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
“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