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Science fiction stories - a list of 32 great stories Options
rogermue
Posted: Tuesday, March 3, 2015 6:36:52 AM

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It's a good life, 1953 - Jerome Bixbie, USA
Story 19

It's a somewhat simple story about a child that with his supernatural powers terrorises
people around him.

http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/It%27s_a_Good_Life_(The_Twilight_Zone)#Plot_summary


rogermue
Posted: Tuesday, March 3, 2015 8:17:15 AM

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A Rose For Ecclesiastes,1963 - Roger Zelasny, USA
Story 20

About a human linguist and poet, Gallinger, who studies the sacred texts of the Martians.
During his studies he becomes intimate with the Martian High Priestess and impregnates her.
In this story Zelasny touches religious themes and it is a bit difficult to fathom out
what the author had in mind with his story.

http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_Rose_for_Ecclesiastes
rogermue
Posted: Tuesday, March 3, 2015 8:29:36 AM

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The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas, 1973 - Ursula K. LeGuin, USA
Story 21

Another story difficult to evaluate. Wikipedia says a plotless story.
LeGuin seems to study the nature of bliss and happiness.
Omelas is a utopian city where prosperity and success are the normal feature of life. But this
condition only continues as long as one single child is kept in perpetual unhappiness, in misery,
squalor and torture.
A story of philosophical nature whose core idea is difficult to find out, at least it is beyond me.

http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Ones_Who_Walk_Away_from_Omelas
rogermue
Posted: Tuesday, March 3, 2015 8:43:03 AM

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The Star, 1955 - Arthur C. Clarke, UK
Story 22

A relatively short story I have read. Clarke has written a good story about the
Star of Bethlehem. The charme of the story is the special technique of narration.

http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Star_(Clarke_short_story)
rogermue
Posted: Tuesday, March 3, 2015 9:06:28 AM

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Blood Music, 1983 - Greg Bear, USA
Story 23

Originally a short story, later also a novel, 1985. Out-of-the-ordinary SF story.
The main figure, Vergil Ulam, a specialist in computer technology and biology, has
developed a kind of biological computer with thinking cells. He implants these cells
into his body with unforeseen results.

http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blood_Music_(novel)

Also about the novel: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/340819.Blood_Music
rogermue
Posted: Tuesday, March 3, 2015 1:45:17 PM

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Beggars in Spain,1991 - Nancy Kress, USA
Story 24

Originally a novella, then expanded into a series of several books.

The novella is so confusing that I abstain from writing a book note.
Topics: genetics and, as it seems, theories about new forms of society.
Not my cup of tea.

En.wikipedia has an article about the series, book 1 to 4. The summary of
book 1 corresponds to the original novella.

http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beggars_in_Spain


rogermue
Posted: Tuesday, March 3, 2015 2:12:00 PM

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The Women Men Don't see, 1973 - James Tiptree, USA
Story 25

Here I have the same problem as with story 24. But in this story the topic is
clearer to see. Tiptree has her own ideas about the traditional way men see women.
Wikipedia's summary (ten lines) is useful and I can't write a better book note.


http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Women_Men_Don%27t_See
rogermue
Posted: Tuesday, March 3, 2015 2:19:02 PM

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Harrison Bergeron, 1961 - Kurt Vonnegut, USA
Story 26

In my view a very weak story. A future world with a totalitarian regime
that does not tolerate intelligent or beautiful people or people with
particular talents.
A somewhat silly concept for a SF story.

http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harrison_Bergeron
rogermue
Posted: Tuesday, March 3, 2015 2:38:58 PM

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Sandkings, 1979 - R.R. Martin, USA
Story 27

Another weak story, more of the horror genre. The "Sandkings" are alien little creatures that
the main figure of the story finds in a terrarium in a mysterious new pet shop. He buys them, not knowing
that these creatures are real monsters.

http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sandkings_(novelette)
rogermue
Posted: Tuesday, March 3, 2015 3:08:13 PM

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A Martian Odyssey, 1934 - Stanley Weinbaum, USA
Storey 28

An early SF story that I have read on the Internet and found very amusing.
A four-man crew lands on Mars and one of the team sets out to photograph
the landscape. But the engine of his rocket gives out and he has to march back
800 miles. On his way back he meets various inhabitants of Mars with very
curious features.
The story is amusing - it's the particular style of narration and Weinbaum's
phantastic ideas.

http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_Martian_Odyssey

Text: http://gutenberg.net.au/ebooks06/0601191h.html
rogermue
Posted: Wednesday, March 4, 2015 1:26:25 AM

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A Galaxy Called Rome, 1975 - Barry N. Malzberg, USA
Story 29

I don 't know this story and could not find useful information.
Goodreads gives an idea. There is only one comment in Goodreads:
God, this was boring. Good thing it was short.

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/6093948-a-galaxy-called-rome

Somewhere I have read that Malzberg has written about 500 stories.
rogermue
Posted: Wednesday, March 4, 2015 1:49:11 AM

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Kyrie, 1969 - Poul Anderson, USA
Story 30

I couldn't find concrete information, only vague ideas in

http://davidlavery.net/Courses/3840/stories/attebery/Attebery.html

Scroll down to the seventh title.
rogermue
Posted: Wednesday, March 4, 2015 8:28:49 AM

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Scanners Live in Vain,1950 - Cordwainer Smith, USA
Story 31

Highly praised SF story about special problems with space travel. The story
is praised because of its originality. The scanners are specially modified people
aboard spaceships supervising all other members aboard ship.
As the story is the stuff for a novel I give only the link to Wikipedia's
summary, about 25 lines.

http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scanners_Live_in_Vain

Smith has written a lot of SF stories.
rogermue
Posted: Wednesday, March 4, 2015 8:42:12 AM

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The Star, 1897 - H.G. Wells, UK
Story 32

An early SF story. Earth is in danger of being hit by a star. Finally the star
is diverted from its course and hits the sun. Earth survives with some changes.
One of the weaker stories.

http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Star_(Wells_short_story)

Wikipedia has links to the text and an audio version of LibriVox (good audio quality).


rogermue
Posted: Wednesday, March 4, 2015 8:47:30 AM

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Résumé

The list of Listology is no quality list. There are too many stories that are
rather lame. On the other side, really top stories are lacking.
When I have the time I'll add some stories that I consider top.
Suggestions for top stories are wecome, of course.
Drag0nspeaker
Posted: Sunday, April 5, 2015 12:00:14 AM

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rogermue wrote:
Harrison Bergeron, 1961 - Kurt Vonnegut, USA
Story 26

In my view a very weak story. A future world with a totalitarian regime
that does not tolerate intelligent or beautiful people or people with
particular talents.
A somewhat silly concept for a SF story.

http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harrison_Bergeron


Hi Roger.
I found this (as you say) weak. I didn't find it a good story, at all.

However, I did see a satirical side which had some effect. At least I remembered the story and the characters of the young couple.

It seems to be the 'extensio ad absurdum' of the Welfare State. If we don't have the ability or resources to handle all disability, how do we ensure that the disabled are not put at disadvantage?

***************
The Star, 1955 - Arthur C. Clarke, UK
Story 22

Again, as you say, this story has some charm, not only in its somewhat ironic ending, but in its style.
I enjoyed it, and remember it well.

(Just a note - I have read so many SF novels and anthologies of short stories that the fact that I remember a story and recognise your description says that at least it is a memorable story!)

*************
Sandkings, 1979 - R.R. Martin, USA
Story 27

Similarly - I remember it well. However this one I did not really enjoy - I'm not generally 'into' horror-type stories. I don't mind 'military SF', though it's not my favourite, but not 'psychological horror' type stories .



Wyrd bið ful aræd - bull!
KRPTK
Posted: Monday, April 6, 2015 8:37:06 AM

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Rather sad that none of my favorites made the list like: I, Robot; Foundation; Do Robots Dream Of Electric Sheep; The Day The Earth Stood Still; Time Machine; The Trigan Empire

the fool on the hill sees the sun going down and the eyes in his head sees the world spinning round
Drag0nspeaker
Posted: Monday, April 6, 2015 8:38:35 PM

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Hi KRPTK.

Yes, there are (literally, truly) thousands of excellent SF stories which did not make this list - and as you can see from the comments, there are several on this list which are considered 'weak', 'not very good' and even 'awful' by some of the people who have commented.

"I, Robot" is a collection of short stories - so you would have to choose which story. I like "Little Lost Robot", myself.

"Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?" - amazing - I have heard there is (finally) a sequel film going to come next year.
If Harrison Ford, Ridley Scott and Denis Villeneuve can do as good a job this time (without simply making a copy of the original) it will be another classic. Maybe Hampton Francher can write in a clone of Rutger Hauer's replicant.
Or will the character be lost - like tears in the rain - in time?

Wyrd bið ful aræd - bull!
Andrew Schultz
Posted: Sunday, July 12, 2015 3:17:33 AM

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Thanks for this list. It's tough for me to know where I should start, but I know I am missing some good ones. There are a lot of familiar names and titles that I never looked into, yet.

100th person on TFD to 1 million neurons.
rogermue
Posted: Friday, August 7, 2015 1:20:22 AM

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One of my favourite Sf stories is Arena by US author Frederic Brown,
a really famous story, published in 1944.
Now I have found an online version in

http://manybooks.net/pages/brownfother08Arena/0.html

And I have found a portal about sf stories with a wealth of
authors and titles.

http://www.freesfonline.de (Free speculative fiction online).

Any links about top sf stories with link to online versions
are welcome.

A comment about the story by Cheryl from manybooks:

2008.07.05
Cheryl
****.
Science fiction short story that was the inspiration for the Star Trek ( original series) episode
with the same name. Humans and an alien species are on the brink of battle in space.
A third, much advanced species intervenes by taking one person from each side
and placing them in an "arena" to fight to the death.
The one who is killed will have their entire species destroyed, as well.
Interesting to see the method of battle each side invents.
RuthP
Posted: Tuesday, December 18, 2018 8:35:51 PM

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Drag0nspeaker wrote:
rogermue wrote:
All You Zombies #9, 1959, Robert Heinlein, USA

This is a very complicated time-travel story with a girl that is getting a child.
Doctors find out that the girl's body is provided internally with female and male organs,
she is "intersex" or bi-sex. Complications during child-birth make a transformation into male sex necessary.
This is the beginning of a very confusing time-travel story which is far too complicated to sum up in a few lines.

Wikipedia has more information.

http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/All_You_Zombies


Well, I know who I am, but who are all you zombies?

I thought this was a really great story - I admire the author's imagination, figuring out all the twists to make a temporal "Moebus person" (with no beginning and no end).

If you like twisty things, though this in a different way, try Heinlein's short story "And He Built a Crooked House". If you can find a collection of short stories called "The Unpleasant Profession of Jonathan Hoag", it's in that. (Along with the terrifying title story, which made me turn on lights in the bathroom for literal decades. I think I was nearly forty before I got over that one."
RuthP
Posted: Tuesday, December 18, 2018 8:38:47 PM

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Location: Drain, Oregon, United States
Drag0nspeaker wrote:
rogermue wrote:
Harrison Bergeron, 1961 - Kurt Vonnegut, USA
Story 26

In my view a very weak story. A future world with a totalitarian regime
that does not tolerate intelligent or beautiful people or people with
particular talents.
A somewhat silly concept for a SF story.

http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harrison_Bergeron


Hi Roger.
I found this (as you say) weak. I didn't find it a good story, at all.

However, I did see a satirical side which had some effect. At least I remembered the story and the characters of the young couple.

It seems to be the 'extensio ad absurdum' of the Welfare State. If we don't have the ability or resources to handle all disability, how do we ensure that the disabled are not put at disadvantage?

***************
The Star, 1955 - Arthur C. Clarke, UK
Story 22

Again, as you say, this story has some charm, not only in its somewhat ironic ending, but in its style.
I enjoyed it, and remember it well.

(Just a note - I have read so many SF novels and anthologies of short stories that the fact that I remember a story and recognise your description says that at least it is a memorable story!)
I really liked this one, too. I am also fond of "One Billion Names of God".

*************
Sandkings, 1979 - R.R. Martin, USA
Story 27

Similarly - I remember it well. However this one I did not really enjoy - I'm not generally 'into' horror-type stories. I don't mind 'military SF', though it's not my favourite, but not 'psychological horror' type stories .

Drag0nspeaker
Posted: Thursday, December 20, 2018 2:22:17 PM

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Hi Ruth!
I remember the "One Billion Names of God" - and the last line of it!
It was very well written.

I also remember "The Unpleasant Profession of Jonathan Hoag", but not really the story-line, just something to do with mirrors and jeweller's rouge maybe. I think I remember the Crooked House also, but not the story line of that one except an earthquake.

Oddly enough - just this week I saw a film called "Predestination".
It was based on "All You Zombies" - but I was rather disappointed. The line "I know who I am, but who are all you zombies?" was misquoted and had no significance in the film - and they added a stupid ending which broke the cycle. A totally impossible paradox.


Wyrd bið ful aræd - bull!
RuthP
Posted: Tuesday, December 25, 2018 4:09:30 PM

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Drag0nspeaker wrote:
Hi Ruth!
I remember the "One Billion Names of God" - and the last line of it!
It was very well written.

I also remember "The Unpleasant Profession of Jonathan Hoag", but not really the story-line, just something to do with mirrors and jeweller's rouge maybe.
Hmmm. Without giving too much away, may I remind you Mr. Hoag was an art critic, and there was a lazy artist trying to improve his(?) artwork, and The Sons of the Birds.

I think I remember the Crooked House also, but not the story line of that one except an earthquake.
Tesseract; earthquake; what one sees (or doesn't) out the windows post-earthquake.

Oddly enough - just this week I saw a film called "Predestination".
It was based on "All You Zombies" - but I was rather disappointed. The line "I know who I am, but who are all you zombies?" was misquoted and had no significance in the film - and they added a stupid ending which broke the cycle. A totally impossible paradox.
Movies are often a disappointment. Thinking logically, they must leave out much of any book, simply due to time considerations. When it involves a book with which I am familiar, it often (?usually) seems to me that they have left out parts important to the ideas within the story. An extreme example of this was Heinlein's Starship Troopers. The movie completely (totally, entirely) missed the theme of the book, and turned it into a BEM movie. The entire point (well, there were probably a number of points in Mr. Heinlein's view) of the book was entirely missing. Nothing there.
Drag0nspeaker
Posted: Wednesday, December 26, 2018 6:53:59 AM

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Yes - the tesseract in an earthquake - fold along the dotted lines.

I really have lost it with Jonothan Hoag. I'll have to read it again!


Wyrd bið ful aræd - bull!
RuthP
Posted: Friday, January 11, 2019 4:15:45 PM

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Joined: 6/2/2009
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One of my public librarians (who is also a science fiction fan) just showed me this site: Fantastic fiction. It covers fantasy, horror, and science fiction. It claims it covers the works of 40,000 authors.

One may do all of the following:
Browse by genre.
Look for an author's works.
Look for a title.
See what is coming soon or has just released. (I just did my first look. Two authors I follow released books on 1/8. I had no idea.)

Under an author you see these:
Books with year of publication
Series with all titles in order
Short stories
Collections that include stories by the author
Books and stories written with other authors
**Books by other writers that are recommended by the author

This is just on my first quick look. Take a look at the site. I think it's amazing.
Drag0nspeaker
Posted: Monday, January 14, 2019 7:09:27 AM

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Joined: 9/12/2011
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Location: Livingston, Scotland, United Kingdom
Wow! That really is a good site. No 'opinion', just bibliography and where to find the books.

I was quite amazed (just scanning through some author's names) "Ardneh's Sword" (2006) by Fred Saberhagen.
On Amazon: Hardback - £76.34 (basically $100), Paperback £115.69 ($150)
But in a bookshop: Hardback £16, paperback £15

Something wrong with Amazon . . .

But some interesting new books coming up - though so many nowadays are "part 8 of the ------saga". Very few stand-alone novels.


Wyrd bið ful aræd - bull!
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