The nation’s favourite annual guide to the short story, now in its ninth year.
Best British Short Stories invites you to judge a book by its cover – or more accurately, by its title. This new series aims to reprint the best short stories published in the previous calendar year by British writers, whether based in the UK or elsewhere. The editor’s brief is wide ranging, covering anthologies, collections, magazines, newspapers and web sites, looking for the best of the bunch to reprint all in one volume.
‘Salt’s ‘Best British’ series reflects who we are; the state we are in. Britain’s modern short story writers are mapping out the million dimensions to a lonely, atomised life. And this anthology holds up that mirror. Like the finest art, it mesmerises as it disturbs.’ —Tamim Sadikali, Bookmunch
‘For those wishing to dip their toes into short stories currently available in a variety of mediums this collection offers an excellent primer. As a fan of the literary format I found it a well curated and enjoyable read.’ —Neverimitate
‘This annual feast satisfies again. Time and again, in Royle’s crafty editorial hands, closely observed normality yields (as Nikesh Shukla’s spear-fisher grasps) to the things we ‘cannot control’.’ —Boyd Tonkin, The Independent
‘For those new to short stories, the quality and breadth of what is being showcased here, will not easily be bettered. Moreover, the experiential difference that contemporary short stories offer, when compared to novel reading – the unique register they can strike – makes this collection all the more valuable.’ —Bookmunch
‘Nicholas Lezard’s paperback choice: Hilary Mantel’s fantasia about the assassination of Margaret Thatcher leads this year’s collection of familiar and lesser known writers.’ —Nicholas Lezard, The Guardian
‘Another effective and well-rounded short story anthology from Salt – keep up the good work, we say!’ —Sarah-Clare Conlon, Bookmunch
‘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 … Highly Recommended.’ —Kate Saunders, The Times
‘When an anthology limits itself to a particular vintage, you hope it’s a good year. The Best British Short Stories 2014 from Salt Publishing presupposes a fierce selection process. Nicholas Royle is the author of more than 100 short stories himself, the editor of sixteen anthologies and the head judge of the Manchester Fiction Prize, which inspires a sense of confidence in his choices. He has whittled down this year’s crop to 20 pieces, which should enable everyone to find a favourite. Furthermore, his introduction points us towards magazines and small publishers producing the collections from which these pieces are chosen. If you like short stories but don’t know where to find them, this book is a gateway to wider reading.’ —Lucy Jeynes, Bare Fiction