Wednesday, 30 December 2020

Favourite Short Stories: 2020

My eighth annual favourite short story list (you can find links to my previous lists here) and it's still one of my favourite posts to write. 2020 might have been a difficult year in some respects, but reading remained a constant for me, as did my appreciation of the short story form... and of weird fiction (however loosely defined) as a way of making sense of our strange world. I hope readers of this blog find some stories in the list below that do the same for them, or provide some much needed escapism. (For each, I've linked to the publication where I read the story, which isn't always where they were first published.)

Nick Adams: Demolition (Tales From The Shadow Booth #3)
G.V. Anderson: We, The Folk (Nightmare #93)
G.V. Anderson: Heart In The Hard Ground (Tor.Com)
Jenn Ashworth: Something From The Garden (Great British Horror #5: Midsummer Eve, Black Shuck Books)
Julia August: Puppet Show (Places We Fear To Tread, Cemetery Gates)
Annabel Banks: Exercises In Control (Exercises In Control, Influx Press)
Annabel Banks: Payment To The Universe (Exercises In Control, Influx Press)
Annabel Banks: Momentum (Exercises In Control, Influx Press)
Andrew David Barker: The Fin
Ramsey Campbell: The Seductress (Scared Stiff, Futura)
Rebecca Campbell: Thank You For Your Patience (Reckoning #4)
Liliana Cรขrstea: Grandma's Samhain Stew (Black Flowers)
Kay Chronister: Life Cycles (Thin Places, Undertow Publications)
Kay Chronister: The Fifth Gable (Thin Places, Undertow Publications)
Kay Chronister: Thin Places (Thin Places, Undertow Publications)
Chloe N. Clarke: There Is A World Within This Window (Atlas And Alice)
Ray Cluley: The Men At Table Nine (The Dark #56)
Arwel Dagorn: All Is There Already, Just Not Seen Yet (Nightscript IV)
Kristi DeMeester: Sleeping In Metal & Bone (The Dark #60)
S.L. Edwards: A Regime Of Marching Faceless (Weird Whispers #2)
Brian Evenson: The Glassy, Burning Floor Of Hell (Shadows & Tall Trees 8, Undertow Publications)
Tracy Fahey: What Rough Beast (Sinister Horror Company Advent Calendar
Tracy Fahey: Posession (Unheimlich Manoeuvres In The Dark, Sinister Horror Company)
Kurt Fawver: Parturition (Weird Whispers #1, Nightscape Press)
Kurt Fawver: Workday (Shadows & Tall Trees 8, Undertow Publications)
Mike Fox: Inhabiting The Present (Fragmented Voices)
Celia Fremlin: The New House (Ghostly Stories, Faber)
Nicola Freeman: Halloween (Nightjar Press chapbook)
Richard Gavin: King Him (Chilling Tales, Edge)
J.L. George: Grey Mary (Sinister Horror Company Advent Calendar
J.L. George: Welcome To The 27 Club (Electric Spec)
Lucie McKnight Hardy: Resting Bitch Face (Black Static #76)
Lucie McKnight Hardy: Jutland (Nightjar Press chapbook)
M. John Harrison: The Fourth Domain
Richard V. Hirst: The School Project (Tales From The Shadow Booth #3)
Claire C. Holland: Rosemary (I Am Not Your Final Girl, Glass Poet Press)
Claire C. Holland: Sally (I Am Not Your Final Girl, Glass Poet Press)
Verity Holloway: The Cherry Cactus Of Corsica (Tales From The Shadow Booth #3
Abi Hynes: Phantasmagoria (Black Static #76)
Shirley Jackson: Paranoia (Let Me Tell You, Penguin)
Shirley Jackson: Mrs Spencer & The Oberons (Let Me Tell You, Penguin)
Michael Kelly: The Other Side (Unsung Stories)
Gwendolyn Kiste: The Maid From The Ash: A Life In Pictures (Weird Whispers #1, Nightscape Press)
Gwendolyn Kiste: Lost Girls Don't Cry (Places We Fear To Tread, Cemetery Gates)
Stephen King: The Fifth Step (Harpers)
Rachel Knightley: Common Ground (Great British Horror #5: Midsummer Eve, Black Shuck Books)
Jackson Kuhl: A Different Sunlight (Nightscript IV)
Claude Lalumiere: Dead (Chilling Tales, Edge)
Joel Lane: Keep The Night (Scar City, Eibonvale Press)
Joel Lane: My Voice Is Dead (Scar City, Eibonvale Press)
Joel Lane: A Faraway City (Scar City, Eibonvale Press)
Joe R. Lansdale: The Folding Man (Nightmare #94)
Philip Langeskov: Notes On A Love Story (Best British Short Stories 2011, Salt)
V.H. Leslie: Sugar Daddy (Nightscript IV)
V.H. Leslie: Lacuna (Shadows & Tall Trees 8, Undertow Publications)
Dana Liebelson: She Probably Didn't Mean It (Cheap Pop Oct 2020)
J.AW. McCarthy: Cold Blooded Old Times (Places We Fear To Tread, Cemetery Gates)
Gary McMahon: Ghostly (Author's website)
Tim Major: The Pea (Fudoki Magazine)
Tim Major: Hangers On (Tales From The Shadow Booth #3)
George R.R. Martin: The Pear-Shaped Man (Tales Of Myth & Imagination)
Claire Massey: Feather Girls (Best British Short Stories 2011, Salt)
Laura Mauro: Letters From Elodie (Sing Your Sadness Deep, Undertow Publications)
Laura Mauro: Looking For Laika (Sing Your Sadness Deep, Undertow Publications)
Steven Moffat: The Terror Of The Umpty Ums (BBC online)
Carrie Vaccaro Nelkin: Stricken (Supernatural Tales #45)
David Nickel: Looker (Chilling Tales, Edge)
Christi Nogle: Cinnamon To Taste (Nightscript IV)
Suzan Palumbo: Personal Rakshasi (Fireside)
J.R. Park: In The Attic (Sinister Horror Company Advent Calendar)
Joanna Parypinski The Thing In The Trees (Nightscript IV)
Hailey Piper: Hopscotch For Keeps (Places We Fear To Tread, Cemetery Gates)
David Rose: Flora (Best British Short Stories 2011, Salt)
Lee Rourke: Emergency Exit (Best British Short Stories 2011, Salt)
Iain Rowan: Birds Of The Mountain (Costa Book Awards)
Iain Rowan: The Wildness (Supernatural Tales #45)
Robert Shearman: I Say (I Say, I Say) (Tales From The Shadow Booth #3)
Robert Shearman: Cannon Fodder (We All Hear Stories In The Dark, PS Publishing)
Robert Shearman: The Great Adventure (We All Hear Stories In The Dark, PS Publishing)
Robert Shearman: Eve, Mid Summer (Great British Horror #5: Midsummer Eve, Black Shuck Books)
Robert Stone: Regret (Nightjar Press)
Simon Strantzas: The Sonambulists (Shadows & Tall Trees 8, Undertow Publications)
David Surface: Intruders (Terrible Things, Black Shuck Books)
David Surface: The Truth About What Happens After Death: A Short Film In One Reel (Terrible Things, Black Shuck Books)
Sharon Telfer: Eight Spare Bullets (Bath Flash Fiction Award)
Steve Toase: On A Bed Of Flag Leaves (Unsung Stories)
Cameron Ulam: Bussell's Bog (Places We Fear To Tread, Cemetery Gates)
Michael Wehunt: The Teeth Of America (author's website)
Shaoni C. White: What My Flies Keep For Me (PodCastle #656)
Aliya Whiteley: Lump Sum Love (Daily Science Fiction)
Robert J. Wiersema: Tom Chesnutt's Midnight Blues (Chilling Tales, Edge)
Neil Williamson: Down To The Roots (Shadows & Tall Trees 8, Undertow Publications)


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