Monday, May 9, 2011

Excellent sci-fi short stories.

Do you like sci-fi? If so, read on! Because I do. Of course I do. *makes a nerd face*

I also really like short stories because a) I have a short attention span, and b) I do not have to commit to allotting a certain, extended reading time-period to them. For instance, my extracurricular reading time for the last, oh, almost two years has been dedicated to the re-reading and continued-reading of the Wheel of Time series, which I had read up to the latest release back in middle school (and which is probably my favorite book series ever). Before that was a couple-month time period dedicated to reading H.P. Lovecraft stories. And so forth.

So anyways, you should probably read these really great short sci-fi stories!

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The first one is called The Last Question, written by Isaac Asimov. (If you do not know who he is then you were clearly lying earlier when you said that you like sci-fi.) I discovered this story when a friend posted a status about it on the Facebook, and I agree with his accompanying assertion that it is very brilliant. Asimov apparently considers it his best short story, which must mean it is fantastic! (It is.) Read it online here. (If you are going to read any of these stories, read this one. The ending is pretty much mind-blowing.)

The next one is also by Asimov, yay! (I have not yet read any full-length sci-fi works by him, but his short stories are great, let me tell you.) I found out about Nightfall when I was looking up info about The Last Question (via Wikipedia, obv.) Anyway, the wiki page mentioned Nightfall as one of his other most well-known and acclaimed short stories so I was like SHIT I BETTER READ THAT RIGHT NOW. And I did. And it was bomb. Also, it was apparently later adapted into a full-length it must be awesome, right? Right. And you can read it online right here.

The next story is called The Sentinel, written by Arthur C. Clarke, and it apparently formed the basis for the film 2001: A Space Odyssey. It's kind of creepy, lol! And it makes me want to watch that movie...I will have to put it on my movies-to-watch list. A link to a pdf of the story can be found near the bottom of this page. (P.S. If you want to find more cool sci-fi stories, you should browse around this site - that's how I found this one!)

Exhalation, by Ted Chiang, is a really creative and rather profound story. It may or may not have made me sit around for a while just staring off into space and being like "WHOAAAA." This story is included in a sci-fi anthology called Eclipse Two, which I will probably have to order and read now. Anywhoo, this story was brought to my attention through an acquaintances blog, which you should probably go check out because he is a super cool dude who likes super interesting stuff and is also super hilarious. Super super! As for the story, the direct link for you to go read it is here.

Okay, one more, just one more! This one, entitled Starborn and written by Juhana Leinonen, is really interesting because it is a cross between a story and a game. Also found on that sweet blog from the previous paragraph, he (the guy who writes the blog) describes it as a short interactive story and he enjoyed + recommended it so it was sure to be way cool. And it was! Just follow the instructions and type in any of the capitalized words to move to a new scene. When I played it, I was very meticulous about making sure I typed in every single command so I wouldn't miss ANYTHING. Lol. It was really interesting how at first I was just going around reading about all this neat stuff but not having any idea what the heck I was doing or what I should enter next, but then things started to fall together and then it clicked and I knew what I needed to do next. It only took me about 5-10 minutes and was really fun and unique. Check it out here!

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Hmmm that ended up being more story recommendations than I had originally intended to do. Oh well, the more nerdy stories, the merrier! Right?! Right.


  1. 1) Do NOT watch 2001: A Space Odyssey! It made me very upset. *mumbles something about flying fetuses and 15 minute musical intros* Actually do watch it... then blog about it. =P

    2) Starborn was pretty cool. I couldn't find any alternate endings, though - are there any? I used to do those "choose your own ending" books when I was younger where you read a page then pick from two or three options to see where you end up.


  2. 1) Lol, I'm scared...although I am aware of the musical intro and vaguely heard some things about fetuses at the

    2) I'm pretty sure it doesn't have alternate endings, it's just that you have to figure out what to do to get to the ending.
    Those books stressed me out because I'd keep track of my pages and when I'd pick something and it would be all "YOU DIED," I'd be like NO NO NO I DIDN'T and backtrack. :P

  3. I just read "The Last Question" and I liked it a lot... I plan on reading the other ones you suggested too, but not now because I was SUPPOSE to be doing homework, but then I decided to look at your blog and got super duper side tracked... THANKS MAN.

  4. Lol, my pleasure. :P I'm glad you enjoyed your procrastination, though! Haha.

  5. Yesss... I also just read The Sentinel and Nightfall and both were really good, although I liked Nightfall more. Even though I think I was pretty confused half the time and didn't know what the hell was going to happen. I will have to read the full length one some time.