Introduction

Obviously attempting to select merely twelve short stories that affected me is an absurd and pointless exercise, but as a fan of list-making for no reason, here we go. I am a great believer in the power of the short story and what it can achieve as a form, and I constantly rail against the (mostly British) idea that the short story is something a writer cuts their teeth on before progressing to the proper literature of the novel. It’s much better to see the short story as being able to do things the novel cannot, and vice versa, rather than pit them in false opposition.

I believe the short form lends itself best to strange, weird or eerie fiction where mood and atmosphere are as important as character and plot. And as reality has become stranger or more unsettling than any fiction we can create, here are some of the weird stories I consider the best (and one that’s not really weird at all).

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