Short Stories

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A Hunger Artist

by Franz Kafka

A Hunger Artist explores many of the themes that were close to him: spiritual poverty, asceticism, futility, and the alienation of the modern artist.

Think Yourself to Death

by Stephen Marlowe

If you've never read a Johnny Mayhem story before, you are in for a treat. Johnny, who wears different bodies the way ordinary people wear clothes, is one of the most fascinating series characters in science...

When the World Screamed

Professor Challenger #5

by Arthur Conan Doyle

Professor Challenger drills into the earth until he reaches the mantle, convinced that it is a sentient being and that by doing so he will be the first person to alert it to mankind's presence. He awakens the...

The $30,000 Bequest and other short stories

When Sysadmins Ruled the Earth

by Cory Doctorow

The heroic exploits of "sysadmins" — systems administrators — as they defend the cyber-world, and hence the world at large, from worms and bioweapons.

In the Penal Colony

by Franz Kafka

The story is set in an unnamed penal colony. Internal clues and the setting on an island suggest Octave Mirbeau's The Torture Garden as an influence. As in some of Kafka's other writings, the narrator in this...

Mr. Spaceship

by Philip K. Dick

A human brain-controlled spacecraft would mean mechanical perfection. This was accomplished, and something unforeseen: a strange entity called— Mr. Spaceship.

The Variable Man

by Philip K. Dick

He fixed things—clocks, refrigerators, vidsenders and destinies. But he had no business in the future, where the calculators could not handle him. He was Earth’s only hope—and its sure failure!

Love Among the Haystacks

The Misplaced Battleship

by Harry Harrison

It might seem a little careless to lose track of something as big as a battleship... but interstellar space is on a different scale of magnitude. But a misplaced battleship--in the wrong hands!--can be most...

The Dream of a Ridiculous Man

The Chronic Argonauts

by H. G. Wells

This brief story begins with a third-person account of the arrival of a mysterious inventor to the peaceful Welsh town of Llyddwdd. Dr. Nebogipfel takes up residence in a house sorely neglected after the deaths...

The Duel

The War Prayer

by Mark Twain

Written by Mark Twain during the Philippine-American War in the first decade of the twentieth century, The War Prayer tells of a patriotic church service held to send the town's young men off to war. During...

The Phoenix on the Sword

Conan the Barbarian #1

by Robert Ervin Howard

"The Phoenix on the Sword" begins with a middle-aged Conan of Cimmeria attempting to govern the turbulent kingdom of Aquilonia.Conan has recently seized the bloody crown of Aquilonia from King Numedides whom...

The Thing on the Doorstep

The Big Trip Up Yonder

by Kurt Vonnegut

If it was good enough for your grandfather, forget it ... it is much too good for anyone else!

Carmen

by Prosper Mérimée

Carmen is a novella by Prosper Mérimée, written and first published in 1845. It has been adapted into a number of dramatic works, including the famous opera by Georges Bizet.

The Magic Shop

The Book of Wonder

by Lord Dunsany

The Book of Wonder is the seventh book and fifth original short story collection of Irish fantasy writer Lord Dunsany, considered a major influence on the work of J. R. R. Tolkien, H. P. Lovecraft, Ursula LeGuin...