File 770 Short Fiction Recommendations, Alpha by Author

Compiled by Kurt Busiek. This version of the File 770 readers’ short fiction recommendations lists the stories by author in alphabetical order.

The list follows the jump.

ABRAHAM, DANIEL
Balfour and Merriweather in The Incident of the Harrowmoor Dogs
Flat Diane

ALDISS, BRIAN W
Heresies of the Huge God
Who Can Replace A Man?

ALLEN, WOODY
Match Wits With Inspector Ford

ANDERS, CHARLIE JANE
Six Months, Three Days

ANDERSON, POUL
The Man Who Came Early
The Martyr
No Truce With Kings

ARNESON, ELEANOR
The Grammarian’s Five Daughters
Knapsack Poems

ASIMOV, ISAAC
The Bicentennial Man
The Last Quetion
The Martian Way
Nightfall
Reason
Robbie
Shah Guido G
The Ugly Little Boy

BACIGALUPI, PAULO
The People of Sand and Slag

BALLARD, J.G.
Billennium
The Drowned Giant
The Voices of Time

BANKS, IAN M.
State of the Art

BARRON, LAIRD
Hallucigenia

BARTHELME, DONALD
Game

BEAGLE, PETER
Come, Lady Death
Professor Gottesman and the Indian Rhinoceros
We Never Talk About My Brother

BEAR, ELIZABETH
Shoggoths in Bloom

BEAR, GREG
Sisters

BECKETT, CHRIS
The Perimeter

BENFORD, GREGORY
Freezeframe

BESTER, ALFRED
5,271,009
Fondly Fahrenheit

BIERCE, AMBROSE
An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge

BISSON, TERRY
Bears Discover Fire

BIXBY, JEROME
It’s A Good Life

BLISH, JAMES
Surface Tension

BLOCH, ROBERT
Hell On Earth

BOUCHER, ANTHONY
The Quest for Saint Aquin

BRACKETT, LEIGH
Enchantress of Venus

BRADBURY, RAY
All Summer In A Day
The Crowd
Dark They Were, And Golden-Eyed
Frost and Fire
The Great Wide World Over There
Heart Transplant
Homecoming
Kaleidoscope
Mars Is Heaven!
The Million-Year Picnic
There Will Comes Soft Rains
The Veldt
Way In The Middle Of The Air

BRIN, DAVID
Piecework
Thor Meets Captain America

BRODSKI, ENEASZ
Amazing Man

BUCHER-JONES, SIMON
Double Trouble At The Parasites On The Proletariat Club
Going On Passed Judgement

BUDRYS, ALGIS
Walk to the World
The War Is Over

BUJOLD, LOIS McMASTER
Mountains of Mourning

BUTLER, OCTAVIA
Bloodchild
Speech Sounds

BYATT, A.S.
Body Art
The Conjugal Angel

CADIGAN, PAT
The Girl-Thing Who Went Out For Sushi

CARD, ORSON SCOTT
Ender’s Game (novella)
Mikal’s Songbird
The Originist
Saint Amy’s Tale
Unaccompanied Sonata

CARROLL, JONATHAN
Friend’s Best Man

CARTER, ANGELA
The Company of Wolves

CHENEY, J. KATHLEEN
Masks of War

CHERRYH, C.J.
A Thief in Korianth

CHIANG, TED
Hell Is The Absence Of God
The Lifecycle of Software Objects
The Merchant and the Alchemist’s Gate
Seventy-Two Letters
Story Of Your Life

CHO, ZEN
The House of Aunts

CHU, JOHN
The Water That Falls On You From Nowhere

CLARKE, ARTHUR C.
The Nine Billion Names of God
The Sentinel
The Star
Superiority

CLIFTON, MARK
Star Bright

COLLIER, JOHN
Evening Primrose
Thus I Refute Beelzy

COWAN, JIM
The Spade of Reason

DAHL, ROALD
Pig
The Sound Machine
The Wish
The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar

DANIEL, TONY
A Dry, Quiet War

DAVIDSON, AVRAM
Or All The Sea With Oysters

DEBODARD, ALIETTE
Immersion

DELANY, SAMUEL R
The Tale of Gorgik
Time Considered As A Helix Of Semi-Precious Stones

DE LINT, CHARLES
Mr. Truepenny’s Book Emporium and Gallery
The Moon Is Drowning As I Sleep

DEL REY, LESTER
Helen O’Loy

DEMARCE, VIRGINIA
Biting Time

DE MAUPASSANT, GUY
The Horla

DICK, P.K.
Beyond Lies the Wub
Human Is

DISCH, THOMAS
Angouleme

DRAKE, DAVID
Hangman
Loyal to His Own

DUNCAN, DAVE
The Minstrel’s Tale

DUE, TANANARIVE
Like Daughter

DUNSANY, LORD
Carcassonne
The Hoard of the Gibbelins
The Sword of Welleran

EGAN, GREG
Oracle
Learning To Be Me
Reasons To Be Cheerful

ELLISON, HARLAN
A Boy And His Dog
Croatoan
The Deathbird
I Have No Mouth And I Must Scream
Jeffty is Five
Repent, Harlequin, Said The Ticktockman
The Whimper of Whipped Dogs

EL-MOHTAR, AMAL
The Truth About Owls

FARLEY, DONNA
It Must Be Someplace

FARMER, PHILIP JOSE
Extracts From the Memoirs of ‘Lord Greystoke’

FINNEY, JACK
Of Missing Persons
Second Chance

FOSTER, EUGIE
Trixie and the Pandas of Dread
When It Ends, He Catches Her

FOWLER, KAREN JOY
What I Didn’t See

FRIEDMAN, C.S.
The Dreaming Kind

GAIMAN, NEIL
A Study In Emerald
Chivalry
Goliath
How to Talk to Girls at Parties
Nicholas Was…
The Price
Shoggoth’s Old Peculiar
Snow Glass Apples
The Sound of Her Wings (comics story)

GARCIA-MARQUEZ, GABRIEL
The Handsomest Drowned Man in the World
A Very Old Man With Enormous Wings

GIBSON, WILLIAM
Burning Chrome
Fragments of a Hologram Rose
The Gernsback Continuum
New Rose Hotel

GILMAN, CHARLOTTE PERKINS
Herland
The Yellow Wallpaper

GODWIN, TOM
The Cold Equations

GRIFFITH, NICOLA
Cold Wind

HALDEMAN, JOE
The Hemingway Hoax
Tricentennial

HARRIS, JOANNE
Gastronomicon

HARVEY, W.F.
August Heat

HAWTHORNE, NATHANIEL
The Celestial Railroad

HEINLEIN, ROBERT A
“All You Zombies—”
Goldfish Bowl
Green Hills of Earth
The Long Watch
The Man Who Sold the Moon
The Man Who Traveled in Elephants
The Menace From Earth

HERNANDEZ, JAIME
Izzy in Mexico (comics story)

HICKEY, ANDREW
The Adventure of the Piltdown Prelate

HOWARD, ELIZABETH JANE
Three Miles Up

HOWARD, ROBERT E.
Red Nails
The Shadow Kingdom

HUTCHINSON, DAVE
Discreet Phenomena

ING, DEAN
Devil You Don’t Know

JACKSON, SHIRLEY
The Lottery

JACOBS, W.W.
The Monkey’s Paw

JAMES, M.R.
Oh, Whistle, and I’ll Come to You, My Lad

JEMISIN, N.K.
Stone Hunger

JOHNSON, KIJ
The Evolution of Trickster Stories Among the Dogs of North Park After the Change

JONES, DIANA WYNNE
The Tough Guide to Fantasyland (any section)

KAGAN, JANET
The Nutcracker Coup

KAPP, COLIN
The Railways Up on Cannis

KELLY, JAMES PATRICK
Think Like A Dinosaur

KEYES, DANIEL
Flowers for Algernon

KIERNAN, CAITLIN R.
Black Helicopters
The Dry Salvages
Riding the White Bull

KING, STEPHEN
The Ballad of the Flexible Bullet
The Boogeyman
Graveyard Shift
The Mist
Mrs. Todd’s Shortcut
Survivor Type

KLAGES, ELLEN
In the House of the Seven Librarians

KLAGES, ELLEN and ANDY DUNCAN
Wakulla Springs

KNIGHT, DAMON
Four in One

KOONTZ, DEAN
Wake Up to Thunder

KORNBLUTH, C.M.
Gomez
The Little Black Bag
The Marching Morons

KOWAL, MARY ROBINETTE
Evil Robot Monkey

KRESS, NANCY
Margin of Error

LAFFERTY, MUR
I Look Forward to Remembering You

LAFFERTY, R.A.
All Pieces of a River Shore
Days of Grass, Days of Straw
Selenium Ghosts of the Eighteen Seventies

LANGFORD, DAVE
BLIT

LAWRENCE, K.M.
The Freedom

LEE, TANITH
Fold
Red As Blood

LE GUIN, URSULA K
Buffalo Gals, Won’t You Come Out Tonight
The Darkness Box
The Day Before The Revolution
The Finder
Intracom
The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas
Sita Dulip’s Method
Solitude

LEIBER, FRITZ
The Black Gondolier
The Button Molder
Ill Met In Lankhmar
Lean Times in Lankhmar
A Pail of Air
Space-Time for Springers
Time Fighter

LEM, STANISLAW
Let Us Save the Universe
The Seventh Sally
Terminus

LINGEN, MARISSA K.
Uncle Flower’s Homecoming Waltz

LINK, KELLY
Magic for Beginners
Two Houses

LIU, KEN
Mon no Aware

LONGYEAR, BARRY B.
Enemy Mine

LOVECRAFT, H. P.
At the Mountains of Madness
The Call of Cthulhu
The Color Out Of Space
Cool Air
Iranon
Pickman’s Model
The Whisperer In Darkness

MACLEAN, KATHERINE
The Snowball Effect

MacLENNIN, PHYLLIS
Thus Love Betrays Us

MAMATAS, NICK
Joey Ramone Saves the World

MARTIN, GEORGE R R
A Beast for Norn
Nightflyers
Sandkings
A Song for Lya

McAULEY, PAUL J.
Sea Change With Monsters

McDONAGH, MARTIN
The Pillowman (play)

McDONALD, IAN
Unfinished Portrait of the King of Pain by Van Gogh

McHUGH, MAUREEN
Necropolis

McINTYRE, VONDA
Of Mist, and Grass, and Sand

McKILLIP, PATRICIA A.
A Troll and Two Roses

McKINLEY, ROBIN
The Door in the Hedge (entire anthology)
The Princess and the Frog
The Twelve Dancing Princesses

MERRIL, JUDITH
That Only A Mother

METZGER, THOM
The Masonic Dream Engine

MIEVILLE, CHINA
The Ball Room
An End to Hunger
Familiar
Reports of Certain Events In London

MILES, LAWRENCE
A Broodmare for Gloriana

MILLER, LION
The Available Data on the Worp Reaction

MILLER, SAM J.
57 Reasons for the Slate Quarry Suicides
We Are the Cloud

MILLER, WALTER M. JR.
The Last Canticle

MITCHISON, NAOMI
Miss Omega Raven

MONETTE, SARAH
Elegy for a Demon Lover

MOORE, C.L.
Shambleau

MURPHY, PAT
A Falling Star Is A Rock From Outer Space
His Vegetable Wife
Rachel in Love

NEWMAN, KIM
The Man Who Collected Barker

NIVEN, LARRY
The Ethics of Madness
Inconstant Moon
Man of Steel, Woman of Kleenex
Neutron Star

NORDLEY, G. DAVID
Crossing Chao Meng Fu

ORWELL, GEORGE
Animal Farm

PADGETT, LEWIS
Mimsy Were the Borogoves
Private Eye
The Proud Robot

PALWICK, SUSAN
Going After Bobo

PANGBORN, EDGAR
Night Wind

PIPER, H. BEAM
Omnilingual

POE, EDGAR ALLAN
A Cask of Amontillado

POHL, FREDERIK
The Day After The Day After The Martians Came
Day Million
Happy Birthday, Dear Jesus
Outnumbering the Dead
The Tunnel Under the World

POPKES, STEVEN
The Egg

PRATCHETT, TERRY
The Sea and Little Fishes
Troll Bridge

PRATT, TIM
Cup and Table
Impossible Dreams

PURSER-HALLARD, PHILIP
De Umbris Idearum

REED, ROBERT
Eight Episodes

REYNOLDS, TED
Can These Bones Live?

ROBINSON, KIM STANLEY
Green Mars (story, not novel)

ROWE, CHRISTOPHER
Voluntary State

RUSS, JOANNA
Everyday Depressions
When It Changed

RUSSELL, ERIC FRANK
Allamagoosa
Dear Devil
Plus X
The Witness

SAKI
The Open Window
Sredni Vashtar
The Wolves of Cernogratz

SAUNDERS, GEORGE
In Persuasion Nation

SCHMITZ, JAMES
The Second Night of Summer

SHAW, BOB
Light of Other Days

SHEA, MICHAEL
The Autopsy

SHECKLEY, ROBERT
The Accountant
Human Man’s Burden
The Odour of Thought
Protection

SHEFFIELD, CHARLES
Georgia On My Mind

SHELDON, RACCOONA (see also Tiptree)
The Screwfly Solution

SHEPARD, LUCIUS
The Man Who Painted The Dragon Griaule
R&R
The Scalehunter’s Beautiful Daughter
A Spanish Lesson

SILVERBERG, ROBERT
The Dybbuk of Mazel Tov V
Enter A Soldier. Later: Enter Another
Feast of St. Dionysis
Sailing to Byzantium
Sundance

SINGH, VANDANA
Infinities

SLADEK, JOHN T.
Elephant With Wooden Leg
Heavens Below: Fifteen Utopias

SMITH, CLARK ASHTON
The Dark Eidolon

SMITH, CORDWAINER
Alpha Ralpha Boulevard
The Ballad of Lost C’Mell
The Crime and Glory of Commander Suzdal
The Dead Lady of Clown Town
The Game of Rat and Dragon
The Lady Who Sailed the Soul
Scanners Live In Vain
Under Old Earth

SOUKUP, MARTHA
Alita in the Air

SPINRAD, NORMAN
Carcinoma Angels

STERLING, BRUCE
Swarm

STERLING, BRUCE and RUDY RUCKER
Storming the Cosmos

STIEGLER, MARC
The Gentle Seduction

STROSS, CHARLES
Lobsters

STUART, DON A.
Twilight

STURGEON, THEODORE
Baby Is Three
The Claustrophile
The Man Who Lost The Sea
Microcosmic God
More Than Human
Saucer of Loneliness
Slow Sculpture
When You Care, When You Love

SWANWICK, MICHAEL
The Dog Said Bow Wow

SWANWICK, MICHAEL and WILLIAM GIBSON
Dogfight

SWIRSKY, RACHEL
If You Were A Dinosaur, My Love
The Lady Who Plucked Red Flowers Beneath the Queen’s Window

TENN, WILLIAM
The Liberation of Earth

TIPTREE, JAMES JR.
And I Awoke And Found Me Here On The Cold Hill’s Side
The Girl Who Was Plugged In
Houston, Houston, Do You Read?
In the Midst of Life
Love Is The Plan, The Plan Is Death
The Psychologist Who Wouldn’t Do Awful Things to Rats
The Women Men Don’t See
Your Faces, O My Sisters! Your Faces Filled of Light!

TURTLEDOVE, HARRY
The Road Not Taken

UTLEY, STEVEN
Shattering

VALENTE, CATHERYNNE M.
Fade to White
Silently and Very Fast

VANCE, JACK
The Last Castle
Mazirian the Magician
The Moon Moth
The Potters of Firsk

VANDERMEER, JEFF
Dradin, in Love
The Transformation of Martin Lake

VAN PELT, JAMES
Miss Hathaway’s Spider

VAN VOGT, A.E.
The Weapon Shop

VARLEY, JOHN
The Barbie Murders
In The Bowl
In The Hall Of The Martian Kings
Overdrawn at the Memory Bank
Press Enter

VERNON, URSULA
Jackalope Wives
Toad Words

VINGE, JOAN D
To Bell The Cat

VINGE, VERNOR
True Names

VONNEGUT, KURT
Harrison Bergeron
Welcome to the Monkey House

WAGNER, KARL EDWARD
Lynortis Reprise
Misericorde
Raven’s Eyrie
Where the Summer Ends

WALDROP, HOWARD
Flying Saucer Rock & Roll
French Scenes
Mary Margaret Road-Grader
Thirty Minutes Over Broadway
The Ugly Chickens

WATT-EVANS, LAWRENCE
Why I Left Harry’s All-Night Hamburgers

WEINBAUM, STANLEY G.
A Martian Odyssey

WHITE, T.H.
The Troll

WILHELM, KATE
Baby, You Were Great

WILLIAMS, WALTER JON
Video Star

WILLIS, CONNIE
All My Darling Daughters
Death On The Nile
Epiphany
Firewatch
The Last of the Winnebagoes
Schwarzschild Radius
Spice Pogrom
The Winds of Marble Arch

WILSON, ROBERT CHARLES
This Peacable Land

WOLFE, GENE
Has Anyone Seen Junie Moon
Silhouette
When I Was Ming the Merciless

WOLLHEIM, DONALD A.
Give Her Hell
Up There

YOLEN, JANE
Lost Girls
The Devil’s Arithmetic

YU, E. LILY
The Cartographer Wasps & the Anarchist Bees

ZELAZNY, ROGER
The Doors of His Face, The Lamps of His Mouth
Fire and Frost
For A Breath I Tarry
The Game of Blood and Dust
Home Is The Hangman
KJWALLL’KJE’K’KOOTHAILLL’KJE’K
The Last Defender of Camelot
A Rose For Ecclesiastes
This Moment of the Storm
24 Views of Mt. Fuji, by Hokusai
Unicorn Variations

AUTHORS RECOMMENDED IN GENERAL FOR GOOD SHORT FICTION
Akutagawa, Ryunosoke
Bishop, Michael
Bradbury, Ray
Collier, John
Fyfe, H.B.
Gaiman, Neil
Gunn, Eileen
Henderson, Zenna
Klages, Ellen
Lafferty, R.A.
Lee, Tanith
LeGuin, Ursula K
Park, Paul
Quaglia, Roberto
Smith, Cordwainer
Sturgeon, Theodore
Varley, John
Wells, H.G.
Willis, Connie
Wolfe, Gene

21 thoughts on “File 770 Short Fiction Recommendations, Alpha by Author

  1. Another excellent short fiction selection by Ursula K. LeGuin is “Another Story or A Fisherman of the Inland Sea”. I personally always recommend this to anyone who wants to get a flavor of her most famous SF novels, “Left Hand of Darkness”, or “The Dispossessed”.

  2. Thank you Kurt! Now I have a lot of reading to do. (Not like I didn’t already, but this may push things around in the queue.)

    I just reread “In Dreams”, by the way. It’s excellent. That ending just makes me feel happysad. Thanks for that too 🙂

    ETA: I never realized until reading this list that nobody mentioned “Beggars in Spain” by Nancy Kress. That one really made an impression on me. Didn’t care for the novelization though.

  3. Anthony Boucher! D’oh! One of his stories that’s stuck with me for a long time is “The Pink Caterpillar”.

  4. Dawn:

    Thank you Kurt! Now I have a lot of reading to do. (Not like I didn’t already, but this may push things around in the queue.)

    Yeah, that’s why I wanted the list, too, and set it up in alphabetical order.

    Chronological would have been nice, too, but I wasn’t up to that much research.

    I just reread “In Dreams”, by the way. It’s excellent. That ending just makes me feel happysad. Thanks for that too 🙂

    Thanks! This August, for our 20th anniversary, we’re doing something of a direct sequel to that story. Just got more pages for it in today…

    ETA: I never realized until reading this list that nobody mentioned “Beggars in Spain” by Nancy Kress. That one really made an impression on me. Didn’t care for the novelization though.

    I keep adding everything to the list. At some point, I have to stop that…

  5. Great list! Thanks, Kurt!

    By the way, doesn’t Iain Banks’ name have two “i”s?

  6. Seeing Thomas M. Disch’s name reminds me of another story that has stuck with me forever – Descending. That story is why I NEVER read on an escalator. That and I would probably hurt myself…

  7. Thanks Kurt!

    Can’t believe that I forgot Katherine MacLean The Missing Man and for humor The Trouble with You Earth People.

  8. Squid:

    By the way, doesn’t Iain Banks’ name have two “i”s?

    It does indeed. He is not a Cyclops. Thanks.

  9. Thank you Kurt!

    Is there a professional editor around? We need someone to compile the File770 Best SF Short Fiction Anthology. Then we can all nominate it next year. 🙂

  10. Lists like these are part fascinating, part frustrating.

    Take an author that I know in some depth as an example – Ray Bradbury. You can’t have a list of recommended Bradbury stories without “The Fog Horn” and “A Sound of Thunder”. And those are just the obvious ones. What about his best SF story (“And the Rock Cried Out”)? Or his scariest story (“Gotcha!”)? Or his most touching mainstream story (“The Laurel and Hardy Love Affair”)?

    When were these recommendations solicited, by the way? I didn’t see anything.

  11. Now I’m thinking about flagrant (or, at least, possibly interesting) omissions. How about Manly Wade Wellman’s “John the Balladeer” stories, for example “The Desrick on Yandro”? Or Richard McKenna’s “Casey Agonistes”? …. I suspect, though, one could go on like this forever.

  12. Restricting myself purely to authors already on the list (otherwise I’d be here all day), here is one story per author that stands up to anything already nominated:

    Isaac Asimov: “The Billiard Ball”.
    J. G. Ballard: “The Cloud-Sculptors of Coral D”.
    Alfred Bester: “They Don’t Make Life Like They Used To”.
    Avram Davidson: “The Sources of the Nile”.
    Samuel R. Delany: “Driftglass”.
    Philip K. Dick: “Faith of Our Fathers”.
    Thomas M. Disch: “Descending” (already suggested and heartily seconded).
    Harlan Ellison: “On the Downhill Side”.
    Robert A. Heinlein – “They”.
    Shirley Jackson: “One Ordinary Day, with Peanuts”.
    Kij Johnson: “26 Monkeys, Also the Abyss”.
    Damon Knight: “Anachron”.
    Nancy Kress: “The Battle of Long Island”.
    R. A. Lafferty: “Rainbird”.
    Tanith Lee: “The Demoness”.
    Ursula K. Le Guin : “Ether, OR”.
    Fritz Leiber: “The Man Who Never Grew Young”.
    Ken Liu: “The Paper Menagerie”.
    Katherine MacLean: “The Missing Man”.
    George R. R. Martin: “With Morning Comes Mistfall”.
    Maureen F. McHugh: “After the Apocalypse”.
    C. L. Moore: “Vintage Season”.
    Edgar Pangborn: “Longtooth”.
    Steven Popkes: “The Ice”.
    Robert Reed: “Roxie”.
    Joanna Russ: “The Second Inquisition”.
    James H. Schmitz: “The Witches of Karres”.
    Robert Sheckley: “The Store of the Worlds” (a.k.a. “The World of Heart’s Desire”).
    Lucius Shepard: “A Traveler’s Tale”.
    Norman Spinrad: “Journals of the Plague Years”.
    Bruce Sterling: “Dori Bangs”.
    Michael Swanwick: “Triceratops Summer”.
    James Tiptree, Jr.: “Her Smoke Rose Up Forever”.
    Stanley G. Weinbaum: “The Circle of Zero”.
    Gene Wolfe: “Forlesen”.

  13. Thank you Kurt! I wish there were more iTunes-like places where we could just download the story without copyright violation. What a great jury file770 commenters make for this list.

  14. I made a huge mistake! The Fritz Leiber story I meant to recommend was “The Oldest Soldier,” not “Time Fighter.”

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