10 Sci-Fi and Fantasy Stories to Read Online For Free – Chicago Review of Books

    10 Sci-Fi and Fantasy Stories to Read Online For Free – Chicago Review of Books


    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.” 


    Adjustments
    By Allegra Hyde
    TriQuarterly

    “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
    Guernica

    “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.” 


    Roosting
    By Monica Zarazua
    Arcturus

    “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.” 


    Floating
    By Pitchaya Sudbanthad
    Guernica

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


    Woodland
    By Lydia Millet
    Guernica

    “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
    Guernica

    “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.” 



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