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 beespecially 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. It's no mean feat. Lucky for us, though, some of the greatest sci-fi authors out there today have published stories available for free online — and you can read them right now.
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: