Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Top 50 favorite short stories

I've been reading short stories now for several years, and this list (can you tell that I like lists?) has been growing inside my head for some time. To ease the migraines and furry little demon lords, I'm going to post what I think are my Top 50 favorite short stories EVAR. Well, maybe not EVAR since more and more will probably continue to impress me, but you get the point. These are more like my Top 50 stories as of November 29, 2006. And you'll probably notice that most of these come from recent or just emerging authors, and that's because I've been doing more reading of what's current than what's in the past.

Feel free to yell at me for that. Throw fireballs for all I care. Or, better yet, suggest short stories to me that you'd think I'd enjoy. I'm attracted to the weird, the extreme, and the tragic (and, well, anything involving broken robots).

Personal thoughts/comments/quips are added when I feel like adding them. So there.

Also, please note that these are in no order whatsoever. Just my favorite fifty I could come up with.

Top 50 favorite short stories

  1. Cory Doctorow - "Craphound" (I will say this time and time again that Doctorow's story of aliens, yard sales, and friendship is one of the most powerful tales I've ever read.)
  2. Ursula K. Le Guin - "The Birthday of the World"
  3. Ursula K. Le Guin - "Darkrose and Diamond" (I'm a sucker for Earthsea, though I enjoy her short stories about the world more than the novels. Weird.)
  4. Neil Gaiman - "Harlequin Valentine"
  5. Margo Lanagan - "Singing My Sister Down"
  6. Kelly Link - "The Girl Detective"
  7. Paul Melko - "Doctor Mighty and the Case of the Ennui"
  8. Jay Lake - "The Soul Bottles"
  9. Jay Lake - "Fat Jack and the Spider Clown"
  10. Albert E. Cowdrey - "Imitation of Life"
  11. Sandra McDonald - "Lost and Found"
  12. Patrick Samphire - "Uncle Vernon’s Lie"
  13. Liz Williams - "Mortegarde"
  14. Josh Rountree - "The Queen's Wood"
  15. Josh Rountree - "A Better Place"
  16. Lawrence M. Schoen - "The Game of Leaf and Smile" (One that I can see myself re-reading every Halloween.)
  17. Michael Bishop - "Bears Discover Smut" (Brilliant and fun.)
  18. Richard Bowes - "There's a Hole in the City"
  19. A.M. Dellamonica - "The Spear Carrier"
  20. Dario Ciriell0 - "Valley of the Shadow"
  21. Ruth Nestvold - "The Old Man and the Sneakers"
  22. Heidi Cyr - "X & Y"
  23. Anne McCaffrey - "The Girl Who Heard Dragons"
  24. Aliette de Bodard - "A Warrior's Death"
  25. James Tiptree, Jr. - "The Women Men Don't See"
  26. Paul Di Filippo - "Shipbreaker"
  27. Ian R. MacLeod - "New Light on the Drake Equation"
  28. E. Sedia - "God's Chosen" (Hooray for broken robots!)
  29. Richard Parks - "Moon Viewing at Shijo Bridge"
  30. Tanith Lee - "En ForĂȘt Noire"
  31. Mary Robinette Kowal - "Cerbo en Vitra ujo" (Effing disturbing. That's all I'll say.)
  32. Jeffrey Ford - "In the House of Four Seasons"
  33. M. Thomas - "The Tinker's Child" (Hooray for broken robots!)
  34. Heather Lindsley - "Just Do It"
  35. Ef Deal - "Czesko" (I was really drawn into the story simply by the voice of the narrator.)
  36. Lisa Silverthorne - "Wild Feed"
  37. Joan Bauer - "Blocked"
  38. Pamela Zoline - "The Heat Death of The Universe"
  39. James Tiptree, Jr. - "Painwise" (Too weird for words, but awesome regardless of the matter.)
  40. M.K. Hobson - "Discovery's Wake" (Go tenure!)
  41. Forrest Aguirre - "Treason Is"
  42. Merrie Haskell - "Dead Languages" (I'm a Buffy fan, so what?)
  43. Lavie Tidhar - "304 Adolf Hitler Strasse"
  44. James Enge - "Payment Deferred"
  45. Hannah Wolf Bowen - "Watch Dog"
  46. Jeffrey Ford - "In the House of Four Seasons"
  47. Ann Sterzinger - "Tremors" (My goodness, this horrific tale is tattooed in my memory.)
  48. Lucy Sussex - "Frozen Charlottes"
  49. Vera Nazarian - "The Slaying of Winter"
  50. Paolo Bacigalupi - "Small Offerings" (You commoners won't get to read this for a few months, but by the gods I'm now permanently afraid of the miracle of life.)

And that's all for now. Looking over the list, I've realized I've missed many short stories that I absolutely loved, but they'll just have to wait for the next list, whenever that'll be.


Mary Robinette Kowal said...

Oh Paul, I just noticed this. "Effing disturbing." Ah me, you say the sweetest things.

Anonymous said...

Hello, it's Ann Sterzinger. Almost no one else in the world seems to have noticed anything I write. Thank you. I might not slice off my head tonight.