With limited time on my hands, I’ve started to read a lot more short fiction anthologies. In the work week, it’s so much easier to squeeze in a short story or flash piece here or there and I’ve found a lot of really strong stories that have resonated deeply with me. Reading short fiction has become more than just ‘research’ for developing my own short fiction craft. I’ve actually really grown fond of the things. These are the best anthologies I’ve read this year and in turn, the ones I recommend you check out for yourselves.
6. Rogues Edited by George R.R. Martin
There’s an amazing lineup of Fantasy authors here. The stories are a bit of a mixed bunch based on taste, but all of them are well written and polished and based around the same theme of Roguish characters. I have found quite a few favorites in this one. Plus, writing short Fantasy can be incredibly difficult so it was a lot of fun to read it done well.
5. Road Brothers by Mark Lawrence
Mark Lawrence has been writing short stories for various characters which appear in his Broken Empire series for some time now. Some of them have made appearances elsewhere in other venues while others he has been hinting about for some time. Finally, he has collected them all in one place and if you’ve read the Broken Empire trilogy this is a nice one stop shop for getting a little extra depth on Prince Jorg’s band of brothers.
4. Blackguards Edited by J.M. Martin
Similarly to Rogues, Blackguards boasts an amazing cast of fantasy authors all coming together on the theme of Assassins, Mercenaries, and Rogues. I found a lot more stories here that I enjoyed than Rogues and each story was well polished in a wonderful collection of fantasy literature that I’m sure I will come back to again and again.
3. Way of the Dead Edited by Marc Gascoigne and Christian Dunn
I’ve not really been a Warhammer fan in any respect. However, after seeing a story in here by C.L. Werner I decided to give the anthology it hailed from a shot. These stories are dark and very violent. But the writing is on point and the stories very well polished. I’ve started to get a feel for Warhammer and I think I’ll probably give more of it a shot.
2. A Sound of Thunder and Other Stories by Ray Bradbury
Ray Bradbury is my favorite short fiction author. I’ve read a lot of his stuff online and his stories have been one of the major inspirations for my pursuit of writing short fiction. Bradbury has written so many stories in his life (more than 400) and I’ve not read the majority of them. I decided to start collecting his works and I’ve never been disappointed in a story here. If you’ve not read Bradbury and you like Science Fiction, then you’re doing yourself a disservice.
1. Nature Futures 2 Edited by Henry Gee and Colin Sullivan
I love Nature’s Science fiction imprint. I would go so far to say that it is one of my favorite places to get my science fiction fix. When I learned there were two anthologies I both felt like and idiot for not knowing and quickly purchased. It is an anthology of stories that have appeared on the site, yet there are so many great stories under 1,000 words here that it would make anyone believe in the value of flash fiction.