In part, I have Joe Hill to thank for getting me back into writing short stories. I had written a few pieces of flash–after taking a decade-long hiatus from creative writing–when I picked up Hill’s short story collection, 20th Century Ghosts.
On the whole, it’s a great, cohesive collection that runs the gamut from literary to horror–all brilliantly crafted. (There were only a few stories that weren’t my cup of tea, and even those were well-written.)
I hate knowing anything about a story before I read it–I even save Introductions and Forwards until I’ve read the story or book–so I won’t give any synopses here, but I will list my favorites:
“20th Century Ghost”
“Dead-Wood” (a dream-like flash)
“Bobby Conroy Comes Back from the Dead”
“Voluntary Committal” (a novella and my personal favorite in this collection)
One common thread is that he writes all his characters–even the most peculiar ones–with sympathy, dignity and heart.
Whether you prefer your reading on the literary side or you’re an avid reader of speculative fiction, I recommend that you pick up a copy. It’s available in hardcover, paperback, Kindle, and audio editions at Amazon.com.