10 Sci-Fi and Fantasy Stories to Read Online For Free

Including stories from Tin House, Strange Horizons, and Guernica.

Need to escape from the dire state of the world? Try reading one of these transporting short stories, all published in 2019 or 2020. Crossing the genres of science fiction, fantasy, and speculative fiction, these stories offer escapes into worlds even stranger than ours. (Full transparency: I’m including all four stories I commissioned for Guernica magazine’s special issue on climate fiction, because they are excellent). When you’re finished reading these, check out our sci-fi story roundup from 2017.

Flash Fiction
By Jeff VanderMeer
Tank Magazine

“The cosy old house had not been abandoned; instead, the occupants had been liquidated and buried under the foundations.” 

By Allegra Hyde

“For many years, we went to the lakes in the summers, but when the springs became like the summers and the winters like the springs, we left earlier—and then earlier still—until we were already at the lakes when it was time for us to arrive.”

The Disaster Store
By Helen Phillips

“My daughter is asking for ice cream, but I need to listen to what the salesman is saying. The stakes are through the roof (he says), and I myself know that, despite the innocent warmth of the day (or, rather, because of the innocent warmth of the day), there is much to fear.”

The Girl Who Did Not Know Fear
By Kelly Link
Tin House

“A few years ago, I was on my way home to Massachusetts when bad weather stranded me in the Detroit airport for four days.” 

By Monica Zarazua

“The ship next door is a monolithic beast that rises from the ground having been moored there after The Great Floods. She doesn’t believe The Floods could have happened so long ago, but history books are hard to come by.” 

By Pitchaya Sudbanthad

“All the children were gone—she always checked.”

By Lydia Millet

“I first saw this place through the eye of a drone. Footage taken in summer, when the grass at the edge of the sea cliffs turns gold.”

The Marriage Book
By Mitchell Shanklin
Strange Horizons

“Many years from now, in a land far from here, two men will fall in love.”

John Simnel’s First Goshawk
By Tegan Moore
Beneath Ceaseless Skies

“In the light of a single candle the goshawk and I regard each other. Sleep presses against our eyes, but we are both obstinate. The hawk has run out of foul names to spit at me.”

Factory Air
By Omar El Akkad

“The bus pulled up to the factory parking lot and day laborers got out. They crossed the picket line, ignoring the striking workers who rattled the barricades.” 

About Amy Brady

Amy Brady is the Editor-in-Chief of the Chicago Review of Books and Deputy Publisher of Guernica Magazine. Her writing has appeared in Oprah, The Village Voice, Pacific Standard, The New Republic, McSweeney's, and elsewhere. Follow her on Twitter at @ingredient_x.

2 comments on “10 Sci-Fi and Fantasy Stories to Read Online For Free

  1. Love this list. So many names are new to me.


  2. Thank you for these awesome ideas. They make me feel so enthusiastic.


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