According to master storyteller Neil Gaiman, the four most important words in fiction are “…and then what happened?” Read Stories: All-New Tales (available 6/15), an absorbing anthology of short stories edited by Gaiman and Al Sarrantonio, and you’ll have occasion for those words again and again.
The 27 never-before-published tales in Stories have in common the skill of their authors—which include Joyce Carol Oates, Joe Hill and Very Short List’s very own co-founder Kurt Andersen—and the strange sense of the fantastic that laces each entry: Oates delivers an account of horribly mismatched twin brothers; Hill writes of a murderer’s Dantean descent into hell; and Andersen depicts a lonely extraterrestrial anthropologist. These stories are part of what Gaiman and Sarrantonio call “a new literature of the imagination,” a rewardingly imprecise theme that guarantees that no matter how many times you dip into this tomish treasure chest, there will always be something surprising waiting for you inside.
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