Author Topic: Greatest Short Story Writers?  (Read 8605 times)

Offline Stephen Bacon

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Greatest Short Story Writers?
« on: October 23, 2006, 09:31:55 pm »
Much as I enjoy reading novels, I think it's a totally different experience reading short stories. Wondered who you'd say was the best writer of short fiction? Is there one particular collection that's a Must Have?

Here are a couple of examples -

Ramsey Campbell (The Chimney is one of my favourites)
Robert Bloch (the Citadel Press volumes of his short stories are great)
Joe Hill (the new boy - 20th Century Ghosts is the most exciting collection in ages)
Neil Gaiman (His collection Fragile Things and Smoke & Mirrors are essential)
Michael Marshall Smith (I wish I'd bought a copy of More Tomorrow & Other Stories when I could have afforded it!)
Gary Braunbeck (the Cedar Hill stories are a tad downbeat, but they venture far into dark recesses)
John Collier (Fancies and Goodnights)
Stephen King (the novels tend to get mentioned but I think he's written some fantastic short fiction - Night Shift is my fave)

What about anyone else? I'll kick myself when think of others I've missed.

Troo

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Re: Greatest Short Story Writers?
« Reply #1 on: October 24, 2006, 03:43:54 pm »
DFL  ;D

DFL

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Re: Greatest Short Story Writers?
« Reply #2 on: October 25, 2006, 11:11:59 am »
Thanks, Troo!  Nobody has ever chosen me for any form of  'list' before.  :-)


My 'best shot story writers' would be:
Robert Aickman
Algernon Blackwood
Elizabeth Bowen
V.S. Pritchett.

Closely followed by:
Ramsey Campbell
Arthur Machen
DH Lawrence
MR James

Offline Pigasus

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Re: Greatest Short Story Writers?
« Reply #3 on: October 25, 2006, 11:48:55 am »
Excuse my SF bias...

Ray Bradbury
Arthur C. Clarke
Philip K. Dick
Bruce Sterling
Brian Aldiss
Harlan Ellison
James Tiptree Jr
Bob Shaw
Howard Waldrop
Steve Aylett

Well, yes, of course... Ramsey Campbell
Let's add - Rhys Hughes, Allen Ashley.

Sean

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Re: Greatest Short Story Writers?
« Reply #4 on: October 25, 2006, 01:29:58 pm »
J.G Ballard surely deserves a mention (and now he's got one!)

Offline Wayne Mook

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Re: Greatest Short Story Writers?
« Reply #5 on: August 04, 2008, 12:35:13 am »
MR James is always up there for me.

Le Fanu,
Charles Dickens,
Philip K. Dick,
Etgar Keret, ( Ireally liked The Bus Driver Who Wanted to be God collection, but the next one I got was not of the same strength.)
Ramsey Campbell,
Shirley Jackson (The Lottery is chilling.),
Richard Matheson,
Algernon Blackwood,
Willaim Hope Hodgson,
and many more...

Des, Only Connect is a splendid collection.

Wayne.

DFL

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Re: Greatest Short Story Writers?
« Reply #6 on: August 04, 2008, 08:28:49 am »
DFL  ;D

Well, thanks, again, Troo.  :o

Offline M P Ericson

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Re: Greatest Short Story Writers?
« Reply #7 on: August 04, 2008, 08:31:10 am »
James Joyce is the master - his collection Dubliners sets the standard for everyone else.

Do try Holly Phillips, In the Palace of Repose.

And, of course, there's Theodora Goss, Sarah Monette, Liz Williams, Richard Parks...

Offline CarolineC

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Re: Greatest Short Story Writers?
« Reply #8 on: August 04, 2008, 12:05:54 pm »
Ooo, I'd missed this thread somehow. Being more of a short story reader than a novel reader, this is a good one for me.

Top of my list would be Ramsey Campbell (do I detect a pattern here - his name seems to have been mentioned more than most so far?), followed closely by DF Lewis (sorry to embarrass you again, Des!). Stephen Gallagher and Mark Morris must get a mention too. Oh and someone who is probably better known for his publishing/editing than his writing, but who writes some of the most beautiful and touching short stories you're ever likely to read - Peter Crowther.

I used to read lots of MR James, Poe, etc, but I find these tough going nowadays and tend to stick to contemporary writers.
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DFL

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Re: Greatest Short Story Writers?
« Reply #9 on: August 04, 2008, 08:15:24 pm »
Top of my list would be Ramsey Campbell (do I detect a pattern here - his name seems to have been mentioned more than most so far?), followed closely by DF Lewis (sorry to embarrass you again, Des!).

I'm astonished as well as grateful, Caroline.  I really must start submitting again! (Not submitted off my own bat anything since 1999). :-)

My favourite short story writers are Aickman, Ligotti, Samuels, Oliver, Onions, Campbell, S.D. Tullis, Elizabeth Bowen...
« Last Edit: August 04, 2008, 08:17:02 pm by DFL »

Offline Rolnikov

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Re: Greatest Short Story Writers?
« Reply #10 on: August 04, 2008, 08:40:09 pm »
Robert Silverberg and James H Schmitz are  probably my favourites at the moment. I would have said Philip K Dick and Isaac Asimov ten or fifteen years ago, but it's probably been about ten years since I read their short stories.

There are others I suspect would be among my favourites, like Gene Wolfe and Lucius Shepard, but I haven't read enough of their stories yet to say.

Troo

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Re: Greatest Short Story Writers?
« Reply #11 on: August 07, 2008, 12:25:53 pm »
I really must start submitting again!

Yes!  :)

ChrisT

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Re: Greatest Short Story Writers?
« Reply #12 on: August 07, 2008, 04:44:37 pm »
No mention of Roald Dahl or J G Ballard?  ???

Offline joshua rainbird

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Re: Greatest Short Story Writers?
« Reply #13 on: August 07, 2008, 11:56:24 pm »
Primo Levi - particularly the two Recuenco stories from the Sixth Day and other tales collection

Bernard McLaverty - No Yolk from theMy Dear Palestrina collection

Joe Hill - 20th century ghosts

and Des's  A Pie with too much Gravy.


Not sure if this counts but I'd also like to add Jerome K Jerome's Three Men in a Boat.   Probably not a great story but highly enjoyable in a pick and put down sort-of-way.  :)


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ChrisT

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Re: Greatest Short Story Writers?
« Reply #14 on: August 08, 2008, 06:25:48 pm »
and Des's  A Pie with too much Gravy.

I don't think I've read that one - anything like Graham Masterton's Eric the Pie?  ;D

Not sure if this counts but I'd also like to add Jerome K Jerome's Three Men in a Boat.   Probably not a great story but highly enjoyable in a pick and put down sort-of-way.  :)

More of a novella, Joshua, but pretty funny all the same - considering a century has passed.