Top 10 Best Books to Read in Science Fiction Short Stories - August 2021

Here are our top ten recommendations if you are looking for the best books to read in Science Fiction Short Stories. We have made sure our list is diverse to cater to the interests of different types of readers.

1. Foundation and Empire


Top 10 Best Books to Read in Science Fiction Short Stories - August 2021

The second novel in Isaac Asimov’s classic science-fiction masterpiece, the Foundation series THE EPIC SAGA THAT INSPIRED THE UPCOMING APPLE TV+ SERIES FOUNDATION , COMING 9/24/21 Led by its founding father, the psychohistorian Hari Seldon, and utilizing science and technology, the Foundation survived the greed and barbarism of its neighboring warrior-planets. Now cleverness and courage may not be enough. For the Empire—the mightiest force in the Galaxy—is even more dangerous in its death throes. Even worse, a mysterious entity called the Mule has appeared with powers beyond anything humanly conceivable. Who—or what—is the Mule? And how is humanity to defend itself against this invulnerable avatar of annihilation? Filled with nail-biting suspense, nonstop action, and cutting-edge speculation, Foundation and Empire is the story of humanity’s perpetual struggle against the darkness that forever threatens to overwhelm the light—and of how the courage of even a determined few can make all the difference in the universe.

  • Author: Isaac Asimov
  • Publisher: Spectra (June 1, 2004)
  • Genre: Kindle Store, Kindle eBooks, Literature & Fiction

                 

2. Frankenstein (Signet Classics)


Top 10 Best Books to Read in Science Fiction Short Stories - August 2021

More than 200 years after it was first published, Mary Shelley's Frankenstein has stood the test of time as a gothic masterpiece—a classic work of horror that blurs the line between man and monster. “If I cannot inspire love, I will cause fear.” For centuries, the story of Victor Frankenstein and the monster he created has held readers spellbound. On the surface, it is a novel of tense and steadily mounting dread. On a more profound level, it illuminates the triumph and tragedy of the human condition in its portrayal of a scientist who oversteps the bounds of conscience, and of a creature tortured by the solitude of a world in which he does not belong. A novel of almost hallucinatory intensity, Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein represents one of the most striking flowerings of the Romantic imagination.    With an Introduction by Douglas Clegg And an Afterword by Harold Bloom

  • Author: Mary Shelley
  • Publisher: Signet; Reprint edition (October 1, 2013)
  • Genre: Literature & Fiction, Genre Fiction
  • ISBN: 978-0451532244
  • Dimensions: 4.18 x 0.69 x 6.81 inches

                 

3. The Book of Dragons: An Anthology


Top 10 Best Books to Read in Science Fiction Short Stories - August 2021

R.F. Kuang, Kate Elliott, Ken Liu, Todd McCaffrey, Garth Nix, Peter S. Beagle, and other modern masters of fantasy and science fiction put their unique spin on the greatest of mythical beasts—the dragon—in never-before-seen works written exclusively for this fantasy anthology compiled by award-winning editor Jonathan Strahan and with art by Rovina Cai! Here there be dragons . . . From China to Europe, Africa to North America, dragons have long captured our imagination in myth and legend. Whether they are rampaging beasts awaiting a brave hero to slay or benevolent sages who have much to teach humanity, dragons are intrinsically connected to stories of creation, adventure, and struggle beloved for generations. Bringing together nearly thirty stories and poems from some of the greatest science fiction and fantasy writers working today— Garth Nix, Scott Lynch, R.F. Kuang, Ann Leckie & Rachel Swirsky, Daniel Abraham, Peter S. Beagle, Beth Cato, Zen Cho, C. S. E Cooney, Aliette de Bodard, Amal El-Mohtar, Kate Elliott, Theodora Goss, Ellen Klages, Ken Liu, Seanan Maguire, Patricia A McKillip, K. J. Parker, Kelly Robson, Michael Swanwick, Jo Walton, Elle Katharine White, Jane Yolen, Kelly Barnhill, Brooke Bolander, Sarah Gailey, and J. Y. Yang—and illustrated by award-nominated artist Rovina Cai with black-and-white line drawings specific to each entry throughout, this extraordinary collection vividly breathes fire and life into one of our most captivating and feared magical creatures as never before and is sure to become a treasured keepsake for fans of fantasy, science fiction, and fairy tales.

  • Author: Jonathan Strahan
  • Publisher: Harper Voyager; Illustrated edition (July 7, 2020)
  • Genre: Kindle Store, Kindle eBooks, Science Fiction & Fantasy

                 

4. Second Foundation


Top 10 Best Books to Read in Science Fiction Short Stories - August 2021

The third novel in Isaac Asimov’s classic science-fiction masterpiece, the Foundation series THE EPIC SAGA THAT INSPIRED THE UPCOMING APPLE TV+ SERIES FOUNDATION , COMING 9/24/21 The Foundation lies in ruins—destroyed by a mutant mind bent on humanity’s annihilation. But it’s rumored that there’s a Second Foundation hidden somewhere at the end of the Galaxy, established as insurance to preserve the knowledge of mankind. Now a desperate race has begun between the survivors of the First Foundation and an alien entity to find this last flicker of humanity’s shining past—and future hope. Yet the key to it all might be a fourteen-year-old girl burdened with a terrible secret. Is she the Foundation’s savior—or its deadliest enemy? Unforgettable, thought-provoking, and riveting, Second Foundation is a stunning novel of adventure and ideas writ huge across the Galaxy—a powerful tale of humankind’s struggle to preserve the fragile light of wisdom against the threat of its own dark barbarism.

  • Author: Isaac Asimov
  • Publisher: Spectra (June 1, 2004)
  • Genre: Kindle Store, Kindle eBooks, Literature & Fiction

                 

5. Exhalation


Top 10 Best Books to Read in Science Fiction Short Stories - August 2021

ONE OF THE   NEW YORK TIMES  10 BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR A NATIONAL BESTSELLER Nine stunningly original, provocative, and poignant stories—two being published for the very first time—all from the mind of the incomparable Ted Chiang. Tackling some of humanity’s oldest questions along with new quandaries only he could imagine, these stories will change the way you think, feel, and see the world. They are Ted Chiang at his best: profound, sympathetic, revelatory.

  • Author: Ted Chiang
  • Publisher: Vintage; Reprint edition (June 30, 2020)
  • Genre: Literature & Fiction, Short Stories & Anthologies
  • ISBN: 978-1101972083
  • Dimensions: 5.12 x 0.76 x 7.93 inches

                 



6. Chapterhouse: Dune


Top 10 Best Books to Read in Science Fiction Short Stories - August 2021

Frank Herbert's Final Novel in the Magnificent Dune Chronicles—the Bestselling Science Fiction Adventure of All Time The desert planet Arrakis, called Dune, has been destroyed. The remnants of the Old Empire have been consumed by the violent matriarchal cult known as the Honored Matres. Only one faction remains a viable threat to their total conquest—the Bene Gesserit, heirs to Dune’s power. Under the leadership of Mother Superior Darwi Odrade, the Bene Gesserit have colonized a green world on the planet Chapterhouse and are turning it into a desert, mile by scorched mile. And once they’ve mastered breeding sandworms, the Sisterhood will control the production of the greatest commodity in the known galaxy—the spice melange. But their true weapon remains a man who has lived countless lifetimes—a man who served under the God Emperor Paul Muad’Dib....

  • Author: Frank Herbert
  • Publisher: Ace (July 1, 1987)
  • Genre: Kindle Store, Kindle eBooks, Literature & Fiction

                 

7. The Big Front Yard: And Other Stories (The Complete Short Fiction of Clifford D. Simak Book 2)


Top 10 Best Books to Read in Science Fiction Short Stories - August 2021

Tales of the unknown in which a fix-it man crosses into another dimension—and more Hiram Taine is a handyman who can fix anything. When he isn’t fiddling with his tools, he is roaming through the woods with his dog, Towser, as he has done for as long as he can remember. He likes things that he can understand. But when a new ceiling appears in his basement—a ceiling that appears to have the ability to repair television sets so they’re better than before—he knows he has come up against a mystery that no man can solve.   Winner of the Hugo Award for Best Novelette, “The Big Front Yard” is a powerful story about what happens when an ordinary man finds reality coming apart around him. Along with the other stories in this collection, it is some of the most lyrical science fiction ever published.   Each story includes an introduction by David W. Wixon, literary executor of the Clifford D. Simak estate and editor of this ebook.

  • Author: Clifford D. Simak
  • Publisher: Open Road Media Sci-Fi & Fantasy (October 20, 2015)
  • Genre: Science Fiction & Fantasy, Science Fiction

                 

8. I'm Waiting for You: And Other Stories


Top 10 Best Books to Read in Science Fiction Short Stories - August 2021

“Her fiction is a breath-taking piece of a cinematic art itself. Reminiscent of the world we experienced in Matrix, Inception, and Dark City, still it leads us to this entirely original structure, which is a ground-breaking, mystic literary and cinematic experience. Indeed, powerful and graceful.”—Bong Joon-ho, Oscar-winning director of Parasite In this mind-expanding work of speculative fiction, available in English for the first time, one of South Korea’s most treasured writers explores the driving forces of humanity—love, hope, creation, destruction, and the very meaning of existence—in two pairs of thematically interconnected stories. Two worlds, four stories, infinite possibilities  In “I’m Waiting for You” and “On My Way,” an engaged couple coordinate their separate missions to distant corners of the galaxy to ensure—through relativity—they can arrive back on Earth simultaneously to make it down the aisle. But small incidents wreak havoc on space and time, driving their wedding date further away. As centuries on Earth pass and the land and climate change, one thing is constant: the desire of the lovers to be together. In two separate yet linked stories, Kim Bo-Young cleverly demonstrate the idea love that is timeless and hope springs eternal, despite seemingly insurmountable challenges and the deepest despair. In “The Prophet of Corruption” and “That One Life,” humanity is viewed through the eyes of its creators: godlike beings for which everything on Earth—from the richest woman to a speck of dirt—is an extension of their will. When one of the creations questions the righteousness of this arrangement, it is deemed a perversion—a disease—that must be excised and cured. Yet the Prophet Naban, whose “child” is rebelling, isn’t sure the rebellion is bad. What if that which is considered criminal is instead the natural order—and those who condemn it corrupt? Exploring the dichotomy between the philosophical and the corporeal, Kim ponders the fate of free-will, as she considers the most basic of questions: who am I?

  • Author: Kim Bo-young
  • Publisher: Harper Voyager (April 6, 2021)
  • Genre: Kindle Store, Kindle eBooks, Literature & Fiction

                 

9. Stories of Your Life and Others


Top 10 Best Books to Read in Science Fiction Short Stories - August 2021

From the author of Exhalation , an award-winning short story collection that blends "absorbing storytelling with meditations on the universe, being, time and space ... raises questions about the nature of reality and what it is to be human" ( The New York Times). Stories of Your Life and Others delivers dual delights of the very, very strange and the heartbreakingly familiar, often presenting characters who must confront sudden change—the inevitable rise of automatons or the appearance of aliens—with some sense of normalcy. With sharp intelligence and humor, Chiang examines what it means to be alive in a world marked by uncertainty, but also by beauty and wonder. An award-winning collection from one of today's most lauded writers,  Stories of Your Life and Others is a contemporary classic. Includes “Story of Your Life”—the basis for the major motion picture  Arrival

  • Author: Ted Chiang
  • Publisher: Vintage; Reissue edition (June 14, 2016)
  • Genre: Literature & Fiction, Short Stories & Anthologies
  • ISBN: 978-1101972120
  • Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.9 x 8 inches

                 

10. Her Body and Other Parties: Stories


Top 10 Best Books to Read in Science Fiction Short Stories - August 2021

Finalist for the National Book Award for Fiction “These stories vibrate with originality, queerness, sensuality and the strange.”―Roxane Gay “In these formally brilliant and emotionally charged tales, Machado gives literal shape to women’s memories and hunger and desire. I couldn’t put it down.”―Karen Russell In Her Body and Other Parties , Carmen Maria Machado blithely demolishes the arbitrary borders between psychological realism and science fiction, comedy and horror, fantasy and fabulism. While her work has earned her comparisons to Karen Russell and Kelly Link, she has a voice that is all her own. In this electric and provocative debut, Machado bends genre to shape startling narratives that map the realities of women’s lives and the violence visited upon their bodies. A wife refuses her husband’s entreaties to remove the green ribbon from around her neck. A woman recounts her sexual encounters as a plague slowly consumes humanity. A salesclerk in a mall makes a horrifying discovery within the seams of the store’s prom dresses. One woman’s surgery-induced weight loss results in an unwanted houseguest. And in the bravura novella “Especially Heinous,” Machado reimagines every episode of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit , a show we naïvely assumed had shown it all, generating a phantasmagoric police procedural full of doppelgängers, ghosts, and girls with bells for eyes. Earthy and otherworldly, antic and sexy, queer and caustic, comic and deadly serious, Her Body and Other Parties swings from horrific violence to the most exquisite sentiment. In their explosive originality, these stories enlarge the possibilities of contemporary fiction.

  • Author: Carmen Maria Machado
  • Publisher: Graywolf Press; 1st Edition (October 3, 2017)
  • Genre: LGBTQ+ Books, Literature & Fiction
  • ISBN: 978-1555977887
  • Dimensions: 5.56 x 0.74 x 8.26 inches