Rusty Keele over at BestScienceFictionStories.com has invited blogging friends over to write about their favorite SF short story, and I’m one of the contributors. My post is queued up for tomorrow. I picked “The Star Pit” by Samuel R. Delany from 1967. Be sure and stop by and read all the posts this week. Jason Sanford discusses his love of Ray Bradbury’s “There Will Come Soft Rains” from 1950 and John DeNardo picks “The Cold Equations” by Tom Godwin from 1954, after sneaking in a plea for “Diamond Dogs” by Alastair Reynolds from 2003.
It’s revealing to see what other fans like in the way of short stories, especially when you only get to pick one. If had mentioned two, I might have included “The Menace From Earth” by Robert A. Heinlein from 1957.
To help refresh your memory of great short stories, look at these lists:
- Top 100 SF Short Stories
- Next 100 SF Short Stories
- ISFDB Top 100 Short Stories – Critical List
- ISFDB Top 100 Short Stories – Popular List
- The Science Fiction Hall of Fame, Volume One 1929-64
- The Science Fiction Hall of Fame, Volume Two
- The Road to Science Fiction
- Isaac Asimov Presents The Great SF Stories 1939-1963
Are you a long time fan of science fiction? If you study these lists, even in a casual way, they will bring back a flood of memories. There have been hundreds, if not thousands, of great science fiction stories. Our pitiful little minds just can’t hold them all our bio-RAM. I wouldn’t have picked a different story if I had read these lists before I wrote my essay for Rusty, but reading them now makes me realize how hard it would be to pick story #2.
It’s too bad reprint rights are so expensive because it would be huge fun to create my own personal anthology of favorites and publish it at Lulu.com. Imagine a fad of publishing personal anthologies of short stories, where you wrote forwards and afterwards for each story. Wouldn’t that make a unique way to communicate with new friends? In the old days you’d introduce yourself to people and leave your calling card. Imaging leaving your anthology.
Could you define your inner core personality with 12 short stories? I think “The Star Pit” comes close to revealing a lot of my personal programming. Picking the next 11 stories would be difficult, but I think I’ll start going through the above lists and make a try of it. Certainly, it will make a nice blog entry.