Summer is a great time to catch up on reading, even if you only have short bites of time here and there. And what better to fill those short bites than some short stories?
New anthologies that may be of interest include Faceoff, edited by David Baldacci and sponsored by the International Thriller Writers group. The volume includes eleven tales that match up two protagonists from different authors. For instance, "Rhymes with Prey" by Jeffrey Deaver and John Sandford has Lincoln Rhyme and Lucas Davenport working a case together, while "Gaslighted" by R. L. Stine and Douglas Preston/Lincoln Child pits Slappy the Ventriloquist Dummy against Aloysius Pendergast.
The New Black: A Neo-Noir Anthology, edited by Richard Thomas, is a collection of twenty dark stories from various genres including horror, crime, fantasy, and science fiction. Sample stories include Kyle Minor’s "The Truth and All Its Ugly," about a substance-abusing man who takes his teenage son down the same dark slide after the wife/mother abandons them.
Explosions: Stories of Our Landmine World, edited by Scott Bradley, has 25 stories from bestselling authors such as Jeffery Deaver, James Grady, John Sayles, C. Courtney Joyner, and Peter Straub. The stories are again on the dark side, although like The New Black, they run the gamut of genres. The connecting theme is that each story touches on landmines - proceeds from this charity anthology go to the Nobel Peace Prize-winning organization MAG (Mines Advisory Group).