First Lines: Stories

As much as I like collections of short stories, they’re a pain in the ass when you want to write something useful about them. Stories is a collection of 27 stories, that all try to make you ask the same four words: and then what happened? And mostly, these stories manage to do just that.

If, at gunpoint, I was forced to make a list of my favorite stories, I’d probably end up with “Blood” by Roddy Doyle, “Wildfire in Manhattan” by Joanne Harris, “The Truth is a Cave in the Black Mountains” by Neil Gaiman (well, duh), “Unbelief” by Michael Marshall Smith, “The Stars are Falling” by Joe R. Lansdale, “Unwell” by Carolyn Parkhurst, “Human Intelligence” by Kurt Anderson, “Stories” by Michael Moorcock, “The Maiden Flight of McCauley’s Bellerophon” by Elizabeth Hand and “The Devil on the Staircase” by Joe Hill.

Some of those (Anderson, Hill) definitely warrant further exploration.

Stories. All-New Tales Edited by Neil Gaiman and Al Sarrantonio
Al Sarrantonio and I were discussing anthologies of short stories. —Neil Gaiman, from Introduction: Just Four Words