Archive of Read Stories
|Silo, Sweet Silo by James Castles (4550 words)
James Castles is Head of Special Projects at Who Gives A Crap; a toilet paper company that donates half of its profits to fund access to sanitation and clean water for people in need. Born in Melbourne, Australia, he has lived in six countries, including the USA, Singapore and Ireland.
AUDIO 32 Minutes
Drummer Boy of Shiloh by Ray Bradbury (2,000 words)
A fourteen-year-old drummer boy who must march into battle with no gun or means of protecting himself is a bundle of nerves on the night before his first encounter with the enemy. An inspirational talk with his commanding general teaches him that his drum may be one of the most effective weapons in the army.
Catbird Seat by James Thurber (3800 words)
Set in 1940s New York, this story is a not-so-gentle satire of the lengths to which desperate people will go to resist change. A meek, solitary man believes the brash efficiency expert brought in to streamline his employers workflows threatens his job and must be rubbed out.
Story of Ming-Y by Lafcadio Hearn - 1850-1904 (4868 words)
A young man meets a beautiful, noble-born widow who has a crush on him; the noblewomans servant girl helps the two of them orchestrate their trysts. But all is not what it seems.
7281 by Roger Zelazny (2326 words)
Computer gets into trouble when it starts changing its owner's stories without his permission. Audio 14 Minutes
Fish by Sarah Pinsker (5005 words)
Robots again but told humorously through the eyes of a Private Detective.
Direction of the Road Ursula Le Guin (2650 words)
Only an author as creative as Ursula Le Guin could conceive a story where the protagonist is a murderous roadside oak tree. It's all a matter of perspective.
Fredric Brown (254 words)
One of the most concise SciFi horror stories. There are eerie similarities between the new supercomputers response to the first question asked of it in this story and the final sentence of Isaac Asimovs The Last Question. Both stories were published in the mid-1950s and reflect concerns about the future influence of computers on society.
BY Amal Singh (6110 words)
Rogue Robots and trees.
|The Blues Im Playing by Langston Hughes (5,525 words)
A wealthy, white, middle-aged widow finds purpose and intimacy through the patronization of young artists. Tensions emerge when the woman, who expects her protégés to behave in a manner consistent with her high social standing, takes on a black pianist for the first time.
Open Window - H.H. Munro (Saki)
Saki's tale of the anxious Framton Nuttel's ill-fated encounter with the imaginative young Vera in the English countrysideis, ultimately, a satire of excessive decorum.
|Magic and Other Honest Lies by Robert Buettner
Good old-fashioned space opera stuff. Interesting to see how the trick is done and there are some clever bits within a well-worn theme.
| Tobermory H. H. Munro (aka Saki)
Clovis attends a weekend house-party. Among the other guests is a visiting scientist who was invited in the hope that his cleverness would contribute to the general entertainment. All are amazed when the scientist teaches Tobermory, the family house-cat, to speak perfect English.
| Toy Shop Harry Harrison
An Air Force scientist buys a trick rocket from a toy fair. A thin piece of string makes the rocket rise and fall, and he plans to entertain some other scientists with it at a poker party. At the party, the scientists discover that the trick only works in certain conditions. They are curious as to why, because it seems that the toy may break a basic law of physics.
| The Kugelmass Episode Woody Alllen
This story includes elements of fantasy, science fiction and farce. Kugelmass, bored with his oafish wife, wants a lustful extra-marital affair with no commitments either way. His wish seemingly comes true when a failed magician offers him a chance to seduce any woman from world literature.
| Key Item Isaac Asimov
In this Asimov story, Multivac has problems. It does not respond to commands, and isnt following its built-in program to self-diagnose the cause. As the global economy depends on Mulitvac, this could result in panic across the world.
| Chivalry Neil Gaiman
Mrs. Whitaker is a nice old lady with nice friends, who lives in a nice house in a nice neighborhood. She was also living a nice, peaceful life until one day her routine was interrupted by Sir Galahad, a handsome knight on a quest to find the Holy Grail.
| The Star Arthur C. Clarke
A group of scientists travel to the edge of the galaxy to explore a nebula (cloud of interstellar gas) surrounding a collapsed star. To their surprise, within the nebula is a burnt out planet that survived the explosion. On the planet is a huge stone marker left by a highly advanced civilization that did not survive.
Exploring the use of black magic to solve a marriage problem.
| The Empty House Algernon Blackwood
Algernon Blackwoods most famous ghost story
| ANCIENT ENGINES BY MICHAEL SWANWICK
Robots and life. Audio 23 Minutes
Hermann the Irascible H. H. Munro (aka Saki)
H. H. Munro (aka Saki)s story Hermann the Irascible is a classic example of the use of reverse psychology to achieve a desired result. The story first appeared in 1909 at the height of the suffrage movement in Britain.
|Listen to The Aberdeen Horse-Boy by Robert Dodds
April in Paris Ursula Le Guin
Filboid Studge H. H. Munro (Saki)
The House, the Witch, and Sugarcane Stalks by Amanda Helms
The house wakes from its somnolence as the witch trudges up the path made of tarts. Through its rock-candy windows, the house scans her figure for any signs of hurt.
| The Bride Comes to Yellow Sky by Stephen Crane
The taming of Americas Wild West. The instrument of change is the railroad, which brings Eastern ways to previously isolated communities like Yellow Sky.
| The Ant and The Grasshopper W. Somerset Maugham (Text only)
A new take on an old fable.
| Leaf by Niggle by J.R.R. Tolkien
He was the sort of painter who can paint leaves better than trees. He used to spend a long time on a single leaf, trying to catch its shape, and its sheen...
Audio 36 Minutes
Aunt Agatha Takes the Count by P.G. Wodehouse
A humourous tale of fashion and skulduggery with the inimitable Jeeves in attendance.
AUDIO 36 Minutes
The Verger by W. Somerset Maugham
Text 18 Minutes
The Secret Life of Walter Mitty by James Thurber
AUDIO 15 Minutes
| An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge by Ambrose Bierce
AUDIO 30 Minutes
The Garden of Forking Paths by Jorge Luis Borges
The Ransom of the Red Chief by O. Henry
Craphound by Cory Doctorow
The Devil and Daniel Webster by Stephen Vincent Benet
Rikki Tikki Tavi Rudyard Kipling
When the Yogurt Took Over by John Scalzi
THE McWILLIAMSES AND THE BURGLAR ALARM by Mark Twain
|AI and the Trolley Problem by Pat Cadigan