The second in a brand-new series of annual anthologies, The Best British Short Stories 2012 reprints the cream of short fiction, by British writers, first published in 2011. These stories first appeared in magazines from Ambit to Granta, in anthologies across various genres from publishers big and small, and in authors’ own short story collections. They were broadcast on radio and delivered by mobile phone app. They appeared online at Metazen and Paraxis.
‘Some pairings can be relied upon – literature and life, Steptoe and Son, Lennon and McCartney, Nicholas Royle and a good anthology.’ —Andrew O’Hagan
‘Slip this lightweight but nourishing anthology into your holiday bag. Editor Royle has selected 20 published stories from British writers. His own (excellent) taste means that little explosions of weirdness or transcendence often erupt amid much well-observed everyday life.’ —Boyd Tonkin, Independent
‘It’s so good that it’s hard to believe that there was no equivalent during the 17 years since Giles Gordon and David Hughes’s Best English Short Stories ceased publication in 1994. The first selection makes a very good beginning’ —Kate Saunders, Times
‘Let's hope this series becomes an annual fixture.’ —Chris Power, The Guardian
‘A good core sample [Helen Simpson's analogy for the short story] tells you "everything you need to know about the history and geography and inhabitants and social conditions of the area, in wonderfully concise form." Drawn from writers both famous and unknown, from printed sources, radio and the web, the stories in this collection, more often than not, do just that.’ —Carol Birch, The Times Literary Supplement
‘Prepare to be amazed, horrified and delighted! From the quirkiness of Will Self’s iAnna via the surrealism of HP Tinker’s Alice in Time & Space and Various Major Cities and the pure, cinematic light of Stella Duffy’s To Brixton Beach, to Jeanette Winterson’s bold and exquisitely written All I Know About Gertrude Stein, this eclectic anthology encompasses an astonishing variety of style and content, bound together by two book-end pieces, each set in a library.’ —Susan Haigh, The Short Review