Favorite Short Stories
Here is a list of my favorite short stories, in no particular order, save for “Drawing The Moon” being my all-time favorite. I highly recommend these!
(I tried my best to include where they are from, and if they were published somewhere else first.)
1. “Drawing The Moon” by Janni Lee Simner, from Bruce Coville’s Book Of Nightmares
I have loved this story since the first time I read it. It’s about a boy named Andrew who knows that his parents are not dead – they were stolen, by the Moon. It’s chilling and very well-written. Janni Lee Simner is one of my favorite authors, and was nice enough to sign my book containing the story!
2. “Murder Mysteries” by Neil Gaiman, from Smoke And Mirrors (originally published in Midnight Graffiti)
As an atheist, it says something that this is one of my favorites. An angel tells a man the story of the first murder in heaven. It’s beautiful and sad. The story was made into a graphic novel (which I own, but, have yet to read…).
3. “Early Sunday Morning” by Isaac Asimov, from Tales Of The Black Widowers (originally published in Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine as “The Biological Clock”)
As famous as Mr. Asimov was for his science-fiction works, it’s his mysteries that I really enjoy. The Black Widowers are a group of men who meet monthly at a local restaurant, and as of late, have had guests with quandaries. In “Early Sunday Morning”, having no guest that night, the members try to stir up a mystery to solve. One member, Mario Gonzalo, tells them of his murdered twin sister. It’s amazing and compelling.
4. “Alien Promises” by Janni Lee Simner, from Bruce Coville’s Book Of Aliens II
As someone who considers herself a geek/nerd/reader/etc., I know the importance of wanting to belong, and the feeling when you don’t. Courtney doesn’t have any friends, and yearns to be with those from beyond the stars. When she makes a promise to the class bully, she has no idea how much she’ll belong one day. It’s touching and uplifting. I do know what it’s like to belong to something: Fake Moon Chat, the anime community, Trivia. It’s a great feeling J
5. “Snow, Glass, Apples” by Neil Gaiman, from Smoke And Mirrors (originally published in Love In Vein II)
As Mr. Gaiman says himself in the Introduction, “I like to think of this story as a virus. Once you’ve read it, you may never be able to read the original story in the same way again.” This is very true. It is the story of Snow White, but not as you know it. The Queen herself tells the tale, wherein Snow White is the evil one. It’s gripping and unsettling. Kudos to Neil Gaiman for making a fairy tale creepy ;)
6. “Windwood Rose” by Janni Lee Simner, from Bruce Coville’s Book Of Magic
While Miranda Windwood Rose has a beautiful name, she knows it carries magic. And sometimes, magic is a heavy burden. It’s haunting and well-told. (It should be apparent by now that Ms. Simner is awesome.)
7. “October In The Chair” by Neil Gaiman, from Fragile Things: Short Fictions And Wonders
A story within a story that begs the question, “And then what happened?” The months of the year are personified, and it’s October’s turn to host their monthly meeting. It’s funny and interesting.
8. “Amanda’s Room” by Janni Lee Simner, from Bruce Coville’s Book of Nightmares II
Brenda and her sister, Amanda, were always fighting. Now, Amanda is gone, but she isn’t too happy about Brenda being in her room…among other things. It’s unique and heart-breaking.
9. “One Chance” by Charles de Lint, from Bruce Coville’s Book Of Spine Tinglers (originally published in Werewolves)
It has been ages since I’ve read this story (the book is misplaced), but I still know how good it is. Susanna and Billy are friends who don’t have it easy. Susanna gets picked on by kids at school, and Billy is abused by his father. So, when they get the chance to escape from it all, will they? It’s emotional and spellbinding.
10. “In Our Hands” by Bruce Coville, from Bruce Coville’s Alien Visitors
Written in journal form, this story tells of aliens who come to Earth offering our species solutions to ending war, hunger, and poverty. However, the price is not to be taken lightly, and it’s up to the people to decide. It’s poignant and thought-provoking.
I have many more stories and collections to read, and perhaps soon I will have more favorites.