Katherine Tomlinson is the former editor of the beloved Dark Valentine Magazine and author of the splendid short fiction collection Toxic Reality. Here she is with five from 2011.
Five stories everyone should read plus two bonus stories. (I know, that’s cheating.)
“The End of Our Zombie Days” by AJ Hayes published on Christopher Grant’s Eaten Alive site. http://eatenalive1.blogspot.com/2011/08/end-of-our-zombie-days-by-aj-hayes.html This was an incredibly emotional, extremely potent story that was over in a flash but lingered. The ending is gut-wrenching.
“The Dead Roads” by D.W. Wilson doesn’t need to be hyped by me—it won a BBC award for the author, who’s a 26-year-old Canadian—but it was a fantastic story about sexual jealousy emerging on a road trip. I originally read it on the Guardian site (http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2011/sep/27/the-dead-roads-dw-wilson) but it’s since been removed and included in Wilson’s debut fiction collection, Once You Break a Knuckle. Unfortunately, that book won’t be out until next April.
Brian Trent’s “Theseus Woman” appeared in the final issue of Dark Valentine Magazine, which is archived here. I had published a story by him called “Down Memory Line” last year that just blew me away. (Well worth checking out in the Winter 2010 issue of Dark Valentine Magazine, which also has a fantastic story by Dale Phillips called “Kamikaze Hipsters.”)
Col Bury’s “Suppertime,” also from the Eaten Alive site. http://eatenalive1.blogspot.com/2011/07/supper-time-by-col-bury.html\ This is an absolutely hilarious zombie story that is definitely not PC. The first line is priceless. I can’t wait to dive into his Manchester 6 collection. http://www.amazon.com/Manchester-6-ebook/dp/B00600S2AY/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1322528696&sr=1-1
“The End of the Night” by Eva Dolan on Shotgun Honey (http://www.shotgunhoney.net/2011/10/the-end-of-the-night-by-eva-dolan.html) kicked ass. She just swept me up and brought me along for the (cab) ride. The story sent me in search of her other fiction and I really enjoyed “The Final Shot” on her own site: http://loiteringwithintent.wordpress.com/fiction/the-final-shot/
I guess that’s actually eight stories….
Reading short fiction is like eating potato chips. You can’t eat just five.