Mindmeld on Essential Collections…and an Old Man

(Book covers as part of Tetris, courtesy of SF Signal)

SF Signal ran a Mindmeld where they asked me and others about essential short story collections. Go check it out. Here’s my list, sans descriptions.

1.The Bloody Chamber by Angela Carter
2.The Lottery & Other Stories by Shirley Jackson
3.Stranger Things Happen by Kelly Link
4.The Zanzibar Cat by Joanna Russ
5.Bloodchild by Octavia Butler
6.Star Songs of an Old Primate by James Tiptree Jr
7.The Seventh Horse by Leonora Carrington
8.To Charles Fort, with Love by Caitlin R. Kiernan
9.The Wind’s Twelve Quarters by Ursula K. LeGuin
10.Tainaron: Mail from Another City by Leena Krohn

….and for something completely different, check out an excerpt from a genius old man’s Old Men in Love, over on Omnivoracious.


  1. says

    Enjoyed your list quite a bit, especially since there are seven on there that I want to read sometime in the near future and haven’t yet. Speaking of the Carter book, you may have already seen this but Paul Charles Smith posted earlier today his in-depth review of The Bloody Chamber.

  2. jeff vandermeer says

    A lot of my favorite fantasy/sf short story writers are women, and these ten truly are essential in my opinion. Tainaron should be more widely read–we’ve subsumed the entire short book into our weird antho. Most of these writers are in that antho, out in November.

    I did have a premonition, too, that a corrective to other lists might be necessary, so was preemptive.

  3. says

    Great list Jeff, added the ones I don’t own to my never ending wish list. I’ve been after a copy of To Charles Fort, With Love since I saw you recommend it somewhere else a while back, but the price is a little prohibitive at the moment.

  4. says

    I also noticed it was all women and was going to ask if that was a coincidence. Even the names you listed as ones you could’ve included were all women.

    I suspect if I made a list like this, it’d be mostly women. But I think Neil Gaiman would sneak his way in there. :) Possibly Bradbury.