On a forum I hang out on, we’re building an anthology of the best short stories of the 20th century. All genres, all eras. Take a gander and join in (if you aren’t already a member you have to sign up, but it’s painless):

The Best Short Stories of the 20th Century

So far there’s a great selection.

The short story is a different art form than the novel. A lot of novelists don’t like to write short fiction (some even say they can’t — they start something and then it turns into a novel).

I find novel writing easier than short stories, even though I’ve written several, and continue to write them. My short stories tend to be more vignette-ish rather than perfectly formed pieces with beginnings, middle, and ends. Still, I like to write short fiction, and I figure that with practice I’ll get better at it.

So what are the short stories that made your heart sing? Tell me here in the comments, and/or head over to The Perfect World to add your selections. I’m looking forward to hearing from everyone.


Renee B · September 11, 2010 at 10:56 pm

I was just recently talking about one of the short stories from The Martian Chronicles, because it’s one that has always stuck with me. It’s called The Third Expedition, and it’s the story of the 3rd expedition to Mars. They get off their rocket to discover that Mars is a duplicate of a 1920s midwestern town, filled with the late loved ones of the astronauts. Ignoring their captain, the astronauts go with their “loved ones” into the houses, where they have a night with their family. But of course they are the Martians, and when the astronauts go to sleep, they are all killed by the Martians. The last scene is the next morning where the Martians come out of the homes, each bearing a coffin of a now-dead astronaut, and they’re buried.

Patrice Sarath · September 12, 2010 at 4:02 pm

Yes! I remember that one! Bradbury was so good at the bittersweet with a twist.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.