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Thursday, February 11, 2016

Short Story Collections from Well-known Novelists

Posted by Zach H. and Staff

Did you know that Stephen King and Margaret Atwood write short stories?  It is sometimes surprising to discover that an author whose novels you love has also written short stories. We've gathered to together this list of short story collections that are all written by authors that may be more commonly thought of as novelists. Try one today! 

Armageddon in Retrospect by Kurt Vonnegut. Typical Vonnegut humor about war and peace - Zach H.
A fitting tribute to a literary legend and a profoundly humane humorist, Armageddon in Retrospect is a collection of twelve previously unpublished writings on war and peace. Imbued with Vonnegut's trademark rueful humor and outraged moral sense, the pieces range from a letter written by Vonnegut to his family in 1945, informing them that he'd been taken prisoner by the Germans, to his last speech, delivered after his death by his son Mark, who provides a warmly personal introduction to the collection. Taken together, these pieces provide fresh insight into Vonnegut's enduring literary genius and reinforce his ongoing moral relevance in today's world.

The Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury. In The Martian Chronicles, Ray Bradbury, America’s preeminent storyteller, imagines a place of hope, dreams, and metaphor— of crystal pillars and fossil seas—where a fine dust settles on the great empty cities of a vanished, devastated civilization. Earthmen conquer Mars and then are conquered by it, lulled by dangerous lies of comfort and familiarity, and enchanted by the lingering glamour of an ancient, mysterious native race. In this classic work of fiction, Bradbury exposes our ambitions, weaknesses, and ignorance in a strange and breathtaking world where man does not belong.

Smoke and Mirrors by Neil Gaiman. Arguably Gaiman's best medium next to graphic novels. Beautifully written stories - Zach H.
In the deft hands of Neil Gaiman, magic is no mere illusion . . . and anything is possible. In Smoke and Mirrors, Gaiman's imagination and supreme artistry transform a mundane world into a place of terrible wonders—where an old woman can purchase the Holy Grail at a thrift store, where assassins advertise their services in the Yellow Pages under "Pest Control," and where a frightened young boy must barter for his life with a mean-spirited troll living beneath a bridge by the railroad tracks. Explore a new reality, obscured by smoke and darkness yet brilliantly tangible, in this extraordinary collection of short works by a master prestidigitator. It will dazzle your senses, touch your heart, and haunt your dreams.

Everything's Eventual: 14 Dark Tales by Stephen King. Did you know the movies Shawshank Redemption and Stand by Me were based on short stories written by Stephen King (Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption and The Body)?  Many people don't think of Stephen King as a short story author, but he has written many. Everything's Eventual is an excellent collection that you should definitely try. 

King is in terrifying top form in these short stories, taking readers down a road less traveled (for good reason) in the blockbuster ebook “Riding the Bullet”; bad table service turns bloody when you stop in for “Lunch at the Gotham Café”; and terror becomes déjà vu all over again when you get “That Feeling, You Can Only Say What It Is in French”—along with eleven more stories that will keep you awake until daybreak. Enter a nightmarish mindscape of unrelenting horror and shocking revelations that could only come from the imagination of the greatest storyteller of our time.

A Supposedly Fun Thing I'll Never Do Again by David Foster Wallace. This is a collection of essays by Wallace on a variety of subjects. They're hilarious even when written about something as mundane as tennis or television - Zach H.

In this exuberantly praised book - a collection of seven pieces on subjects ranging from television to tennis, from the Illinois State Fair to the films of David Lynch, from postmodern literary theory to the supposed fun of traveling aboard a Caribbean luxury cruiseliner - David Foster Wallace brings to nonfiction the same curiosity, hilarity, and exhilarating verbal facility that has delighted readers of his fiction, including the bestselling Infinite Jest.

Stone Mattress by Margaret Atwood. In this extraordinary collection, Margaret Atwood gives us nine unforgettable tales that reveal the grotesque, delightfully wicked facets of humanity. “Alphinland,” the first of three loosely linked tales, introduces us to a fantasy writer who is guided through a stormy winter evening by the voice of her late husband. In “Lusus Naturae,” a young woman, monstrously transformed by a genetic defect, is mistaken for a vampire. And in the title story, a woman who has killed four husbands discovers an opportunity to exact vengeance on the first man who ever wronged her. By turns thrilling, funny, and thought-provoking, Stone Mattress affirms Atwood as our greatest creator of worlds—and as an incisive chronicler of our darkest impulses.

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