Armchair BEA – Let’s Talk About Short Stories

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Today for Armchair BEA, the topic is Novellas & Short Stories. We’re giving some love to those delightful small bites of fiction that can be just as powerful as a long novel. I want to highlight a few short story anthologies that I’ve read recently and loved. Because I love genre fiction, all these collections contain stories that are offbeat and quirky, and all have supernatural elements. If you don’t have time to read a novel and you’d like to savor a short story, here are some I highly recommend:

Revenge by Yoko Ogawa. I’m going to be using the word “strange” a lot in this post. These stories are just…strange! Ogawa is a genius at finding a common thread and weaving it throughout all her stories. The overall snapshot of this collection is a city where odd and terrible things happen to people, and the lives of those people come together over and over. I know that doesn’t tell you much, but seriously, just read this book!

Shadow Show: All New Stories in Celebration of Ray Bradbury. This collection was released soon after Bradbury’s passing, and is full of emotional and heartfelt stories that are reminiscent of his style. I thoroughly enjoyed this collection.

Stranger Things Happen  by Kelly Link. Kelly Link is probably my favorite short story scribe. She and her husband run Small Beer Press, a small publisher that puts out awesome and high quality novels and stories. She usually publishes her own anthologies through Small Beer, and she’s won lots of awards. She’s truly talented, and if you love offbeat fantasy and just plain weird and quirky, you should definitely check out her writing.

Vampires in the Lemon Grove by Karen Russell. Another favorite of mine, Karen writes novels and short stories equally well. This collection was one of my favorite books of 2013 and I demand that you read it!

Magic for Beginners by Kelly Link. Yes, I have three Kelly Link collections listed! Here’s another one, with one of my all-time favorite short stories, The Faery Handbag.

Pretty Monsters by Kelly Link. I believe this is her first collection that was picked up by a major publishing house, and it’s marketed for the young adult crowd. Some of the stories also appear in the other two Link books I’ve listed.

The Miniature Wife and Other Stories by Manuel Gonzales. This offbeat collection earned a five-star review from me, and it’s filled with gory horror and lots of humor as well.

Appalachian Undead edited by Eugene Johnson & Jason Sizemore. If you love zombies and you love the South, you’ll love this quirky, bloody and uproariously funny collection of zombie tales.

Do you read short stories? Do you have any short story recommendations? I’d love to hear them.

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Posted May 28, 2014 by Tammy in Armchair BEA / 22 Comments


22 responses to “Armchair BEA – Let’s Talk About Short Stories

  1. Zombies are typically one of the things I avoid . . . BUT I do make exceptions occasionally, and if the zombies come as part of a Southern, hilarious, and quirky package, I’m thinking Appalachian Undead could definitely be one of those exceptions.

    Jessica @ Rabid Reads

  2. I always seem to forget about short stories–though they would be perfect for me right now as the only time I read is during the baby’s naptime or right before bed. 30 pages is usually my limit! You’ve also reminded me that I have a volume of Ray Bradbury shorts on my Kindle. He writes such masterful short stories!

    • He is one of my favorite short story authors, for sure! And yes, babies tend to take up lots of time! Any of these collections might work for you in that department:-)

  3. One of my blogging/reading goals for this year was to read more short stories – so far not making much headway! I haven’t had the best experience with short fiction, so now I just need to work on getting away from the mindset that I won’t get a “full” story out of it. Because I know there’s a lot of good stuff out there! Thanks for the recs, I have a full pile now I need to get to 😀

  4. I spent some time among the Appalachian undead when I lived in Southern Pennsylvania….weird place with weird people.

    ANYWAY. Thanks for sharing all these!