A field guide to recent short story collections by Matt Cheney.
The phylum of book known as the short story collection has, in the past few years, proved itself strong and resilient within the general landscape of what usually gets referred to as science fiction and/or fantasy, that archipelago of amusement parks prominent on the map of our literary dreams.
Yep. Absolutely. These are really good times for genre short story collections. I’m not entirely convinced that Cheney’s selection demonstrates the case, though. Certainly the books listed are good, but I think suggesting it represents the full diversity of the genre short story is a bit misleading. It seems more like a personal overview; the books listed have the fantasy/fabulist/surreal end of things covered, but there isn’t much, well, science fiction.
To balance things out a bit, I suggest that anyone using the article as a guide of things to investigate adds Ian R. Macleod’s Past Magic, Paul McAuley’s Little Machines, Maureen F. McHugh’s Mothers and Other Monsters, and Bruce Sterling’s Visionary in Residence to their wishlists, too. For starters. (Checking out China Mieville’s Looking for Jake and Joe Hill’s 20th Century Ghosts wouldn’t hurt, either.)