Best fantasy and science fiction anthologies

Anthologies are a collection of novellas or short stories, each usually written by a different author. They are a perfect way to experience new genres and discover new authors. The list below also features collections of short stories written by the same author and published in a single volume.

1. The Time Traveler's Almanac by Ann and Jeff VanderMeer
Score: 100
Our rating: 10.0 | 0 positive reader reviews
The Time Traveler’s Almanac is the largest, most definitive collection of time travel stories ever assembled. Gathered into one volume by intrepid chrononauts and world-renowned anthologists Ann and Jeff VanderMeer, here is over a century's worth of literary travels into past and the fu [...]

2. Harrowing the Dragon by Patricia McKillip
Score: 95
Our rating: 9.5 | 0 positive reader reviews
Spanning a quarter of a century, an anthology of previously uncollected short fiction by the World Fantasy Award-winning author explores a world of magic in such works as "The Harrowing of the Dragon of Hoarsbreath," "A Matter of Music," "The Fellowship of the Dragon,&quo [...]

3. The Treasury of the Fantastic by David Sandner and Jacob Weisman
Score: 95
Our rating: 9.5 | 0 positive reader reviews
The fantastic, the supernatural, the poetic, and the macabre entwine in this incomparable culmination of storytelling. Imaginative stories of wit and intelligence weave through vivid landscapes that are alternately wondrous and terrifying. Bringing together major literary figures from the 19th an [...]

4. Zombies vs. Unicorns by Holly Black and Justine Larbalestier
Score: 92
Our rating: 9.0 | 2 positive reader reviews
I’m sure you’re familiar with this typical family dinner scenario: everyone is seated around the table and Grampa- like Grampa always does- turns a perfectly pleasant conversation into a tirade about how under-appreciated unicorns are in modern society because of these gosh-darn kids [...]

5. love songs for the shy and cynical by Robert Shearman
Score: 91
Our rating: 9.1 | 0 positive reader reviews
The first love song in the world, as composed by a pig in the Garden of Eden... The Devil, alarmed when his hobby of writing romantic fiction begins to upstage his day job... A man finding love with someone who has an allergy to his very own happiness; another losing love altogether when his wife [...]

6. Yellowcake by Margo Lanagan
Score: 90
Our rating: 9.0 | 0 positive reader reviews
Yellowcake brings together ten short stories from Australian writer Margo Lanagan, the winner of many prizes, including four World Fantasy Awards. In stories ranging from fantasy and fairy tale to horror and stark reality, the people in Lanagan's tales face trials, temptations and degradation [...]

7. Weird Shadows over Innsmouth by Stephen Jones
Score: 90
Our rating: 9.0 | 0 positive reader reviews
Respected horror anthologist Stephen Jones edits this collection of twelve stories by some of the worlds most prominent Lovecraftian authors, including H.P Lovecraft himself, Ramsey Campbell, Kim Newman, Michael Marshall Smith, John Glasby, Paul McAuley, Steve Rasnic Tem, Caitlin R. Kiernan, Bria [...]

8. Kaiju Rising: Age of Monsters by Tim Marquitz
Score: 90
Our rating: 9.0 | 0 positive reader reviews
Kaiju Rising: Age of Monsters is a collection of 23 stories focused around the theme of strange creatures in the vein of Pacific Rim, Godzilla, Cloverfield, and more. The anthology opens with a foreword by Jeremy Robinson, author of Project Nemesis, the highest selling Kaiju novel in the United S [...]

9. Dangerous Women by George RR Martin
Score: 90
Our rating: 9.0 | 0 positive reader reviews
George R.R. Martin and Gardner Dozois have put together a towering anthology of specially-commissioned stories from the most stellar names in the genre, set in a number of readers' favourite fantasy worlds. [...]

10. Valour's Trial by Tanya Huff
A Confederation Novel #4
Score: 90
Our rating: 9.0 | 0 positive reader reviews
Gunnery Sergeant Torin Kerr has finally been allowed to re-join Sh’quo Company and get back to fighting The Others with no politics involved. Before this she spent the previous books becoming increasingly disillusioned by the Elder Races and why the Younger Races are fighting but not includ [...]

11. The Deaths of Tao by Wesley Chu
Tao #2
Score: 90
Our rating: 9.0 | 0 positive reader reviews
The Prophus and the Genjix are at war. For centuries they have sought a way off-planet, guiding humanity's social and technological development to the stage where space travel is possible. The end is now in sight, and both factions have plans to leave the Earth, but the Genjix method will mea [...]

12. Knee-Deep In Grit by Adrian Collins
Score: 90
Our rating: 9.0 | 0 positive reader reviews
Get knee-deep in grit with twenty-five grimdark sci-fi and fantasy short stories from the shadowy vaults of Grimdark Magazine. The top names in dark speculative fiction and the genre’s brightest newcomers bring you stories of war, betrayal, violence, and greed, as anti-heroes and adversarie [...]

13. The Crimson Pact: Volume 3 by Paul Genesse
The Crimson Pact
Score: 89
Our rating: 8.9 | 0 positive reader reviews
The Crimson Pact Volume 3 features fifteen action-packed and frightening short stories, including, "That Which We Fear" by New York Times' bestselling author Larry Correia, and Steven Diamond, which features a marine who knows the exact time of his death and a federal agent who has [...]

14. The Shadow of the Torturer by Gene Wolf
Book of the New Sun
Score: 89
Our rating: 8.5 | 4 positive reader reviews
Severian is a torturer, born to the guild and with an exceptionally promising career ahead of him... until he falls in love with one of his victims, a beautiful young noblewoman. Her excruciations are delayed for some months and, out of love, Severian helps her commit suicide and escape her fate. [...]

15. Gotrek and Felix: The Anthology by Christian Dunn
Warhammer
Score: 89
Our rating: 8.9 | 0 positive reader reviews
Gotrek and Felix - unsung heroes of the Empire, or nothing more than common thieves and murderers? The truth perhaps lies somewhere in between, and depends entirely upon whom you ask. This anthology contains a selection of stories including a previously unpublished tale by John Brunner. [...]

16. Sin Eater by Mike Shel
Iconoclasts #2
Score: 89
Our rating: 8.9 | 0 positive reader reviews
A year has passed since Auric Manteo descended into the haunted depths of a Djao ruin to return a lethal artifact, only to face down a bloodthirsty, imprisoned god. Now his daughter Agnes comes to bring him back to the capital with promises of hidden secrets finally revealed.But the c [...]

17. The Better Part of Valour by Tanya Huff
A Confederation Novel #2
Score: 88
Our rating: 8.8 | 0 positive reader reviews
When Staff Sergeant Torin Kerr makes the mistake of speaking her mind to a superior officer, she finds herself tagged for a special mission to act as protector to a scientific exploratory team assigned to investigate an enormous derelict spaceship. Along with her crew Kerr soon finds herself in t [...]

18. The Crimson Pact: Volume 2 by Paul Genesse
The Crimson Pact
Score: 87
Our rating: 8.7 | 0 positive reader reviews
The dark fantasy and adventure continues as volume two mixes sequels from Gloria Weber, Sarah Kanning, Justin Swapp, and Isaac Bell with new stories from Lester Smith, Kathryn McGee, Adam Israel, Valerie Dircks, T.S. Rhodes, Elizabeth Shack, Daniel Alonso, and Nayad Monroe. [...]

19. The Inferior by Peader O Guilin
The Bone World Trilogy: Book 1
Score: 85
Our rating: 8.5 | 0 positive reader reviews
Stopmouth and his family know of no other life than the daily battle to survive. To live they must hunt rival species, or negotiate flesh-trade with those who crave meat of the freshest human kind. It is a savage, desperate existence. And for Stopmouth, considered slow-witted hunt-fodder by his t [...]

20. The Crimson Pact: Volume 1 by Paul Genesse
The Crimson Pact
Score: 85
Our rating: 8.5 | 0 positive reader reviews
The moment of the demons' defeat became their greatest victory. In the carnage after the last great battle against the demons, a doomed general discovers their hidden victory. Instead of being annihilated, unspeakable evil escaped into many unsuspecting worlds. To fight them, the men and wome [...]

21. Principles of Angels by Jaine Fenn
Hidden Empire: Book 1
Score: 85
Our rating: 8.5 | 0 positive reader reviews
Khesh City floats above the surface of the uninhabitable planet of Vellern. Topside, it's extravagant, opulent, luxurious; the Undertow is dark, twisted and dangerous. Khesh City is a place where nothing is forbidden - but it's also a democracy, of sorts, a democracy by assassination, pol [...]

22. Epic: Legends of Fantasy by John Joseph Adams
Score: 85
Our rating: 8.5 | 0 positive reader reviews
From the creation myths and quest sagas of ancient times to the megapopular fantasy novels of today, this quintessential anthology of epic fantasy is adventurous storytelling at its best. With rich and vibrant world building, readers are transported to antiquated realms to witness noble sacrifice [...]

23. Quintessence by David Walton
Score: 85
Our rating: 8.5 | 0 positive reader reviews
Imagine an Age of Exploration full of alchemy, human dissection, sea monsters, betrayal, torture, religious controversy, and magic. In Europe, the magic is thin, but at the edge of the world, where the stars reach down close to the Earth, wonders abound. This drives the bravest explorers to the a [...]

24. The Best Science Fiction and Fantasy of the Year: Volume 8 by Jonathan Strahan
Score: 85
Our rating: 8.5 | 0 positive reader reviews
From the inner realms of humanity to the far reaches of space, these are the science fiction and fantasy tales that are shaping the genre and the way we think about the future. Multi-award winning editor Jonathan Strahan continues to shine a light on the very best writing, featuring both establis [...]

25. Art of War: Anthology for Charity by Petros Triantafyllou
Score: 85
Our rating: 8.5 | 0 positive reader reviews
"War, my friend, is a thing of beauty." How do you get forty fantasy authors to contribute short stories for a war-themed anthology without paying them? It sounds as if there should be a good punchline to that, but all Petros Triantafyllou did was twist the moral thumbscrews [...]

26. Elf Love by Josie Brown Rose Mambert and Bill Racicot
Score: 84
Our rating: 8.4 | 0 positive reader reviews
Tales of lust, betrayal, murder and... elves. 20 original stories enchant, intrigue, and delight as they explore the theme of "Elf Love" in a variety of genres: fantasy, suspense, romance, noir, humor, and much more. [...]

27. The Very Best of Tad Williams by Tad Williams
Score: 83
Our rating: 8.3 | 0 positive reader reviews
Within these pages you will find such delightful and curious things as a strange storytelling vampire, two woefully-overmatched angels, a dragon in cahoots with a knight and a witch, an ineptly duplicitous fish, the loyal robot butler of Werner Von Secondstage Booster, and the Greatest Wizard of [...]

28. The Pan Book of Horror Stories by Various
Score: 80
Our rating: 8.0 | 0 positive reader reviews
22 terrifying tales of horror by such famous authors as Peter Fleming, C. S. Forester, Bram Stoker, Angus Wilson, Noel Langley, Jack Finney and L. P. Hartley. Stories of the uncanny jostle with tales of the macabre. Stories of subtle beastliness - like Rasberry Jam; of sickening horror - like The [...]

29. Heaven's Shadow by David S Goyer and Michael Cassutt
Score: 80
Our rating: 8.0 | 0 positive reader reviews
In 2016 amateur astrologers spot an object in the sky, literally over the South Pole. An object one hundred kilometres across and heading towards Earth… As the Near Earth Object (NEO) approaches two manned spaceships operated by NASA and the Russian – Indian –Brazilian Coalitio [...]

30. A Time For Ryda by Phil Stern
Score: 80
Our rating: 8.0 | 0 positive reader reviews
Eve Scott arrives at a Ryda university on a mission of her own, not unlike the pilots who risk their lives every day. She stands up for what she believes in though, and her cover is that of a college student, all curves and sensuality that no one would suspect is the Resistance – or would t [...]

31. Shadows Over Innsmouth by Stephen Jones
Score: 80
Our rating: 8.0 | 0 positive reader reviews
Shadows Over Innsmouth - a collection of short stories edited by the prolific anthologist Stephen Jones - starts off with HP Lovecraft’s The Shadow Over Innsmouth in 1920s Massachusetts before moving through the decades in 16 subsequent short stories either based in the town of Innsmouth or [...]

32. Alt Hist: Issue 5 by Mark Lord
Score: 80
Our rating: 8.0 | 0 positive reader reviews
Alt Hist Issue 5 features stories covering a variety of historical periods from the 1800s to post-War USA. This issue includes five new original works of fiction including stories about Al Capone and Italian Futurism, the aftermath of the American Civil War, the real Frankenstein, the Bridge that [...]

33. Alt Hist: Issue 3 by Mark Lord
Score: 80
Our rating: 8.0 | 0 positive reader reviews
The third issue of Alt Hist includes two stories about the American Civil War, one about the great Tesla, a tale of post-war revenge set in Dublin, and a compelling story about the early years of the space race. [...]

34. Alt Hist: Issue 2 by Mark Lord
Score: 80
Our rating: 8.0 | 0 positive reader reviews
Alt Hist is the new magazine of historical fiction and alternate history. The second issue features eight new stories and also three book reviews. From ancient Egypt to World War I, and the death of Abraham Lincoln, there is something for every fan of historical fiction in Alt Hist Issue 2. Stori [...]

35. Old Venus by George RR Martin
Score: 80
Our rating: 8.0 | 0 positive reader reviews
Sixteen all-new stories by science fiction’s top talents collected by bestselling author George R. R. Martin and multiple-award-winning editor Gardner Dozois. It turns back the clock to that more innocent time, before the hard-won knowledge of science vanquished the infinite possibilities o [...]

36. Grimdark Magazine #17 by Adrian Collins
Grimdark Magazine #17
Score: 80
Our rating: 8.0 | 0 positive reader reviews
Grimdark Magazine presents the darker, grittier side of fantasy and science fiction. Each quarterly issue features established and new authors to take you through their hard-bitten worlds alongside articles, reviews and interviews. Our stories are grim, our worlds are dark and our morally grey pr [...]

37. Grimdark Magazine #18 by Adrian Collins
Grimdark Magazine #18
Score: 80
Our rating: 8.0 | 0 positive reader reviews
Grimdark Magazine presents the darker, grittier side of fantasy and science fiction. Each quarterly issue features established and new authors to take you through their hard-bitten worlds alongside articles, reviews and interviews. Our stories are grim, our worlds are dark and our morally grey pr [...]

38. The Host by Stephenie Meyer
Score: 77
Our rating: 7.4 | 5 positive reader reviews
Melanie Stryder refuses to fade away. The earth has been invaded by a species that takes over the minds of their human hosts while leaving their bodies intact, and most of humanity has succumbed.Wanderer, the invading 'soul' who has been given Melanie's body, knew about the cha [...]

39. The Secret Life of the Panda by Nick Jackson
Score: 75
Our rating: 7.5 | 0 positive reader reviews
The Secret Life of the Panda (Chomu Press, December 12, 2011) is a collection of fourteen diverse short stories written by former librarian and current teacher, Nick Jackson (Visits to the Flea Circus). [...]

40. Rogues by George RR Martin
Score: 75
Our rating: 7.5 | 0 positive reader reviews
A collection of twenty-one original stories by a list of contributors including a new A Game of Thrones story by George R. R. Martin. Follow along with the likes of Gillian Flynn, Joe Abercrombie, Neil Gaiman, Patrick Rothfuss, Scott Lynch, Cherie Priest, Garth Nix, and Connie Willis, as well as [...]

41. Robot Uprisings by John Joseph Adams
Score: 75
Our rating: 7.5 | 0 positive reader reviews
Humans beware. As the robotic revolution continues to creep into our lives, it brings with it an impending sense of doom. What horrifying scenarios might unfold if our technology were to go awry? From self-aware robotic toys to intelligent machines violently malfunctioning, this anthology brings [...]

42. At the Mountains of Madness by HP Lovecraft
Score: 73
Our rating: 7.3 | 0 positive reader reviews
A novella, written from the point of view of a geologist, William Dyer, writing about a terrible event that happened on a scientific mission to the Antarctic some years previously. His aim is to prevent a separate mission from going back to the area where he and a team of about 20 researchers ini [...]

43. Best New Romantic Fantasy 2: Volume 2 by Paula Guran
Score: 70
Our rating: 7.0 | 0 positive reader reviews
An annual anthology of stories of love and wonder. Enchanting and enchanted lovers, magical romance, dark desires, otherworldly sensations, ethereal encounters, paranormal thrills, sensual spells, supernatural suspense, sizzling speculations... Highly imaginative short fiction and novellas from f [...]

44. The Mammoth Book of Extreme Fantasy by Mike Ashley
Score: 70
Our rating: 7.0 | 0 positive reader reviews
In extreme fantasy anything can happen. In Mike Ashley_s breathtaking new anthology the only rules are those the writer makes - these are stories to liberate both the writers_ and readers_ imagination. They will take you to hell and back (literally - two of the stories involve hell in ways never [...]

45. Solaris Rising: The New Solaris Book of Science Fiction by Ian Whates
Score: 70
Our rating: 7.0 | 0 positive reader reviews
Solaris Rising is the first in an exciting new series of anthologies that are set to reaffirm Solaris's proud reputation for producing high quality science fiction. The book will feature all original short stories from Peter F. Hamilton, Alastair Reynolds, Stephen Baxter, Paul di Filippo, Ada [...]

46. The Lost Stars: Imperfect Sword by Jack Campbell
Score: 70
Our rating: 7.0 | 0 positive reader reviews
President Gwen Iceni and General Artur Drakon have successfully liberated the Midway Star System - but the former rulers of the Syndicate Worlds won’t surrender the region without a fight. The dictatorial regime has ordered the ex–Syndicate CEOs terminated with extreme prejudice and t [...]

47. Mars the Avenger by Alan Scribner
A Judge Marcus Flavius Severus Mystery in Ancient Rome #1
Score: 60
Our rating: 6.0 | 0 positive reader reviews
Marcus Flavius Severus, a judge in the court of the Prefect of the City of Rome, investigates the disappearance of a senator's wife and the finding of the body of a murdered man thrown on the steps of the Temple of Mars the Avenger. As the investigation unfolds, the two cases become connected [...]

48. Betrayal at Falador by TS Church
Runescape: Book 1
Score: 58
Our rating: 5.5 | 3 positive reader reviews
With over 100 million active accounts, RuneScape is widely recognised as the world’s most popular MMORPG. Betrayal at Falador is the first ever tie-in novel to RuneScape. In the kingdom of Asgarnia, though the Knights of Falador defend the land and protect the people, they face [...]

49. Fire: Tales of Elemental Spirits by Robin McKinley

Score: 50
Our rating: 5.0 | 0 positive reader reviews
Master storytellers Robin McKinley and Peter Dickinson present the second volume in their four planned collections, each one about the "Elementals"-water, fire, earth, and air. In Fire they tell five tales of creatures who live and die by fire, whether in the present day or the prehisto [...]