Where to find free SF/F short stories online? Lots of places!
I love short stories. They’re perfect to read after you’ve finished a sprawling epic fantasy doorstopper or an equally lengthy galaxy-spanning space opera adventure.
Science fiction and fantasy have the highest word counts compared to other genre fiction, and it’s nice to know that we can still get our genre fix in convenient bite-sized bits.
Here are a couple of online magazines with free short stories. Their names get mentioned in the SF/F blogosphere, so even if you’re not familiar with them, you can be assured that the internet approves of their editorial choices.
Free Online SF/F Magazines
Strange Horizons – covers all speculative fiction
Daily Science Fiction – covers all speculative fiction
Philippine Genre Stories – covers all speculative fiction and some crime fiction
Luna Station Quarterly – covers all speculative fiction written by up and coming women authors
AE The Canadian Science Fiction Review – focuses on science fiction, but sometimes branches into science-fantasy and slipstream
Kasma Science Fiction – focuses on science fiction
Ray Gun Revival – focuses on old school pulp-inspired sci-fi: space opera and golden age goodness
Pay-for SF/F Magazines with Some Free Short Stories Online
Fantasy Magazine – focuses on fantasy. Yes, the badass steampunk Napoleon picture on the top right is from their latest issue.
Light Speed Magazine – focuses on science fiction
And if you want even more free fiction, the good folks over at SF Signal always have their giant free fiction lists. Their lists cover everything free and fiction: online short stories, web serials, ebooks, podcasts, and more.
Don’t want to read them on your computer? Maybe give Instapaper a try.
Instapaper is a tool that saves and formats webpages for mobile devices. It does other stuff too, but it’s particularly well-suited for offline reading, like when want to read that short story when you’re on the subway or on a trip to the Wireless Great Beyond. To use it, you just go to the Instapaper website sign up for a free account, then you install a little “Read Later” bookmark on your browser. When you click on the bookmark, it sends that webpage to your Instapaper account.
When you have several webpages that you want to download for your reading pleasure, you log back into your Instapaper account, then you can download those saved pages either for printing, or as a .mobi file (Kindle), or as an .epub file (Kobo, Nook, Sony, etc).
For Kindle 3 users: They can do an automatic wireless delivery to your Kindle (yes, only for Kindle 3 users) by sending the .mobi to your @free.kindle.com account. You can choose between different delivery schedules (e.g. have unread articles sent to your Kindle daily).
For Google Reader users: The pages can be sent to your Google Reader feeds, and it even works on the Google Reader apps for iOS devices.
For iOS iPhone/iPad users: The developer wants to make money off you. The free Instapaper app has been phased out, but the full version is available for $4.99 and probably worth the price.
For Android users: The developer doesn’t want your money. They’re not even developing an app for Android. Your best bet is to use a .epub reading app and just download the .epub whenever you’re online.
Do you read short stories online? Do you have any other suggested SF/F sites? And how do you read these stories–in front of the computer or on a mobile device? Feel free to hit the comments and share.
Posted on September 7, 2011, in Fantasy, Instapaper, iOS, Kindle, Mobile reading, Offline reading, online magazines, Pulp, Science fiction, SF Chatter, Short Stories and Novellas. Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.