Thursday, 3 July 2014

Some short stories I like

This list isn't comprehensive, just some stories that stuck in my mind because of the plot, setting, twist, characters, or even just the writing. What are your favourite short stories?
  • Lot (Ward Moore, 1953). End-of-the-world panic. It's as unsettling as you'd expect.
  • The Last Rung On The Ladder, and Children Of The Corn (Stephen King, 1978, in Night Shift). One serious, non-horror King story that punches you in the stomach; and one gripping horror that captures a sense of place brilliantly (and happens to be one of the many inspirations for Turner).
  • To Build A Fire (Jack London, 1908). I read it as a child and decided I would rather freeze to death than burn. It captured my imagination.
  • Weekend (Fay Weldon, 1978). On re-reading it, I realise it must have been in my subconscious when I wrote my short story It Will Be Quick.
  • Let Me Count The Times (Martin Amis, 1981). Once I realised where the story was going it brought a smile to my face.
  • More Tomorrow (Michael Marshall Smith, 1995). You put this one down with a mix of relief and horror.
  • Splatter Of Black (Charles A. Gramlich, 1995). A great example of how to write an action-packed tale.
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2 comments:

Alyson said...

I don't think I've read any of those. One that has stuck in my mind is one by DH Lawrence that I started reading in a bookshop and totally lost where I was. I suddenly looked up and had no idea where I was, what time it was, how long I had been reading for etc. It was about a woman sunbathing on a Greek island, I think. I've wanted to find it ever since!

Karl Drinkwater said...

Maybe it is one of the stories at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/D._H._Lawrence#Short_stories? You could read the synopses to see. Let us know if you find it, or maybe another reader knows which story it is?

I remember being struck by the powerful mood in the opening of The Rocking-Horse Winner http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Rocking-Horse_Winner.