I’m stoked, gobsmacked, tickled to death that Book Riot put The Wilds on this list: “100 Must-read Contemporary Short Story Collections.”
After watching Jeff VanderMeer’s weird and mesmerizing novel Annihilation become a New York Times bestseller, inspire an Alex Garland film, and shoot up to #7 on the trade paperback bestseller list today, I’m excited that Bustle put my story collection The Wilds on its list “21 Sci-Fi Books You Need to Read if You Loved ‘Annihilation’.”
In “Discovering the Fabulists: The Value of the Bizarre in Literature,” Hannah Gilham discusses the impact of female fabulists on her writing.
“After workshopping a piece of my fiction last year, a classmate told me encouragingly that I might be writing in the fabulist tradition. She directed me toward the Tin House collection, Fantastic Women: 18 Tales of the Surreal and the Sublime, and I do not say this lightly—everything changed.”
In her lovely book Dear Fahrenheit 451: Love and Heartbreak in the Stacks: A Librarian’s Love Letters and Breakup Notes to the Books in Her Life, Anna Spence says of The Wilds: “It looks like a book of fairy tales. And there is most assuredly some strange shit inside. There are medical spas with flesh-eating procedures and pirates. There are old ladies with robot legs. But there are also girls and women very much rooted in the realities of their existence. These stories are expansive in subject matter and deal with complete relationships and emotion.”
I’ve compiled 100 must-read SFF short story collections so you can set out devouring these bite-sized chocolaty treats of weird worlds and astounding stories too. I tried to pick newish authors and collections, so you won’t find any of the Pulp and Golden Age writers on this list (well, I snuck in an Ursula Le Guin, but it’s a new release!). There are 60 collections of individual author’s short stories, and 40 anthologies of multiple authors. For the anthologies, I only used an editor once. Many editors compile a ton of anthologies, like John Joseph Adams, Terri Windling, and Ellen Datlow. But I wanted to give as diverse a list as possible, so I only listed one by these editors.
Garden and Gun “asked experts at independent bookstores across the South for the summer reads they’re recommending to book lovers right now.” Jonathan Sanchez of Blue Bicycle Books in Charleston, SC describes The New and Improved Romie Futch as “a magical realism Southern gothic novel about this middle-aged, often drunk, often broke taxidermist. Sort of dark, very funny.” Check out the list here.
I love The Georgia Review and am stoked to have a story in the Summer 2017 issue. For a limited time, you can access it online. A random snip: “In the vast boudoir of a Gordes mansion, a kaftan-clad OB-GYN smeared Aquasonic gel upon the pop star’s belly. Despite her devotion to natural childbirth, the goddess could not resist the reassurance of a fifth-month ultrasound, and Carlo held her sweaty hand. Her doula and midwife, also wearing white tunics, chanted ancient Sumerian fertility hymns as the OB-GYN pressed the diva’s bulging abdomen with her magic wand.” Read more here.