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.