November 24, 2020, 08:41:25 PM

Author Topic: What are the best fantasy short stories?  (Read 848 times)

Offline Ned Marcus

What are the best fantasy short stories?
« on: September 13, 2020, 09:28:26 AM »
Which are the best? Any recommendations? Do you think fantasy short stories can even work given the length of many fantasy novels?

Offline xiagan

  • Writing Contest Organizer
  • Powers That Be
  • Ringbearer
  • *
  • Posts: 6294
  • Total likes: 2821
  • Gender: Male
  • Master Procrastinator
Re: What are the best fantasy short stories?
« Reply #1 on: September 13, 2020, 09:59:04 AM »
My favorite short story compilations are Smoke and Mirrors by Neil Gaiman and How long till black future month? by N.K. Jemesin.

Both are unconventional compared to the main fantasy genres and I think that's the strength of short stories: To explore new ideas and concepts and to tell a story in a setting that wouldn't work in a novel/longer story.
"Sire, I had no need of that hypothesis." (Laplace)

Offline hexa

Re: What are the best fantasy short stories?
« Reply #2 on: October 05, 2020, 02:32:24 AM »
I recommend a horror story.  The Floor Above by M.L. Humphreys, first printed in Weird Tales magazine in May 1923

It was reprinted in the June 1933 issue.  Also reprinted in Robert Weinberg’s anthology The Eighth Green Man and Other Strange Folk (1989) as well as Douglas Anderson's H.P. Lovecraft’s Favorite Weird Tales (2005)

The story is available on the Internet for free, as it has fallen into public domain, and the author is dead

Offline cupiscent

Re: What are the best fantasy short stories?
« Reply #3 on: October 05, 2020, 03:49:13 AM »
I'd suggest having a look at recent award nomination lists for short stories - like the Hugo, Nebula or Locus awards. A lot of the short stories are published online and are therefore freely available, plus you can see where they were published, which might let you know good magazines to subscribe to to read good short fiction. (If this year's lists aren't enough, look at last year's, or the year's before, or even earlier.)

Offline S. K. Inkslinger

Re: What are the best fantasy short stories?
« Reply #4 on: October 05, 2020, 05:27:25 AM »
Shorts by Brandon Sanderson are amazing. The Emperor's Soul won a Hugo award, and his other shorts are pretty decent too.

Offline Elfy

  • Writing contest regular
  • Powers That Be
  • Big Wee Hag
  • *
  • Posts: 7451
  • Total likes: 849
  • Gender: Male
    • Purple Dove House
Re: What are the best fantasy short stories?
« Reply #5 on: October 05, 2020, 06:15:53 AM »
There’s a quite good collection of fairy tale reimagining called In The Starlit Wood, but as other people have said check out the nominations for the major awards. They usually have a variety of short stories, novelettes and novellas. Robert Silverberg collected some really good ones in his Legends collections. You could also look at our very own short story contest entries.

Offline Nighteyes

  • Juicy dwarf/orc erotica to go.
  • Ringbearer
  • *****
  • Posts: 6931
  • Total likes: 1550
  • OH WOW! JUST WORKED OUT HOW TO DO THIS!!!!!
The Real Powers That Be

Offline Bender

Re: What are the best fantasy short stories?
« Reply #7 on: October 11, 2020, 11:18:21 PM »
Emperor's Soul by Brandon Sanderson. Probably his best book till date.
"I shall hunt your firstborn children and laugh with glee as I tell them of your death in terrible detail, with many unpleasant adjectives!" - M-Bot

"Who needs science when you have a dragon?" - Neil DeGrasse Tyson in Sharknado 6

Offline Ned Marcus

Re: What are the best fantasy short stories?
« Reply #8 on: October 12, 2020, 04:35:49 AM »
Emperor's Soul by Brandon Sanderson. Probably his best book till date.

It sounds good and is on my TBR list. But a short story?

Offline S. K. Inkslinger

Re: What are the best fantasy short stories?
« Reply #9 on: October 12, 2020, 05:46:15 AM »
Emperor's Soul by Brandon Sanderson. Probably his best book till date.

It sounds good and is on my TBR list. But a short story?

Maybe more like a novella, hahah.

Offline ScarletBea

  • Welcome party and bringer of Cake. 2nd-in-Command of the Writing Contest
  • Administrator
  • Big Wee Hag
  • ***
  • Posts: 12719
  • Total likes: 7175
  • Gender: Female
  • Geeky Reading Introvert
    • LibraryThing profile
Re: What are the best fantasy short stories?
« Reply #10 on: October 12, 2020, 08:12:00 AM »
Emperor's Soul by Brandon Sanderson. Probably his best book till date.

It sounds good and is on my TBR list. But a short story?

Maybe more like a novella, hahah.
Yes, I really enjoyed that.
At home in the Fantasy Faction forum!

I'm "She Who Reigns Over Us All In Crimson Cheer", according to Peat!

Offline HLTinsley

Re: What are the best fantasy short stories?
« Reply #11 on: October 27, 2020, 03:47:50 PM »
If you've read any Stephen Donaldson books I'd recommend 'Reave the Just: and Other Tales' as a good short story collection to try.

Offline Kindly

Re: What are the best fantasy short stories?
« Reply #12 on: October 28, 2020, 02:16:27 PM »
I'll second Nighteyes' recommendation of Swords and Dark Magic edited by Jonathan Strahan and Lou Anders. I think it would be a great read for anyone who likes fantasy in the sword and sorcery vein.

Offline JRTroughton

Re: What are the best fantasy short stories?
« Reply #13 on: October 29, 2020, 08:18:02 PM »
I'd suggest having a look at recent award nomination lists for short stories - like the Hugo, Nebula or Locus awards. A lot of the short stories are published online and are therefore freely available, plus you can see where they were published, which might let you know good magazines to subscribe to to read good short fiction. (If this year's lists aren't enough, look at last year's, or the year's before, or even earlier.)

Great post.

Some of the most well regarded venues include Beneath Ceaseless Skies, Lightspeed / Fantasy Magazine, Clarkesworld, Uncanny magazine and Apex. Shimmer was great too, but they are no longer publishing.

Offline Jake Baelish

Re: What are the best fantasy short stories?
« Reply #14 on: October 30, 2020, 03:28:29 AM »
Sharp Ends by Joe Abercrombie is an amazing collection.

A few of them include the same pair of characters across various points in time and in different parts of the world, which is a great mini series to follow. But most are entirely their own and all are told in the voice of Joe's incredibly, typically gritty, characters.

Tough Times All Over is my favourite in the collection, and is a real joyride of a read  :)
Check out my book 'Prince of Fiends' here: http://amzn.eu/4l5M7OO
Follow Prince Leon Atlantus as he forms a dangerous friendship with his captors, while held hostage across a world headed for war...