Here’s today’s dose of blatant honesty: I don’t read published short stories very often. (Though I’m quite keen on internet-published shorts.)
This mostly is for two reasons: 1) I have always had a difficult time writing them, because most of my best ideas turn into novel ideas (or trilogy ideas, God help me). I haven’t perfected the art of distilling characterization and theme into 6,000 words or less. And probably never will. And, 2) I find the most successful short stories to either leave me wanting more that I’m never going to get, or be so thoughtful, fascinating, and cool that I have need for some serious down time before reading another one. (Which, in itself, isn’t a bad thing.)
That being said, I love the annual Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror Anthologies. They’re a great way to find new writers, and back when I was actively mining on my own for fresh reading material (now I just read what Maggie and Brenna tell me), I always picked this anth up. Some of the stories were amazing, some decent, some thoughtful and only very occasionally uninteresting to me.
Not to mention it’s always good to know what Ellen Datlow finds worthy these days!
And they have gorgeous cover art. If you’re shallow that way (like me).
This post brought to you by massive parenthetical abuse.