Top SF/F/H Novellas


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1. Who Goes There?, John W. Campbell (1938)

A research team in Antarctica discovers an ancient, ice-bound alien spacecraft, and inside it, a frozen alien survivor. They bring the frozen alien back to their camp, thinking it can't come alive. But it does, and proceeds to change its shape and replace first the camp's dogs, and then some of the men, but so exactly that the difference between original and alien replacement can't be told.
• Like several stories in these rankings, this one has remained famous in part due to the films based upon it, beginning with Christian Nyby's The Thing from Another World in 1951, followed by John Carpenter's The Thing in 1982. Both films varied from the source material: the first drops the shape-shifting theme; both drop the mind-reading theme. The Carpenter film retains the story's paranoid take on reality -- who's real? Who's an imposter? -- that anticipates the work of Philip K. Dick. The original story, though, offers insight into the motives and skills of the aliens themselves that was omitted in the films.
• The story was published under Campbell's pseudonym Don A. Stuart, and was his last major work of fiction before he retired from writing to become editor of Astounding Science Fiction (later Analog Science Fiction and Fact) in 1937. Other enduring stories by Campbell include "Twilight" (1934, on the novelette list) and its sequel "Night" (1935), and "Forgetfulness" (1937).

1st publication <Wikipedia>

Recent publication <Amz>


Score: 45
Awards: RetroHugo
Compiled anthologies: 10 (listed here); Other anthologies and collections: 16
Citations: 2012LocusOnlinePoll 1971AnalogPoll 1971AnalogPollPre1940 1999LocusOnlinePoll

2. Vintage Season, C. L. Moore (1946)

Three strangers, perhaps foreigners, rent an urban home for the month of May, despite the owner's eagerness to sell the house. He notes the visitors' odd clothing and mannerisms, and gets to know the woman, who explains about their travels to "vintage seasons." The owner realizes she and her kind are time travelers, and they are gathering at this one house, for one particular night, to witness an historic event. But he only understands half of it.
• The story was first published as by "Lawrence O'Donnell," a pen-name used by the husband and wife team of Henry Kuttner and C. (Catherine) L. Moore, but scholars have mostly agreed that the story was Moore's work almost entirely, and is thus credited here.
• The story is effective in its unusual use of time travel, and its depictions of how people from other eras are subtly different, in particular how these visitors exhibit refined yet perverse tastes. Robert Silverberg wrote a companion novella to this story, "In Another Country," in 1989.

1st publication <Wikipedia>

Recent publication <Amz>


Score: 40.44
Awards: none
Compiled anthologies: 11 (listed here); Other anthologies and collections: 0
Citations: 2012LocusOnlinePoll 1971AnalogPoll 1999LocusOnlinePoll

3. Story of Your Life , Ted Chiang (1998)

Linguist Louise Banks is recruited by government officials to help analyze the language of alien beings, dubbed heptapods, who've arrive on earth. The aliens' written figures don't correspond to their speech at all, and as she studies, Banks realizes that the aliens perceive reality differently than do humans -- not causally, but teleologically, as if to them the future is already known.
• The narrative cannily mixes past and future tenses, first and second persons. The discussions of linguistics are counterpointed by Banks' personal story, and her decision about whether or not to conceive a child. A challenge is that if the aliens' perceptions undermine the idea of free will, does that mean life is not worth living? The story was made into the film Arrival in 2016.
• Chiang is an extraordinary author in having published only short fiction (from short story to novella length), and only some 20 such works to date, with nine of them having won a combined two dozen awards. Other significant titles include "Exhalation" (2008), "Hell Is the Absence of God" (2001), "The Lifecycle of Software Objects" (2010), "The Merchant and the Alchemist's Gate" (2007), "Seventy-two Letters" (2000) and "Tower of Babylon" (1990).

1st publication <Wikipedia>

Recent publication <Amz>


Score: 38.25
Awards: Hugo Locus Nebula Sturgeon Wfa | Hayakawa Homer Seiun Tiptree
Compiled anthologies: 9 (listed here); Other anthologies and collections: 3
Citations: 2012LocusOnlinePoll

4. The Persistence of Vision , John Varley (1978)

A middle-aged man, crossing the country on foot in the aftermath of an economic downturn, comes to a walled community in the desert southwest whose inhabitants, he discovers, are all blind and deaf (the result of a 1964 rubella epidemic). He stays with them, learns about their small society, how they repel invaders, how they engage in group sex, and how they have access to a kind of higher perception.
• The story's primary fascination is Varley's imagination of how a group of blind and deaf people could manage to live by themselves, and even repel invaders. There's also the notion that people missing one sense tend to overcompensate with others.
• This was Varley's first major story, in 1978, following the splash he made in science fiction with his first dozen or so stories, in 1975 and 1976, set in his "Eight Worlds" solar system. Later significant stories included "The Pusher" (1981) and "Press Enter[]" (1984), listed below.

1st publication <Wikipedia>

Recent publication <Amz>


Score: 37.1
Awards: Hugo Locus Nebula Wfa | Ditmar
Compiled anthologies: 11 (listed here); Other anthologies and collections: 5
Citations: 2012LocusOnlinePoll 1999LocusOnlinePoll

5. Houston, Houston, Do You Read? , James Tiptree, Jr. (1976)

Three male astronauts on a circumsolar mission are cast into the future and are rescued by a ship of five women. The men are told that in this future there are no men, the men having died in a plague that left everyone sterile. The men figure out what this implies about these women, and freak out thinking about a world with no men. The women are left to wonder, what do we do with these antique astronauts?
• This story, pubished two years before "Tiptree" was revealed as a pseudonym of author Alice Sheldon, is one of the great gender-challenging SF stories (following John Wyndham's "Consider Her Ways" in 1956 and Joanna Russ's "When it Changed" in 1972), even if its portrayls of the men are at times caricatures. But social norms, and gender roles, do change over time, in sometimes unbelievable ways.
• Tiptree wrote numerous stories about gender roles, and about how those applied more broadly to human/alien interactions, including "And I Awoke and Found Me Here on the Cold Hill's Side" (1972), "The Women Men Don't See" (1973), and "The Screwfly Solution" (1977).

1st publication <Wikipedia>

Recent publication <Amz>


Score: 33.7
Awards: Hugo Locus Nebula Wfa | Jupiter
Compiled anthologies: 9 (listed here); Other anthologies and collections: 8
Citations: 2012LocusOnlinePoll 1999LocusOnlinePoll

6. PRESS ENTER[], John Varley (1984)

Set in the present of 1984, when personal computers are a novelty and "cursor" is a word that has to be explained, a Korean War vet in the San Fernando Valley is implicated in the suicide or murder of his neighbor, Charles Kluge, whose PC leaves messages for him and for the police (e.g. "Press enter to continue…"). A Caltech expert is called in and discovers that Kluge has infiltrated all the networks, spied on his neighbors, faked his own death, and wiped all records of his own existence.
• The central idea, the potential of interconnected computers to become "conscious," goes back at least to Arthur C. Clarke's "Dial F for Frankenstein" in 1965. Here the idea is given much personality and warmth in the narrator, Victor Apfel, who lives with epileptic seizures, and the Caltech expert Lisa, a gawkey Vietnamese computer expert with a past of being abused.
• It's a remarkably engaging and tense story, only slightly dated in details, except that after all this time, the premise seems not to have happened. Note the "[]" typography represents the block cursor on a computer screen following the words "Press enter."

1st publication <Wikipedia>

Recent publication <Amz>


Score: 28.83
Awards: Hugo Locus Nebula Sfc Wfa | Seiun
Compiled anthologies: 8 (listed here); Other anthologies and collections: 5
Citations: 2012LocusOnlinePoll 1999LocusOnlinePoll

7. Sailing to Byzantium , Robert Silverberg (1985)

Charles Phillips, a man with memories of his life in 1984, arrives in Alexandria during a far future era (the 50th century he is told) in which the world population is small and only five cities exist at a time; every once in a while one of the five is dismantled to allow for another ancient city to be reconstructed. He is accompanied by a female companion, Gioia, as they explore Alexandria, then travel east to Chang-an. Charles perceives that Gioia has gray hairs, may be growing older, as no one else here does; ponders and then discovers his true identity in this far-future society.
• This story is rich in historical and cultural details, as reflected in other Silverberg tales, notably the novel Up the Line, informed obviously by Silverberg's own travels around the world. The bottom line echoes that of Chiang's story, perhaps: if we're not "real" in the sense that we imagine, does it matter?
• This was Silverberg's major novella of what might be called his third phase of writing, the 1980s and 1990s. Other significant short works of this period include "The Pope of the Chimps" (1982),"Needle in a Timestack" (1983), "Homefaring" (1983), "Gilgamesh in the Outback" (1986), and "We Are For the Dark" (1988).

1st publication <Wikipedia>

Recent publication <Amz>


Score: 28.55
Awards: Hugo Locus Nebula Sfc Wfa
Compiled anthologies: 9 (listed here); Other anthologies and collections: 8
Citations: 2012LocusOnlinePoll 1999LocusOnlinePoll

8. Beggars in Spain, Nancy Kress (1991)

A new kind of genetic modification allows children to be born who do not need to sleep. Leisha is one of the first of these Sleepless, growing up different and eventually meeting other Sleepless as society comes to treat them as an oppressed minority. Not only do the Sleepless have more time to study and become successful, but a consequence of their treatment also extends their life spans, making them even more reviled by the general public.
• A deeper theme is about what people owe society, and what society owes them. Liesha becomes a follower of Yagai who advocates individual meritocracy: people do what they do well, and interact via contracts, not coercion. But then someone asks, so what does anyone owe the random beggar on the street in Spain?
• Kress excels at near-future hard SF extrapolated from current science, and as a writer of characters. This story was expanded into a novel of the same name, with two sequels. Other significant works include "Trinity" (1984), "Out of All Them Bright Stars" (1985), "And Wild for to Hold" (1991), "Dancing on Air" (1993), "The Flowers of Aulit Prison" (1996), and more recently the short novels Yesterday's Kin (2014) and After the Fall, Before the Fall, During the Fall (2012).

1st publication <Wikipedia>

Recent publication <Amz>


Score: 28.36
Awards: Hugo Locus Nebula Sfc Sturgeon Wfa | AsimovReader Imaginaire
Compiled anthologies: 6 (listed here); Other anthologies and collections: 8
Citations: 2012LocusOnlinePoll

9. The Moon Moth , Jack Vance (1961)

On the planet Sirene, elaborate masks (covering the entire face) are worn at all times, and people communicate in part with musical instruments. Consular Representative Thissell, recently arrived and possessing a mask called a Moon Moth, receives instructions to pursue an assassin due to arrive that same day. The job entails a series of potentially deadly faux pas as he deals with people whose identities are hidden behind their colorful masks.
• This is one of many stories and novels by Vance depicting exotic cultural patterns quite different from familiar Earth societies. Here we have not only the symbology of the masks, but a lot of musical detail, as different instruments are played to different modes and scales depending on context.
• Like Anderson (listed below), Vance was prolific author of novels and short works from the early 1950s until his death in 2013, beginning with The Dying Earth (1950), the prototypical example of a work of "science fantasy." Later works included novellas "The Last Castle" (1966) and "The Dragon Masters" (1962), novels Emphyrio (1969), three in the Durdane series through 1974, and three in the Lyonesse series through 1989.

1st publication <Wikipedia>

Recent publication <Amz>


Score: 27.98
Awards: Hugo
Compiled anthologies: 6 (listed here); Other anthologies and collections: 7
Citations: 2012LocusOnlinePoll 1971AnalogPoll 1999LocusOnlinePoll

10. The Death of Doctor Island, Gene Wolfe (1973)

Nick, a 14-year-old boy with sutures on his head, emerges from the sand onto a beach of an "island" enclosed in a space satellite run by a computer therapist called Dr. Island, who speaks from the surf and the palms. Nick has a history of seizures and visions, and his corpus callosum has been cut. He meets a girl, Diane, with her own issues, and meets Ignacio, a fisherman, who teaches and heals. And he learns about death and life.
• This story is a thematic sequel of Wolfe's 1970 short story "The Island of Doctor Death and Other Stories," which infamously was nominated for a Nebula Award and then, at the awards ceremony, erroneously named the winner, before the announcer was corrected that the actual winner was "No Award." Wolfe, as if to show his cleverness, wrote both this story and a third story on these themes, "The Doctor of Death Island," in 1978.
• Like many of Wolfe's stories and novels, there is an undercurrent of Christian theology here, but the broad secular themes are those of human psychology, as reflected by environment and other people; and also by the impact of mechanization, as we're told in the story that so many people in this modern age have emotional problems.

1st publication <Wikipedia>

Recent publication <Amz>


Score: 27.76
Awards: Hugo Locus Nebula Wfa | Jupiter
Compiled anthologies: 8 (listed here); Other anthologies and collections: 4
Citations: 2012LocusOnlinePoll 1999LocusOnlinePoll

11. By His Bootstraps, Robert A. Heinlein (1941)

Grad student Bob Wilson is sitting in his room writing his thesis, when another man appears behind him through a circle in the air described as a time gate. This second man tells Bob that he needs to go through the gate. A third man appears, insisting that Bob *not* go through the gate. Eventually Bob finds himself some 30,000 years in the future, where he meets Diktor, who explains that his mission is to go back through the gate and convince the man there to go through it.
• This recomplicated time travel story is a gold standard for all time travel stories, involving paradoxes and questions of which character(s) are coming or going. Heinlein's later, much shorter story, "All You Zombies," achieves a similar, tighter effect.
• Heinlein was, of course, the major SF writer from the 1940s through the 1950s, and his treatments of many of SF's fundamental themes, like time travel and alien invasions, became definitive, in the way that H.G. Wells' earlier treatments of these themes were definitive for many decades. This story was originally published under Heinlein's pseudonym, Anson MacDonald.

1st publication <Wikipedia>

Recent publication <Amz>


Score: 27.54
Awards: none
Compiled anthologies: 5 (listed here); Other anthologies and collections: 4
Citations: 2012LocusOnlinePoll 1971AnalogPoll 1999LocusOnlinePoll

12. Weyr Search, Anne McCaffrey (1967)

On the planet Pern, human settlers have forgotten their past except through legends and myths. The planet is ravaged every 250 years by creatures from a nearby planet, which the settlers have learned to fight with a race of "dragons" that, controlled by telepathic humans, fly through the air and destroy the invading "threads." In this story Lessa, a young girl at the Hold Ruatha, plays a critical role during a political coup.
• This is a perfect example of fantasy in science fiction guise -- with dragons, telepathy, teleportation -- and no technology! (What happened to the technology of the original settlers?) Like much fantasy, it appeals to verities of feudal life, and its emotional ending served to launch a long-running series.
• The longer sequel novella, "Dragonrider," was also published in Analog just a couple months later, and the two became the novel Dragonflight (1968), followed by Dragonquest in 1971. And then a dozen or more later novels, including a YA trilogy, followed.

1st publication <Wikipedia>

Recent publication <Amz>


Score: 27.25
Awards: Hugo Nebula
Compiled anthologies: 7 (listed here); Other anthologies and collections: 8
Citations: 2012LocusOnlinePoll 1971AnalogPoll 1999LocusOnlinePoll

13. A Boy and His Dog, Harlan Ellison (1969)

In a post-apocalyptic America in which cities have been destroyed and a few survivors live on the surface while others live in "downunders," Vic and his telepathic dog Blood pursue a lone young woman, Quilla Jones. She lures him into her "downunder," which Vic discovers is an idealized, utterly boring, recreation of a 1950s small town. And he learns the motive for trapping him here.
• An initial short story version, published in the UK magazine New Worlds in 1969, was expanded to this novella length in an Ellison collection (cover shown here) that same year. The narrative is shocking for its sexual frankness -- this was the 1960s "New Wave" -- and especially for its ending, in which Vic puts his dog's welfare over his girlfriend's.
• There was a 1975 film version of this story, directed by L.Q. Jones, which was more explicity about Vic's intended role in the Topeka "downunder." Ellison intended to expand this story into novel-length, but never finished; what he did finish is included in the recent title shown here.

1st publication <Wikipedia>

Recent publication <Amz>


Score: 25.63
Awards: Hugo Nebula
Compiled anthologies: 6 (listed here); Other anthologies and collections: 10
Citations: 2012LocusOnlinePoll 1999LocusOnlinePoll

14. Seven American Nights , Gene Wolfe (1978)

An Iranian tourst, Nadan, arrives in a future America that has been reduced to poverty and ruin, its citizens affected by genetic damage. He tours Washington DC, attends a play and falls in love with an actress, and meets a scholar who gives him an hallucinatory drug. Eventually he accepts an invitation from the actress to tour the inner continent. Meanwhile two women back home read these accounts in Nadan's journal, wondering how much of it can be trusted.
• Like many Wolfe stories and novels, the story is full of ambiguities and references to some larger, hidden story (See WolfeWiki linked below) which the POV character is clueless about. And like many of Wolfe's works, the underlying narrative here is religious, specifically Catholic.
• This is one of only two of the top 20 novellas ranked here without its own Wikipedia page. However, a Wiki entirely devoted to Wolfe is https://www.wolfewiki.com/, that includes summaries, notes, and interpretations of many of his works, including this one.

1st publication <Wikipedia>

Recent publication <Amz>


Score: 24.94
Awards: Hugo Locus Nebula Wfa | Seiun
Compiled anthologies: 7 (listed here); Other anthologies and collections: 2
Citations: 2012LocusOnlinePoll 1999LocusOnlinePoll

15. Hardfought , Greg Bear (1983)

In the far future humanity battles an alien race, the Senexi, for control of the galaxy, and currently for a 50-parsec wide nebula called Medusa. The Senexi are ancient, nearly as old as the galaxy, and thus experienced; humans are younger, but more adaptable. The story follows human Prufrax, as she trains for battle, and the Senexi Aryz, and he prepares for an invasion of a human ship.
• This is a complex story with several points of view, including one of future "listeners" looking back on these events, and using many neologisms to depict human and alien concepts without explicit explanation. Ultimately it deals with the ultimate fate of intelligent species, both human and alien.
• Bear is a versatile author of science fiction, mostly, whose works included the novelette "Blood Music" and its novel-length expansion, short story "Tangents" (1986), and novels Queen of Angels (1990), Moving Mars (1993), and Darwin's Radio (1999).

1st publication <Wikipedia>

Recent publication <Amz>


Score: 24.93
Awards: Hugo Locus Nebula Sfc Wfa
Compiled anthologies: 6 (listed here); Other anthologies and collections: 8
Citations: 2012LocusOnlinePoll 1999LocusOnlinePoll

16. The Queen of Air and Darkness , Poul Anderson (1971)

A human colony on the planet Roland is plagued by a series of child disappearances, amid rumors of far-north aboriginal "Outlings." As a mother and a private investigator head north searching for her son, they hear reports of Old Folks and recognize sightings of them as archetypes of magical folk that humans brought with them to this planet.
• This is a colorful story that resembles fantasy, as if the legends of Earth are appearing on this alien planet, before a science-fictional rationale becomes understood, not completely unlike that in Gene Wolfe's "The Fifth Head of Cerberus."
• Anderson was a prolific author of SF and fantasy from the 1950s until his death in 2001. Notable works include SF novels Brain Wave (1954) and Tau Zero; fantasy novels The High Crusade (1960) and A Midsummer Tempest (1974); and long-running short fiction series about the Psychotechnic League, Dominic Flandry, and Nicholas van Rijn.

1st publication <Wikipedia>

Recent publication <Amz>


Score: 24.9
Awards: Hugo Locus Nebula
Compiled anthologies: 6 (listed here); Other anthologies and collections: 12
Citations: 2012LocusOnlinePoll 1999LocusOnlinePoll

17. Enemy Mine , Barry B. Longyear (1979)

A human capsule pilot, Davidge, becomes stranded on a remote planet with a Drac, member of the alien race at war with Earth. With only each other to depend on, they learn each other's languages, cooperate in finding food to eat, to occupy a cave, and discuss each other's cultures. When the hermaphrotic Drac has a child, Davidge learns to take care of it.
• This is an emotional tale, in which the rescued Davidge seeks to fulfill the Drac's dreams, with some occasional SFnal speculation about how broad notions of philosophy would the same between races, and about how hermaphrodic creatures would function.
• Longyear was a prolific and popular writer in the late 1970s, especially in Asimov's magazine under editor George Scithers, before a medical crisis interrupted his career. He returned to writing in the 1980s, and as late as 2020 won a Prometheus Award for a Libertarian SF novel, but has never achieved the popularity or acclaim of this early novella.

1st publication <Wikipedia>

Recent publication <Amz>


Score: 24.88
Awards: Hugo Locus Nebula Wfa
Compiled anthologies: 5 (listed here); Other anthologies and collections: 8
Citations: 2012LocusOnlinePoll 1999LocusOnlinePoll

18. Souls , Joanna Russ (1982)

In 12th century Germany an errand-boy to Abbess Radegunde witnesses the coming of Norsemen soldiers, who intend plundering their abbey. Radegune confronts the invaders bravely, attempting to bargain with them over additional treasures hidden in the forest. She survives, but gradually her façade slips and the nature of her "real people" becomes revealed.
• The theme here parallels that in Tiptree's story above: the different ways in which men and women view the world. Radegunde contrasts the sagas of the North, all about conquest and killing, with those of Ireland, which are about mother figures.
• Russ was not the first prominent female SF author, but she was the first avowedly feminist (and lesbian) SF author. Her best-known works include the short story "When It Changed" (1972) and the related novel The Female Man (1975). She also wrote critical works, including How to Suppress Women's Writing (1983).

1st publication <Wikipedia>

Recent publication <Amz>


Score: 24.85
Awards: Hugo Locus Nebula Sfc Wfa
Compiled anthologies: 9 (listed here); Other anthologies and collections: 1
Citations: 2012LocusOnlinePoll 1999LocusOnlinePoll

19. The Big Front Yard , Clifford D. Simak (1958)

Hiram Taine, a fix-it man and antique dealer in the rural Midwest US, discovers that broken appliances in his house have become mysteriously repaired, and then that his house has been warped into another dimension. Exploring the desert world now beyond his front window, he finds another house looking out onto yet another world.
• This is an unconventional first-contact story that exemplifies the values of the American Midwest, the "Yankee smarts" also mentioned by Anne McCaffrey, that must have especially appealed to Astounding editor John W. Campbell, who published both stories.
• Simak lived in the US Midwest, specifically southwest Wisconsin, and set many of his stories there, including his famous novels Way Station (1963), and (portions of) City (1952).

1st publication <Wikipedia>

Recent publication <Amz>


Score: 24.53
Awards: Hugo
Compiled anthologies: 5 (listed here); Other anthologies and collections: 9
Citations: 2012LocusOnlinePoll 1971AnalogPoll 1999LocusOnlinePoll

20. The Mountains of Mourning, Lois McMaster Bujold (1989)

Miles Vorkosigan, member of the ruling family on Barrayar, investigates a case of infanticide in a remote mountain village that is mostly cut off from the outside world. Retaining old superstitions about mutations, they don't take kindly to the intervention of Miles, who with deformities caused by a poisoning, resembles a mutation himself.
• Miles Vorkosigan is one of the most complex characters in science fiction, featured in a series of novels and stories (the Vorkosigan Saga) by Bujold that cover all periods of his life; the story here is a key episode in his adult maturity. Like the Longyear and McCaffrey novellas, the story's dramatic strengths overshadow the relatively commonplace science-fictional furnishings (wormholes, mutations).
• Bujold has rarely written short fiction, but has published over 20 novels, many in the series about this character. She's won Hugo Awards for The Vor Game (1990), Barrayar (1991), Mirror Dance (1994), and Paladin of Souls (2003), as well as a Hugo Award for Best Series, The Vorkosigan Saga, in 2017.

1st publication <Wikipedia>

Recent publication <Amz>


Score: 23.51
Awards: Hugo Locus Nebula Sfc Sturgeon Wfa | AnLab
Compiled anthologies: 3 (listed here); Other anthologies and collections: 4
Citations: 2012LocusOnlinePoll

21. The Time Machine, H. G. Wells (1895)

(Given the analysis of the data at hand, this story is more often regarded as a novel, by critics who compile lists and voters in all-time polls, than as a novella, by editors who reprint stories in anthologies. It ranks #1 on the SF novel list. See there for description and comments.)

1st publication <Wikipedia>

Recent publication <Amz>


Score: 23.4
Awards: none
Compiled anthologies: 3 (listed here); Other anthologies and collections: 34
Citations: 2012LocusOnlinePoll 1971AnalogPoll 1971AnalogPollPre1940 1999LocusOnlinePoll

22. The Fifth Head of Cerberus , Gene Wolfe (1972)

Two brothers grow up on the planet Sainte Croix, with a robot tutor named Mr. Million, in a large house operated by their father as a brothel. The father begins treatments on one of the boys, giving him drugs and subjecting to various tests, and dubbing him Number Five. Meanwhile the boy learns of Veil's Hypothesis, the notion that aboriginals on the sister planet Sainte Anne killed the human settlers and replaced them. Years later he meets Marsch, an anthropologist from Earth, abd learns that his aunt is Dr. Veil.
• Another allusive Wolfe novella, here again concerning a main character who is not entirely clear about the world he lives in or his role in it. Wolfe wrote two follow-up novellas, "'A Story,' by John V. Marsch" and "V.R.T.," extending the themes of the first; the three were collected as the book The Fifth Head of Cerberus later in 1972.
• Wolfe's long career beginning in the late 1960s included several other challenging novellas, including "Tracking Song," "The Eyeflash Miracles," and "Silhouette." His major work was the four-volume "Book of the New Sun," beginning with The Shadow of the Torturer in 1980. Over the decades several other multi-volume series appeared: "The Book of the Long Sun," "The Book of the Short Sun," "The Wizard Knight," and "Latro."

1st publication <Wikipedia>

Recent publication <Amz>


Score: 23.18
Awards: Hugo Locus Nebula
Compiled anthologies: 5 (listed here); Other anthologies and collections: 2
Citations: 2012LocusOnlinePoll 1999LocusOnlinePoll

23. The Last of the Winnebagos , Connie Willis (1988)

Score: 21.81
Awards: Hugo Locus Nebula Sfc Sturgeon Wfa | AsimovReader Seiun
Compiled anthologies: 3 (listed here); Other anthologies and collections: 4
Citations: 2012LocusOnlinePoll 1999LocusOnlinePoll

24. R&R , Lucius Shepard (1986)

Score: 21.26
Awards: Hugo Locus Nebula Sfc Sturgeon Wfa | AsimovReader
Compiled anthologies: 3 (listed here); Other anthologies and collections: 3
Citations: 2012LocusOnlinePoll 1999LocusOnlinePoll

25. He Who Shapes , Roger Zelazny (1965)

Score: 21.15
Awards: Hugo Nebula
Compiled anthologies: 4 (listed here); Other anthologies and collections: 10
Citations: 2012LocusOnlinePoll 1971AnalogPoll 1999LocusOnlinePoll

26. Great Work of Time , John Crowley (1989)

Score: 20.48
Awards: Hugo Locus Nebula Sfc Sturgeon Wfa | Imaginaire
Compiled anthologies: 3 (listed here); Other anthologies and collections: 3
Citations: 2012LocusOnlinePoll

27. Magic for Beginners , Kelly Link (2005)

Score: 20.36
Awards: Hugo Locus Nebula Sturgeon Wfa | BritishSF
Compiled anthologies: 4 (listed here); Other anthologies and collections: 2
Citations: 2012LocusOnlinePoll

28. The Man Who Sold the Moon, Robert A. Heinlein (1950)

Score: 20.36
Awards: RetroHugo
Compiled anthologies: 2 (listed here); Other anthologies and collections: 8
Citations: 2012LocusOnlinePoll 1971AnalogPoll 1999LocusOnlinePoll

29. Ill Met in Lankhmar, Fritz Leiber (1970)

Score: 20.17
Awards: Hugo Locus Nebula
Compiled anthologies: 4 (listed here); Other anthologies and collections: 11
Citations: 2012LocusOnlinePoll 1999LocusOnlinePoll

30. Behold the Man, Michael Moorcock (1966)

Score: 20.14
Awards: Hugo Nebula
Compiled anthologies: 5 (listed here); Other anthologies and collections: 6
Citations: 2012LocusOnlinePoll 1971AnalogPoll 1999LocusOnlinePoll

31. The Hemingway Hoax , Joe Haldeman (1990)

Score: 20.08
Awards: Hugo Locus Nebula Sfc Sturgeon Wfa | AsimovReader
Compiled anthologies: 4 (listed here); Other anthologies and collections: 3
Citations: 2012LocusOnlinePoll

32. Home Is the Hangman, Roger Zelazny (1975)

Score: 19.54
Awards: Hugo Locus Nebula Wfa
Compiled anthologies: 5 (listed here); Other anthologies and collections: 9
Citations: 2012LocusOnlinePoll 1999LocusOnlinePoll

33. Coraline, Neil Gaiman (2002)

Score: 19.47
Awards: Hugo Locus Nebula Sturgeon Wfa | BritishSF Ihg Mythopoeic Stoker Stoker
Citations: 2012LocusOnlinePoll

34. Born with the Dead , Robert Silverberg (1974)

Score: 19.43
Awards: Hugo Locus Nebula Wfa | Jupiter
Compiled anthologies: 5 (listed here); Other anthologies and collections: 8
Citations: 2012LocusOnlinePoll 1999LocusOnlinePoll

35. Seven Views of Olduvai Gorge , Mike Resnick (1994)

Score: 19.15
Awards: Hugo Locus Nebula Sfc Sturgeon Wfa | Homer Ignotus Ozone UPC
Compiled anthologies: 2 (listed here); Other anthologies and collections: 5
Citations: 2012LocusOnlinePoll

36. A Meeting with Medusa , Arthur C. Clarke (1971)

Score: 19.02
Awards: Hugo Locus Nebula | Seiun
Compiled anthologies: 8 (listed here); Other anthologies and collections: 14
Citations: 2012LocusOnlinePoll 1999LocusOnlinePoll

37. Nightwings, Robert Silverberg (1968)

Score: 18.74
Awards: Hugo Nebula
Compiled anthologies: 5 (listed here); Other anthologies and collections: 10
Citations: 2012LocusOnlinePoll 1971AnalogPoll 1999LocusOnlinePoll

38. The Martian Way , Isaac Asimov (1952)

Score: 18.73
Awards: Hugo
Compiled anthologies: 5 (listed here); Other anthologies and collections: 10
Citations: 2012LocusOnlinePoll 1971AnalogPoll 1999LocusOnlinePoll

39. Nerves , Lester Del Rey (1942)

Score: 18.6
Awards: RetroHugo
Compiled anthologies: 5 (listed here); Other anthologies and collections: 6
Citations: 2012LocusOnlinePoll 1971AnalogPoll 1999LocusOnlinePoll

40. A Song for Lya , George R. R. Martin (1974)

Score: 18.57
Awards: Hugo Locus Nebula Wfa | Jupiter
Compiled anthologies: 3 (listed here); Other anthologies and collections: 6
Citations: 2012LocusOnlinePoll 1999LocusOnlinePoll

41. The Little Goddess, Ian Mcdonald (2005)

Score: 18.3
Awards: Hugo Locus Nebula Sturgeon Wfa | AsimovReader Imaginaire XatafiCyberdark
Compiled anthologies: 4 (listed here); Other anthologies and collections: 1
Citations: 2012LocusOnlinePoll

42. Fast Times at Fairmont High , Vernor Vinge (2001)

Score: 18.1
Awards: Hugo Locus Nebula Sturgeon Wfa
Compiled anthologies: 2 (listed here); Other anthologies and collections: 0
Citations: 2012LocusOnlinePoll

43. Dragonrider, Anne Mccaffrey (1967)

Score: 18.02
Awards: Hugo Nebula
Compiled anthologies: 3 (listed here); Other anthologies and collections: 7
Citations: 2012LocusOnlinePoll 1971AnalogPoll 1999LocusOnlinePoll

44. The Star Pit , Samuel R. Delany (1967)

Score: 17.9
Awards: Hugo Nebula
Compiled anthologies: 6 (listed here); Other anthologies and collections: 4
Citations: 2012LocusOnlinePoll 1971AnalogPoll 1999LocusOnlinePoll

45. The Last Castle , Jack Vance (1966)

Score: 17.07
Awards: Hugo Nebula
Compiled anthologies: 3 (listed here); Other anthologies and collections: 10
Citations: 2012LocusOnlinePoll 1971AnalogPoll 1999LocusOnlinePoll

46. Mr. Boy , James Patrick Kelly (1990)

Score: 16.95
Awards: Hugo Locus Nebula Sfc Sturgeon Wfa | AsimovReader
Compiled anthologies: 5 (listed here); Other anthologies and collections: 2
Citations: 2012LocusOnlinePoll

47. The Word for World Is Forest, Ursula K. Le Guin (1972)

Score: 16.56
Awards: Hugo Locus Nebula
Compiled anthologies: 2 (listed here); Other anthologies and collections: 5
Citations: 2012LocusOnlinePoll 1999LocusOnlinePoll

48. Seventy-two Letters , Ted Chiang (2000)

Score: 16.5
Awards: Hugo Locus Nebula Sturgeon Wfa | Hayakawa Seiun Sidewise
Compiled anthologies: 3 (listed here); Other anthologies and collections: 3
Citations: 2012LocusOnlinePoll

49. Griffin's Egg, Michael Swanwick (1991)

Score: 16.37
Awards: Hugo Locus Nebula Sfc Sturgeon Wfa | AsimovReader
Compiled anthologies: 4 (listed here); Other anthologies and collections: 4
Citations: 2012LocusOnlinePoll

50. Forgiveness Day, Ursula K. Le Guin (1994)

Score: 16.35
Awards: Hugo Locus Nebula Sfc Sturgeon Wfa | AsimovReader Tiptree
Compiled anthologies: 2 (listed here); Other anthologies and collections: 4
Citations: 2012LocusOnlinePoll

51. ...And Then There Were None , Eric Frank Russell (1951)

Score: 15.82
Awards: none
Compiled anthologies: 5 (listed here); Other anthologies and collections: 8
Citations: 2012LocusOnlinePoll 1971AnalogPoll 1999LocusOnlinePoll

52. The Cookie Monster , Vernor Vinge (2003)

Score: 15.45
Awards: Hugo Locus Nebula Sturgeon Wfa | AnLab Ignotus
Compiled anthologies: 4 (listed here); Other anthologies and collections: 2
Citations: 2012LocusOnlinePoll

53. New Light on the Drake Equation , Ian R. Macleod (2001)

Score: 15.42
Awards: Hugo Locus Nebula Sturgeon Wfa
Compiled anthologies: 2 (listed here); Other anthologies and collections: 3
Citations: 2012LocusOnlinePoll

54. The Gold at the Starbow's End, Frederik Pohl (1972)

Score: 14.92
Awards: Hugo Locus Nebula
Compiled anthologies: 3 (listed here); Other anthologies and collections: 6
Citations: 2012LocusOnlinePoll 1999LocusOnlinePoll

55. The Lady Who Plucked Red Flowers beneath the Queen's Window, Rachel Swirsky (2010)

Score: 14.8
Awards: Hugo Locus Nebula Sturgeon Wfa
Compiled anthologies: 4 (listed here); Other anthologies and collections: 1
Citations: 2012LocusOnlinePoll

56. The Shadow Over Innsmouth , H. P. Lovecraft (1942)

Score: 14.43
Awards: none
Compiled anthologies: 1 (listed here); Other anthologies and collections: 25
Citations: 2012LocusOnlinePoll 1971AnalogPoll 1999LocusOnlinePoll

57. Killdozer! , Theodore Sturgeon (1944)

Score: 14.35
Awards: none
Compiled anthologies: 4 (listed here); Other anthologies and collections: 14
Citations: 2012LocusOnlinePoll 1971AnalogPoll 1999LocusOnlinePoll

58. The Wedding Album, David Marusek (1999)

Score: 14.17
Awards: Hugo Locus Nebula Sturgeon Wfa | AsimovReader Homer Seiun
Compiled anthologies: 5 (listed here); Other anthologies and collections: 3
Citations: 2012LocusOnlinePoll

59. Trinity , Nancy Kress (1984)

Score: 14.1
Awards: Hugo Locus Nebula Sfc Wfa
Compiled anthologies: 5 (listed here); Other anthologies and collections: 5
Citations: 2012LocusOnlinePoll 1999LocusOnlinePoll

60. Universe, Robert A. Heinlein (1941)

Score: 14.09
Awards: none
Compiled anthologies: 3 (listed here); Other anthologies and collections: 4
Citations: 2012LocusOnlinePoll 1971AnalogPoll 1999LocusOnlinePoll

61. The Dragon Masters , Jack Vance (1962)

Score: 14.03
Awards: Hugo
Compiled anthologies: 2 (listed here); Other anthologies and collections: 5
Citations: 2012LocusOnlinePoll 1971AnalogPoll 1999LocusOnlinePoll

62. The Empress of Mars , Kage Baker (2003)

Score: 14.03
Awards: Hugo Locus Nebula Sturgeon Wfa | AsimovReader
Compiled anthologies: 1 (listed here); Other anthologies and collections: 2
Citations: 2012LocusOnlinePoll

63. Inside Job , Connie Willis (2005)

Score: 14.01
Awards: Hugo Locus Nebula Sturgeon Wfa | AsimovReader
Compiled anthologies: 2 (listed here); Other anthologies and collections: 2
Citations: 2012LocusOnlinePoll

64. True Names , Vernor Vinge (1981)

Score: 13.98
Awards: Hugo Locus Nebula Sfc Wfa | Prometheus
Compiled anthologies: 1 (listed here); Other anthologies and collections: 3
Citations: 2012LocusOnlinePoll 1999LocusOnlinePoll

65. Green Mars , Kim Stanley Robinson (1985)

Score: 13.95
Awards: Hugo Locus Nebula Sfc Wfa
Compiled anthologies: 2 (listed here); Other anthologies and collections: 3
Citations: 2012LocusOnlinePoll 1999LocusOnlinePoll

66. Liking What You See: A Documentary , Ted Chiang (2002)

Score: 13.77
Awards: Hugo Locus Nebula Sturgeon Wfa | Seiun Tiptree
Compiled anthologies: 2 (listed here); Other anthologies and collections: 1
Citations: 2012LocusOnlinePoll

67. Baby Is Three , Theodore Sturgeon (1952)

Score: 13.41
Awards: Hugo
Compiled anthologies: 3 (listed here); Other anthologies and collections: 4
Citations: 2012LocusOnlinePoll 1971AnalogPoll 1999LocusOnlinePoll

68. Bronte's Egg, Richard Chwedyk (2002)

Score: 13.19
Awards: Hugo Locus Nebula Sturgeon Wfa
Compiled anthologies: 1 (listed here); Other anthologies and collections: 1
Citations: 2012LocusOnlinePoll

69. Soldier, Ask Not, Gordon R. Dickson (1964)

Score: 13.07
Awards: Hugo
Compiled anthologies: 3 (listed here); Other anthologies and collections: 5
Citations: 2012LocusOnlinePoll 1971AnalogPoll 1999LocusOnlinePoll

70. Palimpsest , Charles Stross (2009)

Score: 13.03
Awards: Hugo Locus Nebula Sturgeon Wfa | Italia Seiun
Compiled anthologies: 1 (listed here); Other anthologies and collections: 2
Citations: 2012LocusOnlinePoll

71. The Shadow Out of Time , H. P. Lovecraft (1936)

Score: 12.86
Awards: none
Compiled anthologies: 2 (listed here); Other anthologies and collections: 25
Citations: 2012LocusOnlinePoll 1971AnalogPoll 1971AnalogPollPre1940 1999LocusOnlinePoll

72. Oceanic , Greg Egan (1998)

Score: 12.8
Awards: Hugo Locus Nebula Sturgeon Wfa | AsimovReader Aurealis Hayakawa Homer Seiun Tiptree
Compiled anthologies: 2 (listed here); Other anthologies and collections: 5
Citations: 2012LocusOnlinePoll

73. The Death of Captain Future, Allen Steele (1995)

Score: 12.61
Awards: Hugo Locus Nebula Sfc Sturgeon Wfa | AsimovReader Seiun
Compiled anthologies: 3 (listed here); Other anthologies and collections: 2
Citations: 2012LocusOnlinePoll

74. Breathmoss, Ian R. Macleod (2002)

Score: 12.53
Awards: Hugo Locus Nebula Sturgeon Wfa | AsimovReader
Compiled anthologies: 3 (listed here); Other anthologies and collections: 3
Citations: 2012LocusOnlinePoll

75. The Saturn Game , Poul Anderson (1981)

Score: 12.49
Awards: Hugo Locus Nebula Sfc Wfa | AnLab
Compiled anthologies: 5 (listed here); Other anthologies and collections: 6
Citations: 2012LocusOnlinePoll 1999LocusOnlinePoll

76. Surfacing , Walter Jon Williams (1988)

Score: 12.39
Awards: Hugo Locus Nebula Sfc Sturgeon Wfa | AsimovReader
Compiled anthologies: 3 (listed here); Other anthologies and collections: 3
Citations: 2012LocusOnlinePoll 1999LocusOnlinePoll

77. Wall, Stone, Craft , Walter Jon Williams (1993)

Score: 12.28
Awards: Hugo Locus Nebula Sfc Sturgeon Wfa | Homer
Compiled anthologies: 2 (listed here); Other anthologies and collections: 3
Citations: 2012LocusOnlinePoll

78. 24 Views of Mt. Fuji, by Hokusai , Roger Zelazny (1985)

Score: 12.19
Awards: Hugo Locus Nebula Sfc Wfa
Compiled anthologies: 1 (listed here); Other anthologies and collections: 5
Citations: 2012LocusOnlinePoll 1999LocusOnlinePoll

79. The Only Neat Thing to Do , James Tiptree, Jr. (1985)

Score: 12.15
Awards: Hugo Locus Nebula Sfc Wfa | Seiun
Compiled anthologies: 3 (listed here); Other anthologies and collections: 2
Citations: 2012LocusOnlinePoll 1999LocusOnlinePoll

80. Burn , James Patrick Kelly (2005)

Score: 12.14
Awards: Hugo Locus Nebula Sturgeon Wfa
Compiled anthologies: 2 (listed here); Other anthologies and collections: 2
Citations: 2012LocusOnlinePoll

81. The Midas Plague , Frederik Pohl (1954)

Score: 12.08
Awards: Hugo
Compiled anthologies: 5 (listed here); Other anthologies and collections: 8
Citations: 2012LocusOnlinePoll 1971AnalogPoll 1999LocusOnlinePoll

82. Eye for Eye , Orson Scott Card (1987)

Score: 12.04
Awards: Hugo Locus Nebula Sfc Sturgeon Wfa | AsimovReader Seiun
Compiled anthologies: 2 (listed here); Other anthologies and collections: 4
Citations: 2012LocusOnlinePoll 1999LocusOnlinePoll

83. Mortimer Gray's History of Death, Brian Stableford (1995)

Score: 12.04
Awards: Hugo Locus Nebula Sfc Sturgeon Wfa | AsimovReader
Compiled anthologies: 4 (listed here); Other anthologies and collections: 2
Citations: 2012LocusOnlinePoll

84. The Scalehunter's Beautiful Daughter, Lucius Shepard (1988)

Score: 11.9
Awards: Hugo Locus Nebula Sfc Sturgeon Wfa | AsimovReader
Compiled anthologies: 2 (listed here); Other anthologies and collections: 3
Citations: 2012LocusOnlinePoll 1999LocusOnlinePoll

85. Blowups Happen , Robert A. Heinlein (1940)

Score: 11.84
Awards: RetroHugo
Compiled anthologies: 3 (listed here); Other anthologies and collections: 10
Citations: 2012LocusOnlinePoll 1971AnalogPoll 1999LocusOnlinePoll

86. Cascade Point, Timothy Zahn (1983)

Score: 11.8
Awards: Hugo Locus Nebula Sfc Wfa | AnLab
Compiled anthologies: 3 (listed here); Other anthologies and collections: 2
Citations: 2012LocusOnlinePoll 1999LocusOnlinePoll

87. Hero, Joe Haldeman (1972)

Score: 11.78
Awards: Hugo Locus Nebula
Compiled anthologies: 6 (listed here); Other anthologies and collections: 4
Citations: 2012LocusOnlinePoll 1999LocusOnlinePoll

88. The Night We Buried Road Dog , Jack Cady (1993)

Score: 11.78
Awards: Hugo Locus Nebula Sfc Sturgeon Wfa | Homer Stoker
Compiled anthologies: 2 (listed here); Other anthologies and collections: 3
Citations: 2012LocusOnlinePoll

89. The Finder, Ursula K. Le Guin (2001)

Score: 11.58
Awards: Hugo Locus Nebula Sturgeon Wfa
Compiled anthologies: 1 (listed here); Other anthologies and collections: 2
Citations: 2012LocusOnlinePoll

90. The Concrete Jungle, Charles Stross (2004)

Score: 11.47
Awards: Hugo Locus Nebula Sturgeon Wfa | Italia Seiun
Compiled anthologies: 1 (listed here); Other anthologies and collections: 2
Citations: 2012LocusOnlinePoll

91. Mefisto in Onyx, Harlan Ellison (1993)

Score: 11.4
Awards: Hugo Locus Nebula Sfc Sturgeon Wfa | Homer Stoker
Compiled anthologies: 1 (listed here); Other anthologies and collections: 8
Citations: 2012LocusOnlinePoll

92. Tendeléo's Story, Ian Mcdonald (2000)

Score: 11.31
Awards: Hugo Locus Nebula Sturgeon Wfa
Compiled anthologies: 3 (listed here); Other anthologies and collections: 4
Citations: 2012LocusOnlinePoll

93. The Ballad of Black Tom, Victor Lavalle (2016)

Score: 11.26
Awards: Hugo Locus Nebula Sturgeon Wfa | BritishFantasy ShirleyJackson Stoker
Compiled anthologies: 1 (listed here); Other anthologies and collections: 0

94. Into the Miranda Rift , G. David Nordley (1993)

Score: 11.2
Awards: Hugo Locus Nebula Sfc Sturgeon Wfa | AnLab
Compiled anthologies: 3 (listed here); Other anthologies and collections: 1
Citations: 2012LocusOnlinePoll

95. Hawksbill Station , Robert Silverberg (1967)

Score: 11.07
Awards: Hugo Nebula
Compiled anthologies: 6 (listed here); Other anthologies and collections: 7
Citations: 2012LocusOnlinePoll 1971AnalogPoll 1999LocusOnlinePoll

96. Consider Her Ways , John Wyndham (1956)

Score: 11
Awards: Hugo
Compiled anthologies: 4 (listed here); Other anthologies and collections: 7
Citations: 2012LocusOnlinePoll 1971AnalogPoll 1999LocusOnlinePoll

97. The Dream Quest of Unknown Kadath, H. P. Lovecraft (1943)

Score: 10.91
Awards: RetroHugo
Compiled anthologies: 1 (listed here); Other anthologies and collections: 11
Citations: 2012LocusOnlinePoll 1971AnalogPoll 1999LocusOnlinePoll

98. Barnacle Bill the Spacer , Lucius Shepard (1992)

Score: 10.9
Awards: Hugo Locus Nebula Sfc Sturgeon Wfa | AsimovReader
Compiled anthologies: 2 (listed here); Other anthologies and collections: 2
Citations: 2012LocusOnlinePoll

99. The Man Who Bridged the Mist, Kij Johnson (2011)

Score: 10.86
Awards: Hugo Locus Nebula Sturgeon Wfa | AsimovReader Imaginaire Seiun
Compiled anthologies: 4 (listed here); Other anthologies and collections: 3

100. The Erdmann Nexus , Nancy Kress (2008)

Score: 10.67
Awards: Hugo Locus Nebula Sturgeon Wfa | AsimovReader Italia
Compiled anthologies: 1 (listed here); Other anthologies and collections: 0
Citations: 2012LocusOnlinePoll

101. The Summer Isles , Ian R. Macleod (1998)

Score: 10.27
Awards: Hugo Locus Nebula Sturgeon Wfa | AsimovReader Seiun Sidewise
Compiled anthologies: 1 (listed here); Other anthologies and collections: 2
Citations: 2012LocusOnlinePoll

102. The Willows , Algernon Blackwood (1907)

Score: 10.19
Awards: none
Compiled anthologies: 3 (listed here); Other anthologies and collections: 9
Citations: 2012LocusOnlinePoll 1971AnalogPoll 1971AnalogPollPre1940 1999LocusOnlinePoll

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This page last updated Sunday 10 Oct 2021 at 16:33 PT