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do you prefer short story collections or novels?


Jul 10, 2008
Brooklyn NYC
i have tons of favorite novels, but all in all im a short story kind of guy. i think SF is conducive to the short story form heres some great collections you should seek out. some are by a single author and others are various writers:

The Winds Twelve Quarters by Ursula leGuin
fragile things and Smoke and Mirrors by Neil Gaiman
Supertoys last All Summer Long and Neanderthal Planet by Brain W. Aldiss
Fireflood by Vonda McIntyre
A Good Old Fashioned Future by Bruce Sterling (check out the amazing story 'Taklamakan'
Into The Funhouse: science fiction stories about science fiction (check out the Eric Norden story)
The best Science Fiction of The Year #13 edited by terry carr.(high point: 'Hardfought' by greg Bear)
and Stories of Your Life by Ted Chiang; This one deserves special mention. i read this recently and was blown away. if you read none of these, read this one at least.

well thats all ican rmember. I have dozens of story collections. i omitted dangerous visions and its sequel because its very well known. but its one of my favorites too. Also the Orbit collections ed. by damon Knight


Code Monkey
Staff member
Mar 20, 2004
In the past I preferred long stories, in part due to growing up I would often buy my own books and always wanted to get the most enjoyment out of the purchase. The few exceptions were works such as the "Richard Bachman" stories by Stephen King.

As I've gotten older and my free time has become sparse I have shifted to reading shorter stories & novellas and taking in more of what I call "Pop Sci-Fi" (eg: TV shows, movies, magazine articles, etcetera).

Thanks for taking the time to prepare a recommend reading list. Is Stories of your Life available in paperback form or it is part of a collection?
Sep 9, 2008
It depends is my answer! I'm wasn't a fan of short stories until I read Asimov's collections which I enjoyed very much indeed. Same story (excuse the pun) when I came across Ray Bradbury's works. Some authors (such as the forementioned) write excellent short stories but many just don't do it for me although they write excellent novels.


Rocket Ranger
Jul 29, 2008
Good answer, Chopper. Yes, absolutely -- it depends on the author, and the type of story. Some writers lend themselves to longer works... I've always felt that Asimov and Bradbury were better as short story writers.
Jul 10, 2008
Brooklyn NYC
Stories of Your Life is a collection of ted Chiang's short stories. The one i have is hardcover, but there should be a PB by now. Incidentally, i found a copies of 'The Philip K. Dick reader" and "Minority Report and Other stories'. These were part of a bunch of Dick collection publisehd in 1987. 'Reader' contains Second variety, paycheck, the golden man and a lot more. These books actually have a lot of the same stories for some reason. they were donated to my local library. I saw them on the counter and asked the girl working is i could take them out yet. she says'oh those are donations. You cna hvae them. no joke.
Sep 19, 2008
I prefer novels. Because they are long, the story has enough time to develope into something much more deeper and credible than short stories usually have a chance of doing. Unless the author is really good. Besides, I don't even have nearly any favourite short stories.


The Red Tarheel
Dec 7, 2007
Morganton, NC
I prefer novels. Because they are long, the story has enough time to develope into something much more deeper and credible than short stories usually have a chance of doing. Unless the author is really good. Besides, I don't even have nearly any favourite short stories.

That's a good point......the trick is making sure you read both the novels and
short stories in such an order that it doesn't get you confused, especially if the short stories are part of a broader series........I'll give you an example here. One of the questions I had after reading David Weber's War of Honor was "why does Queen Elizabeth III have such a vitrolic hatred towards the Republic of Haven?"

It wasn't until I had read both the book preceding WoH, Ashes of Victory and a couple of the short stories within the Honorverse that I understood why she hated them.....(a)they had killed her father, (b)they unsuccessfully tried to assassinate her, (c)they had started one war btwn. Haven and Manticore and had attacked them once again at the end of WoH, etc.

Again, its' usually one's own preference; I tend to read both regardless of whether they're related or not.

Anthony G Williams

Jul 14, 2007
In terms of time spent, probably well over 95% of my reading has been of novels.

I regard reading short stories as like nibbling lots of different snacks rather than sitting down to a good meal.

Having said that, some snacks are very tasty!
Mar 15, 2008
I enjoy collections of short stories in order to find Authors you wish to pursue.
Aside from that, if you run upon a stinker, and you will, you feel less raped.
No guarantees but, I feel it's a way to broaden your scope, as cheaply as possible.
If I win the Lotto, I'll be a Sci-Fi publisher .. No Doubt, and give the ones I like a chance, even if I lose money.
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and I will then have the power. Besides, losses are tax deductible.
Have faith, we all, will get our chance.