1. Welcome to the Fantasy Writing Forums. Register Now to join us.

41 Free Science Fiction & Fantasy-ish Short Stories

Discussion in 'Novels & Stories' started by Ophiucha, Apr 4, 2014.

  1. Ophiucha

    Ophiucha Auror

    In no particular order, I made a little list of forty-one (legally) free sf/f short stories. Well, some of them pre-date the genres and some are either supernatural horror or magic realism and some are perhaps long enough to be novelettes or novellas. But they're all some of my favourites. Most links will work internationally, but the stuff on Tor.com is about 50:50. Enjoy!

    Immersion, by Aliette de Bodard
    -All You Zombies-, by Robert Heinlein
    A Sound of Thunder, by Ray Bradbury
    The Courtship of the Queen, by Bruce McAllister
    The Woman Who Shook the World Tree, by Michael Swanwick
    The Birthmark, by Nathaniel Hawthorne
    The Women Men Don't See, by James Tiptree Jr.
    Tlön, Uqbar, Orbis Tertius(pdf), by Jorge Luis Borges
    Clockwork Fairies, by Cat Rambo
    The Way of Cross and Dragon, by George R.R. Martin
    I Have No Mouth, and I Must Scream (pdf), by Harlan Ellison
    The Things, by Peter Watts
    The Lady Who Plucked Red Flowers beneath the Queen's Window, by Rachel Swirsky
    Non-Zero Probabilities, by N.K. Jemisin
    Wolf's Heart, by Tappan King
    A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings, by Gabriel Garcia Márquez
    The Cage, by A.M. Dellamonica
    The Fermi Paradox is Our Business Model, by Charlie Jane Anders
    Godmother Death, by Jane Yolen
    Miss Carstairs and the Merman, by Delia Sherman
    A Buyer's Guide to Maps of Antarctica, by Catherynne M. Valente
    Two Hearts, by Peter S. Beagle
    Ponies, by Kij Johnson
    Les Fleurs Empoisonnées, by Caitlín R. Kiernan
    The Yellow Wallpaper, by Charlotte Perkins Gilman
    They're Made Out of Meat, by Terry Bisson
    Light on the Water, by Genevieve Valentine
    The Kinght of Chains, the Deuce of Stars, by Yoon Ha Lee
    The Last Question, by Isaac Asimov
    A Study in Emerald (pdf), by Neil Gaiman
    The Pit and the Pendulum, by Edgar Allan Poe
    Bloodchild, by Octavia E. Butler
    Hooves and the Hovel of Abdel Jameela, by Saladin Ahmed
    The Paper Menagerie , by Ken Liu
    On the Blindside, by Sonya Taaffe
    Let Maps to Others, by K.J. Parker
    The Girl Who Ruled Fairyland--For a Little While, by Catherynne M. Valente
    A Haunted House, by Virginia Woolf
    The Dala Horse, by Michael Swanwick
    The Dog King, by Holly Black
    The Statement of Randolph Carter, by H.P. Lovecraft *

    As a bonus, five honorary mentions for stories I really like but I couldn't find places to read them online that seemed entirely legal, so you'll either have to google them for yourselves or pay for them. The links go to Amazon's page for anthologies that include the stories.

    The Wife's Story, by Ursula K. LeGuin
    Flowers for Algernon, by Daniel Keyes **
    Details, by China Miéville
    Farmer Giles of Ham, by J.R.R. Tolkien
    The Witcher, by Andrzej Sapkowski

    * Undoubtedly his best work currently in public domain. "Shadow over Innsmouth" is my favourite story by him, but you can either wait 15 years for that to enter the public domain or buy one of the numerous, cheap anthologies of his work.
    ** This anthology also includes 'Mimsy Were the Borogroves' by Henry Kuttner and C.L. Moore, another favourite of mine.
  2. Ravana

    Ravana Istar

    I'm pretty amazed "–All You Zombies–" is available for free… even if it is an .edu site which got the rights to post it.

    The posted version suffers slightly from being "formatted for internet"–my sardonic and not-at-all subtly sarcastic term for copying and pasting without doing any actual formatting whatsoever, nor paying attention to what might be lost as it gets taken from its native format to your site's default one. Such as italics. So there are a couple points where emphatics are lost. Not enough to justify not reading, however. And this is one of the best SF stories of all time, so if you haven't read it yet, and can do it for free.…

    Lot of other good stuff on that list, too. Nicely done. :)
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 11, 2017
  3. Ophiucha

    Ophiucha Auror

    Universities seem to be particularly bad about maintaining the quality of the original text when they upload it. I must say that the .edu site that had I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream is quite inferior to this gorgeously formatted version I found from some dubious Ukrainian website.
  4. kayd_mon

    kayd_mon Sage

    Thanks for the list, I look forward to checking those out!

    Also, Farmer Giles of Ham is one of my favorites.

Share This Page