If you’ve been following along with the 2019 STEM Reading Challenge, you’d know that you’ve got to read some sci-fi this month. You might have already read The Martian, when I reviewed it earlier this year, so if you’re looking for something new and interesting, why not try some short stories?
I particularly enjoyed reading through an anthology of science fiction short stories with forward by Andy Sawyer. This particular collection includes a wide variety of literature, from the famous to the just-beginning.
Short stories are a great style for sci-fi because they can provide a snap-shot into society and technology in the future or alternate realities, without necessarily having to bore you down with details, or overcomplicate themselves in a novel-length format.
The book opens with the very well-known “Flatland” by Edwin A. Abbott, originally published in 1884, trying to shed some light on our perception of multiple dimensions in a comical style.
My favourite was a longer story by Philip Francis Nowlan, “Buck Rogers’ First Adventure: Armageddon – 2419 AD”. It’s a great picture of what the 25th century could look like, from the perspective of a 20th century author telling the story of a man accidentally caught between two time periods and providing a historical recount for future generations.
Some stories weren’t as good, some were more drama-oriented than hard sci-fi, some were too removed and abstract to quite make much sense of, but others were very good. Overall, I’d give the anthology about 3.5/5, not withstanding that there were a couple 5/5 stories contained within! I’ll link the whole book below, but I’d encourage you to try reading a little bit of short story sci-fi, or even try your hand at writing some afterwards!