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Short Stories, Lyrics & Poetry

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Favourite Short Stories (by Other Writers)

by Alex Harford

I don't have much of my own writing online yet, so here are some of my favourite short stories, and where to find them.

Online stories link directly to the page to read them. There are links to Amazon from which I'd gain a small percentage should you choose to click and buy any anthologies (at no extra cost to you) - all to help with the running costs of a website.

Online Stories

I had no idea there was such a wealth of online stories until I bought an e-reader in 2016 (to reduce weight on a lengthy trip around the Hebrides).

I often buy epub anthologies or save individual stories with the Pocket browser extension and read them on my phone or Kobo e-reader. Do support the publishers of the stories you enjoy. Subscriptions and regular ebook anthologies are available, as well as print editions from some.

Short Stories

For longer short stories, one of my favourite publishers is Beneath Ceaseless Skies, who mostly publish fantasy.

Favourites include:

The Sword of Loving Kindness Part I & Part II by Chris Willrich (beneath-ceaseless-skies.com)
The View from Endless Scarp by Marta Randall

Flash Fiction

I'd read stories around 1,000 words, but I had no idea flash fiction was so popular. First I discovered Kraxon, then Flash Fiction Online.

Favourites:

Beholder by Sarah Grey (flashfictiononline.com)
Listen and You’ll Hear Us Speak by A.T. Greenblatt (flashfictiononline.com)
The Nymph Of Hampstead Heath by Jo Zebedee (kraxon.com)
The temperature of guilt eleven months on by Stephanie Hutton (halolitmag.co.uk)

Paperback Anthologies

(Most are also available in ebook/Kindle format)

I haven't read any of Ray Bradbury's novels (yet), but he has plenty of outstanding short stories. Stories Volume 1 has 100. I can only remember the titles of two of my favourites - The Lake and I, Mars.

Writers of the Future Volume 31 contains two of my favourite stories from the whole series - Stars That Make Dark Heaven Light by Sharon Joss and Switch by Steve Pantazis.

Damon Knight wrote great short stories, and a great book of advice about writing them. Four in One is one of my favourites, which I read in Science Fiction: 101, an anthology compiled by Robert Silverberg, with each story followed by a critique from Silverberg - very useful! Fondly Farenheit by Alfred Bester was another favourite from this book.

Laws of Survival by Nancy Kress in The Mammoth Book of Best New SF 21 is the most brutal of my favourites, but well worth a read. It's also free to read at baen.com.

I find Neil Gaiman's short stories hit and miss. One 'hit' was Nothing O'Clock, in Doctor Who: 11 Doctors, 11 Stories and Trigger Warning: Short Fictions and Disturbances.

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