- Athletic Shorts: Six Short Stories by Chris Crutcher. Meet six different guys, some who've been in Crutcher's earlier books, and see how they handle real slices of life.
- Fragile Things: Short Fictions and Wonders by Neil Gaiman. A terrifying circus that disappears with one of the spectators, a story called "How to Talk to Girls at Parties" that proves that girls really are an alien species, and more.
- Tales of the Unexpected by Roald Dahl. Dahl wrote some great kid stories, like Charlie & the Chocolate Factory, but now you're old enough for the adult stuff. Hold on, it's going to get nasty!
- The Baby in the Icebox by James M. Cain. A collection of short stories by one of the masters of the hardboiled detective story. Dark and creepy, Cain's stories dealt in sex, greed, and violence. Full of characters concocting (and believing) the most absurd plans. A gritty introduction to the genre.
- Red Spikes by Margo Lanagan. Lanagan is a unique voice in fantasy, and her short stories are vigorous, brutal in their honesty, and gorgeous in their craft. Her characters wrestle with worlds and situations on the cusp of stark and drastic change, and each one has to grapple with whether they can make it through such radical transformations.
- Selected Stories by Philip K. Dick. This is where most of the movies come from--"Minority Report," "We Can Remember It For You Wholesale" (Total Recall), "Paycheck." 'Nuff said.
- Twice Told: Original Stories Inspired by Original Artwork by Scott Hunt. Twenty authors contributed to this collection, which offers ten pieces of art by Hunt, and two wholly different stories inspired by each piece of art.
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