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Contemporary Short Stories

List of great contemporary short stories. I read a lot of science fiction and often encounter great short stories. Many authors have fine collections: Arthur C. Clark, Fred Pohl, Larry Niven, Isaac Asimov, etc. A couple years ago I read "The Hard SF Renaissance" which had many good stories. Hard to pick a favorite but maybe Ted Chiang’s "Understand" about a guy who has brain damage and is given an experimental drug to heal it. He turns into a super-genius. Nancy Kress’s "Beggars in Spain" story was later expanded into a series of books. It’s about genetically modified people who no longer need to sleep.

  • Very interesting idea. I think short stories are a very under-appreciated form. You've mentioned several science fiction short stories but I don't think you should limit yourself just to sci-fi. For a comprehensive list of great contemporary short stories you should try to look across all genres - or if you want to focus only on sci-fi, make sure the title of the article reflects that. – ekeating 7 years ago
  • This is a very interesting topic, because, similar to short film, these shorter pieces rarely generate the hype or special attention they may deserve. One thing I caution is to avoid listing these great stories by title alone; make sure you're able to provide specific reasoning as to what makes said stories so great, independently or as a genre, etc. This way, it become something much more than a comprehensive list of great works, but one that you could argue for as standing out from the rest, which is immediately more interesting to read and digest. Good luck! – Matt Collazo 7 years ago
  • Two other great short story writers of Fantasy and science fiction are Ursula K. Le Guin and Neil Gaiman. I recommend Ursula K. Le Guin's "The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas" as one of her best. The language is colorful and rich and the story is entirely prose, no dialogue at all. – Travis Kane 7 years ago

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