Top Ten Story Collections/Anthologies of 2019

The Sea Was a Fair Master - Calvin Demmer The Night Doctor and Other Tales - Steve Rasnic Tem In Darkness, Delight: Creatures of the Night - Chad Lutzke, Tim Curran, Jeff Strand, Josh Malerman, Andrew Lennon, Glenn Rolfe, Evans Light, Mary SanGiovanni, Richard Chizmar, Ray Garton On Dark Wings: Stories - Stephen Gregory Growing Things and Other Stories - Paul Tremblay Midnight in the Graveyard - Jeremy Hepler, Chad Lutzke, Kenneth W. Cain, Jonathan Janz, Kealan Patrick Burke, John Everson, Elizabeth Massie, William Meikle, Thomas F. Monteleone, Robert R. McCammon In Darkness, Delight: Masters of Midnight - Monique Youzwa, Espi Kvlt, Paul Michaels, Joanna Koch, Israel Finn, Billy Chizmar, Michael Bray, Josh Malerman, Andrew Lennon, Patrick Lacey, Jason  Parent, Evans Light, John McNee, Ryan C. Thomas, Mark Matthews, William Meikle Wicked Weird: An Anthology of the New England Horror Writers - Amber Fallon, Matthew M. Bartlett, Brian K. Vaughan, Jeffrey Thomas, Victoria Dalpe, Sylvia Morgan- Baker, Scott T. Goudsward, Peter N. Dudar, David Soares, David Price A Deep Horror  That Was Very Nearly Awe - J.R. Hamantaschen UrnTold Tales of Horror and Dread: A Scary Short Story Collection - Felton Lovet


Here is a listing of the short story collections and anthologies that I enjoyed most during 2019.  (I wasn't able to read as many as I would have liked, but it was a busy year for family obligations. Luckily, most of the collections I did read were outstanding!)


Click the titles if you're interested in reading my review!


1. THE SEA WAS A FAIR MASTER by Calvin Demmer. 

This was my introduction to this author, and I'm very much looking forward to checking out more of his work in the future. 



I find myself still thinking about these stories all the time. They make me feel as unsettled now and they did when I first read them. Tem is a national treasure and I wish more readers were familiar with his work. 


3. IN DARKNESS, DELIGHT: CREATURES OF THE NIGHT edited by Evans Light and Andrew Lennon

This was a real treat, just like the first in the series. Featuring creatures of all kinds, this volume was delightful!


4. ON DARK WINGS by Stephen Gregory.

Like Steve Rasnic Tem, I think Stephen Gregory is criminally underrated. With unique, superb descriptive skills, and with a penchant for writing about birds, Gregory will always remain a favorite of mine, even if he never writes another word. 


5. GROWING THINGS by Paul Tremblay

An excellent collection from one of the best writers in dark fiction today. 


6. MIDNIGHT IN THE GRAVEYARD edited by Kenneth Cain

Horror Aficionados hosted a group read of this book, and all of the authors participated. It made for a unique and exciting experience. It helped that all of the authors brought their A game, and that Kenneth Cain had a great feel as far as the flow of the stories was concerned. 


7. IN DARKNESS, DELIGHT: MASTERS OF THE NIGHT edited by Andrew Lennon and Evans Light. 

The first volume of this series was quite good and totally had my anticipation going when the second volume was released. With an array of authors that would top any dark fiction list, this book did not disappoint. 


8. WICKED WEIRD edited by Amber Fallon, Scott Goudsward and David Price. 

An excellent anthology from New England Horror Writers. I own a few other anthologies from this same group and I know I will be sorry I haven't read them yet. (It's my plan for 2020 to read all of the WICKED series books I own.)



This is an author from whom I never know what to expect. A wide variety of tales within, this one tickled my fancy back in January, and set the standard for the rest of the year.




An excellent and impressive debut collection from a mysterious author.




I hope you stay tuned for more BEST OF 2019 posts!