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  #31  
Old 08-01-2008, 11:56 AM
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Sherlock Holmes probably merits a thread all to itself for this type of thing.

(Personally, Red-Headed League is my favourite, just because it's so... whimsical.)
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  #32  
Old 08-01-2008, 11:57 AM
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You know, I'm not convinced that Borges isn't the only writer a person needs.
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  #33  
Old 08-01-2008, 12:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tomm Guycot View Post
"On Meeting the 100% Perfect Woman" by Haruki Murakami
(title might be slightly different, but you'll know it when you see it)

This is the best short story ever.
I came in here to post this, but I assumed you would have beaten me to the punch. I was not disappointed.
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  #34  
Old 08-01-2008, 12:42 PM
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SF:
- I second the Cordwainer Smith recommend, especially "Alpha Ralpha Boulevard".
- Jack Vance is often criminally overlooked (in both short and long fiction)
- Ursula K. LeGuin has already been mentioned, but her collection Orsinian Tales never fails to blow my mind
- No one writes better crafted SF short stories than Connie Willis <-- this is a fact

"Classics"
- Much love for Saki
- Also KIPLING: "The Man Who Would Be King" enough said.
- Like Melville, Nathaniel Hawthorne's short fiction is much more accessible
- Faulkner writes a mean short story too , especially the English class standby "A Rose for Emily"

Modernish
- Junot Diaz's collection Drown is excellent
- Thirds for Murakami
- Not enough people know about Ralph Lombreglia and it is a shame. Special recommend: "Late Early Man"
- Gao Xingjian earned his nobel prize in literature
- Roald Dahl's "Beware of the Dog" can make you forget that he also wrote James and the Giant Peach, Matilda, et al.
- Gabriel Garcia Marquez is magical realism at it's finest. "Last Voyage of the Ghost Ship" is the longest sentence I have ever read.
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  #35  
Old 08-01-2008, 01:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tomm Guycot View Post
"On Meeting the 100% Perfect Woman" by Haruki Murakami
(title might be slightly different, but you'll know it when you see it)

This is the best short story ever.
Oh man, you don't even have to leave the internet!
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  #36  
Old 08-01-2008, 02:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Red Hedgehog View Post
I recently read a collection of Robert Zelazny's short stories and they were some of the best Sci-Fi stuff I had read in short form.
Have you read A Rose for Ecclesiastes? Thats my favorite Zelazny short story.

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Originally Posted by Tavir View Post
I can't find a link to it, but I really enjoyed Harlan Ellison's "I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream".
Another one I completely forgot about, Ellison is one of the best short story authors in science fiction. His nonfiction is also great if you want extremely well written angry rantings.

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Originally Posted by KCar View Post
You know, I'm not convinced that Borges isn't the only writer a person needs.
Heh, well in a stupid YOU CAN ONLY HAVE ONE BOOK EVAR thought experiment I'd have a real hard time choosing between the complete Borges stories and Joyce's Ulysses.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tomm Guycot View Post
Oh man, you don't even have to leave the internet!
Hadn't read that before, it was great, thanks. Murakami is always a lot of fun.

Last edited by ravinoff; 08-01-2008 at 02:51 PM.
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  #37  
Old 08-01-2008, 02:48 PM
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I knew "The Lottery" would probably be mentioned in the first or second post here, but I want to note that pretty much anything by Shirley Jackson is pure gold. That includes The Haunting of Hill House, which was adapted into The Haunting, which was of course a pale, pale shadow of the original. Her work is funny, bleak, biting, beautiful, and rendered in some of the most perfect, crisp, humble sentences any writer has ever written. I can't recommend her collected short fiction highly enough.

I haven't read her memoirs, though. I'll get to it someday.
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  #38  
Old 08-01-2008, 04:11 PM
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KCar: I would doubly recommend G.K. Chesterton to any fan of Borges, as Borges himself was a huge fan of Chesterton. Its not a short story but my favorite work by Chesterton is The Man Who Was Thursday, a spy novel containing equal portions madcap adventures and philosophical arguments. I disagree with Chesterton's religious and philosophical stances but that in no way detracts from my love of his writing.
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  #39  
Old 08-01-2008, 04:56 PM
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You should always read things that you don't agree with, as it forces you to think critically about what you believe and why.*


*For this to work of course, you need to take the material seriously, so there's that caveat.
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  #40  
Old 08-01-2008, 05:10 PM
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I've always enjoyed The Gift of the Magi.

Also, Shooting an Elephant by George Orwell.

Surprised no one mentioned Leningan VS the Ants.
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  #41  
Old 08-01-2008, 05:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ravinoff View Post
I find the pervading nihilism present in O'Connor's writing interesting considering she was a devout Catholic.
Nihilism? Bleak, yes, but nihilistic?

EDIT: Robert E. Howard, America's favorite mama's boy, did a shitload of stuff about a shirtless dude from central Europe, but you can skip right over that into his Sailor Steve Costigan work. That's the best pulp fiction ever written, so far as I can tell.
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  #42  
Old 08-01-2008, 05:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ample Vigour View Post
Nihilism? Bleak, yes, but nihilistic?
Well, that was my read on her work, yes. Thinking further the word 'pervading' is probably too strong a term considering I have read none of her novels and only about half of one of her short story collections (the collection in question being A Good Man is Hard to Find).
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  #43  
Old 08-01-2008, 05:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mightyblue View Post
You should always read things that you don't agree with, as it forces you to think critically about what you believe and why.*


*For this to work of course, you need to take the material seriously, so there's that caveat.
I DON'T CARE ANYMORE. I'M RIGHT AND YOU'RE WRONG DAMMIT.

I am guilty of this though, sometimes I read too much of what I like and not enough of what I don't like--books about female corporate executives trying to keep body and soul together during a tumultuous divorce or some such.
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  #44  
Old 08-01-2008, 08:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blakegli View Post
"Classics"
- Much love for Saki
Okay, this is two votes for Saki. Get reading, guys.
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  #45  
Old 08-01-2008, 09:16 PM
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Zelazny. Anything Zelazny.
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  #46  
Old 08-01-2008, 09:38 PM
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JAMES HERRIOT. So absolutely wonderful. I cried when he died.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sven View Post
Sherlock Holmes probably merits a thread all to itself for this type of thing.

(Personally, Red-Headed League is my favourite, just because it's so... whimsical.)
That is a bizarre one! But yes, A+ to Holmes in general.

I highly recommend Chekhov's short stories. Really good writing.

Jack London is also fantastic although often depressing.
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  #47  
Old 08-01-2008, 10:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dhroo View Post
In 7th grade-ish, I remember reading a Vonnegut short story that left a pretty big impression on me. I can't remember the title, but it was about a future where the talented and gifted are handicapped so that everyone in society is equal. This sound familiar to anyone?
In case you didn't realize, your question was indirectly answered, it's Harrison Burgeron.
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  #48  
Old 08-01-2008, 11:03 PM
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Ian Fleming's original Bond novels are very short, and a couple are short story collections. Recommended.
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  #49  
Old 08-01-2008, 11:23 PM
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I can't really speak on much here, I have Neil Gaiman's Smoke & Mirrors and checked out Gene Wolfe's Castle of Days from the library and read a few from both, but I haven't gone through very many short stories. However, Sci Fi had apparently been posting various short stories for a few years, and they even have one that I've read out of Castle of Days, Paul's Treehouse.

Of those posted I've only read Haruki Murakami's 100% perfect girl story, I've wanted to read his stuff but didn't want to go through Hard Boiled Wonderland & The End of the World before finishing A Game of Thrones, and I'm stupid about finishing books.
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  #50  
Old 08-02-2008, 12:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eusis View Post
However, Sci Fi had apparently been posting various short stories for a few years, and they even have one that I've read out of Castle of Days, Paul's Treehouse.
Hmm...actually there are a bunch of Wolfe stories published on various websites, and had I remembered that I would have included some in my initial post. Free awesome fiction for all who seek it:
Memorare - http://www.sfsite.com/fsf/fiction/gw01.htm
The Arimaspian Legacy - http://www.infinityplus.co.uk/stories/arimaspian.htm
Unrequited Love - http://subterraneanpress.com/index.p...by-gene-wolfe/
Under Hill - http://www.infinitematrix.net/storie...nder_hill.html
Copperhead - http://www.scifi.com/scifiction/orig...fe/wolfe1.html
Castaway - http://www.scifi.com/scifiction/orig...2/wolfe21.html
Easter Sunday - http://www.revolutionsf.com/article.php?id=1799
The Case of the Vanishing Ghost - http://www.revolutionsf.com/article.php?id=1688


Another superb author of short fiction is Vladimir Nabokov. While overall I find his novels superior to his short fiction thats like saying I like super extremely great better than merely extremely great. My favorite Nabokov short story is probably Terror. (Totally disregarding that fact that I created this post for short fiction I am going suggest anyone who loves words read Nabokov's Pale Fire. one of the best books ever, featuring the greatest pompous asshole in all of fiction)
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  #51  
Old 08-02-2008, 01:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tomm Guycot View Post
Oh man, you don't even have to leave the internet!
That was wonderful. Thank you very much for the link.
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  #52  
Old 08-02-2008, 02:11 AM
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The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar and Six More, by Roald Dahl. Most Roald Dahl books are basically short stories (at least I usually read them in one sitting), but these are really some of his best work, and at times a lot darker that most of his other stuff. They cover such a wide variety of topics and moods that it's hard to read through them and not be completely satisfied. And one of them is even true! I think!

Favourites: The Swan, The Hitch-hiker, well all of them really. But mostly those two.
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  #53  
Old 08-02-2008, 07:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Adrenaline View Post
In case you didn't realize, your question was indirectly answered, it's Harrison Burgeron.
Heh, don't worry, I caught that, thanks.

I'm kind of surprised no one's mentioned Anton Chekov's "The Bet" yet(unless I missed it). Another short story that everyone reads at some point during middle or high school.
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  #54  
Old 08-02-2008, 09:07 AM
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Man, you guys must have had some nice English classes. The only things we read were a couple of Shakespeare plays and Cyrano de Bergerac. We'd spend a couple of weeks reading and going over each one, and it was sheer torture because I'd be done reading anything assigned within a day or two.

I don't even remember what we did for the rest of the time. I spent most of my class time in high school reading books unless it was a math or science class.
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  #55  
Old 08-02-2008, 11:10 AM
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Flowers for Algernon is one of the best-evar short stories out there. There's also a great novel-length adaptation, though you can kind of smell the filler.

When he worked at the Toronto Star, Hemmingway wrote a short story/article about the oak trees in Toronto's High Park dying from the inside-out because of pollution. This is relevant because one of those very same oak trees recently fell down and nearly killed a bunch of kids.

It was kind of a dry story, though, despite the grim prophecy. I lost interest halfway through.

People say I suck because I like Stephen King, but The Mist is still one of my favourite short stories (more of a novella). It inspired Half-Life, so you know it's grand. Skeleton Crew is a good short story collection.
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  #56  
Old 08-02-2008, 11:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mightyblue View Post
Man, you guys must have had some nice English classes. The only things we read were a couple of Shakespeare plays and Cyrano de Bergerac. We'd spend a couple of weeks reading and going over each one, and it was sheer torture because I'd be done reading anything assigned within a day or two.

I don't even remember what we did for the rest of the time. I spent most of my class time in high school reading books unless it was a math or science class.
Reading was probably the only thing I cared about in school. People thought I was a nut because while they were slowly wending their way through the first book of the Tripod Trilogy in grade 8, I had already asked my teacher for book two and three, and finished them within two days.

There was one English teacher in my high school who genuinely cared about students doing more than reading slowly out loud from books they hated. Unfortunately, I never got her; we would have to spend lunch hours talking about books. I got stuck with a coke addict who would give us a month of class time to write a six-hundred word essay on Othello.
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  #57  
Old 08-02-2008, 11:29 AM
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That Murakami story reminded me of an infographic on The Onion; "Who Would We Rather Be Married To?". One of the choices was "Woman in white dress stepping off ferry forty years ago".
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  #58  
Old 08-03-2008, 11:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nadia View Post
People say I suck because I like Stephen King, but The Mist is still one of my favourite short stories (more of a novella). It inspired Half-Life, so you know it's grand. Skeleton Crew is a good short story collection.
Stephen King was better when his editor took a firmer hand with him. His short story collections (at least the early ones) are filled with enjoyable stuff. "This Mist" is a particular favorite of my wife and myself, but I'd agree that it's a novella more so than a story. "The Mangler", "Quitters, Inc.", and "The Raft" are also favorites.

I'm saddened by the lack of Raymond Carver in this thread. His collections Cathedral and What We Talk About When We Talk About Love are recommended. Some of the stories are almost just sketches and they can be bleak, but I find them mesmerizing.

I'll chime in on the recommendations for Shirley Jackson and James Joyce (Dubliners is probably my favorite collection of short stories).

The Ray Bradbury collection I usually recommend to people is The October Country which includes two of my particular favorites ("Uncle Einar" and "The Scythe").

Ellison has always been a favorite of mine. Recommendations include "Paladin of the Lost Hour", "Repent Harlequin, said the Ticktockman", and "The Crackpots".



I think I need to investigate this Borges character.
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  #59  
Old 08-04-2008, 07:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Red Hedgehog View Post
Not mentioned yet:

I recently read a collection of Robert Zelazny's short stories and they were some of the best Sci-Fi stuff I had read in short form.
While I enjoyed most everything Zelazny wrote to some degree, I think he mastered the Science Fiction/Fantasy short story

See also: King, Stephen - Horror short stories
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  #60  
Old 08-04-2008, 01:09 PM
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"The Fix" by Percival Everett.

And just about anything from Sherman Alexie.
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