Better Shorts Than ‘Cat Person’ [Literary Lists]

If you were away from the internet recently, let me fill you in. Everyone lost their minds over a semi decent short story in the New Yorker about a 20 something college girl having a questionable but short lived relationship.

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Long story short, people got upset, people had opinions, and honestly, there are SO MANY better short stories out there that you can read instead of this one. Here are my recommendations of short story anthologies that you can read instead of bothering with that one. 👍👍👍

 

📚 ANYTHING BY BEYOND PRESS [$]

Yes I know these are COMIC anthologies, but they still count. They are so brilliantly made and put together, and almost always are majority made by people of colour, and queer people too. 100000% worth reading and owning. And since they have pictures you can’t complain about how long it will take you to read. So there. READ IT.

📚 TO MY TRANS SISTERS edited Charlie Craggs [$]

Ok I’m a bit biased. I’ve known Charlie for years and she is my daughter and I love her a Lot and will always be her biggest fan. Regardless of how I feel about her, this book is not only important but superb. Charlie has talked about for years of how much she’s wanted to try and give back to the queer community, especially to the trans community, and I think she’s made her mark with this book. It’s a ‘letters to my younger self’ type anthology, and while not short fictional stories, still counts as far as I’m concerned. And worth reading even if you are cis. It will give you a new understanding of what your trans sisters go through, and maybe even ways that you can help them and lift them up. ♥

📚 KABU KABU by Nnedi Okorafor [$]

I love this collection a Lot. I’ve never been to anywhere in Africa, let alone Nigeria. I’d love to one day. But I now know who to blame if I don’t end up having any ‘magical’ encounters because the way Okorafor writes makes me believe that all these stories are real, instead of you know, not real. I’ve read this about 4 years ago now, so I can’t remember which is my favourite, but I remember I was hooked from the very first story. She’s one of my favourite writers for a REASON. Pls 2 read this book 4 your own well being.

📚 MINISTRY OF MORAL PANIC by Amanda Lee Koe [$]

This is one of my favourite, if not THE favourite book from or set in Singapore for me. I’d get more friends to read it, but I don’t know how many of my overseas friends would truly be able to appreciate it since all the stories are so Singaporean. Regardless I’d still encourage people to read it as I just adore the way Amanda writes. She’s just? So?? GOOD?!?!????? HOW!?!?! UGH I love this book a lot. The stories are just so heartfelt and, lyrical and, I’m running out of words to describe my FEELINGS for this book. Just take my word for it.

📚 CHAINMAIL BIKINI edited by Hazel Newlevant [$]

A friend put it quite well, while the art quality in this may waver, the quality of heart does not. This is another anthology of comics, but with a focus on self identified women who are also gamers. I really loved the diversity in what qualified as a game in this, not everyone featured plays on a computer or on a dedicated device. Some are board gamers, or phone gamers, or even straight up D&D gamers. And although I’m not a gamer myself, there were more than a handful of stories that I found I could relate to.
(Also reviewed HERE)

📚 FALLING IN LOVE WITH HOMINIDS by Nalo Hopkinson [$]

When I read this anthology way back when, it was my first time hearing of Nalo Hopkinson and I had no idea what to expect. What I got was a well put together collection whose title actually gives you a better idea of the contents inside. The word Hominid, after finishing, made me think of someone who is not quite human, but still humanoid. Which is more or less what all the stories are about, non-normative humans. ANYWAY I think you should totes mcgotes read this collection, you’ll enjoy it because Nalo Hopkinson is a great writer who has the ability to keep you hooked till the end.
(Also reviewed HERE)


🔖 HONORABLE MENTIONS 🔖

🔖 Corridor by Alfian Sa’at [$] Rich in authentic detail, with a sensitive ear for the vernacular, Corridor paints an elegiac, revealing portrait of contemporary Singaporeans who exist along the city’s corridors – haunted by lost loves, irrevocable childhoods and a deep longing to be free.

🔖 A Change is Gonna Come [$] Featuring top Young Adult authors alongside a host of exciting new talent, this anthology of stories and poetry from BAME writers on the theme of change is a long-overdue addition to the YA scene.

🔖 Spectre by Verena Tay [$] A spectrum of tales ranging from the supernatural to magic realism, this anthology seeks to terrify and inspire and encourages the reader to find darkness in the ordinary things in life and light in the depths of the soul.

🔖 Sunvault edited by Phoebe Wagner and Brontë Christopher Wieland [$] Sunvault: Stories of Solarpunk and Eco-Speculation is the first anthology to broadly collect solarpunk short stories, artwork, and poetry. A new genre for the 21st Century, solarpunk is a revolution against despair. Focusing on solutions to environmental disasters, solarpunk envisions a future of green, sustainable energy used by societies that value inclusiveness, cooperation, and personal freedom.

🔖 Ayam Curtain edited by June Yang and Joyce Chng [$Kong jiao wei , Hokkien, means “speaking bird language.” It is a cock-and-bull story, a flight of fancy and, incidentally , the perfect phrase to describe this collection of microfiction with a quintessentially Singaporean flavour. The reader steps into a technological dystopia one moment and wakes up a crow in the next story, all within the space of a hundred words.

🔖 The Djinn Falls in Love and Other Stories edited by by Mahvesh Murad and Jared Shurin [$] Some have called them genies: these are the Djinn. And they are everywhere. On street corners, behind the wheel of a taxi, in the chorus, between the pages of books. Every language has a word for them. Every culture knows their traditions. Every religion, every history has them hiding in their dark places. There is no part of the world that does not know them.

🔖 From the Belly of the Cat edited by Stephanie Ye [$] Discover the Lion City through the eyes of its cats and their humans in From the Belly of the Cat, an anthology of fifteen feline tales by some of the city-state’s most exciting writers and notorious cat sympathisers.

🔖 Her Body and Other Parties by Carmen Maria Machado [$] Carmen Maria Machado blithely demolishes the arbitrary borders between psychological realism and science fiction, comedy and horror, fantasy and fabulism. While her work has earned her comparisons to Karen Russell and Kelly Link, she has a voice that is all her own. In this electric and provocative debut, Machado bends genre to shape startling narratives that map the realities of women’s lives and the violence visited upon their bodies.

🔖 I Will Survive edited by Leow Yangfa [$] This collection brings together real-life experiences of love, grace, faith, dignity and courage from 21 ordinary gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people in Singapore who have survived extraordinary circumstances.

🔖 Jews vs. Aliens edited by Lavie Tidhar and Rebecca Levene [$] Editors Lavie Tidhar and Rebecca Levene have gathered together brand new stories from the light-hearted to the profound, with authors ranging from Orange Prize winner Naomi Alderman to Big Bang Theory writer/producer Eric Kaplan, all asking, for the first time, the question you didn’t even know you wanted answered – what happens when the aliens arrive, only to encounter… Jews?

🔖 The Infinite Library by Victor Fernando R. Ocampo [$] The seventeen stories in this loosely-connected collection push the limits of form and trope, to realism to genre and experimental fiction. All speak of unease of being between two worlds, of not quite fitting in, and also of the comfort of words and books, which illuminate out way through the darkness.


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“Even now I'm not really sure which parts of myself are real and which parts are things I've gotten from books.” - [Beatrice Sparks] Go Ask Alice 🍃☕

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