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20 Unforgettable Fantasy Short Stories That Prove the Power of Concision

These stories prove concise fantasy can be just as powerful as multi-book epics. 

fantasy short stories

 Story: “Snow in Summer," Jane Yolen

Sister Emily's Lightship

Sister Emily's Lightship

By Jane Yolen

Story: "The Dauntless," by Sam Hooker

fantasy short stories

A Midnight Clear

By Sam Hooker, Alicy Levya, Laura Morrison, Cassondra Windwalker, Dalena Storm, Seven Jane

Story: “The Woman Who Loved the Moon,” by Elizabeth A. Lynn

The Woman Who Loved the Moon

The Woman Who Loved the Moon

By Elizabeth A. Lynn

Story: "Delusion for a Dragon Slayer," by Harlan Ellison

I Have No Mouth & I Must Scream

I Have No Mouth & I Must Scream

By Harlan Ellison

Story: "Woeful Tales from Mahigul," by Ursula K. Le Guin

Changing Planes

Changing Planes

By Ursula K. Le Guin

Story: "Three Dwarves and 2000 Maniacs," by Don Webb

Black Swan, White Raven

Black Swan, White Raven

By Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling

Story: “The Traveler," Ray Bradbury

The Stories of Ray Bradbury

The Stories of Ray Bradbury

By Ray Bradbury

Story: “The Truth Is a Cave in the Mountains,” by Neil Gaiman

fantasy short stories

"The Truth Is a Cave in the Black Mountains"

By Neil Gaiman

Story: "The Snow Train," by Ken Liu

fantasy short stories

Genius Loci: Tales of the Spirit of Place

By Jaym Gates

Story: "The Jewbird," by Bernard Malamud

fantasy short stories

Bernard Malamud: The Complete Stories

By Bernard Malamud

Story: "A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings: A Story for Children," by Gabriel García Márquez

fantasy short stories

Leaf Storm and Other Stories

By Gabriel García Márquez

Story: “You, Little Match Girl” by Joyce Carol Oates

Black Heart, Ivory Bones

Black Heart, Ivory Bones

By Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling

Story: "Unpopular Gals," by Margaret Atwood

fantasy short stories

Good Bones and Simple Murders

By Margaret Atwood

Story: “Greedy Choke Puppy," by Nalo Hopkinson

Skin Folk

Skin Folk

By Nalo Hopkinson

Story: “Snulbug,” by Anthony Boucher

Far and Away

Far and Away

By Anthony Boucher

Story: “Black Thirst," by C.L. Moore

The Best of C.L. Moore

The Best of C.L. Moore

By C.L. Moore

Story: “Ruby Slippers," by Susan Wade

Ruby Slippers, Golden Tears

Ruby Slippers, Golden Tears

By Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling

Story: “The Fairy Reel," by Neil Gaiman

Fragile Things Neil Gaiman

Fragile Things: Short Fictions and Wonders

By Neil Gaiman

Story: "Wild Hunt," by Andrzej Sapkowski

books like the mandalorian the witcher

The Witcher: The Last Wish

By Andrzej Sapkowski

Story: "Puss," by Esther M. Freisner

Snow White, Blood Red

Snow White, Blood Red

By Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling