Need a stocking-stuffer for this Christmas? Selections of short stories in paperback are ideal for commuters on mass transit, students, retirees and people on coffee breaks, in my opinion. For less than $15 at Anthology Builder you can select stories from their data base of reprints (including many classics) to build a gift anthology, or order anthologies already built by others. – foxtale
Click anthology title to open, click chapter titles to preview stories.
For soldiers and their families, I recommend Soldier’s Song, a collection of stories written not by soldiers but by those that follow the soldiers; the families back at home and the correspondents, such as Jack London, Stephen Crane and Rudyard Kipling.
And the genus Homo is just precisely what he is—a highly intelligent animal with an amazing spiritual endowment that, on occasion, individually and collectively, functions in violent and destructive ways. War must be dreadfully human, else why did all those well-cultured, ethically trained men in the smoking room and observation car talk the way they did… delighting in war fever… – excerpt from Jack London’s Red Game Of War -
Recall your Summer Camp days and nights and the stories, legends and pranks? The Camp Staff Escalator is a good choice as the stories are arranged in a virtual tour of camp, to reflect the various programs, trials and tribulations staff and campers alike experience.
As our wagon, heavily loaded with tents and camp materials, approached the herd they all threw up their heads and “rolled” up their tails, then with a deep vibrating bellowing let us know in no unmistakable manner that we were trespassers on their domain… – excerpt from Dan Beard’s Charged By A Herd Of Buffalo -
Eclectic vampire stories may be your passion, so From The Shadows would be a good selection as it includes the Bram Stoker short story which introduced the genre more than a century ago.
“Mrs. Romanek, Valeria Romanek?” The man at the door waved a badge. “Leo Martinez, L. A. Unified Child and Welfare Attendance Counselor. That’s a newfangled way of saying, ‘truant officer.’ I’m investigating an anonymous tip that you have two children who are not currently enrolled in school. May I come in?”
This was really too bizarre, Valeria thought, a human asking permission to cross her threshold! But refusing entry would not change the fact that the authorities had become aware of her and her children… not that they knew she was a vampire… Valeria blurted out, “I teach them everything they need to know.”
“Home schooling, eh? You’re a certified teacher?” Martinez countered.
“Not exactly—” Valeria fought back a wry smile… – excerpt from Survival Skills -
That monthly collection of short-short stories which used to arrive in print magazines might have brought a smile or sigh or warmed your heart. Then the anthology Before Kindle would be your cup of tea; a baker’s dozen of stories from the print world.
The caped hero’s voice crackled over the phone, “Well, I’m currently trapped in one of Dr. Nefario’s death traps… ”
Startled, the psychiatrist held the phone closer and asked his client, “Really? Are you safe?”
“Well, you know, Doc, safe is a relative thing in my profession, but I have you on the headset, and I’m picking the lock on these handcuffs as we’re talking. I think I’ll be fine, the piranhas are still 5 or 6 feet below me…” – excerpt from The Death Trap Of Doctor Nefario -
Spoofs, puns and imaginative stories might be your forte’ so select Joy’s Galaxy of Fun for 16 quick read stories.
What would the new species think of Labyrinth! Brawls threatening to mix atmospheres, cowardly progeny, toxic drinks too near the airlocks.
“I have provided a safe, friendly place for species to make contact, negotiate trade, and solve mutual problems,” she nearly screamed at her negligent son. “And you jeopardize it all.”
The monitor in her spectacles showed her offspring wading into the midst of the brawl. His smooth skin, a legacy from Ab’nere’s Labyrinthine ancestry, protected him from scrapes and bruises better than the thin membranes of the ammonia breathers… -excerpt from First Contact Cafe -
A sampler of submitted stories is available in An Eclectic Ten From Twelve at AnthologyBuilder; 10 stories from among over 30 submitted for Fall 2012.
Swarthy Zub was a simple fur trader who would barter tree-limb clubs and flint-pointed spears for fur pelts which he worked up into garments for the cave people. With bemusement, Zub often found that he was trading his finished garments for the very clubs and spears he’d exchanged earlier in the year. His old friend, Not-tall Zuk, liked to expound on this phenomenon, which he called “a balanced budget,” but Zub usually just smiled and shrugged and kept on scraping hides, for he wasn’t much into politics or civics lessons… – excerpt from Zuk And Zub, A Fable For Our Time -
For the holidays, select an anthology for your family and friends, or treat yourself!
*linked note* Bram Stoker had to publish a chapter of his novel Dracula to convince his publisher people would read it!