Monday 22 December 2014

Favourite Short Stories of 2014

I've been keeping a list of the best short stories I read this year - they weren't all necessarily published this year, but they're all relatively recent. I read a lot of short stories, so although there's nearly a hundred below that doesn't mean I've not been very strict in selecting what to include. Each story had to impress me enough to make a note of it in the first place, and then still seem as impressive when I whittled the list down for this post.

I've tried not to include too many stories from any single author or from any specific book; in all cases I've listed the publication I read the story in, not necessarily where it was originally published.

Last year I had a few emails from readers saying they discovered some new stories from the 2013 list, so I hope that's the case this time. And a big cheesy thank you to all the authors & publishers, for the inspiration, exhilaration (and not a little envy) your stories gave me.

Nina Allen: Seeing Nancy (The Mammoth Book Of Ghost Stories By Women)
Stephen Bacon: Apports (Black Static #36)
Stephen Bacon: I Am A Creation Of Now (Peel Back The Sky, Gray Friar Press)
Stephen Bacon: The Trauma Statement (Peel Back The Sky, Gray Friar Press)
Richard Farren Barber: Bus Routes Through the Sticks (The Horror Fields, Morpheus Tales Publishing)
Richard Farren Barber: Where The Stones Lie (The 13 Ghosts Of Christmas, Spectral Press)
Jasper Bark: How The Dark Bleeds (Stuck On Your & Other Prime Cuts, Crystal Lake)
Laird Barron: Nemesis (Primeval: A Journal Of The Uncanny #1) 
Simon Bestwick: A Kiss Of Old Thorns (The Condemned, Gray Friar Press)
Michael Blumlein: Success (Year's Best Weird Fiction, Undertow)
Eric Brown: The Disciples Of Apollo (Ghostwriting, Infinity Plus)
Eric Brown: The Man Who Never Read Novels (Ghostwriting, Infinity Plus)
Pat Cadigan: Chalk (This Is Horror chapbook)
Chloe N Clark: Mud (The Rain, Party, & Disaster Society Feb 2014)
Chloe N Clark: Who Walks Beside You (Supernatural Tales #25)
Ray Cluley: The Festering (Black Static #36)
Ray Cluley: Water For Drowning (This Is Horror chapbook)
Ray Cluley & Ralph Robert Moore: The Space Between (Shadows & Tall Trees 2014, Undertow)
Erin Cole: Between Feathers & Furs (February Femme Fatales)
MR Cosby: Necessary Procedure (Dying Embers, Satalyte Publishing)
MR Cosby: Turning The Cups (Haunted, Boo Books)
Anthony Cowin: The Brittle Birds (Perpetual Motion Machine)
KT Davies: Zombie Worms Ate My Hamster (Worms, Knightwatch Press)
Kristi DeMeester: Like Feather, Like Bone (Year's Best Weird Fiction, Undertow)
Paul M Feeney: The Weight Of The Ocean (Phrenic Press)
Gary Fry: Biofeedback (Best British Horror 2014, Salt)
Terry Grimwood: Red Hands (The Exaggerated Man & Other Stories, The Exaggerated Press)
Terry Grimwood: Soul Masque (Spectral Press chapbook)
Stephen Graham Jones: The Elvis Room (This Is Horror chapbook)
Rachel Halsall: The Conch (Hauntings, Hic Dragones)
Frances Hardinge: Slink-Thinking (La Femme, NewCon Press)
Hannah Kate: Lever's Row (Hauntings, Hic Dragones)
Holly Ice: Trysting Antlers (La Femme, NewCon Press)
Jane Jakeman: Adoptagrave (Supernatural Tales #16)
Carole Johnstone: Scent (The Bright Day Is Done, Gray Friar Press)
Carole Johnstone: Stomping Ground (The Bright Day Is Done, Gray Friar Press)
Joel Lane: Like Shattered Stone (Joel Lane Archive, Spectral Press)
Emma Lannie: There Is A Light & It Never Goes Out (After The Fall, Boo Books)
VH Leslie: Namesake (Black Static #36)
VH Leslie: The Quiet Room (Shadows & Tall Trees 2014, Undertow)
Alison Littlewood: The Dog's Home (The Spectral Book Of Horror Stories, Spectral Press)
Livia Llewellyn: Furnace (Year's Best Weird Fiction, Undertow)
Sean Logan: The Tagalong (Supernatural Tales #27)
Johnny Mains: Aldeburgh (Frightfully Cosy and Mild Stories for Nervous Types, Shadow Publishing)
Usman T Malik: Ishq (Black Static #43)
Nick Mamatas: And Then, And Then, And Then... (Innsmouth Free Press)
Amelia Mangan: If I Were You (X7, Knightwatch Press)
Amelia Mangan: These Blasted Lands (After The Fall, Boo Books)
Helen Marshall: Death & The Girl From Phi Delta Zeta (Gifts For The One Who Comes After, Chizine)
Helen Marshall: In The Year Of Omens (Gifts For The One Who Comes After, Chizine)
Helen Marshall: We Ruin The Sky (Gifts For The One Who Comes After, Chizine)
Laura Mauro: When Charlie Sleeps (Black Static #37)
Gary McMahon: For The Night Is Dark (Knightwatch Press chapbook)
Gary McMahon: The Ghost Of Rain (Tales Of The Weak & Wounded, Dark Regions Press)
SP Miskowski: This Many (Little Visible Delight, Omnium Gatherum)
Alison Moore: Eastmouth (The Spectral Book Of Horror Stories, Spectral Press)
Alice Munro: Queenie (Penguin chapbook)
Scott Nicholay: Eyes Exchange Bank (Year's Best Weird Fiction, Undertow)
Thana Niveau: And May All Your Christmases (The 13 Ghosts Of Christmas, Spectral Press)
Thana Niveau: Stolen To Time (From Hell To Eternity, Gray Friar Press)
Antony Oldknow: Ruelle Des Martyrs (Supernatural Tales #26)
Jonathan Oliver: Baby 17 (British Fantasy Society Journal #11)
Reggie Oliver & MR James: The Game Of Bear (The Mammoth Book Of Best New Horror #21)
Stephen Palmer: Palestinian Sweets (La Femme, NewCon Press)
Sarah Pinborough: Collect Call (The Mammoth Book Of Ghost Stories By Women)
John Llewellyn Probert: The Secondary Host (Best British Horror 2014, Salt)
Iain Rowan: The Grey Ship (52 Songs, 52 Stories)
Iain Rowan: Waiting For The Man (52 Songs, 52 Stories)
Nicholas Royle: Dead End (X7, Knightwatch Press)
Nicholas Royle: The Reunion (The Mammoth Book Of Best New Horror #21)
Lynda E Rucker: Beneath The Drops (The Moon Will Look Strange, Karoshi Books)
Lynda E Rucker: The Moon Will Look Strange (The Moon Will Look Strange, Karoshi Books)
Karen Runge: The Philosopher (Pantheon July 2013)
Daniel I Russell: Following Orders (Phobophobias, Western Legends Publishing)
Ray Russell: Company (Supernatural Tales #16)
Eric Schaller: To Assume The Writer's Crown: Notes On The Craft (Shadows & Tall Trees 2014, Undertow)
Robert Shearman: Granny's Grinning (The Mammoth Book Of Best New Horror #21)
Robert Shearman: It Flows From The Mouth (Shadows & Tall Trees 2014, Undertow)
Angela Slatter: Home & Hearth (Spectral Press chapbook)
Phil Sloman: P Is For Pathophobia (Phobophobias, Western Legends Publishing)
Michael Marshall Smith: Author Of The Death (Best British Horror 2014, Salt)
Elizabeth Stott: Touch Me With Your Cold, Hard Fingers (Best British Horror 2014, Salt)
Simon Strantzas: The Nineteenth Step (Year's Best Weird Fiction, Undertow)
Cameron Suey: East (After The Fall, Boo Books)
Adrian Tchiakovsky: Lost Soldiers (The 13 Ghosts Of Christmas, Spectral Press)
Steve Rasnic Tem: The Night Doctor (The Spectral Book Of Horror Stories, Spectral Press)
Stephen Volk: The Magician Kelso Dennett (Best British Horror 2014, Salt)
Mark West: The City In The Rain (Strange Tales, PenMan Press)
Mark West: A Quiet Weekend Away (Strange Tales, PenMan Press)
Conrad Williams: The Jungle (Nightjar Press chapbook)
Neil Williamson: Amber Rain (The Ephemera, Infinity Plus)
Mercedes M Yardley: Black Eyes Broken (Little Visible Delight, Omnium Gatherum)
Rio Youers: Outside Heavenly (The Spectral Book Of Horror Stories, Spectral Press)


MRCosby said...

Great list, James. There are many of those I'll have to try. Thanks so much for including a couple of mine.

James Everington said...

My pleasure Martin

Mark West said...

Thank you, my friend!