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Required Reading

Required Reading

Required Reading

10 Short Stories You Could Read Online For Free Right Now!

I love science fiction, and short stories. Thankfully, there are a lot of short science fiction stories to be found and, thanks to the magic of the Internet, a lot of them can be found online for free! Here’s a collection of some of my favorites, and links to read them right away.

The Egg -- Andy Weir

This is an interesting take on God, the afterlife, and the nature of the Universe. Going in with an open mind could change how you see the world around you and rethink how you treat other people.

http://www.galactanet.com/oneoff/theegg_mod.html

The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas -- Ursula K. Le Guin

A commentary on the supposition that bliss is ignorance, and that pain and evil are the intelligent positions in life. A closer read will make one reexamine the nature of the things they read and watch.

http://www.mccc.edu/pdf/eng102/Week%209/Text_LeGuin%20Ursula_Ones%20Who%20Walk%20Away%20From%20Omelas.pdf

The Last Question -- Isaac Asimov

An unquestioned classic, Isaac Asimov’s opus is something anyone and everyone should read in their life. Beautifully written, it tackles one of the greatest problems that will plague future man, can entropy be reversed?

http://www.multivax.com/last_question.html

The Lottery -- Shirley Jackson

A counterpoint to needless traditionalism, this will make you question the reasoning of “that’s how we’ve always done it.” Well crafted and suitably terrifying.

https://sites.middlebury.edu/individualandthesociety/files/2010/09/jackson_lottery.pdf

There Will Come Soft Rains -- Ray Bradbury

A morose, heartbreaking story about an automatic house that continues to operate without its inhabitants to be found. Really makes you think about what we leave behind, and how the world keeps going even if we aren’t there to see it.

https://www.btboces.org/Downloads/7_There%20Will%20Come%20Soft%20Rains%20by%20Ray%20Bradbury.pdf

The Veldt -- Ray Bradbury

Another of Ray Bradbury’s masterpieces, a terrifying look into the future of technology and the implications of technology addiction.

http://www.veddma.com/veddma/Veldt.htm

He-y, Come on Ou-t -- Shinichi Hoshi

A short story about a village that finds a bottomless hole nearby, and what they decide to use it for. The horror doesn’t come until the end, where the true nature of the hole is revealed.

https://lookupthenumber.typepad.com/blog/2009/10/he-y-come-on-ou-t-shinichi-hoshi.html

La Noche Boca Arriba -- Julio Cortazar

With a title meaning ‘The Upside-Down Night,’ this is a story about a man in a motorcycle accident who has strange dreams while recovering. This calls back to the old adage: How do you know you are a man dreaming you are a butterfly, and not a butterfly dreaming you are a man?

https://siempreleer.blogspot.com/2011/04/la-noche-boca-arriba.html

The Cold Equations -- Tom Godwin

My personal favorite, a story about a ship delivering medicine to a nearby planet, and the heartless equations that go into calculating its trajectory and speed. If you only read one, I highly recommend this one.

https://photos.state.gov/libraries/hochiminh/646441/vantt/The%20Cold%20Equations.pdf

The Algorithms for Love -- Ken Liu

A woman creates a software that mimics human speech, but encounters philosophical issues as it becomes more and more robust. A horrifying implication of the Turing Test and the Chinese Room problem.

https://kenliu.name/stories/algorithms/

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