badgerbag: (Default)
[personal profile] badgerbag
What would you give to a bright 14 year old who, I think, likes good writing and is thinking about short stories? He likes structure, elegance, and things he describes as "subtle" or "deep". He liked Dashiell Hammett. and I think is enjoying O.Henry. I may give him some classic SF short stories.

What would you think of as examples of amazing, impressive short stories for an impressionable and attentive young reader/critic/writer?

Date: 2014-01-21 07:34 am (UTC)
thistleingrey: (Default)
From: [personal profile] thistleingrey
It may seem very far away from anything, but the set of short stories first to mind is Carol Bly's Backbone. I blogged it briefly here. Also, perhaps John M. Ford's "Heat of Fusion," Pat Murphy's "His Vegetable Wife," and Ted Chiang's "Story of Your Life," latter as a rare example of second-person narration that works. Connie Willis has written some short sharp stories (I'm not a fan of her novels).

"Heat of Fusion" is in one of those massive Hartwell compilations, the Murphy is in the Norton anthology ed. Le Guin and Attebery (which probably has other tasty things, but it's late and I'm not digging it out right now), and "Your Life" is in Starlight 2. I think.
Edited (typo) Date: 2014-01-21 07:34 am (UTC)

Date: 2014-01-21 08:11 am (UTC)
vass: Jon Stewart reading a dictionary (books)
From: [personal profile] vass
Ted Chiang's Stories of Your Life anthology, for sure. The Starlight anthologies are good too.

'A Saucer of Loneliness' by Theodore Sturgeon.
'The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas', by Ursula Le Guin.
'Houston, Houston, Do You Read?', by James Tiptree, Jr.
'0wnz0red', by Cory Doctorow
Edited (tags) Date: 2014-01-21 08:11 am (UTC)

Date: 2014-01-21 03:14 pm (UTC)
wild_irises: (Default)
From: [personal profile] wild_irises
Seconded on all counts. I also like the Eclipse anthologies, which are very contemporary. Reading anthologies at his age helped me find my own favorite authors.

Date: 2014-01-22 12:20 am (UTC)
zdashamber: painting - a frog wearing a bandanna (Default)
From: [personal profile] zdashamber
Seconded on Omelas.

"Little Faces” by Vonda N. McIntyre (very gutsy and true about confronting/deciding)

Date: 2014-01-22 03:00 am (UTC)
vass: Jon Stewart reading a dictionary (books)
From: [personal profile] vass
Vonda N McIntyre! I knew I was forgetting someone important! She's really good at short and painful.

Date: 2014-01-21 08:50 am (UTC)
terriko: (Default)
From: [personal profile] terriko
A few off the top of my head:

I'm sure Asimov is already on your mental list, but he's the one who made me love short stories as a kid. Robot psychology!

Margaret Atwood. Her short stories are just something else. Sometimes creepy. Sometimes joyful. Always make you think about humans. I found her especially compelling at that age, in part due to discussions about her stuff with my mother.

It feels almost cliche to recommend her now with the Nobel and all, but I also loved Alice Munro. She's got some very uncomfortable stories; good for the thinking teenager.

Date: 2014-01-21 09:13 am (UTC)
antisoppist: (Reading)
From: [personal profile] antisoppist
Saki?

Date: 2014-01-22 05:52 am (UTC)
sara: S (Default)
From: [personal profile] sara
Two minds with but a single thought, that is exactly who I was going to recommend.

In science fiction, there is a very good Joan D. Vinge anthology from the 80s; also Zelazny's Unicorn Variations and...hmm. I also think Clifford Simak.

Date: 2014-01-21 10:29 am (UTC)
qian: Tiny pink head of a Katamari character (Default)
From: [personal profile] qian
I loved Rudyard Kipling's short stories when I was around his age.

Shirley Jackson also good, and I'd second the Saki rec.

Date: 2014-01-21 02:23 pm (UTC)
brainwane: My smiling face, in front of a wall and a brown poster. (Default)
From: [personal profile] brainwane
Seconding Jackson - "The Lottery" really is good, for instance. In the same breath: Thurber's "The Catbird Seat".

Date: 2014-01-23 10:01 am (UTC)
wordweaverlynn: (Default)
From: [personal profile] wordweaverlynn
Yes to all of those. Also, I loved ghost stories at that age. (OK, at any age. I still love them.) Seon Manley and Gogo Lewis did a great series of anthologies of ghost stories, mysteries, etc., written by women. Then there are the Alfred Hitchcock anthologies. That's where I first read the wonderful "Vintage Season," still much loved.

Date: 2014-01-21 11:23 am (UTC)
zooey_glass: (Typewriter)
From: [personal profile] zooey_glass
Here via my network. I read and loved Salinger's 'Nine Stories' in my early teens. I think a lot of people get put off Salinger because of the excessive cultural adulation of 'Catcher in the Rye', but I think his true genius was in short story writing and think he meets all the criteria listed for your intended reader.

In more recent work, Benjamin Percy 's collection 'Refresh, Refresh' is one of the most memorable new things I've read in the last several years. You can read the title story online in The Paris Review (although the formatting is rather offputting).

ETA. Also, if you can get hold of it, Ursula le Guin's novella 'Very Far Away from Anywhere Else' (afaik her only realist title) made a deep impression on me as a thoughtful mid-teen. It's old but I think still good.
Edited Date: 2014-01-21 11:25 am (UTC)

Date: 2014-01-21 07:01 pm (UTC)
raanve: Tony Millionaire's Drinky Crow (Default)
From: [personal profile] raanve
I'd second "Nine Stories" and also Very Far Away from Anywhere Else (as well as any of LeGuin's short story collections). ETA: I think Very Far Away was out of print for a while, but there's been a new edition within the last 4-5 years, so it should be reasonably easy to get a hold of.

I am really enamored of Steven Millhauser, who has written a few novels but has 3 or 4 short-story collections and whose work treads the line between "literary fiction" and "genre fiction". His favorite collection of mine is probably The Barnum Museum.
Edited Date: 2014-01-21 07:02 pm (UTC)

Date: 2014-01-21 03:17 pm (UTC)
brainwane: My smiling face, in front of a wall and a brown poster. (Default)
From: [personal profile] brainwane
Rachel Swirsky's "If You Were a Dinosaur, My Love" and "The Lady Who Plucked Red Flowers Beneath the Queen's Window" are amazing in my opinion.

I haven't read any Harlan Ellison fiction in a really long time, but I remember as a teen finding some stuff in his collections Shatterday and Strange Wine pretty impressive.

Date: 2014-01-21 03:36 pm (UTC)
wild_irises: (Default)
From: [personal profile] wild_irises
Also Andrea Barrett!

Date: 2014-01-22 12:42 am (UTC)
sasha_feather: Retro-style poster of skier on pluto.   (Default)
From: [personal profile] sasha_feather
I really like Edgar Allen Poe's short stories when I was in middle school. Also "An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge."

Date: 2014-01-22 12:45 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] vaurora
This feels embarrassingly obvious and like he might have read them already, but Jorge Luis Borges?

Date: 2014-01-22 05:19 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] vera_l
(here via network)

Octavia Butler's collection Bloodchild has multiple excellent ones; the title story and "The Evening and the Morning and the Night" are the two I remember specifically.

Date: 2014-01-22 07:48 am (UTC)
voidampersand: (Default)
From: [personal profile] voidampersand
Good collections:

The Best Of Kim Stanley Robinson
Magic for Beginners by Kelly Link
Meet Me in the Moon Room by Ray Vukcevich
Edited Date: 2014-01-22 07:49 am (UTC)

Date: 2014-01-22 10:59 pm (UTC)
jesse_the_k: Hands open print book with right side hollowed out to hole iPod (Alt format reader)
From: [personal profile] jesse_the_k
Not SF, but definitely beautifully written and dealing with important themes:
Jump and Other Stories by Nadine Gordimer. She's totally in control in 16 stories, beautiful pan-African dialog which rings true without resorting to eye dialect, ambiguous endings; Apartheid, post-Apartheid, Mozambique, role of women, wives, and husbands. SO GOOD!

I've read two of these stories with intermediate English language learners.

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