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Want to read a story with all the depth, questions and quality of a novel, written by highly skilled writers in about 5% of the space? Short stories can be heartbreaking, mysterious and incredibly detailed; for a perfectly formed, bite-sized smorgasbord of stories, browse our Short Story recommendations here.
A gem of a book, with a hoard of treasure waiting to be unearthed. Some of these exquisite stories will quite literally transport you to another world, one that you didn't even realise existed until the very second you read it. These authors have perfected the art of the short story, the wonder of a tale that leaves you floating. This is fantasy, in its very broadest sense and if you haven’t partaken before, don’t be put off by the banner; these perfectly sized tales are your chance to explore, soar, go beyond, a chance to look differently at life. Dip a toe in and just enjoy the creativity, the joy that these stories…proper, distinctive, innovative stories, can bring. ~ Liz Robinson
This is a book for everyone, whether you furtively snatch your reading time or have the luxury of being able to sink into the welcoming depths of a book for hours. The short stories chosen here, pack in all of the emotions of a longer novel, in fact sometimes you are more affected, more surprised, more energised precisely because one of these talented authors has been able to create such an impact in a few short pages. You will undoubtedly have your favourites in this engaging book and that’s the joy, you can visit the past, different countries, sadness, elation and several will call specifically to you. So savour these snapshots displaying a host of different worlds, dip in and out or sit and gorge to your hearts content. ~ Liz Robinson
With this collection Maxim Jakubowski showcases the impressive breadth of British crime writing, from cosy tales of detection to noir mayhem and psychological suspense and terror. There are puzzles to solve, nagging questions about the nature of British society, but, above all, there are over 40 wonderful, gripping stories to shock, delight and make you think twice, if not three times. Contributors include Simon Kernick, Val McDermid, Alexander McCall Smith, John Lawton, Tim Willocks, Lee Child, Stephen Gallagher, Christopher Fowler, Peter Lovesey, David Hewson. New to this series are Will Carver, Christopher J. Simmons, Susan Everett, Tim Willocks, Dreda Say Mitchell, Kate Rhodes, Rhys Hughes, Paul Charles, Howard Linskey, Peter Guttridge, Mary Hoffman and Ros Asquith. Full list of contributors: Lee Child; Kevin Wignall; Will Carver; Paul Charles; Val McDermid; Paul Johnston; Alison Bruce; Tim Willocks; Maxim Jakubowski; Rhys Hughes; Edward Marston; N. J. Cooper; Michael Z. Lewin; Peter Guttridge; Mary Hoffman; Peter Tremayne; Kate Rhodes; Paul D. Brazill; Ros Asquith; Amy Myers; Alexander McCall Smith; Nina Allan; Peter Turnbull; Jay Stringer; Martin Edwards; Zoe Sharp; Col Bury; David Stuart Davies; Howard Linskey; Susan Everett; Christopher Fowler; Dreda Say Mitchell; Roger Busby; Simon Kernick; Peter Lovesey; David Hewson; Gerard Brennan; Jane Casey; Christopher J. Simmons; Stephen Gallagher; John Lawton.
Just round the corner from St Jarlath's Crescent (featured in MINDING FRANKIE) is Chestnut Street. Here, the lives of the residents are revealed in Maeve Binchy's wonderfully compelling tales: Bucket Maguire, the window cleaner, who must do more than he bargained for to protect his son. Nessa Byrne, whose aunt comes to visit from America for six weeks every summer and turns the house - and Nessa's world - upside down. Lilian, the generous girl with a big heart, and the fiance not everyone approves of. And Melly, whose gossip about the neighbours leads to trouble in the form of the fortune teller, 'Madame Magic'...
In 1919 Emily Ehrlich watches as two young airmen, Alcock and Brown, emerge from the carnage of World War One to pilot the very first non-stop transatlantic flight from Newfoundland to the west of Ireland. In 1845 Frederick Douglass, a black American slave, lands in Ireland to champion ideas of democracy and freedom, only to find a famine unfurling at his feet. And in 1998 Senator George Mitchell criss-crosses the ocean in search of an elusive Irish peace. Stitching these stories intricately together, Colum McCann sets out to explore the fine line between what is real and what is imagined, and the tangled skein of connections that make up our lives.
A Maxim Jakubowski selected title. The short story is still one of the most pleasurable platforms for storytelling, a tasty bite of fiction that can be read in a single session and packs a mean punch when practiced well. Here, the creator of TRUE BLOOD and a crime writing co-editor have curated a splendid selection of fantasy stories with a twist in the tale, all somehow involving sports, a curious but most effective combination, including a new Sookie Stackhouse adventure by Harris and suspenseful material by Brandon Sanderson, Laura Lippman, Seanan McGuire, William Kent Krueger, Jan Burke, Scott Sigler, Mercedes Lackey and a host of others. Having both supernatural and crime writers together under the same cover works surprisingly well and the entertainment level is turned to the max. A 'Piece of Passion from the Publisher' I love a great anthology! I will never forget as a child, hiding under the bedclothes with a torch and copy of The Pan Book of Horror Stories, or one of Lin Carter’s selections of fantasy fiction, or a collection of Roald Dahl’s entirely unexpected tales. There’s something so satisfying about a good short story. I know it’s never an easy job – with a novel, you’ve got many thousands of words to develop your characters and make your plot work, but with short fiction you’ve got to wrap it all up in just a few pages. And of course, it’s much easier to get a really effective knock-out punch with a tight tale – Roald Dahl was one of many to prove that again and again. On top of that, anthologies are a great way to find new authors. But best of all, for me a good anthology is like the perfect box of chocolates: no two are the same, but they’re all delicious. And if you do happen to end up with an orange cream when you’d expected a praline crunch – well, it’s soon finished and there are plenty more to choose! So that’s the ‘why I like anthologies’; here’s the ‘why I love this particular anthology’. This is the sixth one the editors, Charlaine Harris and Toni L.P. Kelner, have put together, each better than the last. Theme anthologies are not necessarily my first choice of reading matter, but Harris & Kelner always make the theme as wide as possible: in this case, ‘sport’ ranges from hide and seek to lacrosse, from drag-racing to softball – with a whole lot more stops in between – which is just as well, as I’ve never really been much of a sports person (despite playing left back in the QES hockey team for several years; it was never voluntary!) But this: this is different, not least because of the fantastic collection of authors old and new they’ve persuaded to play along. For me, Joe R. Lansdale and Ellen Kushner were worth the price of admission alone, but then you add another baker’s dozen, including the likes of William Kent Krueger, Brandon Sanderson and Laura Lippman, not to mention the editors themselves, and ‘Just one more story and then I’ll turn out the light’ turns into ‘There must be torch batteries here somewhere!’ Putting a great anthology together is all about teamwork, and as far as I’m concerned, the writers in Games Creatures Play are a cheerleader’s dream: they’re winners all the way – and as a reader, I’m a winner too – and it’s nothing to do with prizes for all (although who doesn’t love a comfit?) I got a super selection of stories to while away the hours – and a list of new authors whose novels I’m pretty sure I’ll enjoy, based on their games here. So what’s not to love?' - Jo Fletcher, Publisher, Jo Fletcher Books
A cunning collection of short stories from the master of misdirection, including original tales featuring the hugely popular series characters Lincoln Rhyme and Kathryn Dance. TENSION ...An aging actor attempts to revive his career by entering a celebrity poker game for a reality TV show. Can he outwit his devious opponents, or is his fate doomed from the outset? CONSPIRACY ...A successful crime writer dies under seemingly natural circumstances, but for one cop, doubts are lingering. There's certainly motive for murder - or is there more to the case than meets the eye? MURDER ...Lincoln Rhyme is announced dead, shot by one of his suspects in cold blood. Is this the end of the line for the criminalist, or just another twist in the tale? King of suspense Jeffery Deaver grips with every page, setting out a devilishly clever path where nothing is as it seems. If you think you know the ending, think again ...
Winner of the 2014 Guardian First Book Award. Boy racers speed down the back lanes; couples haunt the midnight woods; young skins huddle in the cold once. The Peacock has closed its doors. Here the young live hard and wear the scars. It matters whose sister you were seen with. If you are in the wrong place at the wrong time, it matters a very great deal.
**A Quick Read from the number one bestselling writer and author of Kane and Abel** These four short stories from a master storyteller are packed full of twists and turns. In Stuck on You, Jeremy finds out exactly the best way to steal the perfect ring for his fiancee. Albert celebrates his 100th birthday, and is pleased to be sent The Queen's Birthday Telegram. He is, however, confused ...In Russia, businessman Richard plots the ideal way to murder his wife. He begins to have a clever idea when his hotel warns him: Don't Drink the Water from the taps. And as Diana, a busy single mother, drives to have dinner with friends, she realises that a black van is following her. Soon terrified for her life, she does whatever it takes to stick to the warning given to drivers: Never Stop on the Motorway ...
Stories are like Russian dolls; open them up, and in each one you'll find another story. Come to the house where it is Christmas all year round; meet the ghost who lives on a Twitter timeline; be spooked by a newborn baby created with sugar, spice and lashings of cake. Conjured from a wickedly imaginative pen, here is a new collection of short stories that showcases Joanne Harris' exceptional talent as a teller of tales, a spinner of yarns. Sensuous, mischievous, uproarious and wry, here are tales that combine the everyday with the unexpected; wild fantasy with bittersweet reality.
Winner of the Folio Prize 2014. A family member recollects a backyard pole dressed for all occasions; Jeff faces horrifying ultimatums and the prospect of DarkenfloxxTM in some unusual drug trials; and Al Roosten hides his own internal monologue behind a winning smile that he hopes will make him popular. With dark visions of the future riffing against ghosts of the past and the ever-settling present, this collection sings with astonishing charm and intensity.
An incredible anthology of orginal short stories by an exciting list of writers, including the best-selling author Philip Reeve and the World Fantasy Award-winning Lavie Tidhar. Each step will lead you closer to your destination, but who, or what, can you expect to meet at journey's end? Here are stories of misfits, spectral hitch-hikers, nightmare travel tales and the rogues, freaks and monsters to be found on the road. The critically acclaimed editor of Magic, End of The Line and House of Fear has brought together the contemporary masters and mistresses of the weird from around the globe in an anthology of travel tales like no other. Strap on your seatbelt, shoulder your backpack, or wait for that next ride...into darkness.
There is a real skill in being able to conjure a whole life in just a few pages, to be able to leave a reader with an enduring feeling in just a short time. Here you will find lasting stories about life the universe and everything, from authors you already know as novelists and some that will be knew and welcome friends. We love a good short story, not just because they provide great reading in bite-size chunks - perfect for the trip to work, or a moment when you just want a small piece of brilliance in your life – but also because they are (if they are good) a perfect piece of art, capturing the human condition in a snapshot that stays with the reader for much longer than it took to write. As Graham Greene put it; “a novel can seldom have the sense of perfection which you find in Chekhov’s story, The Lady with the Dog.” From Chekhov to Julian Barnes via a whole host of other perfectionists, we have hand-picked the very best of short story collections for readers of all tastes.