- “A Good Man Is Hard To Find” by Flannery O’Connor
- “A Painful Case” by James Joyce
- “A Pair of Silk Stockings” by Kate Chopin
- “Signs and Symbols” by Vladimir Nabokov
- “Hills Like White Elephants” by Ernest Hemingway
- Flop Sweat - Harlan Ellison
- The Man Who Travelled In Elephants - Robert Heinlein
- All The Birds Come Home To Roost - Harlan Ellison
- Have You Heard The One About…? - Spider Robinson
- I Have No Mouth And I Must Scream - Harlan Ellison
- “Mr. Know-All” by W. Somerset Maugham
- “The Devil and Daniel Webster” by Stephen Vincent Benet
- “A Rose for Emily” by William Faulkner
- “The Ugly Little Boy” by Isaac Asimov
- “The Metamorphosis” by Franz Kafka
How short a short story?
Off the top of my head I can only think of Philip K Dick’s “Minority Report” and “We Can Remember It For You Wholesale” and Isaac Asimov’s “Nightfall”.
Asimov’s Foundation series came in some reasonably short novels if the OP is thinking of anything longer than that.
“My Old Man” Hemingway
“Heavy-Set” Ray Bradbury
“The Twenty-Seventh Man” Nathan Englander
“Tip on a Dead Jockey” Irwin Shaw
“The Facts in the Case of M. Valdemar” Edgar Allen Poe
“Barn Burning” Faulkner
The library of Babel - Borges
The eyeflash miracles - Gene Wolfe
Ain’t you most done? - Gene Wolfe
The lumber room - Saki
Counting short novels, Dostoyevsky’s *Notes from the underground *is a jaw-dropper, only about 100 pages IIRC.
My choice might be different tomorrow, but off the top of my head:
History of the 20th Century, With Illustrations - Kim Stanley Robinson
The Three Sailor Gambit -** Lord Dunsany**
Continued on Next Rock - R. A. Lafferty
What Rough Beast - Damon Knight
Noise - Jack Vance
2 somethings by Neil Gaiman. I don’t remember the names of the stories I love, but I remember I love them.
The first thing I want to say is that this is the most impossible question I’ve ever tried to answer, and the answers I gave below probably aren’t even the right ones, but just the best I could do at the moment.
The second thing I want to say is that I compiled my list before reading the thread, so as soon as I’ve done that, I’ll be smacking myself for forgetting a great story.
**Fondly Fahrenheit by Alfred Bester ** Okay, this one is my current favorite because it was the most recently discovered. It just gobsmacked me a couple of months ago and I read it over and over just to admire it.
The Cold Equations by Tom Godwin This is the weakest link on my list, but still one of the first that occurred to me. I haven’t read it very often, but it is great and I’ll will greet it with joy next time I run across it.
Gramma by Stephen King Steve is my man. He’s written dozens I could have put on this list, so this particular choice is kind of meaningless, but I just picked one that scared the pants off me when I read it.
The Shoreline at Sunset by Ray Bradbury Again, this guy wrote so many I wanted to list, but I’ve always had a soft spot for this one. It’s magic.
Born of Man and Woman by Richard Matheson I don’t know how he does it, but give Richard Matheson two pages and he’ll blow you right out of the water.
Good one, I seriously considered it.
And I notice you didn’t use all yours so I’m sticking in a couple more of mine: Second Night Out by Frank Belknap Long and The Believers by Robert Arthur.
The Sentinel - Arthur C. Clarke
The Return of William Proxmire - Larry Niven
Man of Steel, Woman of Kleenex - Larry Niven
Inconstant Moon - Niven (again)
Those are the four I remember right off the top of my head.
The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien
The Yellow Wall Paper by Gilman
All the Years of her Life by Morley
Mrs. Todd’s Shortcut by Stephen King
Something Passed By by Robert McCammon
**Young Goodman Brown ** - Hawthorne
**A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings ** - GG Marquez
A Clean, Well Lighted Place - Hemingway
**Contents of a Dead Man’s Pocket ** - Jack Finney
The Last Leaf - O Henry
The Lady or the Tiger - FR Stockton
(I can’t decide between the last two…)*
Playing Trombone - Nicholson Baker (Ridiculously hard to track down. Atlantic Monthly, March 1982, not yet reprinted anywhere else.)
Queen of Spades - Alexander Pushkin. I waffled between this and The Captain’s Daughter , but I decided the latter was closer to a novel in its length and sweep.
Diary of a Madman - Nikolai Gogol, though I could just as well have said The Nose or The Overcoat . There, you get 8 favourites for the price of 5.
The Hockey Sweater - Roch Carrier, just for how brilliantly he captured our national obsessions in about 6 pages.
Leiningen versus the Ants - Carl Stephenson, just for how well it has stuck in my mind even though I haven’t read it in at least 35 years, and I had to look it up to make sure I had the name right. There’s not much I can remember from 35 years ago, so there must be something special about that story…
The Man Who Traveled in Elephants-Robert A Heinlein
True Minds-Spider Robinson
The Law of Conservation of Pain-Spider Robinson
Mammon and the Archer-O. Henry
Heinlein’s story is my absolute favorite piece of any of his work. I mean, I really love a lot of his stuff(not all) and re-read it a lot. But Elephants always leaves me with a few tears in my eyes. It’s the part when the disable veterans are passing in review in the parade, gets me everytime.
The Other Miller–Tobias Wolff
James Francis and The Star–John O’Hara
The Conventional Wisdom–Stanley Elkin
A Compassionate Leave–Richard Yates
If anyone has any links to excellent stories on-line (I don’t) I’d love to see them.
I have one favorite…
“The Jilting of Granny Weatherall” by Katherine Anne Porter
I could do five just from Bruce Sterling: Swarm, Spider Rose, The Beautiful and the Sublime, Twenty Evocations, Our Neural Chernobyl.
Scanners Live in Vain by Cordwainer Smith
Faustfeathers by John Kessel
God is an Iron by Spider Robinson - the original version that does NOT give away the kicker early!
Gulf by Robert Heinlien (in addition to The Man Who Traveled in Elephants. Wait - there’s something in my eye!)
The Diary of Adam and Eve by Mark Twain
I could go to my favorite 5^3 stories, but pesky work keeps getting in the way.
Hm… many of the ones listed would be on my list, but one that I don’t see is my favorite:
The Dead by James Joyce