Short Stories

Hildred Castaigne reading The King in Yellow. Tucker Sherry's artwork inspired by Robert W. Chambers' short story "The Repairer of Reputations".
Tucker Sherry [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons
Hildred Castaigne reading The King in Yellow. Tucker Sherry’s artwork inspired by Robert W. Chambers’ short story “The Repairer of Reputations”.
Tucker Sherry [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Dystopian short stories have been around almost as long as the genre itself. One of the oldest examples is the Robert W. Chambers anti-story “The Repairer of Reputations,” first published in his collection The King in Yellow, which forces the reader to ask, Has the world gone mad, or just the narrator?

The list below, as always, is an incomplete and ever growing collection of some of the best known dystopian short stories.

  1. “Janitor On Mars” by Martin Amis
  2. “Time Capsule Found On The Dead Planet” by Margaret Atwood
  3. “Pop Squad” by Paolo Bacigalupi
  4. “Billennium” by J. G. Ballard
  5. “Sacre Du Printemps” by Ludwig Bemelmans
  6. “April 2005: Usher Ii” by Ray Bradbury
  7. “Frost And Fire” by Ray Bradbury
  8. “The Pedestrian” by Ray Bradbury
  9. “Resistance” by Tobias S. Bucknell
  10. “Speech Sounds” by Octavia E. Butler
  11. “Geriatric Ward” by Orson Scott Card
  12. “Of a Sweet Slow Dance in the Wake of Temporary Dogs” by Adam-Troy Castro
  13. “The Repairer of Reputations” by Robert W. Chambers
  14. “The Minority Report” by Philip K. Dick
  15. “The Things that Make Me Weak and Strange Get Engineered Away” by Cory Doctorow
  16. “‘Repent, Harlequin!’ Said The Ticktockman” by Harlan Ellison
  17. “Pervert” by Charles Coleman Finley
  18. “The Machine Stops” by E. M. Forster
  19. “From Homogenous to Honey” by Neil Gaiman and Brian Talbot
  20. “Red Card” by S. L. Gilbow
  21. “Ten With A Flag” by Joseph Paul Haines
  22. “Machinations” by Shira Hereld
  23. “Sultana’S Dream” by Rokeya Sakhawat Hossain
  24. “Peter Skilling” by Alex Irvine
  25. “The Lottery” by Shirley Jackson
  26. “The New Utopia” by Jerome K. Jerome
  27. “Folding Beijing” by Hao Jingfang
  28. “Created He Them” by Alice Eleanor Jones
  29. “Civilization” by Vylar Kaftan
  30. “The Pearl Diver” by Caitlin R. Kiernan
  31. “Independence Day” by Sarah Langan
  32. “The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas” by Ursula Le Guin
  33. “Damage” by David D. Levine
  34. “Just Do It” by Heather Linsley
  35. “A Brief History Of The Trans-Pacific Tunnel” by Ken Liu
  36. “The Perfect Match” by Ken Liu
  37. “We Ate The Children Last” by Yann Martel
  38. “Jordan’s Warhammer” by Joe Mastroiammi
  39. “Auspicious Eggs” by James Morrow
  40. “Personal Jesus” by Jennifer Pelland
  41. “Left Behind” by Cat Rambo
  42. “The Cull” by Robert Reed
  43. “Evidence Of Love In A Case Of Abandonment” by M. Rickert
  44. “The Lunatics” by Kim Stanley Robinson
  45. “O Happy Day!” by Geoff Ryman
  46. “Dead Space for the Unexpected” by Geoff Ryman
  47. “Escape From Spiderhead” by George Saunders
  48. “Tin Cans” by Ekaterina Sedia
  49. “Caught in the Organ Draft” by Robert Silverberg
  50. “Examination Day” by Henry Slesar
  51. “Arties Aren’t Stupid” by Jeremiah Tolbert
  52. “Fade To White” by Catherynne M. Valente
  53. “Is This Your Day To Join The Revolution?” by Genevieve Valentine
  54. “Amaryllis” by Carrie Vaughn
  55. “2 B R 0 2 B” by Kurt Vonnegut
  56. “Harrison Bergeron” by Kurt Vonnegut
  57. “Welcome To The Monkey House” by Kurt Vonnegut
  58. “El Cantar Of Rising Sun” by Sabrina Vourvoulias
  59. “The Funeral” by Kate Wilhelm
  60. “Sacrament” by Matt Williamson
  61. “Auspicium Melioris Aevi” by Jy Yang
  62. “The Cartographer Wasps And The Anarchist Bees” by E. Lily Yu

Leave a Reply