Growing up, I was never into short story anthologies. I read Goosebumps, Choose Your Own Adventure books, various novels, and the works of Shel Silverstein. And as a young adult, I went through a Stephen King phase, reading about anything of his that I could get my hands on. Which included his short story collections. And that’s when, I think, I discovered the magic of the form. Short stories were, and still are, a box of chocolate to me. Each story was a different flavor and texture, some nuttier than others and some containing a delicious surprise that was unexpected but thoroughly enjoyable.
About ten years ago, or more, my brother gave me The Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror: The Thirteenth Annual Collection, edited by Terri Windling and Ellen Datlow. Inside is gathered the stories of many talented writers, the tales steeped in shades of magic or probing the darkness. It is a delight to read, and every so often the volume calls to me from my bookshelf and I once more lose myself within its pages.
One of my favorites, and it so difficult to choose (which is why I will list some more favorites at the end of this post) is The Grammarian’s Five Daughters by Eleanor Arnason. This story is whimsical, part fairy tale and part grammar lesson, both beautiful and charming. If interested, you can read it here The Grammarian’s Five Daughters
And as threaten–uh, promised, here are some of my other favorites:
- Crosley by Elizabeth Engstrom
- The Duke of Wellington Misplaces His Horse by Susanna Clarke
- Halloween Street by Steve Rasnic Tem
- Darkrose and Diamond by Ursula K.Le Guin
- The Girl Detective by Kelly Link
- Harlequin Valentine by Neil Gaiman
- You Don’t Have to Be Mad by Kim Newman
Do you read short stories and what are some of your favorites?