Short Story Recommendations

Short stories I’ve enjoyed over the years.

Currently 24 entries. Last updated on 2023/05/10.


For me, Saunders is at his best when writing dysfunctional workplaces, and this short story is no exception, involving a company that disposes of raccoons (???) and a pathetic (if pitiable) narrator.

The look in my boss’s eyes dimmed a little. “I don’t have kids, and I don’t ever plan on having any. Over the years I’ve asked myself whether my life has meaning. Whether lives without purpose should exist at all. For someone who doubts the value of his own life to then create a life—it would be very irresponsible behavior.”

Ready to have children? Why not try raising a virtual one first?

A frankly very polarizing story that to me reads as a satire, though it may not land. At the very least, read it all the way through before making up your mind. To me, this story skewers an “incel”-adjacent victim mentality of “I’m doing everything right, so why don’t women like me still?” In the end, even if you do everything “right” (emphasis on the quotes), relationships (romantic or otherwise) aren’t about checking off boxes, and this is true whether you put your partner up on a pedestal or down in the gutter. It’s rather…blunt…in how it goes about this, and I can’t decide whether this is to its benefit or detriment.

A look at Chinese history—and what it means to be an emperor—through the lens of anachronistic video games.

High-frequency trading runs amok in this AI apocalypse story.

A horrifying window into what life as a werewolf might actually look like—with an abusive lover to boot. (In particular: she ages at the wolf/dog rate, seven years to one.)

A painful story of a sailor who comes home to find everything taken from him.

A sci-fi tale of faith in love and missed connections unfolding over hundreds of years.

A fictional Wikipedia article about the first person to be uploaded to a computer.

A bizzare comedy about what “normal” really is, through the lens of strange foods.

A (loose) retelling of The Little Mermaid, except our mermaid goes to space.

A story about a rebellious teenager and her single mother the witch, that slowly transitions into the teenager seeing things from her mother’s perspective as she grows older.

Spoilers The mother, of course, was never really a witch, just a mother adopting a mysterious persona as a way to protect and shield her daughter. Or was she really? What is a witch after all?

A fantastical sci-fi story about exploring the true nature of space.

A female knight does what no man ever could.

An excruciatingly awkward story of a date in a tiny New York omakase shop. And also, a story of what it means to be Asian-American in America.

A strangely haunting story-within-a-story about missed connections.

On the outside, a tale of (pseudo-)time travel; on the inside, a tale about soulmates through multiple lives.

A sci-fi memory simulation experience rendered through a dialogue between a desperate customer and a stymied customer service attendant.

A “silkpunk” story that reinterprets an actual historical event with something quite different.

A prophetic story of America (and the rest of the world) slowly falling to armed religious insurrections seeking to eliminate women from the world.

A time travel story about the rebellion of two early women in science.

A tale of true love that only people who truly embody living at work could enjoy.

A dystopian tale of redemption in a future where the government offers money to those willing to artificially shorten their lives. See also: “Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow” (Kurt Vonnegut), and Three Days of Happiness (Sugaru Miaki).

A tale of true love that only people who truly embody living at work could enjoy.