Who doesn’t love the short story form? Lean. Compact. No fluff. Fast. At 3RP, we’ve published fourteen single- and multiple-author short story anthologies, with each collection—and each story—exuding its own unique personality. With so many under our belts, we most certainly have a few standouts. Here’s a few of the staff favorites:
Kat Georges’ Picks:
“The Edge of Happiness” by Constance Renfrow (in SONGS OF MY SELFIE)
Novelist and editor Constance Renfrow (a key early player on the 3RP team) saved her gorgeous story for last in this collection of tales by her Millennial peers. An aspiring NYC artist finds herself at a crossroads when she sees glowing edges surrounding many people, but not herself. A session with a psychic leads to new insight. Funny, intelligent, and, in the end, jarring.
“Espresso Cinecittá” by Janet Hamill (in TALES FROM THE ETERNAL CAFE)
Surrealist poet and author Janet Hamill—whose starred-review collection of stories takes place in cafes around the world—offers a swirling gem focused on an Italian film publicist whose uncle is making his masterpiece based on Dante’s Inferno. Her plans to replace and aging lead star with her up-and-coming actor boyfriend take the reader on an hilarious spin through egos, backstabbing, and mega-manipulation. I hadn’t read this story for years, but coming back to it, I loved it even more than I remember.
Bonus quick take:
“Bowery Station, 3:15 A.M.” by Warren Moore (in DARK CITY LIGHTS)
One of the scariest short stories you’ll ever read, especially if you ever take a subway late at night. Spine-chilling ending.
Peter Carlaftes’ Picks:
“Needle in a Timestack” by Robert Silverberg (in TIME AND TIME AGAIN)
This highly inventive story exposes the petty nature of one-upmanship using time travel with so many twists and turns as only Silverberg could imagine. Plus this story will finally be released a feature film by John Ridley in the Spring, so I’m really honored to have published this timely tale.
“The New Atlantis” by Ursula K le Guin (in THIS WAY TO THE END TIMES)
This is another timely tale of global warming and the need for human interaction as told in a way as only le Guin could pen a story. Again, what an honor to have published this classic by such a giant in the field.
“A Different Frame of Reference” by Walter Mosley (in THE OBAMA INHERITANCE)
What publisher would not to be honored to publish a story by Walter Mosley? Well, not only was I honored but I really dug his parable about turning the tide against white supremacy on a mystical wing and a prayer. And you will, too!
“Burning Love” by Alison Gaylin (in THE FAKING OF THE PRESIDENT)
I have a soft spot for this far out tale about the repercussions from Elvis and Nixon dropping acid in the White House since it is the first story in this fantastic anthology I edited. What a joyride!
“A Bus Ticket to Phoenix” by Willy Vlautin (in CRIME PLUS MUSIC)
My absolute favorite short story we’ve published is this special jewel about the daily grind of a small-time road musician who senses something fishy when his his guitar goes missing. Every second counts in this well-written gem.
Merritt McDowell’s Pick:
“The Pleasure of Their Company” by Robert Silverberg (forthcoming in VOYAGERS)
In Robert Silverberg’s “The Pleasure of Their Company,” ghosts of the past are brought into the present through the wonders of science fiction and Silverberg’s own imagination—Shakespeare, Hemingway, Alexander the Great, all just a few of the spacefaring troupe technologically accompanying president-in-exile Thomas Voigtland in an escape from revolution on his home planet. Through this “cosmic cocktail party,” Silverberg’s short story swells and builds in exploration of Voigtland’s struggle with his past actions while traversing a web of different voices—alone while surrounded.
Mary Rose Manspeaker’s Pick:
“Reckless Disregard” by Abby L. Vandiver (in THE FAKING OF THE PRESIDENT)
Visiting the pages of THE FAKING OF THE PRESIDENT, 3RP’s latest anthology of political noir, is always a welcome break from the world right now. Each story charms in its own way, but some, like Abby L. Vandiver’s “Reckless Disregard,” keep drawing you in. JFK’s assassination and the actions of those who planned it set off a change of events rippling all the way up into our present. And all this because the gentleman responsible for keeping mankind’s greed from veering us too off course took one day off his job at the Bureau of History Repeats Itself, while his incompetent substitutes took the dials. The way the story unfolds is simply not to be missed.