Skip to main content

The Star by Arthur C. Clarke

The Star

by Arthur C. Clarke

• Word count: 2475
• Page count: 6

The Star is a classic science fiction short story by one of the genre’s most famous authors: Arthur C. Clarke. It is a story told from the point of view of a Jesuit astrophysicist aboard a starship that is investigating the Phoenix Nebula. The site of a supernova some 6,000 years earlier, the nebula has yielded knowledge that shakes his faith to its very core. Read More

The Feeling of Power by Isaac Asimov

The Feeling of Power

by Isaac Asimov

• Word count: 3283
• Page count: 10

The Feeling of Power is a cool little science fiction short story by one of the giants of the genre: Isaac Asimov. Written in classic Asimov fashion, the story explores the idea of a society so dependent on computers that they have forgotten basic math skills. Read More

Kin by Bruce McAllister

Kin

by Bruce McAllister

• Word count: 3978
• Page count: 10

Kin is a science fiction short story by Bruce McAllister that explores the ideas of the extremes a person will go to on an over populated and regulated world and the fact that truly learning about another culture – even if it is an alien one – can prove abundantly worthwhile. Read More

Darwin’s Suitcase by Elizabeth Malartre

Darwin’s Suitcase

by Elizabeth Malartre

• Word count: 4469
• Page count: 12

Darwin’s Suitcase is a science fiction short story about the effects of time travel to a pivotal point in history. It follows a woman living in a religiously controlled world who uses a temporal viewer to watch a scene in the life of the famous naturalist Charles Darwin. As events unfold she discovers that Darwin holds a conversation with a most unusual and determined visitor. Read More

Tideline by Elizabeth Bear

Tideline

by Elizabeth Bear

• Word count: 4280
• Page count: 8

Tideline is a science fiction short story about the lone survivor of a war – a sentient war machine – and its struggles to create memorials for its fallen comrades. As it combs the beach looking for trinkets, it forms a most unusual friendship which prods it into doing things it otherwise would never do. Read More

Beyond the Wall by Justin Stanchfield

Beyond the Wall

by Justin Stanchfield

• Word count: 8443
• Page count: 23

Beyond the Wall is a science fiction short story about a UN security team that chases a pirate ship to a forbidden area on one of Saturn’s moons. At the base of a controversial alien wall the team experiences several mysterious events as they first search for the pirates and then deal with the strange effects of the colossal artifact. Read More

Old MacDonald Had a Farm by Mike Resnick

Old MacDonald Had a Farm

by Mike Resnick

• Word count: 5695
• Page count: 15

Old MacDonald Had a Farm is a science fiction short story that puts an ethical spin on one of humankind’s oldest questions: how can we feed the world’s poor?

It is a short story about a reporter who visits a farm where millions of genetically engineered animals are raised to help alleviate the world’s food shortage. What he finds there is both brilliantly wonderful and tragically disturbing. Read More

The Cube Game by Emily Seife

The Cube Game

by Emily Seife

• Word count: 1646
• Page count: 3

The Cube Game is a very short science fiction story written by a twelve year old girl: Emily Seife. An excellent short story for kids and adults, this piece is about a game that is played by the children of Rijuan – an experimental environment just outside of Nypron’s third moon. The cube game was created to teach the kids to consider their every movement in the low oxygen atmosphere where they live. Read More

The Day the Martians Came by Frederik Pohl

The Day the Martians Came

by Frederik Pohl

• Word count: 2579
• Page count: 6

The Day the Martians Came is an interestingly abstract science fiction short story by Frederik Pohl. First published in 1967 it explores the social ramifications of humans discovering an alien race.

The story follows one night of a hotel manager as he struggles to deal with all the reporters in his establishment on the eve of NASA’s returning Algonquin Nine – an expediton to Mars. Read More

Raft by Stephen Baxter

Raft

by Stephen Baxter

• Word count: 5951
• Page count: 16

Raft is a science fiction short story that first appeared in issue #31 (Sep/Oct 1989) of the British science fiction and fantasy magazine Interzone. The story is about a group of humans that accidentally entered an alternate universe where gravity is much stronger than it is in ours. It follows a young man named Rees who is apprenticed to a scientist after one of his pranks nearly kills a fellow crewmember. It takes place over several years as Rees learns more about their universe and tries to overcome its limitations so he can save his crew. Read More

macs by Terry Bisson

macs

by Terry Bisson

• Word count: 3456
• Page count: 8

macs is a science fiction short story by Terry Bisson which won the 2000 Locus award and the 2001 Nebula award for best short story. It was also nominated for the 2000 Hugo award and was on the shortlist for the 2000 Theodore Sturgeon Memorial Award Read More

Star Light, Star Bright by Alfred Bester

Star Light, Star Bright

by Alfred Bester

• Word count: 5664
• Page count: 16

Star Light, Star Bright is a classic science fiction short story first published in 1953 by Alfred Bester, the author of the very first Hugo award winning novel.

It is the story of a boy who has some amazing knowledge, and the people who are searching for him. It you like classic science fiction and pulp stories (Isaac Asimov, Philip K. Dick) then you will probably like this story too. I consider it to be a great story that makes you think about what could happen if this were really true. Read More

Tk’tk’tk by David D. Levine

Tk’tk’tk

by David D. Levine

• Word count: 6626
• Page count: 12

Tk’tk’tk is the 2006 winner of the Hugo Award for Best Short Story. It is the story of a penniless salesman on a very alien planet. The main character, Walker, is tried by everything from his ability to sell gadgets, to paying for his hotel, to participating in the local religious holiday. In the end he finds a uniquely spiritual restaurant that changes his life. Read More

A Study in Emerald by Neil Gaiman

A Study in Emerald

by Neil Gaiman

• page count: 9

A Study in Emerald, the 2004 winner of the Hugo Award for Best Short Story, is a unique blending of two literary traditions: Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes and H.P. Lovecraft’s Cthulhu mythos.

It is a short story told from the point of view of an assistant to an extraordinarily gifted detective.The detective and the narrator help the Scotland Yard of 1914 track a killer of a most unusual victim. Read More

Marionettes, Inc. by Ray Bradbury

Marionettes, Inc.

by Ray Bradbury

• Page count: 9

Marionettes, Inc. is a famous short story by the legendary science fiction author Ray Bradbury.

Marionettes, Inc. is a story about two men who feel they are trapped in their marriages, and the desperate and misguided attempts they make to get out of them by replacing themselves with identical robots (hence the “marionettes”). However, not everything turns out as they had hoped! Read More

A Spy in Europa by Alastair Reynolds

A Spy in Europa

by Alastair Reynolds

• Word count: 7354
• Page count: 20

This is a cool science fiction short story about how far a spy will go to accomplish his mission. Set in the far future it takes place on Europa, one of the moons of Jupiter. There are some familiar Alastair Reynolds ideas here: hyperdiamonds, buckyballs and some very detailed descriptions of biological life on alien worlds – so ingenious its easy to believe that he is just describing something he has seen hundreds of times. Ah – that is why I like his writing!
Read More