Short Story Sunday: Leiningen vs the Ants, Carl Stephenson

Leiningen vs the Ants, Carl Stephenson

My dad loved this adventure about a stubborn plantation owner in the Brazilian wilds facing a horde of killer ants. He read it to me many times, and it always kept me on the edge of my seat even though I knew how it was going to end. Not surprisingly, it’s been a great influence on my work as well (I’m thinking specifically of “Paisley Surprise,” but I’ve always had a fascination for killer animal stories). Fortunately, this story is such a classic it’s free to read online:


Lately I’ve been working on the overwhelming task of thinning out my book collection; it’s something no book lover likes to do, but let’s face it, every once in a while it has to be done, either to clear clutter or make room for more.

It’s no surprise that a good portion of my collection is devoted to short story collections. I’ve read my share of great stories, and I’ve read my share of awful ones—but I’ve also read my share of a few that blew me away to the point at which I’ll never forget them. So instead of doing a typical “Top” list, I decided instead to focus on ones which fall into the last category (please note that in my “about” descriptions I tried to be spoiler-free). Do you have any that have made a lasting impression on you? Leave them in the comments.

About kristipetersenschoonover

A ghost story writer who still sleeps with the lights on, Kristi Petersen Schoonover’s fiction has appeared in many magazines and anthologies; her traditionally published books include a short story collection, THE SHADOWS BEHIND. She was the recipient of three Norman Mailer Writers Colony Residencies and holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Goddard College. She serves as co-host of the DARK DISCUSSIONS podcast, as founding editor of the dark literary journal 34 ORCHARD, and is a member of the New England Horror Writers. Follow her adventures at

Posted on March 15, 2015, in Short Stories and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. I fell in love with Flowers for Algernon, kinda ironic 😛

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