Fantastically Dark Short Story Collections

You won’t find any chicken soup for your soul here, but the mystical creatures, aliens, natural and unnatural disasters, bizarre circumstances and troubling outcomes in these ten short story collections provide a different kind of salve—the kind that burns going on, but speeds the healing process. From the only slightly strange (Good Indian Girls) to the truly bizarre (The Miniature Wife) to the magical and mystical (Before and Afterlives, Fragile Things), these authors bring you cutting prose, flawed characters, and alienating landscapes that have more than a little bit to say about the world we live in.

Before and Afterlives

Barzak mixes fantastical elements like aliens and mermaids with post-industrial settings, twisted ideas, sexuality and gender identity to stunning effect in Before and Afterlives.

Get in Trouble: Stories

These nine stories are fantastically dark and brooding. Kelly Link’s prose is fantastical but solid–you know there’s more bubbling under the surface, even if you can only glimpse it.


Good Indian Girls: Stories

This is a dark and at times, disturbing collection of 12 short stories. Sidhu uses fantastic elements to make the reader feel a sense of alienation—the same way most of his immigrant characters feel.

The Miniature Wife and Other Stories

The characters in The Miniature Wife are deeply flawed, ordinary people in bizarre situations. It’s fascinating to see how they react, how they grow, how they break under pressure.

The Tent

Atwood’s writing is razor sharp in this delightfully weird collection of flash fiction and poetry.