Read Hundreds of Free Sci-Fi Stories from Asimov, Lovecraft, Bradbury, Dick, Clarke & More


“We think audio is the best medi­um for Sci­ence Fic­tion lit­er­a­ture and dra­ma,” says the “About” page at “We’re not against the dead tree, cath­ode ray, and cel­lu­loid ver­sions, we just know them to be the infe­ri­or medi­um for trans­mis­sion of sto­ry, mood, and ideas.” A strong posi­tion indeed, but one won­ders: what do they think of the dig­i­tal dis­play of text as a means of sci-fi con­veyance? They must har­bor more than a lit­tle love for it, giv­en that on their site, oth­er­wise a rich trove of the gen­re’s lit­er­a­ture and dra­ma in free audio form, they’ve also cul­ti­vat­ed a robust col­lec­tion of equal­ly free books and sto­ries avail­able as PDFs, many scanned straight from the orig­i­nal dead-tree mag­a­zines in which they first appeared. “The sto­ries list­ed below are, to the best of my research, all PUBLIC DOMAIN in the Unit­ed States,” writes the col­lec­tor in an intro­duc­tion to the long list, a quick scan of which reveals a who’s who of respect­ed names in sci­ence fic­tion from the mid-twen­ti­eth cen­tu­ry and ear­li­er, from Piers Antho­ny to John Wyn­d­ham.

In between those two sci-fi emi­nences, you’ll also encounter a few pos­si­bly unex­pect­ed names, like Hen­ry James, Jack Lon­don, Guy de Mau­pas­sant — yes, the very same Hen­ry James, Jack Lon­don, and Guy de Mau­pas­sant, who seem to have used just enough of the adven­tur­ous and the super­nat­ur­al in their fic­tion to fit into the spir­it of the col­lec­tion, if not quite into the genre bound­aries. But even if you want to stick to sci-fi and sci-fi only, you’ll cer­tain­ly find plen­ty of the finest short­er-form work with which to treat your­self. Per­haps “I, Mars” by none oth­er than Mr. Mar­t­ian Chron­i­cles him­self, Ray Brad­bury? Alter­na­tive­ly, if you pre­fer the “hard­er” side of the tra­di­tion, behold the offer­ings from Foun­da­tion series author Isaac Asi­mov:

  • “The Joke­ster” |PDF| 15 pages
  • “Let’s Get Togeth­er” |PDF| 18 pages
  • “Liv­ing Space” |PDF| 15 pages
  • “Sil­ly Ass­es” |PDF| 2 pages

Or those from Arthur C. Clarke, he of Ren­dezvous with Rama and 2001: A Space Odyssey:

  • “The Deep Range” |PDF| 10 pages
  • “The Nine Bil­lion Names Of God” |PDF| 8 pages
  • “The Par­a­site” |PDF| 12 pages
  • “Sec­ond Dawn” |PDF| 24 pages
  • “The Star” |PDF| 9 pages
  • “The Stroke Of The Sun” |PDF| 8 pages
  • “A Walk In The Dark” |PDF| 8 pages

For anoth­er vin­tage entire­ly, see also their for­mi­da­ble line­up of over forty pieces from H.G. Wells, prog­en­i­tor of so much of what we think of as sci­ence fic­tion today, which includes “The Island of Dr. More­au,” “The War of the Worlds,” and “The Time Machine.” Just about as many of the sto­ries of H.P. Love­craft, a man with a now sim­i­lar­ly clas­sic body of work but one with an entire­ly dif­fer­ent sen­si­bil­i­ty alto­geth­er, also appear. You can sam­ple his spe­cial brand of the unspeak­able in tales like “The Shunned House,” “The Name­less City,” and “The Hor­ror at Red Hook.” Then there are the works of Philip K. Dick, many of which have been aggre­gat­ed in our col­lec­tion: 33 Great Sci-Fi Sto­ries by Philip K. Dick: Down­load as Free Audio Books & Free eBooks.

Though you’ll have plen­ty of read­ing mate­r­i­al here, do also pay a vis­it to SFFau­dio’s pod­cast col­lec­tion, where you can dis­cov­er a uni­verse more lis­ten­ing mate­r­i­al besides.

Relat­ed Con­tent:

100 Great Sci-Fi Sto­ries by Women Writ­ers (Read 20 for Free Online)

Free Sci­ence Fic­tion Clas­sics on the Web: Hux­ley, Orwell, Asi­mov, Gaiman & Beyond

Down­load 33 Great Sci-Fi Sto­ries by Philip K. Dick as Free Audio Books & Free eBooks

Free: Down­load 151 Sci-Fi & Fan­ta­sy Sto­ries from

Col­in Mar­shall hosts and pro­duces Note­book on Cities and Cul­ture and writes essays on cities, lan­guage, Asia, and men’s style. He’s at work on a book about Los Ange­les, A Los Ange­les Primer. Fol­low him on Twit­ter at @colinmarshall or on Face­book.

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