Science fiction short stories and eBooks, both for Kindle and other eReaders, is what I plan to talk about here.
Nowadays time is running so fast and everyone has so many things to do and must be in so many places at once. You might just be the kind of person who’s traveling from one place to another, finding less and less time to devote to your hobbies. And when reading science-fiction literature happens to be your main hobby, then you’ve got quite of a problem. Novels require free time and when you don’t have it, you risk starting reading a book and not finishing it. Or worse, refusing to start any book because you know beforehand you’ll never be able to finish it. So what would be the solution to this problem? Of course someone who loves reading sci-fi cannot live without his “drug”. So, instead of choosing thick novels, you might want to go for sci-fi short stories.
No matter if you are in a plane, on a bus, on a train, or in your own bed happy that you’ve found some time to read something before you go to sleep, short stories are sometimes the best choice you can possibly make, and a great solution to the time crunch we all seem to be in. They don’t take much time to read, but they do deliver the same amount of satisfaction as a sci-fi novel. Moreover, being as focused as they are, trying to compensate for their shortness, sci-fi short stories are like strong pills: small, but quick to take effect. While in a novel you might find some boring passages or action that drags, in a short story everything is fast paced. Dialogue is often the center of attention, for, with little space to develop description, it’s the best way of illustrating the characters’ main traits. Conclusion? Easy to read, no boring bits, you start it now and devour it in one go.
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When reading a sci-fi short story, brace yourself for some unexpected twists, especially at the end. No good short story will end in a boring, predictable way. That’s why I’ll recommend you some high quality science fiction short stories, the ones that you mustn’t miss by any means. If you want good pieces of sci-fi literature with intriguing or dramatic endings which pose interesting questions, make you think and ask for more, then check my list. I’ve chosen for you some popular titles, well-known for receiving prizes and nominations to the Hugo and Nebula Awards. They’re pieces that won’t disappoint you because another thing these authors never forget is to address intriguing issues such as the meaning of life, the creation of the universe, human nature or man’s relationship with technology.
Aside from all these, when talking about great sci-fi authors, short stories are always important for understanding their whole work and their views. Lots of successful novels have developed from a short story, taking the characters and ideas and creating something more complex and complete. Short stories show glimpses of ideas, thoughts, and themes. They are like flashes of the author's genius. Through a good short story, the sci-fi writer shows he has something to say, clearly and concisely. So take the list and enjoy every minute spent in your favorite authors’ worlds.
Here are my picks:
"Roadside Picnic" is a novella written by Boris and Arkady Strugatsky. First published in 1972 in the Soviet Union, and then in the United States in 1977, it pictures the world after the so-called Visitation of an extraterrestrial civilization. Starting from this sci-fi short novella, in which mystery is at its best, film director Andrei Tarkovsky has created one of the most notable pieces in the history of film – Stalker (1979). Check both of the story and the movie out, and see how science-fiction has everything to do with God and faith.
"With the Night Mail" is a short story by Rudyard Kipling. A full review can be read by clicking the link.
For a great story by one of the "founding fathers" of SciFi, try "Robbie" by Isaac Asimov. "Robbie" was published in 1940 and is Isaac Asimov’s first robot story. The revised version can be read in Asimov’s collections: I, Robot, The Complete Robot andRobot Visions. This one is a must-read because it shows how Asimov disagrees with the idea of robots turning against their creators, a commonly occurring theme in the science-fiction literature of that time.
"The Chronic Argonauts" by H.G. Wells is the original time travel story, predating even Wells's The Time Machine.
"Frozen Sky" by Jeff Carlson is about an expedition to Europa. Ever since Arthur C. Clarke's 2001: A Space Odyssey and its sequels, Jupiter's moons have held a fascination for many of us. This exploration of Europa takes a look at one possible outcome.
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