Sci-fi short story collections are a great way to introduce and explore new worlds and ideas.

Collection of short SFF stories about space, time, magical realism and new worlds will be always an attractive form of the science fiction and fantasy literature.

SFF reads are entertaining and fascinating as they are imaginative. From epic space adventures across galaxies, imagined elements, and technologies to the dimensions in between, there is nothing not to like.

I certainly enjoy a complete book with one story, but I like and enjoy sci-fi short story collections a bit more in the summer.  I feel they offer the diversity of mind-bending speculations, themes, ideas, dystopias, and extraordinary beings that make me get into my wildest imaginations.

If you are like me, here is a list of some of the best SFF story collections.

What Are The Best SFF Short Story Collections?


Liminal Space, by Jackie Gamber (2022)

Fantasy

A liminal space can be defined as a threshold, or some may understand it as a crossing-over place. In this book, Jackie showcases different stories in which lives and worlds are in transition states. Get ready to encounter creepy carnies and learn about secrets as the characters walk in the woods. If you fancy time travel, you will be in for a treat with the time-traveling dragons.

Liminal Space is a unique anthology that features short stories and poetry. Some of the stories to catch up with are Dreamcatcher Bridge, Meda’s Clearing, and the two-sectioned novella The Time Scar.

Jackie has done an excellent job capturing everyday magic, which we can probably learn and become while walking daily. This collection will give you an outrageous imagination and, to a significant extent, self-empowerment.


Out There, by Kate Folk (2022)

Sci-fi

Out There mirrors an uncanny landscape that depicts some of our subconscious desires and fears. Every story in this collection beats fiercely to foreshadow an exciting arrival of science fiction.

Kate has focused on the mysterious and weird forces lurking underneath what we see as everyday experiences. This collection is excellently pitched to depict the madness of our current moments.

True romantics will swoon due to or despite the gore, these stories follow: in a medical ward, a mysterious bone-melting disorder sets up a risky love triangle. There is also a void curtain obliterating the globe steadily and forcing the only remaining earth inhabitants to make a choice on whom they want to spend eternity.

A San Francisco woman is using dating apps to look for a partner amid the threat the “blots” have posed. Russian hackers have dispatched these preternaturally good-looking artificial men to steal data. A man running away from a personal scandal also gets into a codependent relationship with a house exacting a high care level. In the middle of it all, a blot and a woman form a genuine but somehow doomed connection.


Sapience, by Alexis Lantgen (2019)

Sci-fi

Sapience will make you think of two main questions- what life can we find in the Europa’s oceans depths, and what life can we allow with AI and human-level intelligence? This collection features ten stories that explore these two questions and others too.

Humanity will build a colony in Europa in the near future. This colony is on one of Jupiter’s moons. The humans tunnel into the ice to look into the dark oceans under the moon’s surface. They are searching for indicators of extraterrestrial life. But they are not ready for what is to come. Whatever they find will change them and shift their life forever, setting them on a journey to the stars.

What’s more, the former hatreds and conflicts of the Earth are not something humanity can escape easily. Will the human colonists on moons and distant planets form a paradise of a terrifying dystopia?

Sapience will leave your mind churning with ideas and thoughts from different points of view and probably even more afraid of robots and space.


The Shield Road, by Dewi Hargreaves (2021)

Fantasy

The Shield Road is a collection of fantasy short stories that take place chronologically, using the same theme and world set. These stories include travelers, thieves and assassins, who will find themselves in for some unpredictable encounters. With the first story taking place before the events of the second, and so on, readers are able to follow the intricate web of characters and their respective fates.

The author did an excellent job of painting a vivid picture about small details that matter. I could easily imagine the scenes and characters that were described. The author also has a great sense of humor, which I enjoyed. This books was a very good read and I would definitely recommend it to anyone who enjoys SFF short story collections.


2022 Sci-Fi Anthology, by S.A. Gibson (2022)

Sci-fi

This collection has thirteen stories that will take you on a journey of wonder and amazement. Each story in this collection has something to offer you as a reader. You will find everything in between the sci-fi spectrum. There are fantastical, philosophical, dark, and scary stories about aliens, dystopian dust, twisted reality, hard science, and more.

There is a dying friend, a hopeless plan involving a toxic ocean and dragon eggs, and a financial metaverse meltdown. A can-recorded vibration also makes a man’s best friend his best partner, androids write a clandestine religious text that eventually gets known, and a time travel paradox gets rid of the usage of time loops.

There is a story that will teach you that you must not waste gratitude even if it is too late and another one where a young woman paints herself as dimension bending corners. Two worker bots will also find their holiday decorations presented as peripherals without permission.


Looking for Life, by Clayton Graham (2020)

Sci-fi

Looking for Life will have you in all kinds of emotions. Get ready to be happy, scared, agitated, thrilled, and feel sad. You will stretch your imagination to the fullest with a stranded alien comedian and the darkest human psyche depths. There is also a mind-blowing galactic adventure and clandestine extraterrestrial Earth behavior. The stories in this collection will keep you guessing what is about to happen at every turn.

You will explore themes of profound space mystery, alien invasion, dystopian future Earths, and time travel to cross voids and challenge your imagination or dreams. Each story is magnificently woven together and has deep characters to give you a feeling of warmth and deep connection. Graham’s writing will transport you into magical lands of his brilliance, intelligence, and creativity. This collection does not major in the bizarre psychedelic manifestations of imagining scenarios beyond the galaxy. Instead, it encourages us to expand our ideas about what is doubtless but might be discovered someday.


Future Days, by Christopher Nutall (2018)

Sci-fi

Future Days takes you into a dystopian world adventure on outer planets and a speculative future. Imagine a future encompassing starships, strange heroes, and exotic aliens.

There is a need to pay bills, and the government is searching for several people to employ in the colonies. This government also has the abilities it wants to weaponize, but something is in its way. The line between harsh reality and a utopian virtual will become blurred, and the choices anyone makes may be fatal.

Heroes will start to emerge, and convicted Slade is among them. Ever-Young Cryogenics promises its clients a short life spell each decade. What can happen if your family members grow old and die, but you remain behind? In a hierarchical society where birth decides everything, everyone must follow instructions.

This collection begins with a dystopian heart of American capitalism and ends with a hopeful story about soldiers who turn the cards on their abusers. It is a mix of a scary, optimistic, and immensely sad heroism merged with cryonic life and death, warm-hearted AI mothers, a cold-hearted village, damned children, vanishing ships, and genetic manipulation. There are also star lane custodians, a faceless enemy, a nameless place, Callers, and cullers.


The Reinvented Heart, by Jane Yolen (2022)

Sci-fi

What might happen when emotions such as friendship and love span enormous distances in the heart, space, and time? The Reinvented Heart is a collection of stories that depict how science fiction may or may not affect social structures, particularly with tech changes.

The stories will have you think about several questions- what may relationships be in a difficult-to-understand future of clones, artificial brains, uploaded intelligence, or augmented bodies? What narratives may emerge after we acknowledge new gender possibilities and thoughts about them?

The stories presented in this sci-fi short story collection complicate gender and sex by illustrating how changing technology may impact social practices and attitudes. Some stories reinvent traditional romantic tropes and remodel them for a new century; others include social group and community relationships with excellent, entertaining, and experimental thoughts.


The Memory Librarian, by Janelle Monáe (2022)

Sci-fi

The Memory Librarian features stories that expand on the idea of “Dirty Computer,” Janelle’s album. The stories grow the views of this dystopian future where memories are controllable.

Janelle brings to life an Afrofuturistic world as she explores various liberation threads such as race, love, queerness, and gender plurality. These issues become tangled with future memory and time possibilities in a totalitarian landscape. She also explores what costs may come about while trying to unravel and fuse all these liberation threads into freedoms.

Dirty Computer brought about a world where thoughts were a form of self-conception and few could control or erase them. Sentience and life were imposed by those who had convinced themselves that they had the right to decide people’s fate. Until Jane 57821 remembered and broke free.

These stories explore living in a totalitarian existence and what getting out takes. The Memory Librarian will serve you with tales grounded in human trials alongside technology, and it also reaches through the worlds filled with power and different stakes.

Final Thoughts on the Best Sci-Fi and Fantasy Short Story Collections

Science fiction and fantasy are creative genres that depicts to us the impact(s) actual or imagined science may have on individuals or what a scientific factor may do if it was an inherent orienting component. If you want to go on an adventure far away, grab any copy of the short fantasy or sci-fi story collections on this list.

If you are interested in wider spectrum of SFF, check our all time favorite sci-fi books or YA fantasy books.