While a number of these books and stories were published in 2013, some were not. But I still highly recommend them all for readers that haven't had a chance to add them to their lists.
2013 has been quite the tumultuous year. One theme in publishing that has stood out is that of the apocalyptic tale. The draw to apocalyptic and post-apocalyptic works has been going on for some time now and doesn't show any signs of slowing, which is great. Some of the best stories this year have blossomed from that sub-genre.
Aside from that, there are numerous dark, horrific fiction works that stand head and shoulders above the rest. Here is just a small sampling of a few of my favorites read this year.
Things Slip Through by Kevin Lucia: Recently reviewed, this is undoubtedly one of the best works I've read this year. The writing is excellent, the stories flow, and it's never dull.
“How Th'Irth Wint Rong by Hapless Joey” by Gregory Maguire, featured in After. This short story was one of my favorites in this entertaining anthology of short stories.
“These Things We Have Always Known” by Lynda E. Rucker, featured in The Mammoth Book of Best New Horror. A very creepy story, with great atmosphere and poetic writing. Published prior to 2013.
“Rust with Wings” by Steven Gould, featured in After. A hopeful post-apocalyptic story, with excellent writing and characters.
“Through the Cracks” by Gary McMahon, featured in The Mammoth Book of Best New Horror #20. This is the sort of thoughtful horror story that lingers and builds nicely. Published prior to 2013.
Looking forward to seeing what short stories 2014 brings!
Nancy O. Greene started writing at the age of nine. Her short story collection, Portraits in the Dark, received a brief mention in The Year's Best Fantasy and Horror 2007. Other works have appeared or will appear in ChiZine; Lovecraft eZine; Cemetery Dance; Tales of Blood and Roses; Haunted: 11 Tales of Ghostly Horror; Shroud Publishing's The Terror at Miskatonic Falls; Dark Recesses; Flames Rising; Smile, Hon, You're in Baltimore!; and others. She has a BA in Cinematic Arts (Critical Studies) and a minor in English (Creative Writing) from the University of Southern California, and is a former Fellow of Film Independent's Project:Involve.