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The 25 Best Science Fiction Short Stories: 10 Years in the Making!

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Happy 10th anniversary to BestScienceFictionStories.com! Today marks 10 years since I started this web site – and to celebrate the occasion I want to share with you my 25 favorite science fiction short stories!

Thanks for All Your Support
Birthday cake imageFirst of all I want to say thanks to all my readers. I have really appreciated all the comments, feedback and suggestions I have received over the past decade. There are some wonderful people out there, and I am grateful to all of you who are still with me – especially after the recent lean years!

How Did I Choose?
In the past 10 years I have read and reviewed over 600 science fiction short stories for this site! There have been many, MANY good stories, but today I want to share with you my favorite ones. These are the ones that amazed me the most and the ones that I have never forgotten. These stories were fantastic, super fun to read and had incredible ideas.  And, most importantly, I have often thought about them – which I consider to be an important sign of a great story!  So here you go: my 25 favorite short stories (in alphabetical order) that I have reviewed for this site. If you haven’t read these stories yet then do yourself a huge favor and go check them out right now!

  1. A Sound of Thunder by Ray Bradbury – a man travels back in time to hunt a T-Rex.
  2. All Summer in a Day by Ray Bradbury – children on Venus celebrate the one day without rain.
  3. Ass-Hat Magic Spider by Scott Westerfeld – a teenage boy desperately tries to lose weight for his space colonist flight.
  4. Black Destroyer by A.E. van Vogt – a vicious alien attacks the crew of an exploration ship.
  5. Bridesicle by Will McIntosh – a dead woman is brought back to life for some very strange proposals.
  6. Diamond Dogs by Alastair Reynolds – a group of highly specialized people travel to a deadly alien tower on a remote planet.
  7. Discerning Women by William Highsmith – a woman is forced to endure a very bizarre alien interview.
  8. Flower, Mercy, Needle, Chain by Yoon Ha Lee – an ancient woman possesses a powerful and unique weapon.
  9. Nightfall by Isaac Asimov – a newspaperman witnesses the last hours of sunlight on his planet.
  10. Sandkings by George R. R. Martin – a rich man collects exotic alien pets.
  11. Story of Your Life by Ted Chiang – a linguist learns a difficult and amazing alien language.
  12. The Call of Cthulhu by H.P. Lovecraft – a man discovers an ancient cult worshiping a horrible monster.
  13. The Clockwork Atom Bomb by Dominic Green – a U.N. weapons inspector discovers black holes in Africa.
  14. The Crystal Spheres by David Brin – a man travels to a distant star system after the inhabitants there break out of their shells.
  15. The Fluted Girl by Paolo Bacigalupi – a servant girl plots revenge on the ruler of her fief.
  16. The Last Question by Isaac Asimov – a super-computer calculates when the universe will end.
  17. The Minority Report by Philip K. Dick – the head of the pre-crime division is about to commit murder.
  18. The Moon Moth by Jack Vance – a young diplomat on a strange planet makes huge social mistakes.
  19. The Nine Billion Names of God by Arthur C. Clarke – Tibetan monks buy a computer to help with their prodigious task.
  20. The Ships Like Clouds, Risen by Their Rain by Jason Sanford – the weatherman on a crappy planet discovers a secret tunnel.
  21. The Star by Arthur C. Clarke – a Jesuit astrophysicist discovers what really made the Christmas star.
  22. The Veldt by Ray Bradbury – angry children use a virtual nursery to get revenge on their parents.
  23. Tower of Babylon by Ted Chiang – a young miner ascends the great tower to break through the vault of heaven.
  24. Understand by Ted Chiang – a man’s use of an experimental drug makes him super intelligent.
  25. Who Goes There? by John W. Campbell – a group of scientists in Antarctica discover a deadly alien frozen in the ice.

Previous Birthday Winners
For the first 5 years of this site we did a birthday “best of” post every year. It was a fun time to ponder over the best stories we had read during the previous year, as well as talk about some of our favorite sites. We haven’t done that for a while, but if you are interested you can see those posts here:

Share Your Favorites with Us
Finally, I think it would be awesome if any of you wanted to share your favorite story with us! Please, leave a comment below telling us about your favorite science fiction story.

Enjoy,
-Rusty