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Author Topic: Science Fiction & Fantasy Short Stories  (Read 2660 times)

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Offline Jinto

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Science Fiction & Fantasy Short Stories
« on: February 11, 2007, 12:03:33 AM »
This thread is for discussion of Science Fiction and Fantasy short stories, which are too often overlooked in discussions of Sci-Fi & Fantasy literature.

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One decent series of short story compilation books I think is the "Year's Best..." series (there's one line for Science Fiction only, and then there's one that lumps Fantasy and Horror together.) These typically have a large number of short stories in them so I'd say there's a decent chance of finding a few you like in these when looking. There's other compilation books out there though, so please post your opinions on these compilations if you feel they're worthy somehow (like either they have lots of stories like the Year's Best series, or maybe they just pick better quality short stories, even if there's fewer). I know the 'Legend' series ("Legends 1" and "Legends 2" of compilations are pretty popular.

So what's everyone's recommendations for specific short stories? Or short story compilation books? They make for good bedtime reading, since you can usually finish them quickly. They also serve as a good source for finding new authors to follow. It's been too long since I read any good short stories myself, and I know others out there like them too.

One good short story I can point you to immediately is a non-spoiler prequel to the Dresden Files series by Jim Butcher titled "Restoration of Faith" and can be found online at the author's website here:
http://www.jim-butcher.com/books/dresden/restoration/

A few other good short stories I can recommend are:
-'Lady of the Skulls' by Patricia A. McKillip
-'What Good is a Glass Dagger?' by Larry Niven
-'The Snare' by Janny Wurts
-'The Alchemist & the Witch' by Christopher Stasheff
-'The Last Defender of Camelot' by Roger Zelazny
-'The Hedge Knight' & 'The Sworn Sword' by George R. R. Martin

Those will do for a start. By the way, for any interested, the two George R. R. Martin short stories are being printed as comics by Marvel. The Hedge Knight is already out in a trade paperback and a nice hardback form (they each combine the 6 issues of the comic), and The Sworn Sword is still in the works I believe.


Offline Trilaan

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Re: Science Fiction & Fantasy Short Stories
« Reply #1 on: February 11, 2007, 01:55:50 AM »
I don't suppose you'd allow a mention of not quite professional author short stories but maybe stories written by fanfics based around things done by professional authors?


Offline Trilaan

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Re: Science Fiction & Fantasy Short Stories
« Reply #2 on: February 11, 2007, 02:22:39 AM »
Actually, what I have in mind right now is a group of fanfics that were outlined by the creator for what he planned to do with his creation but was not able to do so he laid out the story lines he had planned to incorporate and said to a group of his fans, pretty much "There you go, I leave the actual content to you.  Have at it."


Offline Jinto

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Re: Science Fiction & Fantasy Short Stories
« Reply #3 on: February 11, 2007, 09:56:13 AM »
I don't suppose you'd allow a mention of not quite professional author short stories but maybe stories written by fanfics based around things done by professional authors?

Hmm. I didn't think about Fan-Fiction when I started this thread. I guess I'd have to say that Fan-Fiction needs it's own separate thread though. It's valid literature, but it's also not their own completely original creations, as it's based on another author's work. Do start a fanfic thread though. I'd look through suggestions posted there, as I've never really read any myself, and maybe I'd find something interesting.

The author opening up his concept to his fans and never actually writing it himself is something I've never seen before, though. And besides the premise, the writing would still be original under such circumstances. A bit borderline perhaps, but close enough. Do tell.
« Last Edit: February 11, 2007, 10:02:15 AM by Jinto »


Offline BathTub

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Re: Science Fiction & Fantasy Short Stories
« Reply #4 on: February 11, 2007, 07:30:57 PM »
I guess these must be favourites, since I find them so darn memorable.

Answer (1954) by Fredric Brown
A 1 page story on man's never ending quest to find the answer to 'Is there a God?'

Reunion (1971) by Arthur C. Clarke
2 pages I think, It's in the form of a notification or broadcast from a starship that is returning to earth after after being forced to flee thousands of years ago.

I am a sucker for twist in the tale stuff.

Another one which was a lot longer than the above two, argh forget the name/author perhaps someone will remember. It's set in the future where man is out colonizing other planets and encountering new species. The church (I think it was catholic) is sending out missionaries to convert the aliens who then proceed to crucify the missionary. This story is I think told by the captain of a ship who recounts what happens when one missionary tries to convert some very literal aliens. A quick google search suggests it was The Streets of Ashkelon by Harry Harrison (1962) and it was a jesuit.




Offline timechaser

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Re: Science Fiction & Fantasy Short Stories
« Reply #5 on: February 17, 2007, 10:35:22 AM »
Asimov's Nightfall, the book is great, but the short story is even better. Someone made a movie based on the book, do not watch it. It is crap.
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Offline starfighter

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Re: Science Fiction & Fantasy Short Stories
« Reply #6 on: February 19, 2007, 12:05:25 AM »
    Anybody remember the title of the Arthur C. Clarke short story about sailing through space using solar winds?   It was in an issue of Boy's Life somebody gave me as a kid long ago.  It must have left some impression cause I really flashed back to it when Star Trek: DS9 used that same type of travel with Capt. Cisko and his son taking some vacation time in one episode.


Offline Fuzzy Necromancer

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Re: Science Fiction & Fantasy Short Stories
« Reply #7 on: February 21, 2007, 05:36:17 AM »
Neil Gaiman has reems of collections with good short fantasy stories. Try Fragile Things on for size.
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Offline Jinto

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Re: Science Fiction & Fantasy Short Stories
« Reply #8 on: February 24, 2007, 05:57:32 PM »
Oh, I have to mention this one. "Bears Discover Fire", by Terry Bisson. The story wasn't the greatest or anything, but the title is good for a chuckle. ;D


Offline Johnny Unusual

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Re: Science Fiction & Fantasy Short Stories
« Reply #9 on: March 26, 2012, 07:33:00 AM »
Oh, I have to mention this one. "Bears Discover Fire", by Terry Bisson. The story wasn't the greatest or anything, but the title is good for a chuckle. ;D


I actually really like "Bears Discover Fire".  A very different kind of sci-fi story and rather touching.

"Ray Gun: A Love Story" is an excellent one by James Alan Gardner that has a Harlan Ellison/Neil Gaiman tinge to it.

I don't really read George RR Martin, but I love "the Sandkings."  Feels like an EC Comic right down to the "just desserts ending."


Offline Mrs. Dick Courier

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Re: Science Fiction & Fantasy Short Stories
« Reply #10 on: March 26, 2012, 01:08:58 PM »
I had to do a book report in high school and chose Ray Bradbury's "The Veldt".  I chose it radomly.

I've loved him since, anything by him.  I've also seen it on TV, some old syndicated show, don't even remember what the show was called.

But my fave short story may not be considered sci-fi, "The Lottery" by Shirley Jackson.  I've read and re-read that story many a time.

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