The winners of the Shirley Jackson Awards were announced over the weekend at ReaderCon 21 and I’m absolutely delighted to see that Rob Shearman was a joint-winner in the Single Author Collection category for his book, Love Songs for the Shy and Cynical. Rob’s been on a roll recently, with the same collection recently winning the Reader’s Prize category of the Edge Hill Short Story Prize as well as garnering several British Fantasy Award nominations (winners to be announced in September). His debut collection, Tiny Deaths, also won a World Fantasy Award in 2008.
If you haven’t yet come across Rob’s work, you’re missing out on something quite extraordinary. Written with intelligence, wit and warmth, his stories weave fluidly between sorrow and humour, darkness and light, pessimism and hope. They are often disturbing, usually quite strange, and always, always surprising. Rob is among the best writers of short fiction that I’ve come across, possessing an enviable economy of style and absolute mastery of the form. His stories inspire an implicit trust in the reader, right from the very first sentence. You know that you’re in safe hands and you know that the journey — while it might be sometimes joyful and sometimes painful — will undoubtedly be a rewarding one.
You can grab either or both collections via the links on Rob website, and I highly recommend them. There is also a new story, “Cold Snap”, currently online at The Lifted Brow — available for a limited time only, so don’t be tardy.