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Database of free speculative fiction online
April 5, 2008 1:52 PM   Subscribe

Free Speculative Fiction Online is a database of free science fiction and fantasy stories online by published authors (no fan-fiction or stories by unpublished writers). Among the authors that FSFO links to are Paul Di Filippo (14 stories), James Tiptree, Jr. (4 stories), Connie Willis (3 stories), Eleanor Arnason (3 stories), Bruce Sterling (5 stories), Robert Heinlein (7 stories), Ursula K. LeGuin (3 stories), Jonathan Lethem (5 stories), Michael Moorcock (6 stories), Chine Miéville (2 stories), Samuel R. Delany (3 stories), Robert Sheckley (8 stories), MeFite Charles Stross (33 stories) and hundreds of other authors. If you don't know where to start, there's a list of recommended stories.
posted by Kattullus (34 comments total) 130 users marked this as a favorite

 
For those who don't know, Connie Willis is phenomenally good, at least in published book form. I haven't read these stories, but I expect I will very shortly. :)
posted by Malor at 1:54 PM on April 5, 2008


I am fans of, I think. every artist you've listed, except for Robert Sheckley (and that's only because of lack of exposure). I notice, though, that among the James Tiptree, Jr. stories, they don't have "Love Is the Plan, the Plan Is Death," which is perhaps my favorite science fiction short story. It's up here, however.
posted by infinitywaltz at 2:02 PM on April 5, 2008 [4 favorites]


Green Magic!

Thanks, Kattullus.
posted by interrobang at 2:08 PM on April 5, 2008


Excellent! Thanks.
posted by agentofselection at 2:11 PM on April 5, 2008


W00t! Bookmarked, with thanks.
posted by languagehat at 2:14 PM on April 5, 2008


Thank you Kattullus, this is great.
posted by Nattie at 2:51 PM on April 5, 2008


Cyril Kornbluth, who has two stories listed, is first-rate, and I say that as someone who generally can't stomach science fiction (mundane science fiction, on the other hand, is pretty sweet.)

Here's what many consider to be his most famous story, pirated by some cat on MySpace. If you can handle the font color, you're in for a treat: "The Marching Morons."
posted by John of Michigan at 2:56 PM on April 5, 2008


Hurray for Connie Willis! She's so good and there's just not enough of her stuff.
posted by Countess Elena at 2:59 PM on April 5, 2008


See also my previous post, listing some other sources.
posted by blahblahblah at 3:46 PM on April 5, 2008


Heh! The first comment, by straight, to your post, blahblahblah, is a link to FSFO.
posted by Kattullus at 3:54 PM on April 5, 2008


I kind of like how they get all la-di-da and call themselves Free Speculative Fiction Online and then blow it totally by explaining that it's a database of science fiction and fantasy stories in the subheading.
posted by Artw at 4:28 PM on April 5, 2008


I am fans of, I think. every artist you've listed, except for Robert Sheckley (and that's only because of lack of exposure).

Robert Sheckley might actually be my favorite author ever. His wit, originality, humor, humanity--barely any of the lit-rah-chah I usually read can even begin to compare.

Get a copy of Mindswap, and read it. And then read it again. You won't regret it.

When I was in sixth grade, I wrote him a fan letter. He took the time to send me back a neatly typewritten reply.

(RIP.)
posted by nasreddin at 4:29 PM on April 5, 2008


I am stuck inside probably all weekend with a hideous head cold or tuberculosis or scarlet fever or whatever this is and I had nothing to do and not enough energy to leave the house. So this is FANTASTIC. Thank you so much, Kattullus!
posted by Dormant Gorilla at 4:36 PM on April 5, 2008


Oh, and this Sheckley story linked on the site is one of my favorites.
posted by nasreddin at 4:41 PM on April 5, 2008


I will have to give Connie Willis another chance. The first time she evoked boredom and adversion.
posted by pointilist at 5:49 PM on April 5, 2008


Yipes. Awesome . Thanks a bunch!
posted by PareidoliaticBoy at 6:25 PM on April 5, 2008


Why are all the SciFi.com links delivering 404s for me? Is this happening to anyone else?
posted by Ian A.T. at 6:31 PM on April 5, 2008


There goes the rest of my weekend, thanks!
posted by Grod at 6:34 PM on April 5, 2008


pointilist: Try Fire Watch. It's very typical of a large proportion of her work - if you like it, you'll like her; if you don't, you can stop reading.

I'm excited to see 4 Kage Baker stories that I haven't read.
posted by joannemerriam at 7:24 PM on April 5, 2008


After reading "Love is the Plan, the Plan is Death" (which, I learned, was the name of a band my girlfriend was in) I googled it, seeing what people had to say about it, and in the process came across Frank Wu's lovely image inspired by it.
posted by Kattullus at 8:12 PM on April 5, 2008


I don't know why anyone would need a jumping off point into sci-fi fiction, but if you do, peruse this list of masterworks and see if anything sounds good.
posted by tylerfulltilt at 8:13 PM on April 5, 2008


Oh, I figured out the 404s. I'm trying to follow these scifi.com links on a Blackberry, and SciFi is one of those delightful websites that handles smartphone traffic like: "Oh, terribly embarrassing, but you seem to have clicked on this link with a phone. Here, let me send you over to our Mobile site, where you can download totally awesome ringtones!" Except in this case whatever page they're trying to send me to doesn't exist.

So, basically, even though reading these stories on the go sounds like a great idea, it's not going to happen no matter how smart your phone is.

Corporate Websites Still Suck
posted by Ian A.T. at 8:24 PM on April 5, 2008


Now I'll never put the computer down. Connie Willis is fantastic. And look, ten--TEN!--Cordwainer Smith stories! "Scanners Live in Vain" is A++
posted by lovecrafty at 10:38 PM on April 5, 2008 [1 favorite]


If the authors on this site that I'm not familiar with are as good as the ones I am familiar with then this is a wonderful, wonderful thing.
posted by lekvar at 11:38 PM on April 5, 2008


tylerfulltilt: Is Ringworld really so awesome it deserves to be both number 8 and number 60?
posted by Freaky at 12:31 AM on April 6, 2008


Get a copy of Mindswap, and read it. And then read it again. You won't regret it.

Seconded. I loved that book so much that even though I haven't reread it since Grade Eight I can still remember passages verbatim. I think it's time to look it up again.
posted by jokeefe at 12:51 AM on April 6, 2008


tylerfulltilt: Is Ringworld really so awesome it deserves to be both number 8 and number 60?

You can read it in paperback AND hardback!

There's so much on their that I want to read but I've already go so much stacked up on my to read pile... It's going to be hard to resist, I mean Harry Harrison stories I've never read... with original illustrations!
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 4:14 AM on April 6, 2008


Yes, Robert Sheckley was one of the greats. One of my first posts was about him when he took ill in Ukraine.
posted by Kattullus at 7:04 AM on April 6, 2008


Robert Sheckley might actually be my favorite author ever.

As I recall, Terry Pratchett was quoted in a blurb on a reprint of one of Sheckley's books as saying of Sheckley "I had no idea the competition was so terrifyingly good," nasreddin.
posted by jamjam at 10:45 AM on April 6, 2008


I have difficulty believing that all of these stories are in the public domain or that the author's have granted this site permission to reprint.
posted by asfuller at 11:25 AM on April 6, 2008


asfuller, the site isn't reprinting, it's linking to magazines that published their work. Presumably with their permission.
posted by joannemerriam at 3:47 PM on April 6, 2008


Freaky: I didn't make the list.
posted by tylerfulltilt at 12:18 PM on April 7, 2008


Thanks for reminding me of Cordwainer, lovecrafty, it was fun to read "Scanners Live in Vain" again!
posted by These Premises Are Alarmed at 12:18 PM on April 7, 2008


This is gold, as is the blahblahblah FPP linked to above. Thanks to you both.

In other news: Chine Miéville? Sorry, but the MeFi pedantic snark posse couldn't let you ride out of here without getting strung up for that one. But fantastic post, Kattullus.

yee-haw!
posted by cosmonik at 9:16 PM on April 7, 2008


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