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Fantasy short stories


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Initial post: Oct 28, 2010 10:09:29 PM PDT
I love reading, especially fantasy novels. I find that when I read other literature I'm particularly drawn to short stories, but I've never read a fantasy short story. In stores, I frequently see anthologies with many contributors but have never read one and I don't know of any short story collections written by a single fantasy author (other than Neil Gaiman's, which I've read and enjoyed). So can anyone suggest some good books or anthologies of short fantasy stories that they liked? Thanks.

Posted on Oct 29, 2010 2:20:49 AM PDT
Thomas, do you by chance have a Kindle reader (or other e-reader)?
If you do, there are lots of fantasy short stories available for very inexpensive prices. Novellas and shorts on Kindle allow sampling, too (though admittedly a relatively short sample).

Posted on Oct 29, 2010 3:19:18 AM PDT
Ty Johnston says:
Thomas, if you like epic fantasy, Sword & Sorcery and the like ... basically action-oriented fantasy ... Rogue Blades Entertainment has several anthologies in print including Return of the Sword: An Anthology of Heroic Adventure and Rage of the Behemoth: An Anthology of Heroic Adventure.

In a bid of openness, yes, some of my short stories have appeared in a few of that publisher's anthologies.

Posted on Oct 29, 2010 3:24:49 AM PDT
A. Schodron says:
I don't know if they're available on ebook readers or not, but I definitely like any Forgotten Realms books, by R.A. Salvatore. His series' with Drizzt Do'Urden is the best. There is also Dragonlance by Tracy Hickmann and Margarett Weiss. Terry Brooks has a few series based around his Shannara concept, as well as his Magic Kingdom of Landover series. Terry Goodkind has his Sword Of Truth series, that's a good one if you're in for 10-11 pretty deep novels. Terry Pratchet is awesome, his novels reflect a quirky author with an amazing sense of humor. These are mostly novel writers, I really don't know much about short story writers.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 29, 2010 4:17:31 AM PDT
EMAN NEP says:
If you liked any of the Conan movies then you should definitely read some of the original short stories by Robert E. Howard.
The Coming of Conan the Cimmerian: The Original Adventures of the Greatest Sword and Sorcery Hero of All Time!
The Bloody Crown of Conan (Conan of Cimmeria, Book 2)
The Conquering Sword of Conan (Conan of Cimmeria, Book 3)

One of the first fantasy anthologies I read was Legends: Stories By The Masters of Modern Fantasy which featured a lot of stories from the "heavy hitters" of fantasy. George RR Martin, Robert Jordan. I think Stephen King was in there.

An obscure one, but if you're the more "intellectual" type or enjoy modern-day fables then you'll probably like Jorge Luis Borges.
The Book of Imaginary Beings (Penguin Classics Deluxe Edition)
Labyrinths (New Directions Paperbook)

This last one is hard to categorize, but his stories usually have some fantastic element. The Essential Ellison: A 35 Year Retrospective by Harlan Ellison is a great read. The guy won like 8 Hugos during his career.

Posted on Oct 29, 2010 6:40:05 AM PDT
Nancy Lee says:
The Book of Fantasy is an anthology that spans centuries and continents and includes some amazing stories that are off the beaten track.

Posted on Oct 30, 2010 7:32:14 AM PDT
Timothy Zahn wrote a great short story book called Cascade Point. The stories sort of bridge the gap between sci-fi and fantasy, but this is a book that I compulsively buy--I literally can't pass it up! (Often I give it away too...and then I NEED and new copy.) The first one is more fantasy (sort of) and there is one about dragons. He also wrote Time Bomb and Zahndry Others which is good too.

Ilona Andrews writes UF, but her website has got a couple sci-fi-ish short stories that are hilarious. This link is to the archives, and you want to click on Free Fiction which is 7 down from the top. http://www.ilona-andrews.com/archives/

There are lots of dark re-tellings of fairy tales that are excellent. Red as Blood and White as Snow are two by Tannith Lee and Snow White, Blood Red has multiple authors (Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling--I think they have a 2nd anthology too).

Silver Birch, Blood Moon has a short story by Patricia Briggs.

Sorry if these recs are a little all over the place! Hope you enjoy :)

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 30, 2010 12:35:46 PM PDT
[Deleted by Amazon on Oct 31, 2010 8:20:46 AM PDT]

Posted on Oct 30, 2010 12:37:42 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Nov 14, 2010 11:24:41 AM PST
Rather than recommend either of my own anthologies, I'd like to recommend Frank Tuttle!!!!

Good stuff: Wistril Compleat

and you can't beat the price.

Maria
Amazon author page:
http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B002M3FL16

Posted on Oct 30, 2010 10:49:53 PM PDT
TraceyA says:
I'll be cheeky and recommend my own fantasy short stories. In one a group of teens decide to tackle a marauding werewolf and in the other a simple trade mission turns deadly when the group encounter a band of zombies and skeletons.

A Very Hairy Adventure - A Kaynos History Tale (Kaynos History Tales)
An Unholy Encounter (The History Tales of Kaynos)

I'll also give a plug to M.R. Mathias' prequel to his Wardstone trilogy - very tightly written, thoroughly enjoyable short story
The First Dragoneer (A Novella) (The Dragoneers Saga) as well as
Crimzon & Clover

Cheers,
Trace

Posted on Oct 31, 2010 4:39:21 AM PDT
Jay Bell says:
I released a dark fantasy short story for Halloween, and hey, today is the big day! "Flesh and Blood" is free in a variety of formats from Smashwords:
https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/26433

Hope everyone has fun tonight!

Posted on Oct 31, 2010 12:29:46 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Oct 31, 2010 12:38:31 PM PDT
Arolem says:
If you like classic style sword and sorcery, Lin Carter edited an excellent series starting with Flashing Swords! #1; I believe there are six, all cleverly named Flashing Swords! #foo. They feature outstanding authors: Michael Moorcock, Andre Norton, John Jakes, Fritz Leiber, Jack Vance, Poul Anderson, L. Sprague de Camp--they had created an authors' group, "Swordsmen & Sorcerer's Guild of America." to promote fantasy when it wasn't as big a genre as it is today.

Also there were great stories in Swords Against Tomorrow.

If you like a mix of funny and serious stories, Esther M. Freisner edits the "Chicks" series of anthologies, starting with Chicks in Chained Mail. Surprise! the main characters are female :-)

Marion Zimmer Bradley (Darkover series) and Katherine Kurtz (Deryni series) each edited anthologies of stories that fit into their series worlds. The anthologies include fan fiction and new stories by the series authors; you'll see that many of the fans published in the anthologies later became successful authors in their own names.

The Year's Best Fantasy Stories annuals are generally wonderful: lots of different types & styles of fantasy, and a good way to sample authors.

You might also see if your library carries "The Magazine of Science Fiction and Fantasy" or any of the other fantasy magazines; they're a great source of short stories and finding new authors you enjoy.

If you're open to science fiction and works that stand on the sf/fantasy boundary, two of my favorite authors ever might interest you: anything by Theodore Sturgeon, who mostly wrote short stories and whose work is a lesson in how to write, and R.A. Lafferty's Nine Hundred Grandmothers. This last is the single book I have most often given to others; it's sheer brilliance.

Posted on Nov 1, 2010 11:17:07 AM PDT
You could sample my Dark Fantasy novella Behind The Stained Glass

"In Behind the Stained Glass, Keith Gouveia creates a world worthy of Oz and Wonderland, with a touch of Dante's "Hell" thrown in." - Charles Gramlich author of Bitter Steel and the Talera Cycle Series

Saint Martin's Children's Home is not your average orphanage, and Reggie Baker is not your typical teenager. Headstrong and defiant, Reggie finds himself transferred to the ornate, gothic building where children are disappearing and a stained glass window houses a dark secret.

Journey with Reggie as he is whisked away to a world shaped by fear, built from glass.

Sincerely,

Keith Gouveia

Posted on Nov 3, 2010 7:20:44 PM PDT
Captain says:
Roger Zelazny had several collections of superb short stories, some of which won Nebulas and Hugos.

Posted on Nov 3, 2010 8:06:16 PM PDT
C. Sachs says:
The Year's Best Fantasy and Horror 2008: 21st Annual Collection
Ellen Datlow has been putting out this collection for 20 years.

Posted on Nov 4, 2010 10:13:06 AM PDT
Melanti says:
I love Charles de Lint's older story collections (haven't read the newest ones yet). Each story can stand alone but they're all set in the same city for the most part and are loosely connected. You could try Moonlight & Vines (Vampire Cat) or The Ivory and the Horn (Newford).

Also on the urban side of things, Kelly Link's collection Magic for Beginners was good.

Posted on Nov 4, 2010 10:20:13 AM PDT
Arolem says:
Melanti's post reminded me of the Thieves' World anthology series, edited by Robert Aspirin and Lynn Abbey, whom I believe were husband and wife. The premise is a created shared world; each book is a collection of short stories written by a different author. The rule was you could use other authors' characters in your stories, but couldn't effect any permanent changes on them. Some of the authors stayed with the series for years, so you get character evolution from story to story.

Posted on Nov 14, 2010 2:47:22 AM PST
Tony says:
Strength of a Giant is a Science Ficton/Fantasy Novelette about Angels and Demons. Aprox 12,730 words.

Product Description:

Heaven is at War. Only the Seven Arch Angels stand between victory and defeat. For one of the Seven, Uriel, danger is closer than he knows...

Will Emanuel the enigmatic Son of God and Raphael the Arch Angel be able to defeat the insidious enemy that hunts Uriel or has time ran out!

Posted on Mar 17, 2013 3:01:09 PM PDT
Avid Reader says:
I really enjoyed "Glow," by August Castle, an indie that I downloaded on Kindle. Very tightly written and a good story. It achieves creates the feeling of wonder that you get from stories like "The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe." Highly recommend it.

Posted on Mar 22, 2013 6:26:53 AM PDT
There's a ton of good fantasy in short fiction collections, and most of the early greats worked in short fiction almost exclusively before moving into novels later, and some never stopped writing them. Just for a few:

Fritz Leiber, Swords And Deviltry (Lankhmar)
Swords Against Death (Lankhmar)

Ursula Le Guin
Tales from Earthsea (The Earthsea Cycle)
The Wind's Twelve Quarters: Stories (one of my favorite story collections of all time)

Peter Beagle,
The Line Between
(or pretty much anything he writes)

Posted on Mar 22, 2013 7:37:30 AM PDT
I also highly recommend Lightspeed Magazine for their outstanding selection of both fantasy and sf: http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/

Posted on Apr 7, 2013 11:51:50 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Apr 7, 2013 12:00:47 PM PDT
Little Egret says:
A couple of freebie short stories for the Kindle by award winning author Sarah A. Hoyt

An Answer From The North by Sarah A. Hoyt

There is an intruder in the kingdoms of the Fey. He came to the realm of king Albric, finding the invisible palace without difficulty and marring its magic with his iron spurs.

Albric has three days to surrender or die. He's sent for help from the queen of the Northern Lights, of dark elves and evil magic. Will she answer in time and bury their quarrel to defend the land from a worse threat?

Super Lamb Banana by Sarah A. Hoyt

John Lennon, living in a state subsidized flat in London meets a stranger who offers him a chance to go back in time and do everything over...

In a tangle of possible destinies it is sometimes surprising what the best one can be.

Posted on Apr 7, 2013 11:57:24 AM PDT
Little Egret says:
And a couple of collections available for as ebooks and in print.

Werehunter by Mercedes Lackey

Fiddler Fair by Mercedes Lackey

Posted on Apr 12, 2013 12:48:17 AM PDT
[Deleted by the author on Apr 14, 2013 1:54:40 AM PDT]

Posted on Apr 12, 2013 1:36:01 PM PDT
Little Egret says:
Here's two freebies from Tor Books, the largest SF publisher in the world - DRM free

The Fierce Reads Anthology: Volume 2: A Tor.Com Original by Ann Aguirre, Gennifer Albin, Elizabeth Fama and Lish McBride

Some of the Best from Tor.com: 2011 Edition: A Tor.Com Original by Charlie Jane Anders, James Alan Gardner, Yoon Ha Lee and Nnedi Okorafor

and two other collections that are still free.

Some of the Best from Tor.com: 2012 Edition: A Tor.Com Original by Elizabeth Bear, Adam Troy Castro, Paul Cornell and Kathryn Cramer (1 Jan 2013)

A collection of some of the best original short fiction published on Tor.com in 2012. Includes stories by Elizabeth Bear, Adam Troy Castro, Paul Cornell, Kathryn Cramer, Brit Mandelo, Pat Murphy, Charles Stross, Michael Swanwick, Rachel Swirsky, and Gene Wolfe.
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Discussion in:  Fantasy forum
Participants:  23
Total posts:  27
Initial post:  Oct 28, 2010
Latest post:  May 5, 2013

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