SHORT STORIES THAT PACK A PUNCH

Reading

I love short stories that pack a punch—emotionally, intellectually, even viscerally. Stories that may take only a short time to read, but stay with you for days afterwards. These are a few of my favorites:

THE ONES WHO WALK AWAY FROM OMELAS by Ursula K. LeGuin. Only a few pages long, but what an amazing few pages. Ones of the finest short stories ever written in the English language, don’t @ me.

Click to access 3.-Le-Guin-Ursula-The-Ones-Who-Walk-Away-From-Omelas.pdf

SINGING MY SISTER DOWN by Margo Lanagan. This is the first piece of fiction I ever read by Lanagan, and she’s now one of my favorite writers (check out her miraculous novel, Tender Morsels). This is a shattering piece of anthropological storytelling that does not give up its secrets easily.

Click to access Singing%20My%20Sister%20Down%20by%20Margo%20Lanagan.pdf

PONIES by Kij Johnson. This deceptively simple story of a young girl’s party is a kick in the gut wrapped in cotton candy. I remember giving this to my son to read when he was in high school, and he said to me, “This isn’t a fantasy, it’s a documentary.” If you were ever bullied, particularly in middle school, Ponies should maybe come with a trigger warning.

I can’t link to this one, but it’s available to read on Tor.com. Go check it out, I’ll be here when you get back.

MAN FROM THE SOUTH by Roald Dahl. I imagine more people know Roald Dahl for children’s books like Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and James and the Giant Peach. While all of Dahl’s kids’ books have a deep undercurrent of darkness, it’s in his adult short stories that the darkness truly bubbles to the surface. This one has been adapted for both television and the movies, but it’s the original story, particularly the final sentence, that will send a shiver down your spine.

Click to access man-from-the-south.pdf

SURVIVOR TYPE by Stephen King. Auto-cannibalism. That’s all I’m gonna say.

Click to access survivor_type.pdf

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s