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Some science fiction short stories

Some science fiction short stories

Tue, 12/27/2011 - 21:11 by Ananth in response to merry christmas, mom

In case you missed it. The cats came with us for Christmas! They're getting along with Mika and Gonta. Uh, mostly. 

I'm working on a new project, so I've been reading a lot of science fiction short stories recently and got particularly interested in Arthur C. Clarke. His name was always on my radar, but I seem to have an on again off again relationship with sci-fi, so sometimes it takes me a little while. Anyway, here are some short stories you can read online:

Here's some Asimov:

And one by Vonnegut  - more commentary than anything else:

I've been reading China Mieville's Embassytown, and after that I'll probably read one of Clarke's books. Rendezvous with Rama's been suggested to me a few times, so I'll start there. 

Hope you enjoy some of those links! We'll catch you Thursday. 


Escape Pod

Comment by Arsnof (not verified) Tue, 12/27/2011 - 21:15

Fresh, short sci-fi for your ears, weekly!


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I hope Ananth actually has a

Comment by Aube (not verified) Tue, 12/27/2011 - 21:16

I hope Ananth actually has a medieval hoodie like that, it would be rad. Happy Holidays!

China Miéville

Comment by Renée (not verified) Tue, 12/27/2011 - 21:20

If you're enjoying China Miéville, you should try Unlundun!

Ah, Harrison Bergeron. A

Comment by Maritza Campos (not verified) Tue, 12/27/2011 - 21:24

Ah, Harrison Bergeron. A true classic! And pretty hard to forget too.

The Machine Stops

Comment by Toad (not verified) Tue, 12/27/2011 - 21:49

Harrison Bergeron, I'm glad I got to read it again. :D And I will definitely read the others, but I do wonder, have you read The Machine Stops?

Gonta's face, oh how I lol'd.

Comment by Anonymous (not verified) Tue, 12/27/2011 - 22:31

Gonta's face, oh how I lol'd.

Scifi stuff

Comment by Kalathandra (not verified) Tue, 12/27/2011 - 22:34

I love the cat hair christmas XD

2081 is a short film that is based off of Vonnegut's writings Harrison Bergeron.

Paycheck by Philip K. Dick is a good short story.

Reunion by Arthur C. Clarke is a recommended read in short stories, it has a twist you will probably like.

Scifi recs

Comment by Lee (not verified) Tue, 12/27/2011 - 23:11

If you're enjoying the scifi short stories, I have to recommend an author I stumbled across once - Frederik Pohl. I found an anthology of his short stories (Platinum Pohl, I think it was called) at my library once, and I honestly think they were some of the best short stories I have ever read in my life. I'm sure you'll be inundated in story recs after this post, but I just had to put my vote in.

Other scifi-ish authors I like, so you can have a sense of where I'm coming from - China Mieville, Kurt Vonnegut, Robert Heinlein, Alastair Reynolds, Neil Gaiman (not really scifi, I know, but brilliant nonetheless). Never read much of Clarke or Asimov, so maybe I need to check out some of your links!

Modern SciFi books

Comment by Keshav (not verified) Tue, 12/27/2011 - 23:21

I'm really big on modern scifi authors so if your looking for some good reads, check out Ian McDonald,Paolo Bacigalupi, and Neal Stephenson.

If your looking for a collection of short stories, check this out.

Yes, Pohl of course

Comment by Alain (not verified) Wed, 12/28/2011 - 00:12

Yes, Pohl wrote some great short stories. But he also wrote terrific action science fiction novels through the 60s and 70s. You always ended a chapter on a note of suspense and wanted to jump along to the next, fast. Don't miss Clarke's 1948-1953 "Against the Fall of Night". It's actually better than his 1956 remake of the same basic story. But for Clarke as well as Asimov the best works are their short stories of the 50s and 60s, all collected in convenient books.

Then you have guys like Clifford D. Simak. These days I see a lot of people getting excited about science fiction dealing with a posthuman future. Well, Simak covered those things completely way back in the 60s, with a different vocabulary, along with a few other authors. Try his "Werewolf Principle" of 1967 for instance.

Neal Stephenson!

Comment by mira (not verified) Wed, 12/28/2011 - 00:25

I've read a lot of Neal Stephenson and very much second the recommendation. Snowcrash is probably one of my favorite books-a great potato chip read that was definitely ahead of it's time. Clarke, Asimov, etc. also all wonderful, legendary even.

Be glad the cats get along...

Comment by Anonymous (not verified) Wed, 12/28/2011 - 00:44

When I brought my cats to my mom's for Thanksgiving we had to keep them in the bedroom so they and my mom's cat wouldn't fight. And as soon as I was gone and my mom's cat could go in that room she peed on a blanket my cats had slept on! She is a one per household kinda cat. Not to mention her nickname is Psycho Kitty....

On Mr. Mielville

Comment by ksanzo (not verified) Wed, 12/28/2011 - 00:58

I haven't read Embassytown, but I did slog my way through Kraken. China has good ideas, but his literary style doesn't really suit my tastes. I'd recommend him for outside the box thinking and magicky stuffs of the Terry Pratchett candor.
He's a scifi author who writes about magick and the supernatural, sometimes borderline spiritual. He focuses more on how "it" works/came to be. He does nail town the personality, atmosphere and feel of London spot on, though.

I'll always prefer Gaimans' Neverwhere on the whole for that and prose style, I think, though. I bought Perdidot Street Station by China just to see if his style maybe had a limp in Kraken. I've got too much to read already.

I love Isaac Asimov!

Comment by Organs (not verified) Wed, 12/28/2011 - 02:10

I love Isaac Asimov!


Comment by Vege (not verified) Wed, 12/28/2011 - 02:25

Better read on Stanislaw Lem then:ław_Lem
It's still funny how that paranoiac Philip K. Dick seen Lem for a long time. And how Lem thought that Dick is one of few (if not the only one) decent sci-fi USA writer.

Stanislaw Lem

Comment by Vege (not verified) Wed, 12/28/2011 - 02:45

He's also known for his words:
"I hadn't known there were so many idiots in the world until I started using the Internet."ław_Lem

short SF and Clarke

Comment by Anonymous (not verified) Wed, 12/28/2011 - 09:05

Clarke's best long form imo is "Childhood's End. It and Demolished Man by Bester are two SF novels that have me in tears.

other shorts I'd suggest are:
Let's Go to Golgotha
Hi-Lifter by Gordon R. Dickson (it's in Analog 3 is a fantastic Collection, it's seriously good. Project Gutenberg has many of its stories)

Larry Nivens Short fiction is never less than good, choose anything you simply can't go wrong.. his writing has several "series"/universes/themes and many standalone short stories

Larry and Poul Anderson both paid dues under Campbell and Ben Bova they write great tight short fiction

Ursella K. LeGuin for the win

Comment by Nuvector (not verified) Wed, 12/28/2011 - 09:45

Short story-wise, Ursella not only does the Sci-Fi thing but also She exemplifies a writer who knows her craft. She puts many sic-fi authors to shame.

More short stories and novels listed here:

And to cap it off, here's a six word short story she wrote for Wired:

Easy. Just touch the match to
- Ursula K. Le Guin

Philip K Dick!

Comment by Mary Thompson (not verified) Wed, 12/28/2011 - 10:26

I love Sci Fi short stories! But my favorite author MUST be Philip K. Dick. Pick up one of his anthologies for good times.
Check it:

Also check out some Bradbury, I love The Silent Towns


Comment by djSARS (not verified) Wed, 12/28/2011 - 10:38

The amount of cats in the last frame reminds me too much about this clip:

Oh my god, this is my life.

Comment by HarleyBean (not verified) Wed, 12/28/2011 - 12:40

Oh my god, this is my life. All the cat fur.
This comic literally made me laugh out loud.
Love you guys.

"the stars..."

Comment by Omriel (not verified) Wed, 12/28/2011 - 12:54

The Nine Billion Names of God and Harrison Bergeron are two truly excellent short stories!!

Another suggestion

Comment by Captain Nemo (not verified) Wed, 12/28/2011 - 13:06

Although this one is not a short novel, its a fascinating one for me:

When Gravity Fails, by George Alec Effinger. I love the touches of humour spread through the book (is either that, or I have a dark sense of comedy)


Comment by brokecracker (not verified) Wed, 12/28/2011 - 14:16

Long term reader first time commenter. Love the comic, the art work, the writing.

Loved the sci fi shorts. Read a lot of them before but tons of fun on the re-read.

You should check out "They're made out of meat."

Here is a link to it, not quite as classic but pretty funny and clever.

Favorite sci-fi

Comment by JeSuisUnBaer (not verified) Wed, 12/28/2011 - 16:54

My favorite sci-fi series has to be the Gaunt's Ghosts books by Dan Abnett. There are plenty of them and usually they can be found at Barns &Nobles.

Yep Our tree was decorated

Comment by Mono The Elder (not verified) Wed, 12/28/2011 - 20:25

Yep Our tree was decorated with cats this year too! So much fun. So much shedding for a artificial tree.

To avoid painting myself as

Comment by tahrey (not verified) Wed, 12/28/2011 - 21:01

To avoid painting myself as more of an idiot in Lem's eyes... I will limit this to a simple "thanks! and merry christmas!" in response to the original story links. Read "the last question" before, but did so again, and all the others, with enjoyment.

Captain Nemo: damn, I thought I was about the only person in the world who had read When Gravity Fails, rather than the much more famous book with a very similar title I keep confusing it with... Though only a very small amount has stuck in my mind, I remember it as being quite cool. I was heavily into Gibson and Otomo (as in Akira) at the time, and it's got a similar overall feel.

Childhood's End

Comment by Alana (not verified) Wed, 12/28/2011 - 22:13

You've probably already decided what to read, but for the record Clark's "Childhood's End" really blew my mind, which not many books do anymore.

And that's why my two

Comment by Anonymous (not verified) Thu, 12/29/2011 - 04:45

And that's why my two kitties are sphynxes. Oi.

The phoenix down shirt

Comment by Hohhoi (not verified) Thu, 12/29/2011 - 05:54

The phoenix down shirt arrived today! Thank you for the sticker and the little dinosaur figures!

Some quick Gibson

Comment by charm-bangle (not verified) Thu, 12/29/2011 - 06:36

The Golden Age

Comment by Lady M (not verified) Thu, 12/29/2011 - 09:01

Really excellent philosophical chunk of a sci-fi novel by John C. Wright, set eons in the future & provoking every question of man's will, starring Phaethon, prince of the House of Victorian Romanticism in a time when people can choose their own windows to reality. Genuinely great scifi, & great literature. (Plus abundant adamantium).

Part of a trilogy, this first one is intense & pretty enjoyable on its own, but I highly recommend reading the continuations, "The Phoenix Exultant" & "The Golden Transcendence" for some utterly mind shattering reading.

& the kindle edition is not half bad.

stay warm in this freezing pocket between now & the new year.
& a happy one to you!

More stories!

Comment by minetruly (not verified) Sat, 12/31/2011 - 10:59

The Feeling of Power is my second favorite Asimov short story! (Favorite: "Reason.")

You should read Ray Bradbury's "The Martian Chronicles," which consists of several short stories that together paint a picture of the colonization of Mars.

Also, this is hardly one of my top scifi stories, but I was just reading it last night and have the link ready: The Sound of Thunder.
It's by Bradbury; it has its high points, but if you want to see him at his best, you should read The Martian Chronicles.


Comment by minetruly (not verified) Sat, 12/31/2011 - 11:00

Sorry, that should have been "A Sound of Thunder."


Comment by C-bro Green (not verified) Sun, 01/01/2012 - 18:27

That's not a Christmas tree... >.<


Comment by anonymousse (not verified) Fri, 01/06/2012 - 08:55

i have to deal with this problem myself. there are 4 cats living in my house currently, and they love to sleep on literally everything in my house. cat fur everywhere!!
it's especially awkward in the winter, because of all the static. i'll sit up from one of those annoying plastic chairs and there'll be cat fur from my clothes all over the back of the seat... buh.

The North Face couples

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Science fiction short

Comment by kijiji saskatoon (not verified) Sun, 09/30/2012 - 14:16

Science fiction short stories are really interesting to read. I love reading such stories. Thanks for this nice post.


Comment by The-Moon-Brained-Sister (not verified) Thu, 01/17/2013 - 03:10

I love Harrison Bergeron!! We read that in my high school English class, but I think I was the only one who got it... :/ I'll have to check out all of those short stories, my dad's been trying to get me to read Arthur C. Clark and Asimov for YEARS

Miel Pais Vasco

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