Thursday, December 19, 2013

Holiday Stress: Short Stories

Christmas is less than a week away and my twitter feed is full of holiday STRESS. When you're short on time, there's nothing better than a short story, so here are some good places to find one.


Geektastic: Stories from the Nerd Herd edited by Holly Black and Cecil Castellucci. This short story collection of all things geeky includes things by authors like Sara Zarr, Libba Bray, MT Anderson, John Green, Cynthia and Greg Leitich Smith, and Cassandra Clare.

Zombies vs. Unicorns edited by Holly Black and Justine Larbalestier. Which is better, zombies or unicorns? Black (team unicorn) and Larbalestier (team zombie) have picked their teams of all-star YA authors and are battling it out. The authors on Team Zombie include Libba Bray, Carrie Ryan, Alaya Dawn Johnson, and Scott Westerfeld.

A Banquet for Hungry Ghosts: A Collection of Deliciously Frightening Tales by Ying Chang Compenstine. This book isn't just Imperial China. A collection of short and gruesome ghost stories that tend to feature revenge from beyond the grave, this book spans most of Chinese history. Each story comes with a historic note and recipe. The stories are not for the faint-hearted, but everyone should try the recipes-- Compenstine has written several cookbooks.


Oz Reimagined: New Tales from the Emerald City and Beyond edited by John Joseph Adams and Douglas Cohen. This anthology of Oz-inspired stories comes from authors from Orson Scott Card to Jane Yolen, Jonathan Marberry to Rae Carson. The re-imaginings span the gambit from hard-boiled crime to a Kansas circus, from cyber punk to Shanghai in 1919.

First Crossing: Stories About Teen Immigrants edited by Donald R. Gallo. This anthology contains 11 short stories about immigrant experiences. Authors include Pam Munoz Ryan, Lensey Namioka, and David Lubar.

District Comics: An Unconventional History of Washington, DC edited by Matt Dembicki. This comic collection tells stories of DC that aren't well known outside the District (of even inside it for some of them.) With a lot of big name artists and writers, this book covers everything from the British burning the White House to Bad Brains (a punk band) being blacklisted and essentially banned from playing in the district.


The Things They Carried by Tim O'Brien. The main character in this collection of short stories is named Tim O'Brien, but these are works of fiction, although largely influenced by O'Brien's service during the war. Through these stories he examines different aspects of life before, during, and after, although largely focusing on the during and the experiences of Tim and his fellow members of Alpha company. Published for adults and often taught in school, this is good enough and accessible enough that teens that don't read it in class should (and will enjoy) picking it up by themselves.

Pick-Up Game: A Full Day of Full Court edited by Marc Aronson and Charles R. Smith, Jr. The cage is the West 4th St Court in Manhattan. Everyone goes there to play, and each story is a different character, a different game as the day goes on. Some are on the court, some are just watching. Phenomenal work and stories here from such greats as Joseph Bruchac, Walter Dean Myers, Rita Garcia-Williams, and Adam Rapp, interspersed with photos and poems by Charles R. Smith, Jr. This novel-in-stories is more than an anthology.

Tomo: Friendship through Fiction: An Anthology of Japan Teen Stories edited by Holly Thompson and Debbie Ridpath Ohi. This anthology of short fiction from Japanese authors was published last year, for the earthquakes first anniversary. Although many topics are covered, there are several stories about the earthquake, tsunami, and aftermath.

What are your favorite anthologies of short stories?

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