December 16, 2013

My Fave Five Anthologies/Collections of 2013

2013 is almost over, so you know what that means ... it's time for lists. Sooo many lists. And this blog will be no different. Each day this week, I will post a fave five list highlighting some of the standouts books I've read through the year. Oh, and a movie list too, but today it's all about short fiction. I'm trying my best to keep up with short fiction, but I have lagged a little bit this year compared to years past. Still, I managed to read some real standout anthologies and short story collections.

13 Ghosts of Christmas edited by Simon Marshall-Jones - Seems fitting to have a holiday-themed anthology on this list given how it's nearly Christmas. I read this last winter and thought it did a remarkable job at capturing that old gothic flavor, with some stories having a little Dickensian vibe, while others strived to be even darker. You should definitely look for it if you like to read ghost stories and other horror tales during this time of year.

Psychos edited by John Skipp - I read this book in the weeks leading up to Halloween. Nothiing like an anthology chock-full of serial killers, lunatics, and outhouse crazies to get you into the spirit of things. It served as a good time capsule of the genre, I thought. And the book is thick. If you don't want to read it, you can at least use it to bludgeon your enemies. Now that's crazy.

Shadows and Tall Trees #5 edited by Michael Kelly - This literary mag is going through some changes at the moment, leading up to its sixth edition, but I doubt that will have any effect on the quality of the stories published in its pages. It's a little engine that could kind of periodical, as it is an annual publication and doesn't get high profile attention, but it does get its fair share of acclaim from some big names in the genre. Reading this issue will show you why, too.

Shock Totem #6 edited by K. Allen Wood - For my money, the best darned horror magazine you can find. And this sixth issue featured a great line-up of stories, and an equally impressive collection of nonfiction, too.

SuperNOIRtural Tales by Ian Rogers - The one collection on the list authored by a single author. I had previously read three of the stories included in this collection as chapbooks, so it's good to see all of the existing Felix Renn stories brought together in one book, with hopes that even more readers discover this fantastic urban fantasy series.

And an honorable mention goes to Thuglit: Issue Seven edited by Todd Robinson. I checked this out for one specific story and wound up enjoying every one of them. Some good noir/crime short stories to be found in that series.

Did you read any standout short fiction this year? If so, leave a comment and let us know.

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