The Best Short Story Collection eBooks




Brave New Worlds
by John Joseph Adams, Cory Doctorow, Paolo Bacigalupi, Orson Scott Card, Ursula K. Le Guin, M. Rickert, Kate Wilhelm, Geoff Ryman, Neil Gaiman, Bryan Talbot, J.G. Ballard, Carrie Vaughn, James K. Morrow, Alex Irvine, Ray Bradbury, Harlan Ellison, Genevieve Valentine, Sarah Langan, Kim Stanley Robinson, Matt Williamson, Philip K. Dick, Heather Lindsley, Kurt Vonnegut, Robert Silverberg, Jeremiah Tolbert, Joe Mastroianni, Adam-Troy Castro, Tobias S. Buckell, Vylar Kaftan, Shirley Jackson, S.L. Gilbow, Joseph Paul Haines, C.C. Finlay, Caitlín R. Kiernan, Ross E. Lockhart
Brave New Worlds
Format: PDF
Size: 8.6 MB
Pages: 481

From Huxley's Brave New World, to Orwell's 1984, to Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale, dystopian books have always been an integral part of both science fiction and literature, and have influenced the broader culture discussion in unique and permanent ways. Brave New Worlds brings together the best dystopian fiction of the last 30 years, demonstrating the diversity that flourishes in this compelling subgenre.
This landmark tome contains stories by Ursula K. Le Guin, Cory Doctorow, M. Rickert, Paolo Bacigalupi, Orson Scott Card, Neil Gaiman, Ray Bradbury, and many others.

 



Bed
by Tao Lin
Bed
Format: PDF
Size: 4.9 MB
Pages: 278

College students, recent graduates, and their parents work at Denny's, volunteer at a public library in suburban Florida, attend satanic ska/punk concerts, eat Chinese food with the homeless of New York City, and go to the same Japanese restaurant in Manhattan three times in two sleepless days, all while yearning constantly for love, a better kind of love, or something better than love, things which-much like the Loch Ness Monster-they know probably do not exist, but are rumored to exist and therefore "good enough."

 



My Mother She Killed Me, My Father He Ate Me: Forty New Fairy Tales
by Kate Bernheimer, Gregory Maguire, Joyelle McSweeney, Lydia Millet, Sarah Shun-lien Bynum, Brian Evenson, Michael Cunningham, Karen Joy Fowler, Timothy Schaffert, Katherine Vaz, Karen Brennan, Lucy Corin, Joy Williams, Ilya Kaminsky, Michael Martone, Kelly Link, Chris Adrian, Jim Shepard, Kathryn Davis, Kellie Wells, Sabrina Orah Mark, Aimee Bender, Jonathon Keats, Joyce Carol Oates, John Updike, Rabih Alameddine, Stacey Richter, Neil Gaiman, Francesca Lia Block, Lily Hoang, Naoko Awa, Hiromi Itō, Michael Mejia, Ludmilla Petrushevskaya, Kim Addonizio, Carmen Giménez Smith, Alissa Nutting, Francine Prose, Kevin Brockmeier, Neil LaBute, Shelley Jackson, Marjorie Sandor
My Mother She Killed Me, My Father He Ate Me: Forty New Fairy Tales
Format: PDF
Size: 10.3 MB
Pages: 576

The fairy tale lives again in this book of forty new stories by some of the biggest names in contemporary fiction.

Neil Gaiman, “Orange”
Aimee Bender, “The Color Master”
Joyce Carol Oates, “Blue-bearded Lover”
Michael Cunningham, “The Wild Swans”
These and more than thirty other stories by Francine Prose, Kelly Link, Jim Shepard, Lydia Millet, and many other extraordinary writers make up this thrilling celebration of fairy tales — the ultimate literary costume party.
Spinning houses and talking birds. Whispered secrets and borrowed hope. Here are new stories sewn from old skins, gathered by visionary editor Kate Bernheimer and inspired by everything from Hans Christian Andersen’s “The Snow Queen” and “The Little Match Girl” to Charles Perrault’s “Bluebeard” and “Cinderella” to the Brothers Grimm’s “Hansel and Gretel” and “Rumpelstiltskin” to fairy tales by Goethe and Calvino and from China, Japan, Vietnam, Russia, Norway, and Mexico.
Fairy tales are our oldest literary tradition, and yet they chart the imaginative frontiers of the twenty-first century as powerfully as they evoke our earliest encounters with literature. This exhilarating collection restores their place in the literary canon.

 



If I Loved You, I Would Tell You This
by Robin Black
If I Loved You, I Would Tell You This
Format: PDF
Size: 5.1 MB
Pages: 288

Heralding the arrival of a stunning new voice in American fiction, Robin Black’s If I Loved You, I Would Tell You This takes readers into the minds and hearts of people navigating the unsettling transitions that life presents to us all.
Written with maturity and insight, and in beautiful, clear-eyed prose, these stories plumb the depths of love, loss, and hope. A father struggles to forge an independent identity as his blind daughter prepares for college. A mother comes to terms with her adult daughter’s infidelity, even as she keeps a disturbing secret of her own. An artist mourns the end of a romance while painting a dying man’s portrait. An accident on a trip to Italy and an unexpected connection with a stranger cause a woman to question her lifelong assumptions about herself.

Brilliant, hopeful, and fearlessly honest, If I Loved You, I Would Tell You This illuminates the truths of human relationships, truths we come to recognize in these characters and in ourselves.

 



The New Dead: A Zombie Anthology
by Christopher Golden, John Connolly, Derek Nikitas, Mike Carey, Max Brooks, Aimee Bender, Rick Hautala, Tad Williams, James A. Moore, Joe R. Lansdale, David Wellington, Joe Hill, David Liss, Stephen R. Bissstte, Tim Lebbon, Kelley Armstrong, Holly Newstein, Brian Keene, M.B. Homler, Jonathan Maberry
The New Dead: A Zombie Anthology
Format: PDF
Size: 6.9 MB
Pages: 384

Resurrection!
The hungry dead have risen.  They shamble down the street. They hide in back yards, car lots, shopping malls.  They devour neighbors, dogs and police officers.  And they are here to stay.  The real question is, what are you going to do about it? How will you survive?
How will the world change when the dead begin to rise?
Stoker-award-winning author Christopher Golden has assembled an original anthology of never-before-published zombie stories from an eclectic array of today's hottest writers.  Inside there are stories about military might in the wake of an outbreak, survival in a wasted wasteland, the ardor of falling in love with a zombie, and a family outing at the circus.  Here is a collection of new views on death and resurrection.
With stories from Joe Hill, John Connolly, Max Brooks, Kelley Armstrong, Tad Williams, David Wellington, David Liss, Aimee Bender, Jonathan Maberry, and many others, this is a wildly diverse and entertaining collection… the last word on The New Dead.

 



Everything Here Is the Best Thing Ever: Stories
by Justin Taylor
Everything Here Is the Best Thing Ever: Stories
Format: PDF
Size: 3.7 MB
Pages: 208

Justin Taylor's crystalline, spare, and oddly moving prose cuts to the quick. His characters are guided by misapprehensions that bring them to hilarious but often tragic impasses with reality: a high school boy's desire to win over a crush leads him to experiment with black magic, a fast-food employee preoccupied by Abu Ghraib becomes obsessed with a coworker, a Tetris player attempts to beat his own record while his girlfriend sleeps and the world outside their window blazes to its end. Fearless and astute, funny and tragic, this collection heralds the arrival of a unique literary talent.

 



Wild Child and Other Stories
by T.C. Boyle
Wild Child and Other Stories
Format: PDF
Size: 5.4 MB
Pages: 304

A superb new collection from "a writer who can take you anywhere" (The New York Times)

In the title story of this rich new collection, T. C. Boyle has created so vivid and original a retelling of the story of Victor, the feral boy who was captured running naked through the forests of Napoleonic France, that it becomes not just new but definitive: yes, this is how it must have been. The tale is by turns magical and moving, a powerful investigation of what it means to be human.

There is perhaps no one better than T. C. Boyle at engaging, shocking, and ultimately gratifying his readers while at the same time testing his characters' emotional and physical endurance. The fourteen stories gathered here display both Boyle's astonishing range and his imaginative muscle. Nature is the dominant player in many of these stories, whether in the form of the catastrophic mudslide that allows a cynic to reclaim his own humanity ("La Conchita") or the wind-driven fires that howl through a high California canyon ("Ash Monday"). Other tales range from the drama of a man who spins Homeric lies in order to stop going to work, to that of a young woman who must babysit for a $250, 000 cloned Afghan and the sad comedy of a child born to Mexican street vendors who is unable to feel pain.

Brilliant, incisive, and always entertaining, Boyle's short stories showcase the mischievous humor and socially conscious sensibility that have made him one of the most acclaimed writers of our time.

 



A Manual for Cleaning Women: Selected Stories
by Lucia Berlin, Stephen Emerson, Lydia Davis
A Manual for Cleaning Women: Selected Stories
Format: PDF
Size: 7.7 MB
Pages: 432

A MANUAL FOR CLEANING WOMEN compiles the best work of the legendary short-story writer Lucia Berlin. With the grit of Raymond Carver, the humor of Grace Paley, and a blend of wit and melancholy all her own, Berlin crafts miracles from the everyday, uncovering moments of grace in the Laundromats and halfway houses of the American Southwest, in the homes of the Bay Area upper class, among switchboard operators and struggling mothers, hitchhikers and bad
Christians.

Readers will revel in this remarkable collection from a master of the form and wonder how they'd ever overlooked her in the first place.

 



Let Me Tell You: New Stories, Essays, and Other Writings
by Shirley Jackson, Sarah Hyman DeWitt, Ruth Franklin, Laurence Jackson Hyman
Let Me Tell You: New Stories, Essays, and Other Writings
Format: PDF
Size: 8 MB
Pages: 448

From the renowned author of “The Lottery” and The Haunting of Hill House, a spectacular new volume of previously unpublished and uncollected stories, essays, and other writings.

Shirley Jackson is one of the most important American writers of the last hundred years. Since her death in 1965, her place in the landscape of twentieth-century fiction has grown only more exalted.

As we approach the centenary of her birth comes this astonishing compilation of fifty-six pieces — more than forty of which have never been published before. Two of Jackson’s children co-edited this volume, culling through the vast archives of their mother’s papers at the Library of Congress, selecting only the very best for inclusion.

Let Me Tell You brings together the deliciously eerie short stories Jackson is best known for, along with frank, inspiring lectures on writing; comic essays about her large, boisterous family; and whimsical drawings. Jackson’s landscape here is most frequently domestic: dinner parties and bridge, household budgets and homeward-bound commutes, children’s games and neighborly gossip. But this familiar setting is also her most subversive: She wields humor, terror, and the uncanny to explore the real challenges of marriage, parenting, and community — the pressure of social norms, the veins of distrust in love, the constant lack of time and space.

For the first time, this collection showcases Shirley Jackson’s radically different modes of writing side by side. Together they show her to be a magnificent storyteller, a sharp, sly humorist, and a powerful feminist.

This volume includes a Foreword by the celebrated literary critic and Jackson biographer Ruth Franklin.

Praise for Let Me Tell You

“Stunning.” — O: The Oprah Magazine

“Let us now — at last — celebrate dangerous women writers: how cheering to see justice done with [this collection of] Shirley Jackson’s heretofore unpublished works — uniquely unsettling stories and ruthlessly barbed essays on domestic life.” — Vanity Fair

“Feels like an uncanny dollhouse: Everything perfectly rendered, but something deliciously not quite right.” — NPR

“There are… times in reading [Jackson’s] accounts of desperate women in their thirties slowly going crazy that she seems an American Jean Rhys, other times when she rivals even Flannery O’Connor in her cool depictions of inhumanity and insidious cruelty, and still others when she matches Philip K. Dick at his most hallucinatory. At her best, though, she’s just incomparable.” — The Washington Post

“Offers insights into the vagaries of [Jackson’s] mind, which was ruminant and generous, accommodating such diverse figures as Dr. Seuss and Samuel Richardson.” — The New York Times Book Review (Editors’ Choice)

“The best pieces clutch your throat, gently at first, and then with growing strength… The whole collection has a timelessness.” — The Boston Globe

“[Jackson’s] writing, both fiction and nonfiction, has such enduring power — she brings out the darkness in life, the poltergeists shut into everyone’s basement, and offers them up, bringing wit and even joy to the examination.” — USA Today

“The closest we can get to sitting down and having a conversation with… one of the most original voices of her generation.” — The Huffington Post

“A master of uncanny suspense, Jackson wrote sentences that crept up on the reader, knife in hand.” — New York

 



The State We're In: Maine Stories
by Ann Beattie
The State We're In: Maine Stories
Format: PDF
Size: 3.6 MB
Pages: 206

From a multiple prize–winning master of the short form: a stunning collection of brand-new, linked stories that perfectly capture the zeitgeist through the voices of vivid and engaging women from adolescence to old age.

From a multiple prize–winning master of the short form: a stunning collection of brand-new, linked stories that perfectly capture the zeitgeist through the voices of vivid and engaging women from adolescence to old age.

“We build worlds for ourselves wherever we go,” writes Ann Beattie. The State We’re In, her magnificent new collection of linked stories, is about how we live in the places we have chosen — or been chosen by. It’s about the stories we tell our families, our friends, and ourselves, the truths we may or may not see, how our affinities unite or repel us, and where we look for love.

Many of these stories are set in Maine, but The State We’re In is about more than geographical location, and certainly is not a picture postcard of the coastal state. Some characters have arrived by accident, others are trying to get out. The collection opens, closes, and is interlaced with stories that focus on Jocelyn, a wryly disaffected teenager living with her aunt and uncle while attending summer school. As in life, the narratives of other characters interrupt Jocelyn’s, sometimes challenging, sometimes embellishing her view.

Riveting, witty, sly, idiosyncratic, and bold, these stories describe a state of mind, a manner of being — now. A Beattie story, says Margaret Atwood, is “like a fresh bulletin from the front: we snatch it up, eager to know what’s happening out there on the edge of that shifting and dubious no-man’s-land known as interpersonal relations.” The State We’re In is a fearless exploration of contemporary life by a brilliant writer whose fiction startles as it illuminates.

 



Birds of a Lesser Paradise: Stories
by Megan Mayhew Bergman
Birds of a Lesser Paradise: Stories
Format: PDF
Size: 4 MB
Pages: 224

Exploring the way our choices and relationships are shaped by the menace and beauty of the natural world, Megan Mayhew Bergman’s powerful and heartwarming collection captures the surprising moments when the pull of our biology becomes evident, when love or fear collides with good sense, or when our attachment to an animal or wild place can’t be denied.

In “Housewifely Arts,” a single mother and her son drive hours to track down an African gray parrot that can mimic her deceased mother’s voice. A population-control activist faces the conflict between her loyalty to the environment and her maternal desire in “Yesterday’s Whales.” And in the title story, a lonely naturalist allows an attractive stranger to lead her and her aging father on a hunt for an elusive woodpecker.

As intelligent as they are moving, the stories in Birds of a Lesser Paradise are alive with emotion, wit, and insight into the impressive power that nature has over all of us. This extraordinary collection introduces a young writer of remarkable talent.

 



What We Talk About When We Talk About Anne Frank
by Nathan Englander
What We Talk About When We Talk About Anne Frank
Format: PDF
Size: 3.7 MB
Pages: 207

These eight new stories from the celebrated novelist and short-story writer Nathan Englander display a gifted young author grappling with the great questions of modern life, with a command of language and the imagination that place Englander at the very forefront of contemporary American fiction.
The title story, inspired by Raymond Carver’s masterpiece, is a provocative portrait of two marriages in which the Holocaust is played out as a devastating parlor game. In the outlandishly dark “Camp Sundown” vigilante justice is undertaken by a group of geriatric campers in a bucolic summer enclave. “Free Fruit for Young Widows” is a small, sharp study in evil, lovingly told by a father to a son. “Sister Hills” chronicles the history of Israel’s settlements from the eve of the Yom Kippur War through the present, a political fable constructed around the tale of two mothers who strike a terrible bargain to save a child. Marking a return to two of Englander’s classic themes, “Peep Show” and “How We Avenged the Blums” wrestle with sexual longing and ingenuity in the face of adversity and peril. And “Everything I Know About My Family on My Mother’s Side” is suffused with an intimacy and tenderness that break new ground for a writer who seems constantly to be expanding the parameters of what he can achieve in the short form.
Beautiful and courageous, funny and achingly sad, Englander’s work is a revelation.

 



Stay Awake
by Dan Chaon
Stay Awake
Format: PDF
Size: 4.5 MB
Pages: 254

Before the critically acclaimed novels Await Your Reply and You Remind Me of Me, Dan Chaon made a name for himself as a renowned writer of dazzling short stories. Now, in Stay Awake, Chaon returns to that form for the first time since his masterly Among the Missing, a finalist for the National Book Award.

In these haunting, suspenseful stories, lost, fragile, searching characters wander between ordinary life and a psychological shadowland. They have experienced intense love or loss, grief or loneliness, displacement or disconnection — and find themselves in unexpected, dire, and sometimes unfathomable situations.

A father’s life is upended by his son’s night terrors — and disturbing memories of the first wife and child he abandoned; a foster child receives a call from the past and begins to remember his birth mother, whose actions were unthinkable; a divorced woman experiences her own dark version of “empty-nest syndrome”; a young widower is unnerved by the sudden, inexplicable appearances of messages and notes — on dollar bills, inside a magazine, stapled to the side of a tree; and a college dropout begins to suspect that there’s something off, something sinister, in his late parents’ house.

Dan Chaon’s stories feature scattered families, unfulfilled dreamers, anxious souls. They exist in a twilight realm — in a place by the window late at night when the streets are empty and the world appears to be quiet. But you are up, unable to sleep. So you stay awake.

 



Stories for Nighttime and Some for the Day
by Ben Loory
Stories for Nighttime and Some for the Day
Format: PDF
Size: 3.7 MB
Pages: 210

Loory's collection of wry and witty, dark and perilous contemporary fables is populated by people–and monsters and trees and jocular octopi–who are united by twin motivations: fear and desire. In his singular universe, televisions talk (and sometimes sing), animals live in small apartments where their nephews visit from the sea, and men and women and boys and girls fall down wells and fly through space and find love on Ferris wheels. In a voice full of fable, myth, and dream, Stories for Nighttime and Some for the Day draws us into a world of delightfully wicked recognitions, and introduces us to a writer of uncommon talent and imagination.

Contains 40 stories, including "The Duck, " "The Man and the Moose, " and "Death and the Fruits of the Tree, " as heard on NPR's This American Life, "The Book, " as heard on Selected Shorts, and "The TV, " as found in The New Yorker.

A selection of the Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers Program and the Starbucks Coffee Bookish Reading Club.

Winner of the 2011 Nobbie Award for Best Book of the Year.

"This guy can write!"
–Ray Bradbury, author of Fahrenheit 451

 



Almost Famous Women: Stories
by Megan Mayhew Bergman
Almost Famous Women: Stories
Format: PDF
Size: 4.5 MB
Pages: 256

From "a top-notch emerging writer with a crisp and often poetic voice and wily, intelligent humor" (The Boston Globe): a collection of stories that explores the lives of talented, gutsy women throughout history.

The fascinating lives of the characters in Almost Famous Women have mostly been forgotten, but their stories are burning to be told. Now Megan Mayhew Bergman, author of Birds of a Lesser Paradise, resurrects these women, lets them live in the reader's imagination, so we can explore their difficult choices. Nearly every story in this dazzling collection is based on a woman who attained some celebrity — she raced speed boats or was a conjoined twin in show business; a reclusive painter of renown; a member of the first all-female, integrated swing band. We see Lord Byron's illegitimate daughter, Allegra; Oscar Wilde's troubled niece, Dolly; West With the Night author Beryl Markham; Edna St. Vincent Millay's sister, Norma. These extraordinary stories travel the world, explore the past (and delve into the future), and portray fiercely independent women defined by their acts of bravery, creative impulses, and sometimes reckless decisions.

The world hasn't always been kind to unusual women, but through Megan Mayhew Bergman's alluring depictions they finally receive the attention they deserve. Almost Famous Women is a gorgeous collection from an "accomplished writer of short fiction" (Booklist).

 



Honeydew
by Edith Pearlman
Honeydew
Format: PDF
Size: 4.9 MB
Pages: 277

A new story collection from Edith Pearlman, winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award and finalist for the National Book Award for her last collection, Binocular Vision.

From the National Book Critics Circle Award-winning author of Binocular Vision, Honeydew further solidifies Edith Pearlman's place among the likes of all-time great story writers such as John Updike, Alice Munro, Frank O'Connor, and Anton Chekhov.

Pearlman writes about the predicaments of being human. The title story involves an affair, an illegitimate pregnancy, anorexia, and adolescent drug use, but the real excitement comes from the intricate attention Pearlman devotes to the interior life of young Emily, who wishes she were a bug. In "Sonny, " a mother prays for her daughters to be barren so they never have to experience the death of a child."The Golden Swan" transports the reader to a cruise ship with lavish buffets-and a surprise stowaway.

In prose that is as wise as it is poetic, Pearlman shines light on small, devastatingly precise moments to reflect the beauty and grace found in everyday life. She maps the psychological landscapes of her exquisitely rendered characters with unending compassion and seeming effortlessness.

Both for its artistry and for the lives of the characters it presents, Honeydew is a collection that will pull readers back time and again. These stories demonstrate once more that Pearlman is a master of the form and that hers is a vision unfailingly wise and forgiving.

 



Can't and Won't: Stories
by Lydia Davis
Can't and Won't: Stories
Format: PDF
Size: 5.1 MB
Pages: 289

A new collection of short stories from the writer Rick Moody has called “the best prose stylist in America”

Her stories may be literal one-liners: the entirety of “Bloomington” reads, “Now that I have been here for a little while, I can say with confidence that I have never been here before.” Or they may be lengthier investigations of the havoc wreaked by the most mundane disruptions to routine: in “A Small Story About a Small Box of Chocolates,” a professor receives a gift of thirty-two small chocolates and is paralyzed by the multitude of options she imagines for their consumption. The stories may appear in the form of letters of complaint; they may be extracted from Flaubert’s correspondence; or they may be inspired by the author’s own dreams, or the dreams of friends.
What does not vary throughout Can’t and Won’t, Lydia Davis’s fifth collection of stories, is the power of her finely honed prose. Davis is sharply observant; she is wry or witty or poignant. Above all, she is refreshing. Davis writes with bracing candor and sly humor about the quotidian, revealing the mysterious, the foreign, the alienating, and the pleasurable within the predictable patterns of daily life.

 



The Isle of Youth: Stories
by Laura van den Berg
The Isle of Youth: Stories
Format: PDF
Size: 4.5 MB
Pages: 256

Laura van den Berg's gorgeous new book, The Isle of Youth, explores the lives of women mired in secrecy and deception. From a newlywed caught in an inscrutable marriage, to private eyes working a baffling case in South Florida, to a teenager who assists her magician mother and steals from the audience, the characters in these bewitching stories are at once vulnerable and dangerous, bighearted and ruthless, and they will do what it takes to survive.

Each tale is spun with elegant urgency, and the reader grows attached to the marginalized young women in these stories-women grappling with the choices they've made and searching for the clues to unlock their inner worlds. This is the work of a fearless writer whose stories feel both magical and mystical, earning her the title of "sorceress" from her readers. Be prepared to fall under her spell.
An NPR Best Book of 2013

 



Nine Inches: Stories
by Tom Perrotta
Nine Inches: Stories
Format: PDF
Size: 4.4 MB
Pages: 246

Nine Inches, Tom Perrotta’s first true collection, features ten stories — some sharp and funny, some mordant and surprising, and a few intense and disturbing. Whether he’s dropping into the lives of two teachers — and their love lost and found — in “Nine Inches”, documenting the unraveling of a dad at a Little League game in “The Smile on Happy Chang’s Face”, or gently marking the points of connection between an old woman and a benched high school football player in “Senior Season”, Perrotta writes with a sure sense of his characters and their secret longings.

Nine Inches contains an elegant collection of short fiction: stories that are as assured in their depictions of characters young and old, established and unsure, as any written today.

 






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