Short Fiction

Favorite Short Stories

The Last Question,” by Isaac Asimov (podcast; graphic novel; PDF)

If you read just one thing on this page, I’d suggest this story.

The Egg,” by Andy Weir

Open Individualism in a nutshell

The Gentle Seduction,” by Marc Stiegler

Not porn, despite the title. Wide-ranging exploration of the future of humanity and technology.

Maneki Neko,” by Bruce Sterling

AI-facilitated gift economies! Fun, compelling story

They’re Made Out of Meat,” by Terry Bisson

A humorous take on the human condition

“Understand,” by Ted Chiang [story taken down; still on YouTube]

A novelette, and my favorite short fiction about cognitive enhancement

More Stories

“The Waves,” by Ken Liu [story taken down]

Waves of far-future transhuman exploration, interwoven with echoes of our oldest myths

“Exhalation,” by Ted Chiang (PDF)

An exploration of life and energy gradients

Shannon’s Law” by Cory Doctorow (podcast)

TCP/IP over pigeons, what more do you want?

The Black Bough,” by Conor Powers-Smith

Life experience storage and retrieval

Bubbles,” by David Brin

An ancient ship navigates the galactic doldrums

The Five Elements of the Heart Mind,” by Ken Liu

You are what you eat

We Have Always Lived on Mars,” by Cecil Castellucci

Exploration and isolation

Pulse,” by Stephen Gaskell

Far-future deep space AI exploration

“Story of Your Life,” by Ted Chiang (PDF)

An investigation of alien linguistics and logograms

Cancer,” by Ryan North

An alt-history take on medicine in the Machine of Death universe

End Game,” by Nancy Kress

A bit of a detour from the usual Frankenstein-hubris-cautionary tale of cognitive enhancement

Sauerkraut Station,” by Ferrett Steinmetz

Fermentation… in space!

The Bodhisattvas,” by Gord Sellar

Buddhists… in space!

I don’t know, Timmy, being God is a big responsibility,” by Sam Hughes

Quantum computing, simulation, and recursion

The Truth of Fact, the Truth of Feeling” by Ted Chiang

A meditation on memory enhancement

Vacuum Decay,” by Ramon Rozas

A super-short cautionary tale!

Salamander Patterns,” by Anaea Lay

Parasite, symbiote, colleague, friend?

The Water That Falls on You from Nowhere,” by John Chu

What if freezing water fell from the sky every time you told a lie?

The Pefect Match,” by Ted Chiang

“Churchill said that we shape our buildings, and afterwards, our buildings shape us. We made machines to help us think, and now the machines think for us.”

Different Kinds of Darkness,” by David Langford

How far would you go to protect yourself from mathematical basilisks?

The Pancake at the Bottom,” by Scott Aaronson

Thinly veiled set theory

Want more? Check out ALL of Rudy Rucker’s short stories

And a bunch of stories from Cory Doctorow