I’ve got lots and lots of books on my TBR – so many, I doubt I’ll ever finish everything I want to read before I’m either too old to see properly, or dead. Wow, that was a bleak way to start a blog post – let’s start over!
I’m VERY HAPPY to have so many options for things to read next, and I’ve decided to grab all the short story collections that I either really want to read and haven’t yet, or have started but haven’t finished due to review copies of books. Sometimes having a lot of pressing ARC release dates approaching can push the rest of my “fun” reading into a backlog, which I’m trying to work out a balance for. Some of the ones here are review copies, but all are ones I’m very excited to read!
A few of them – #s 5, 6, & 7 (I didn’t intentionally put them in order, but cool! :P) – I’ve partially read into, but again, see above. They were so good though, so I’m looking forward to finishing them!
10 Short Story Collections That Are Next On My TBR
Darkest Hours by Mike Thorn
In the bleak landscape of Darkest Hours, people make decisions that lead them into extreme scenarios – sometimes bizarre, often horrific, always unexpected. Between this book’s covers you will find academics in distress; monsters abused by people; people terrorized by demons; ghostly reminiscences; resurrected trauma; and occult filmmaking. Ranging from satirical to dreadful, these stories share a distinct voice: urgent, sardonic, brutal, but always empathetic.
Everything That’s Underneath by Kristi DeMeester
In Everything That’s Underneath, Kristi DeMeester explores the dark places most people avoid. A hole in an abandoned lot, an illness twisting your loved one into someone you don’t recognize, lust that pushes you farther and farther until no one can hear yours cry for help. In these 18 stories the characters cannot escape the evil that is haunting them. They must make a choice: accept it and become part of what terrifies them the most or allow it to consume them and live in fear forever.
Head-Broken and Heartbroken by Eddie Generous
From the dusty country fields of FLYING THE MERCURY and NATHANIAL’S TIME, to the heartless urban landscapes of JOHN, AMY, AND THE LONG WAY DOWN and THE REMATCH, Eddie Generous, author of the monstrous adventure stories Radio Run and Great Big Teeth, and the haunted hotel novel Camp Summit, offers up twisted and suspenseful tales of monsters, demons, witchcraft, beasts, horrible people, and all the magic of the spaces between.
Head-Broken and Heartbroken is a collection of horrific and thrilling stories set on striking what’s on the surface and what lies beneath. Binge read all 13 tales… if you dare.
That Which Grows Wild: 16 Tales of Dark Fiction by Eric K. Guignard
That Which Grows Wild collects sixteen dark and masterful short stories by award-winning author Eric J. Guignard. Equal parts whimsy and weird, horror and heartbreak, this debut collection traverses the darker side of the fantastic through vibrant and harrowing tales that depict monsters and regrets, hope and atonement, and the oddly changing reflection that turns back at you in the mirror.
Something Borrowed, Something Blood-Soaked by Christa Carmen
In her debut collection, Christa Carmen combines horror, charm, humor, and social critique to shape thirteen haunting, harrowing narratives of women struggling with both otherworldly and real-world problems. From grief, substance abuse, and mental health disorders, to a post-apocalyptic exodus, a seemingly sinister babysitter with unusual motivations, and a group of pesky ex-boyfriends who won’t stay dead, Something Borrowed, Something Blood-Soaked is a compelling exploration of horrors both supernatural and psychological, and an undeniable affirmation of Carmen’s flair for short fiction.
And Her Smile Will Untether the Universe by Gwendolyn Kiste
A murdered movie star reaches out to an unlikely fan. An orchard is bewitched with poison apples and would-be princesses. A pair of outcasts fail a questionnaire that measures who in their neighborhood will vanish next. Two sisters keep a grotesque secret hidden in a Victorian bathtub. A dearly departed best friend carries a grudge from beyond the grave.
In her debut collection, Gwendolyn Kiste delves into the gathering darkness where beauty embraces the monstrous, and where even the most tranquil worlds are not to be trusted. From fairy tale kingdoms and desolate carnivals, to wedding ceremonies and summer camps that aren’t as joyful as they seem, these fourteen tales of horror and dark fantasy explore death, rebirth, and illusion all through the eyes of those on the outside—the forgotten, the forsaken, the Other, none of whom will stay in the dark any longer.
Stranger Things Have Happened by Thomas Gaffney
This award-winning book recently earned acclaim from the prestigious Next Generation Indie Book Awards. It is a collection of short stories dealing with the unnatural in a natural world.
Garden of Eldritch Delights by Lucy A. Snyder
Master short story author Lucy A. Snyder is back with a dozen chilling, thought-provoking tales of Lovecraftian horror, dark science fiction, and weird fantasy. Her previous two collections received Bram Stoker Awards and this one offers the same high-caliber, trope-twisting prose. Snyder effortlessly creates memorable monsters, richly imagined worlds and diverse, unforgettable characters.
Open this book and you’ll find a garden of stories as dark and heady as black roses that will delight fans of complex, intelligent speculative fiction.
Entropy in Bloom: Stories by Jeremy Robert Johnson
For more than a decade, Jeremy Robert Johnson has been bubbling under the surface of both literary and genre fiction. His short stories present a brilliantly dark and audaciously weird realm where cosmic nightmares collide with all-too-human characters and apocalypses of all shapes and sizes loom ominously. In “Persistence Hunting,” a lonely distance runner is seduced into a brutal life of crime with an ever-narrowing path for escape. In “When Susurrus Stirs,” an unlucky pacifist must stop a horrifying parasite from turning his body into a sentient hive. Running through all of Johnson’s work is a hallucinatory vision and deeply-felt empathy, earning the author a reputation as one of today’s most daring and thrilling writers.
Featuring the best of his previously independently-published short fiction, as well as an exclusive, never-before-published novella “The Sleep of Judges”—where a father’s fight against the denizens of a drug den becomes a mind-bending suburban nightmare—Entropy in Bloom is a perfect compendium for avid fans and an ideal entry point for adventurous readers seeking the humor, heartbreak, and terror of JRJ’s strange new worlds.
We Should Have Left Well Enough Alone by Ronald Malfi
A new mother is pursued by mysterious men in black. A misguided youth learns the dark secrets of the world from an elderly neighbor on Halloween night. A housewarming party where the guests never leave. A caretaker tends to his rusted relic of a god deep in the desert…
In his debut short story collection, Bram Stoker Award finalist Ronald Malfi mines the depths and depravities of the human condition, exploring the dark underside of religion, marriage, love, fear, regret, and hunger in a world that spins just slightly askew on its axis. Rich in atmosphere and character, Malfi’s debut collection is not to be missed.
Have you read any of these? Do you have any collections you think I should be aware of & looking into reading? Let me know in the comments!
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