10 captivating short stories everyone should read


“Parson’s Pleasure” is a great pick. Remembered the story three lines in - I’d read and loved it long ago but forgotten the title.

I’ll add this to the list:

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I would like to nominate “The Nine Billion Names of God” by Arthur C. Clarke.


Among The Dangs by George P. Elliott
The Singers by Ivan Turgenev
The Artificial Nigger by Flannery O’Connor

so many…

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That’s my favorite Gaiman story as well.

Oops - forgot about “How to Talk to Girls.”

It seems to me there’s a lot of stuff out there you can find online, but that might not actually be there legally. This copy of Robert Bloch’s Hugo-winning That Hell-Bound Train, for instance. Normally I wouldn’t hesitate to link to Ted Chiang’s “Understand” over at Infinity Plus, but – shock! – it is “no longer available”.

Anyway, everyone should read The Machine Stops by E.M. Forster, an astonishingly prescient piece from 1909, though admittedly a bit lengthy and slow-paced



My nomination: nearly anything by Raymond Carver.

No If I Forget Thee, Oh Earth by Clarke, The Fog Horn by Bradbury, or Flowers for Algernon by Keyes?

All elegant tragedies, and each with a style of its own.

Yes that’s a good story but my favourite is still one of his first: Travel by wire

Also I think Air Raid by John Varley is one of the best short SF stories ever written.

What? A list without Allan Poe?


I love “The Alligators” by John Updike.The last paragraph is about as poignant as it gets.

I just remembered a superb Dahl story- “The Visitor”. It’s available on Youtube as an audiobook. Really good!

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