– Kelley & Asti
Short Fiction Online
As fans of fiction, most of us read some every day, right? Novel length fiction has been a steadfast companion throughout my adult life — I’m never without a paperback or my kindle. But short fiction – stories, novelettes, and novellas? It is a recently acquired passion of mine that I hope to share with all of you today. When was the last time you read a great short story? Hopefully by the end of this post, that answer will be today!
Why short fiction? Truly great speculative (sci-fi, fantasy, and horror) fiction is being published every day online. New exciting anthologies exploring diverse topics are successfully crowdfunded every month. Online sci-fi/fantasy magazines are constantly curating great shorts from some amazing authors – new and old, along with some truly amazing art. If you are a fan of genre fiction, I encourage you to check out a few of the offerings — you might be surprised by the quality (and quantity) available to you online for free.
I started reading short stories in earnest when I founded my review blog earlier this year. After reading the online bookclub Sword and Laser’s first anthology, I realized I was hungry for more. As someone with a busy job and busy young family, I saw how nice it was to be able to finish a complete story in one sitting. To motivate myself to read more short fiction, I started my Sunday Shorts feature and started seeking out the best stories I could find online.
Within the first month, I ran into a problem that I think is facing the genre’s short fiction market in general — there is so much out there that it is hard to know where to start! The short stories I read were bright flashes of enjoyable prose, intricate slow burning thought provoking pieces, and a whole lot in between.
After about six months of navigating the waters, I’m still amazed at what is available online. To help aid new readers, I’ve come up with a list of sources I frequent, because I enjoy the tone and quality of their stories. I recommend that anyone interested in reading speculative fiction shorts browse the last few months of these sites to get an idea if the stories are of interest to them. I have my favorites among the list, but I truly believe everyone will find ones that call out to them more than others.
- Beneath Ceaseless Skies
- Daily Science Fiction
- Strange Horizons
- Book Smugglers Publishing (publishing subversive fairytales)
To start those new to the genre off, some of my recent favorite that I’d recommend to read:
- Seanan McGuire’s Each to Each in Lightspeed
- Ruthanna Emrys’ The Litany of the Earth on Tor.com
- Marie Brennan’s Mad Maudlin + Daughter of Necessity, both on Tor.com.
- L. Huang’s Hunting Monsters via Book Smugglers Publishing