Short Stories

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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.

People of the Dark

The Beast in the Jungle

The Colour Out of Space

by Howard Phillips Lovecraft

"The Colour Out of Space" is a first-person narrative written from the perspective of an unnamed surveyor from Boston. In order to prepare for the construction of a new reservoir in Massachusetts, he surveys...

Where Love is, There God is Also

Piper in the Woods

by Philip K. Dick

Earth maintained an important garrison on Asteroid Y-3. Now suddenly it was imperiled with a biological impossibility—men becoming plants!

The Gift of the Magi

by O. Henry

Jim Dillingham Young and his wife Della are a young couple who are very much in love with each other, but can barely afford their one-room apartment opposite the elevated train due to their very bad economic...

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!

The Dream of a Ridiculous Man

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...

The Ego Machine

by Henry Kuttner

When a slightly mad robot drunk on AC, wants you to join an experiment in optimum ecology—don't do it! After all, who wants to argue like Disraeli or live like Ivan the Terrible?

The Shadow Over Innsmouth

by Howard Phillips Lovecraft

The story describes of a strange hybrid race, half-human and half an unknown creature that resembles a cross between a fish and frog, that dwells in the seaside village of Innsmouth (formerly a large town, but...

The Scarlet Citadel

With a Little Help

by Cory Doctorow

With a Little Help is my first serious experiment in self-publishing. I’ve published many novels, short story collections, books of essays and so on with publishers, and it’s all been very good and satisfying...

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...

An Unwritten Novel

The Reluctant Dragon

by Kenneth Grahame

The Reluctant Dragon is an 1898 children's story by Kenneth Grahame (originally published as a chapter in his book Dream Days), which served as the key element to the 1941 feature film with the same name from...

Love Among the Haystacks

Cabbages and Kings

by O. Henry

A series of stories which each explore some individual aspect of life in a paralytically sleepy Central American town while each advancing some aspect of the larger plot and relating back one to another in a...

All Cats Are Gray

by Andre Alice Norton

Under normal conditions a whole person has a decided advantage over a handicapped one. But out in deep space the normal may be reversed--for humans at any rate.