The Online Encyclopedia and Dictionary






List of science fiction short stories

This is a non-comprehensive list of short stories with significant science fiction elements . Due to the large number of short stories this list is limited to stories that have done one of the following,

  • Defined a sub-genre of science fiction.
  • Founded an important science fiction series.
  • Been the first to introduce a science fiction concept.
  • Won major science fiction or general fiction awards.
  • Topped a major bestseller list.
  • Been important to the field of science fiction in another way.

Humans colonizing other planets

Weyr Search (1968) by Anne McCaffrey 
Founding story of the Pern series. Won a Hugo in 1968.

Intelligent animals

Genius of the Species (1956) by R. Brentor 
First use of technology to induce intelligence in cats
Sheena 5 (2003) by Stephen Baxter 
About a genetically modified squid

Large Artificial Worlds

see also Big Dumb Object
Orbitsville (1975) by Bob Shaw 
Huge artificial sphere enclosing a star (known as a Dyson Sphere)

Non 3-Dimensional Space

Flatland (1884) by Edwin A. Abbott 
A classic tale of a two-dimensional being meeting 'A Sphere'
...And He Built a Crooked House (1941) by Robert Heinlein 
Story of a house that extends into the fourth dimension, much to the puzzlement of its occupants

Robot Stories

Robbie (1939) by Isaac Asimov 
First Robot story by Isaac Asimov, published in the September 1940 issue of Super Science Stories .
Run Around (1942) by Isaac Asimov 
First story to list the Three Laws of Robotics, published in the March 1942 issue of Astounding.

Time Travel

The Chronic Argonauts (1895) by H.G. Wells 
Probably the very first significant time travel story ever.
All You Zombies... (1959) by Robert Heinlein 
A story featuring a neatly tangled set of time travel paradoxes.
Ripples in the Dirac Sea (1988) by Geoffrey A. Landis 
The affecting story of a scientist seesawing inescapably through time, this brilliant work effectively deconstructs most time-travel stories that came before. Winner of the 1989 Nebula Award for best short story.


True Names (1981) by Vernor Vinge 
One of the first stories to flesh out the idea of cyberspace.

(Note: This list may be more appropriate as a list of Significant Science Fiction Themes)

Award winning short stories

The two main awards given in American science fiction are the Hugos and the Nebulas. Complete lists of the short stories that won these awards are at Hugo Award for Best Short Story and Nebula Award for Best Short Story.

Last updated: 05-23-2005 05:48:35