Short stories are the perfect medium for science fiction. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I love a space opera as much as the next nerd—but there’s something about short-form sci-fi that has the potential to be especially mind-blowing. In just a few pages, the author must set up an entire new world (or a world that is just ever so slightly different than our own), and then deftly twist this new world into some kind of satisfying (or devastating) conclusion.
Between Black Mirror and the whole gaggle of Marvel movies, we’re all but drowning in science fiction media right now. And I genuinely think that’s great! You can never have too many stories (although I do think that keeping up with every single superhero show would constitute a full time job these days). Every so often, though, it can be nice to return to the world of written science fiction. You don’t need CGI or recognizable super-powered characters to have a fascinating sci-fi adventure, after all. Sometimes all it takes is a few paragraphs and a truly inventive author:
1’Spider the Artist’ by Nnedi Okorafor
If you’re not such a fan of spiders… you’re going to want to take a deep breath and read Nnedi Okorafor’s “Spider the Artist” anyway. It’s set in a future Nigeria where oil pipelines are guarded by spiders with artificial intelligence, and it might mess you up a little (but in a good way).