dracula’s Guest and Other Stories’
I read this for he first time in the depths of winter in a cafe in Dingle. It was November, it was misty and I was 14 years old. I honestly think this story can function as both a mild introduction to Stoker’s magnum opus and also as a nice extra towards the story. There is a strong theory that the character in the story is Jonathan Harker (and it is basically confirmed by Stoker’s wife) but you are totally entitled to think otherwise.