A common type of Prose Fiction and a good way for new authors to start out. Short stories are any stories that run up to 7,500 words in length, though some definitions place them as long as 20,000. Due to the discrepancy, short stories can overlap with the Novella and the Novelette but are usually categorized separately. Some people feel a story is only "short" if it can be read in one sitting, but "one sitting" is a very subjective definition due to differences in attention span - even among heavy readers.
Short stories are usually published in magazines and, more rarely, collections. There is a large Pulp Magazine industry that is much easier to break into than the book industry, which makes it a good place for a new writer to build up a resume. And a good place to stage Old Shame.
A lot of Fan Fic takes the form of Short Story.
Pseudopod.org makes a job of publishing audio version of short stories.
- Most of what H.P. Lovecraft wrote was in the form of a short story. These include:
- Oscar Wilde's "The Happy Prince".
- Robert E. Howard also made his career on short fiction, with every Conan the Barbarian story save The Hour of the Dragon being a short story.
- "I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream" was both short, and a story.
- I, Robot was a series of short stories by Isaac Asimov.
- "The Most Dangerous Game" by Richard Connell
- "Arcana Magi Zero" is a Web Original Short Story trilogy written by H-M Brown.
- "The Lottery" by Shirley Jackson
- "There Will Come Soft Rains", a Ray Bradbury classic.
- "Brokeback Mountain" was originally a short story by Annie Proulx.
- "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button" was originally a short story by F. Scott Fitzgerald.
- "Lust Caution" was originally a short story by Eileen Chang.
- "The Dandelion Girl" by Robert F. Young.
- "Magic For Beginners" by Kelly Link.
- "Romance with a Double Bass" by Anton Chekhov.
- "A Rose for Emily" by William Faulkner.
- "Tlön, Uqbar, Orbis Tertius " by Jorge Luis Borges
- "The Library of Babel" by the same author
- Most of the Transformers: Timelines fiction consists of short stories, and issues of The Transformers and The Transformers: Last Stand of the Wreckers had short stories published in them occasionally.
- The King in Yellow by Robert W. Chambers is a short story collection.
- Quite a few short stories vie for "shortest story ever":
"Longed for him. Got him. Shit".
- Marget Atwood:
"For sale: baby shoes, never worn."
- Hemingway's bet-winning short story, though it's undetermined if Hemingway actually wrote this story.
"Aw, you know what I mean."
- "Science Fiction for Telepaths" by E. Michael Blake:
"˙dn puǝ sıɥʇ"
- "Sign at the End of the Universe" by Duane Ackerson:
"Cuando despertó, el dinosaurio todavía estaba allí".note .
- Spanish Literature has Augusto Monterroso with his short story "El dinosaurio:" note
- Robert Westall wrote a great deal of what some consider his best work in short fiction form; notably "Break of Dark" and the best of anthologies Demons and Shadows and Shades of Darkness.
- "The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas" by Ursula K. Le Guin.
- GJ-bu is a strange case; it is marketed as a Light Novel but is more accurately a collection of short stories, all exactly 4 pages long.
- "Harrison Bergeron" by Kurt Vonnegut.
- Stephen King has several collections of short stories in his bibliography, and many films have been based on these stories. The early stories were usually published in men's magazines, and King has pointed out that the income often took care of necessities the family couldn't afford otherwise. Many fans express a preference for King's shorter work over his novels.
- Nobel prize winner Alice Munro works exclusively in the short story format.
- Short Stories were all that H.F Arnold ever wrote, one is a classic horror story, the other 2 are impossible to find.
- "Cruel Sisters" by Patricia C. Wrede.
- "The Son's Veto" by Thomas Hardy.
- Books Of Blood by Clive Barker.
- "Despoilers of the Golden Empire" by Randall Garrett.
- "The Extinction Parade" by Max Brooks, which was later adapted into a comic book.
- "The Clone" by Theodore L. Thomas, which he later expanded into a full-length novel with co-author Kate Wilhelm.
- Isaac Asimov edited the 1978 collection of 100 Great Science Fiction Short Short Stories. Yes, that's two "shorts" - not a single story is over five pages - most are two and a half. Sadly it's been out of print for a long time, but can still be found in used book distributors and stores.
- "The Thought Monster" by Amelia Reynolds Long, which was adapted into the classic sci-fi/horror film Fiend Without a Face.
- "There Shall Be No Darkness" by James Blish, also adapted into a movie, this time Amucis' The Beast Must Die.
- "Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?", by Joyce Carol Oates.
- Most of the Sherlock Holmes oeuvre consists of short stories.
- "An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge"
- "The Tamarisk Hunter"
- "Pareidolia And The Gilded Scar" is a collection of short stories connected by a common theme of expressing different mental health states though surealism (8 so far with the goal being to have one for each letter of the alphabet).
- "Holey Matrimony" by Kevin Strange.
- "Grandpa Gray" by Cass Hollander.
- "Flying With Santa"
- The Thirteen Problems, a short story collection by Agatha Christie featuring Miss Marple
- The Demigod Files, possess several stories.
- The Demigod Diaries, possess several stories much like its predecessor.
- Big Blonde by Dorothy Parker