Reddit reviews: The best science fiction short stories

We found 47 Reddit comments discussing the best science fiction short stories. We ran sentiment analysis on each of these comments to determine how redditors feel about different products. We found 33 products and ranked them based on the amount of positive reactions they received. Here are the top 20.

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Top Reddit comments about Short Stories:

u/quirkyareyou · 1 pointr/adultery

> i hope that your tinder match comes through. she sounds like a satisfying time in many ways

We talked for a half hour on the phone tonight. We kind of let our hair down, each behaving with a bit of abandon, not fearing the other's inner criticism. Amazingly she cursed a lot, but in a dignified fashion somehow. I'm still unsure what she thinks of me, but I think it was good that neither of us was on pins and needles. A good sign; a basis of trust.

> you & i are likely in same age bracket, 40s?

I'm in my 50s but look 5-10 years younger. I listen to metal and post-rock and live in Bushwick, the so-called Brooklyn "cutting edge slacker hipster art world center" haha (though they think I'm an oldster and call me sir, which I hate). But OTOH, I don't really "belong" in the social milieus where most of my high school and college peers ended up (variously, country clubs, gated communities, upper echelon urban professional circles, farms in the middle of the nowhere). But in any case, you and I do seem similar in outlook.

>My mentality is likely different from other women my/our age. once i divorce, i won't eagerly seek an 'ultimate partner' (already found it, but alas, unavailable). is there such a thing?

I think that's smart. I could discuss the query "is there such a thing?" for hours—but not here, not now. It's something I've thought a great deal about, starting around 1977.

>the secrecy is difficult for me, too, though SO and I practice polyamory of sorts, we're not out about it. one of our rules is 'the child knows nothing, meets nobody', and i'd like that to change simply because i hate lying to her about who i'm spending time with or talking to via phone. and lying to her caregivers about why i'm going out of town for a week for work, when actually i'm meeting AP. and my APs/Bfs don't seem real or authentic if i'm keeping them secret.

Yes, all those issues together, ouch, that's complicated and burdensome. I can understand why it's beginning to wear on you.

> how is it that you've practiced poly previously but not in this relationship? and that's not an option? i didn't go through to look at your comment history and don't know if this is something you've touched on before.

I just don't have the time for poly anymore; that was a bit of sea change when I turned 40 and became a more committed artist. As far as my SO, when I met her, she had half a dozen sex partners. For awhile there was a discussion of joining another couple for a weekend of fun, but we determined that I might potentially get jealous to the point of feeling hurt. (It didn't help that the woman I was in love with was banging seven other guys and that it was taking months for her to see how much I loved her.) I don't like my jealous side, but sometimes it's there.

I think a more interesting question would be to challenge me on something I wrote earlier: "QuirkyGuy, just what the hell did you mean by meta-poly?"

In the late 70s I lived in a small west coast town among a tight social circle committed to the polyamory tenets of the short story "The Persistence of Vision" in the book of the same name by John Varley. Although the novella is ostensibly about navigating the transcendent, as well as exploring the question of whether physical disabilities can free people, the setup is that the protagonist of the story visits a community of completely polygamous/polyamorous people to learn more about how they live.

They have "transcended" jealousy by instituting the following practice: whenever someone gets jealous for some reason, feeling that they're not getting enough sex (or love), the rest of the community descends upon the person, usually most of them naked, and the group makes love to the jealous person until the jealousy just melts away. There are some other very sexual details to the story that make it quite the enjoyable romp, but I don't want to give the whole thing away.

In this town that I lived in, we were committed to these tenets—if not completely in practice, then certainly in theory as well as in the spirit of things. For example, if a woman came to visit me and I didn't have time for her because I had to study, my roommate was usually there to make love to her. If I was feeling extremely lonely on a particular night, TWO women would come to visit me and stay the night. But the circle has to be very tight, and all the members well versed in the basic tenets and intents of this lifestyle, for it to work. When a new member joined the circle, we usually initiated them by having a slumber party and reading the entire novella aloud to them during the night while we cuddled and caressed them.

I've always believed that this was in some way philosophically and ultimately different (i.e., more supportive and healing) from the way most groups (I have known about) practice polyamory, and especially different from the lais·sez-faire, free-wheeling practices of NYC sex clubs like Trapeze.

u/amaterasu717 · 9 pointsr/books

It might be helpful if you give us a list of any books you've read that you did enjoy or genres you think you might like.

I have never met a person who didn't love Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy but it may not be your thing if you don't like wacked-out sci-fi so some general idea of your interests could help a ton with suggestions.

A Short History of Nearly Everything is a solid non-fiction

Robot Dreams is a great set of sci-fi short stories

Ender's Game gets a ton of hate but is a pretty great sci-fi

On A Pale Horse is an older series that I'd consider fantasy but with sci-fi elements

Where the Red Fern Grows is well loved fiction

A Zoo in My Luggage is non-fic but about animal collecting trips for a zoo and is hilarious.

u/neuromonkey · 3 pointsr/scifi

Some 80's cyberpunk-ish stuff. This is far from the best SF I've read, but it's obscure. Stuff I liked when I was a teenager-twentyager.

The Glass Hammer by K.W. Jeter. An odd, cyberpunk thing that I liked when I came out in 1985. Now out of print. I'm having it scanned and will post when it's ready.

When Gravity Fails by George Alec Effinger. (and sequels) Great adventure in an Islamic environment.

The Man Who Never Missed (and sequels) by Steve Perry.

The Skyway Series by John DeChancie. (Starrigger, Red Limit Freeway, Paradox Alley) Silly, adolescent adventure, driving across space and time.

Kindred by Octavia Butler. Actually, EVERYTHING by Octavia Butler is great.

Artificial Things, by Karen Joy Fowler. Short stories.

Blue Champagne by John Valey. Short stories.

u/Adahn5 · 2 pointsr/CommunismWorldwide

For Trans liberation I would read Leslie Feinberg's Beyond Pink and Blue.

For Gay and Lesbian liberation I'd read Harry Hay's Radically Gay

On Feminism there's a lot. So you may want to grab Shulamith Firestone's The Dialectic of Sex and Silvia Federici's Revolution at Point Zero. Both will give you a historical and economic understanding of women's struggle.

On the African struggle I would read Thomas Sankara's The Burkina Faso Revolution.

For the Indian struggle, I suggest Anuradha Ghandy's Scripting for Change if you can find a copy somewhere.

That's it for stuff outside of the purely economic sphere.

As for fiction that intersects with communism, I suggest Iain M. Banks's Culture Series. Considering Phlebas, The Player of Games and Use of Weapons. The late Banks did a tremendous job at portraying a classless, stateless, moneyless, post-scarcity society with access to cornucopia technology.

For generally entertaining Sci-Fi that'll keep you turning pages, and is also written in a non-traditional way, you have to read the Warhammer 40,000 Ciaphas Cain series. Get yourself the two omnibi Hero of the Imperium and Defender of the Imperium you'll enjoy yourself to no end. Commissar Ciaphas Cain just kicks all kinds of arse.

If you enjoy Fantasy, and want a bit with a Marxist Dragon, then I recommend Alan Dean Foster's The Spell Singer Adventures series. Specifically books 1 and 2, Spellsinger and The Hour of the Gate. It's also laugh out loud funny.

If you're more into old fashioned adventures, like Conan the Barbarian kind, then you need to read Michael Moorcocks's Elric series. You can get your toes wet with Elric: The Stealer of Souls. The stories are great fun, Elric is an absolute Byronic anti-hero, he's physically weak, he has to dope himself up, he causes the downfall of his own civilisation, and yet he's a great swordsman, poet, philosopher, and so on. Very much a nihilist, very much a tragic hero.

Finally if you want to delve into the Paranormal, and specifically into the romance category (and why not, I say?). I think you should absolutely read Jeaniene Frost's Night Huntress series. Starting with Halfway to the Grave. Written by a woman, with a female protagonist, all from her first person perspective. It's a vampire story, and as far as the lore is concerned follows very closely to the White Wolf idea of the Masquerade. It's nothing like Twilight, you'll enjoy it and if you're like me, get hooked on the series.

u/random_pattern · 13 pointsr/starterpacks

It was brutal. I wasn't that good. But there were many people who were superb. It was such a pleasure watching them perform.

Here are some sci-fi recommendations (you may have read them already, but I thought I'd offer anyway):

Serious Scifi:

Anathem the "multiverse" (multiple realities) and how all that works
Seveneves feminism meets eugenics—watch out!
The Culture series by Iain Banks, esp Book 2, the Player of Games Banks is dead, but wrote some of the best intellectual scifi ever

Brilliant, Visionary:

Accelerando brilliant and hilarious; and it's not a long book
Snowcrash classic
Neuromancer another classic

Tawdry yet Lyrical (in a good way):

Dhalgren beautiful, poetic, urban, stream of consciousness, and more sex than you can believe

Underrated Classics:

Voyage to Arcturus ignore the reviews and the bad cover of this edition (or buy a diff edition); this is the ONE book that every true scifi and fantasy fan should read before they die

Stress Pattern, by Neal Barrett, Jr. I can't find this on Amazon, but it is a book you should track down. It is possibly the WORST science fiction book ever written, and that is why you must read it. It's a half-assed attempt at a ripoff of Dune without any of the elegance or vision that Herbert had, about a giant worm that eats people on some distant planet. A random sample: "A few days later when I went to the edge of the grove to ride the Bhano I found him dead. I asked Rhamik what could have happened and he told me that life begins, Andrew, and life ends. Well, so it does."

u/Bzzt · 8 pointsr/scifi

Tales of Pirx the Pilot, Stanislaw Lem.

I think it'd be hard to find a better fit than this! Also, More Tales of Pirx the Pilot. Lem is one of the most thoughtful and intellectual authors out there. The Pirx stuff is kind of 'Lem-Lite', more focusing on space flight and its issues and less on the philosophical stuff Lem was known for. Which is to say its fun and very well thought out.


u/punninglinguist · 1 pointr/scifi

I can't believe no one has mentioned the most important collection of short SF published in the last few decades: Stories of Your Life and Others by Ted Chiang.

Another great single author collection, if you can get it, is Greg Egan's Crystal Nights.

Also, I highly recommend the New Space Opera anthologies, volumes One and Two. Some of the best recent hard SF published anywhere.

u/RoboRay · 1 pointr/KerbalSpaceProgram

Let me plug those books (Larry Niven's The Integral Trees and The Smoke Ring) as excellent reading for anyone interested in "hard" (or, more realistic) science fiction. Be sure to read The Integral Trees first, as The Smoke Ring is a sequel.

Already having a rudimentary understanding of orbital mechanics from KSP will make them a lot easier to follow. :)

u/Wyvernkeeper · 1 pointr/printSF

I would absolutely recommend this as a primer for the genre.

Although it's only the one author, Clarke was instrumental in codifying science fiction into the viable genre it has become today and in this set of stories we can see the emergence of so many of the themes that later became synonymous with science fiction as a whole. You can also watch the evolution of the ideas that eventually became 2001 A Space Odessey develop, (imo he wrote that story about 50 times in different settings.)

It's definitely one of the books that introduced me to the genre. I'm also a big fan of his Tales from the White Hart collection (although I think these are included in the other book.) They have a more humourous outlook on the subject.

I'd also recommend Aliens For Neighbours by Clifford Simak as well as any Bradbury, Asimov or Dick.

u/kublakhan1816 · 1 pointr/writing

Some of his stories have been turned into really great comic books.

This one in particular, Sandkings, is really good. http://www.amazon.com/Sandkings-Science-Fiction-Graphic-Novel/dp/093028920X/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1314804453&sr=1-1

u/frank55 · 5 pointsr/printSF

John Varley is one my favorite authors I keep coming back to him time and again.

The following are my favorites. He also has a nice website [Varley.net](http://Varley.net "Varley.net") . You can actually get a decent feel for who he is on the site. He puts up what he wants and the hell with what anyone thinks. I think thats why I like him. lol

Mammoth is on my too be read list. I have it just not gotten to it.


u/gedvondur · 2 pointsr/printSF

Keith Laumer's Jaime Retief series. Funny, inventive, and great reads. Satire and sci-fi rolled up into one.

u/baetylbailey · 1 pointr/printSF

C. J. Cherryh writes great aliens. The Chanur Sage is an entertaining, classic space opera. While the Faded Sun trilogy is darker and a bit philosophical.

u/ArcticVanguard · 1 pointr/CasualConversation

No, that's not quite the one. Let me see if I can find it... Aha! here is the one I have. It really is a lovely book.

EDIT: Whoops! That's not it! Back to searching :D

EDIT2: Here, this is the exact one I have.

u/intothedoor · 3 pointsr/NMS_Federation

Amazon has got your back - Nine Tomorrows https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0014CAFB2/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_i_tPF.AbQ3K51GB

If you can support your local book shops!

u/Cold-AssHonky · 2 pointsr/graphicnovels

Did you honestly not try Google?

Amazon and Barnes and Noble come up right away…

All I did was search "isaac asimov's history of i-botics".

u/DetroitHero · 1 pointr/chess

Unicorn Variations, a short story by Roger Zelazny. Fun short story based on a real game.


u/m_bishop · 3 pointsr/Cyberpunk

[Global Head] (https://www.amazon.com/Globalhead-Bruce-Sterling/dp/0553562819)

It's Sterling's Burning Chrome. He's a lot more ... funky? More into global culture, more thinking about post-humanity when we all become immortal, more biology, less AI.

It's good stuff, though. Sterling has big ideas.

u/Irish_Dreamer · 1 pointr/booksuggestions

An old-time favorite was Keith Laumer's "Retief" series, about a galactic diplomat cum "James Bond", whose bureaucratic obstacles were bigger than the menaces he faced. http://www.amazon.com/Envoy-Worlds-Jaime-Retief-Series/dp/067165635X/ref=sr_1_16?ie=UTF8&qid=1394562276&sr=8-16&keywords=Keith+Laumer

u/PapaTua · 1 pointr/scifi

Reminds me of Larry Niven's The Integral Trees..

I mean there are no boats or rock fortresses in the novel, but the environment is similar.

u/ivorjawa · 1 pointr/Lovecraft

Bruce Sterling had a similar Lovecraftian cold-war short story called "The Unthinkable" in his collection Global Head

u/buleball · 2 pointsr/printSF

Stanislaw Lem. Tales of Pirx the Pilot. Amazon