Ranked Short Fiction: Novellas, Novelettes, Short Stories

It is a bit difficult to find good rankings for SF&F short fiction. I found the 2012 Locus voted list and cite it here:

I haven’t read many of those and reviewed even less; if a review is available, I’ve linked it in the fiction title.

20th Century Novella

Rank Stars Author Title Year
1 ★★★★★ Chiang, Ted Story of Your Life 1998
2 ★★★★★ Le Guin, Ursula K. The Word for World Is Forest 1972
3 ★★★★ Tiptree, James, Jr. Houston, Houston, Do You Read? 1976
4 not reviewed Campbell, John W. Who Goes There? 1938
5 not reviewed Varley, John The Persistence of Vision 1978
6 ★★★★★ Wolfe, Gene The Fifth Head of Cerberus 1972
7 not reviewed Leiber, Fritz Ill Met in Lankhmar 1970
8 not reviewed Heinlein, Robert A. The Man Who Sold the Moon 1950
9 ★★★★★ Kress, Nancy Beggars in Spain 1991
10 not reviewed Moore, C. L. & Henry Kuttner Vintage Season 1946
11 not reviewed Bujold, Lois McMaster The Mountains of Mourning 1989
12 not reviewed Martin, George R. R. A Song for Lya 1974
13 not reviewed Lovecraft, H. P. The Shadow Over Innsmouth 1942
14 not reviewed Heinlein, Robert A. By His Bootstraps 1941
15 not reviewed Simak, Clifford D. The Big Front Yard 1958
16 not reviewed Sturgeon, Theodore Baby Is Three 1952
17 not reviewed Moorcock, Michael Behold the Man 1966
17 not reviewed Varley, John PRESS ENTER[] 1984
19 not reviewed Willis, Connie The Last of the Winnebagos 1988
20 not reviewed Vinge, Vernor True Names 1981
21 not reviewed Vance, Jack The Last Castle 1966
22 not reviewed Crowley, John Great Work of Time 1989
22 not reviewed Zelazny, Roger 24 Views of Mt. Fuji, by Hokusai 1985
24 not reviewed Vance, Jack The Dragon Masters 1962
24 not reviewed Vance, Jack The Moon Moth 1961
26 not reviewed Heinlein, Robert A. The Unpleasant Profession of Jonathan Hoag 1942
27 ★★★★ Longyear, Barry B. Enemy Mine 1979
28 not reviewed Asimov, Isaac The Martian Way 1952
29 not reviewed Farmer, Philip Jose Riders of the Purple Wage 1967
30 not reviewed Zelazny, Roger He Who Shapes 1965
31 not reviewed Chiang, Ted Seventy-two Letters 2000
32 not reviewed Shepard, Lucius R&R 1986
33 not reviewed Wolfe, Gene The Death of Doctor Island 1973
34 not reviewed Delany, Samuel R. The Star Pit 1967
35 not reviewed McCaffrey, Anne Dragonrider 1967
36 not reviewed Resnick, Mike Seven Views of Olduvai Gorge 1994
37 not reviewed Heinlein, Robert A. Universe 1941
38 not reviewed McCaffrey, Anne Weyr Search 1967
39 not reviewed Silverberg, Robert Nightwings 1968
40 not reviewed Anderson, Poul The Queen of Air and Darkness 1971
41 not reviewed Lovecraft, H. P. The Case Of Charles Dexter Ward 1921
42 not reviewed Howard, Robert E. Red Nails 1936
42 not reviewed Silverberg, Robert Sailing to Byzantium 1985
44 not reviewed Brin, David The Postman 1982
45 not reviewed Bear, Greg Hardfought 1983
46 not reviewed Russell, Eric Frank …And Then There Were None 1951
47 not reviewed Zelazny, Roger Home Is the Hangman 1975
48 not reviewed Haldeman, Joe The Hemingway Hoax 1990
48 ★★★★★ Wolfe, Gene Seven American Nights 1978
50 not reviewed Lovecraft, H. P. The Dream Quest of Unknown Kadath 1943

 

20th Century Novelette

Rank Stars Author  Title Year
1 not reviewed Keyes, Daniel Flowers for Algernon 1959
2 ★★★+ Asimov, Isaac Nightfall 1941
3 ★★★★★ Zelazny, Roger A Rose for Ecclesiastes 1963
4 not reviewed Asimov, Isaac The Bicentennial Man 1976
5 not reviewed Martin, George R. R. Sandkings 1979
6 not reviewed Bester, Alfred Fondly Fahrenheit 1954
7 ★★★★★ Ellison, Harlan A Boy and His Dog 1969
8 not reviewed Bear, Greg Blood Music 1983
9 ★★★★★ Butler, Octavia E. Bloodchild 1984
10 not reviewed Godwin, Tom The Cold Equations 1954
11 ★★★★★ Tiptree, James, Jr. The Women Men Don’t See 1973
12 ★★★★★ Tiptree, James, Jr. The Girl Who Was Plugged In 1973
13 not reviewed Card, Orson Scott Ender’s Game 1977
14 ★★★★★ Chiang, Ted Tower of Babylon 1990
15 ★★★+ Weinbaum, Stanley G. A Martian Odyssey 1934
16 not reviewed Delany, Samuel R. Time Considered as a Helix of Semi-Precious Stones 1968
17 not reviewed Dick, Philip K. We Can Remember It for You Wholesale 1966
18 not reviewed Gibson, William Burning Chrome 1982
19 not reviewed Lovecraft, H. P. The Call of Cthulhu 1928
20 not reviewed Brown, Fredric Arena 1944
21 ★★★★ Blish, James Surface Tension 1952
22 not reviewed Willis, Connie Fire Watch 1982
23 ★★★★★ Ellison, Harlan The Deathbird 1973
24 ★★★★★ Miller, Walter M., Jr. A Canticle for Leibowitz 1955
25 ★★★★ Zelazny, Roger The Doors of His Face, the Lamps of His Mouth 1965
26 not reviewed Smith, Cordwainer The Ballad of Lost C’Mell 1962
26 not reviewed Niven, Larry Inconstant Moon 1971
28 not reviewed Kuttner, Henry [Lewis Padgett] Mimsy Were the Borogoves 1943
29 not reviewed Niven, Larry Neutron Star 1966
30 not reviewed Kelly, James Patrick Think Like a Dinosaur 1995
31 not reviewed Zelazny, Roger For a Breath I Tarry 1966
32 not reviewed Sturgeon, Theodore Microcosmic God 1941
33 not reviewed McCaffrey, Anne The Ship Who Sang 1961
34 not reviewed Asimov, Isaac Foundation 1942
35 not reviewed Dick, Philip K. Second Variety 1953
35 not reviewed Smith, Cordwainer Scanners Live in Vain 1950
37 not reviewed Shepard, Lucius The Man Who Painted the Dragon Griaule 1984
38 not reviewed Heinlein, Robert A. –And He Built a Crooked House 1941
39 not reviewed Leinster, Murray First Contact 1945
40 not reviewed Kornbluth, C. M. The Little Black Bag 1950
41 not reviewed Aldiss, Brian W. Hothouse 1961
41 not reviewed Heinlein, Robert A. The Roads Must Roll 1940
43 not reviewed Kornbluth, C. M. The Marching Morons 1951
44 not reviewed Sterling, Bruce Swarm 1982
45 not reviewed Lovecraft, H. P. The Dunwich Horror 1929
46 not reviewed Asimov, Isaac The Ugly Little Boy 1958
47 ★★★1/2 Zelazny, Roger The Keys to December 1966
48 not reviewed Leiber, Fritz Gonna Roll the Bones 1967
49 ★★★ Chiang, Ted Understand 1991
50 not reviewed Waldrop, Howard The Ugly Chickens 1980
50 ★★★★★ Le Guin, Ursula K. Buffalo Gals, Won’t You Come out Tonight 1987

20th Century Short Story

Rank Stars Author  Title Year
1 ★★★★★ Clarke, Arthur C. The Nine Billion Names of God 1953
2 ★★★★ Le Guin, Ursula K. The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas 1973
3 ★★★★★ Ellison, Harlan ‘Repent, Harlequin!’ said the Ticktockman 1965
4 ★★★★ Ellison, Harlan I Have No Mouth, and I Must Scream 1967
5 not reviewed Clarke, Arthur C. The Star 1955
6 not reviewed Bradbury, Ray A Sound of Thunder 1952
7 not reviewed Heinlein, Robert A. All You Zombies– 1959
8 not reviewed Gibson, William Johnny Mnemonic 1981
9 ★★★ Tiptree, James, Jr. The Screwfly Solution 1977
10 not reviewed Jackson, Shirley The Lottery 1948
11 not reviewed Bradbury, Ray There Will Come Soft Rains 1950
12 not reviewed Asimov, Isaac The Last Question 1956
13 not reviewed Shaw, Bob Light of Other Days 1966
14 not reviewed Vonnegut, Kurt Harrison Bergeron 1961
15 not reviewed Heinlein, Robert A. The Green Hills of Earth 1947
16 not reviewed Smith, Cordwainer The Game of Rat and Dragon 1955
17 not reviewed Pohl, Frederik Day Million 1966
18 not reviewed Ellison, Harlan Jeffty Is Five 1977
19 not reviewed Clarke, Arthur C. The Sentinel 1951
20 not reviewed Russ, Joanna When It Changed 1972
21 ★★★★★ Tiptree, James, Jr. Love Is the Plan the Plan Is Death 1973
22 not reviewed Delany, Samuel R. Aye, and Gomorrah 1967
23 not reviewed Bixby, Jerome It’s a Good Life 1953
24 not reviewed Bradbury, Ray The Veldt 1950
25 not reviewed Varley, John Air Raid 1977
26 ★★★★★ Le Guin, Ursula K. The Day Before the Revolution 1974
27 not reviewed Bisson, Terry Bears Discover Fire 1990
28 ★★★★★ Butler, Octavia E. Speech Sounds 1983
29 not reviewed Asimov, Isaac Robbie 1940
30 not reviewed Bradbury, Ray The Million Year Picnic 1946
30 not reviewed Willis, Connie Even the Queen 1992
30 not reviewed Sturgeon, Theodore The Man Who Lost the Sea 1959
33 not reviewed Leiber, Fritz A Pail of Air 1951
34 not reviewed Sturgeon, Theodore Saucer of Loneliness 1953
35 not reviewed Davidson, Avram Or All the Seas with Oysters 1958
35 not reviewed Russell, Eric Frank Allamagoosa 1955
37 not reviewed Card, Orson Scott Unaccompanied Sonata 1979
38 not reviewed Martin, George R. R. With Morning Comes Mistfall 1973
39 not reviewed Gaiman, Neil A Midsummer Night’s Dream 1990
40 not reviewed Bester, Alfred The Men Who Murdered Mohammed 1958
41 not reviewed Asimov, Isaac Liar! 1941
42 not reviewed Egan, Greg Learning to Be Me 1990
43 not reviewed Gaiman, Neil Troll Bridge 1993
44 ★★★★ Wolfe, Gene The Island of Doctor Death and Other Stories 1970
45 not reviewed Leiber, Fritz Coming Attraction 1950
45 not reviewed Silverberg, Robert Passengers 1968
47 not reviewed Ballard, J. G. The Terminal Beach 1964
48 not reviewed Bradbury, Ray All Summer in a Day 1954
49 not reviewed Knight, Damon The Country of the Kind 1956
50 not reviewed Sturgeon, Theodore Thunder and Roses 1947

21st Century Novella

Rank Stars Author  Title Year
1 ★★★★★ Link, Kelly Magic for Beginners 2005
2 not reviewed Stross, Charles Palimpsest 2009
3 not reviewed MacLeod, Ian R. New Light on the Drake Equation 2001
4 not reviewed Chiang, Ted Liking What You See:  A Documentary 2002
5 ★★★★ Vinge, Vernor Fast Times at Fairmont High 2001
6 not reviewed Reynolds, Alastair Diamond Dogs 2001
7 not reviewed Willis, Connie Inside Job 2005
8 not reviewed Stross, Charles The Concrete Jungle 2004
9 not reviewed Baker, Kage The Empress of Mars 2003
10 not reviewed Scalzi, John The God Engines 2009
11 not reviewed Gaiman, Neil Coraline 2002
11 not reviewed Vinge, Vernor The Cookie Monster 2003
13 ★★★★★ Swirsky, Rachel The Lady Who Plucked Red Flowers beneath the Queen’s Window 2010
14 not reviewed Le Guin, Ursula K. The Finder 2001
15 not reviewed McDonald, Ian The Little Goddess 2005
16 not reviewed Stross, Charles Missile Gap 2006
17 not reviewed Chiang, Ted The Lifecycle of Software Objects 2010
18 not reviewed Kelly, James Patrick Burn 2005
19 not reviewed Kress, Nancy The Erdmann Nexus 2008
19 not reviewed Chwedyk, Richard Bronte’s Egg 2002

21st Century Novelette

Rank Stars Author  Title Year
1 ★★1/2 Chiang, Ted Hell Is the Absence of God 2001
2 not reviewed Chiang, Ted The Merchant and the Alchemist’s Gate 2007
3 not reviewed Gaiman, Neil A Study in Emerald 2003
4 not reviewed Bacigalupi, Paolo The Calorie Man 2005
5 not reviewed Link, Kelly The Faery Handbag 2004
5 not reviewed Bacigalupi, Paolo The People of Sand and Slag 2004
7 not reviewed Ford, Jeffrey The Empire of Ice Cream 2003
8 not reviewed Stross, Charles Lobsters 2001
9 not reviewed Mieville, China Reports of Certain Events in London 2004
9 not reviewed Watts, Peter The Island 2009
11 not reviewed Reynolds, Alastair Beyond the Aquila Rift 2005
12 not reviewed Doctorow, Cory When Sysadmins Ruled the Earth 2006
13 not reviewed Bacigalupi, Paolo Yellow Card Man 2006
13 not reviewed Bacigalupi, Paolo The Fluted Girl 2003
15 not reviewed Gregory, Daryl Second Person, Present Tense 2005
16 not reviewed Bacigalupi, Paolo Pump Six 2008
16 not reviewed Egan, Greg Dark Integers 2007
18 not reviewed Beagle, Peter S. Two Hearts 2005
19 not reviewed Gardner, James Alan The Ray-Gun:  A Love Story 2008
20 not reviewed Swirsky, Rachel Eros, Philia, Agape 2009

21st Century Short Story

Rank Stars Author  Title Year
1 not reviewed Chiang, Ted Exhalation 2008
2 not reviewed Lanagan, Margo Singing My Sister Down 2004
3 not reviewed Gaiman, Neil How to Talk to Girls at Parties 2006
4 not reviewed Watts, Peter The Things 2010
5 ★★★★★ Swanwick, Michael The Dog Said Bow-Wow 2001
5 not reviewed Le Guin, Ursula K. The Bones of the Earth 2001
7 not reviewed Johnson, Kij 26 Monkeys, Also the Abyss 2008
8 not reviewed Abraham, Daniel The Cambist and Lord Iron 2007
9 not reviewed Johnson, Kij Spar 2009
9 not reviewed Reynolds, Alastair Zima Blue 2005
11 ★★★★★ Liu, Ken The Paper Menagerie 2011
12 not reviewed Gaiman, Neil October in the Chair 2002
13 not reviewed Resnick, Mike Travels with My Cats 2004
14 not reviewed Ford, Jeffrey Creation 2002
15 not reviewed Bear, Elizabeth Tideline 2007
16 not reviewed Stross, Charles Rogue Farm 2003
17 not reviewed McIntosh, Will Bridesicle 2009
18 not reviewed Ellison, Harlan How Interesting:  A Tiny Man 2010
19 not reviewed Johnson, Kij Ponies 2010
20 not reviewed Fowler, Karen Joy The Pelican Bar 2009
20 not reviewed Fowler, Karen Joy What I Didn’t See 2002

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