This is a page dedicated to magazine anthologies, especially those of the crime genre.
It's only in the last couple of years, as I've read ever more broadly in the crime genre (chiefly hard-boiled and noir), that I've come across anthologies in magazine format.
And I'm now a complete addict!
Short stories were an early feature of my reading habits, being introduced to W. Somerset Maugham in my 20s. Maugham was a master of the short story and, whilst he wasn't a crime writer, his searingly hot and ruthless insights into human nature were worthy of the best crime writing has ever thrown up.
So, what is it about these anthologies I've become hooked on that really does it for me?
Firstly, it's the exposure to a range of other authors in a short space. Sure, in any given anthology, there are stories you'll like more than others. But from my experience so far, and thanks to the skill of the various editors, I've yet to come across any poor writing, even if the actual story wasn't up my alley. Good times!
Secondly, and I think particularly relevantly in this day and age, a short story presents a great reading opportunity for a limited chunk of time. At present with my consulting work (the stuff I have to do to pay the bills for an otherwise starving author!), I have a 25 minute train commute - what better way to fill that short trip than with a short story? It's bloody perfect.
And thirdly, getting into these anthologies got me off my backside and trying my own hand at short story writing - something which had been on my project list for a long time (quite a few things have loitered on that list for way too long!). As it's turned out, I love putting together a short story. It's a completely different discipline from a novel or novella, in my view. But it stretches you as a writer, and that can only be a great thing. Having had a couple of my efforts now published in one of these anthologies, Switchblade magazine, my motivation is now sky-high.
So, this will be my "Anthology Corner", where I will add new titles to the existing stable as I come across them.
Take a look at the list below, and then go and sample them.
I'll be adding more listing information for them as time goes on.
Editor: Scotch Rutherford
"An Anthology of Noir" is the blurb.
Crime - very hard-boiled and noir - superb, in fact. Started in 2016, and going strong. So far, 4 issues plus one special edition published.
Editor: J.D. Graves
"Quality Cheap Thrills" is the blurb.
A truly delightful mixture of crime, noir, fantasy, macabre, and horror.
It's a newcomer, with only the first issue out so far.
Editor: Alec Cizak
As its name implies, full of crime and noir and pulp. This is the magazine's "second act" as Mr Cizak calls it.
DOWN & OUT: THE MAGAZINE
Editor: Rick Ollerman
This is an offering from Down & Out Books to join this market segment. The first issue came out in 2017. And it's all good hard crime.
Editor: Todd Robinson
Sadly no longer around. But you can, like me, scoop up the back issues online.
I've read three so far, and Mr Robinson's efforts with this anthology were simply superb. It ran for several years. I fully intend to collect the WHOLE back catalogue.
ALL DUE RESPECT
Editor: Chris Rhatigan
Again, sadly no longer with us. But it's brief existence provided some great crime and noir.
BROADSWORDS and BLASTERS
Editors: Matthew X. Gomez & Cameron Mount
"Pulp Magazine with Modern Sensibilities" is the blurb.
Not in the same stable as the crime-oriented gang above, but pulp it still is. Mainly fantasy and sic-fi but plenty of noir overtones and all the action you expect from true pulp.
Started in 2017.