Alex Harford Short Stories & Poetry

Short Stories, Lyrics & Poetry

Favourite Short Stories (by Other Writers)

by Alex Harford

I don't have much of my own writing online yet, so here are some favourite published short stories and where to find them.

I prefer reading stories without knowing anything about them (I don't watch film trailers either), so that's how I've listed them. All but one of the stories is speculative fiction.

Stories link directly to the page to read them or otherwise where to buy them.

Writing Groups and Critique Swappers

My aims for my own short stories are to sell at 'pro rates' and to be published in the Writers of the Future anthology. I'm lucky enough to be part of supportive writing groups and critique swappers who've achieved at least one of those aims, and here are my favourite stories by those writers:

Cold Heart by Victoria Dixon (DreamForge Magazine)
The Future Faire by Dustin Adams (Daily Science Fiction)
Perfectly Painted Lies by Brittany Rainsdon (Deep Magic)
The Space of a Decade by Jake TS Wryte (SmokeLong Quarterly)
Trial in Majority (audio) by Andy Dibble (Simultaneous Times)
The Wizard, the Watcher, and the Waif by Rebecca E. Treasure (Night Shift Radio)

Wulf Moon helped bring a few of us writers together (and much more), and my favourite story by Moon is Muzik Man (Deep Magic).

Good luck to every other budding writer and especially those I know. If you're struggling for motivation, just think of appearing on this page (I promise to keep it here when I'm famous but not rich)... :-D

Other Online Stories

I had no idea there was such a wealth of stories online until I bought an e-reader in 2016 (to reduce weight on a lengthy trip around the Hebrides).

I buy epub anthologies or save individual stories with the Pocket browser extension and read them on my phone or Kobo e-reader. Do support the publishers of the stories you enjoy. Subscriptions and regular ebook anthologies are available as well as print editions from some.

Flash Fiction

I'd read stories around 1,000 words, but back in 2016, I had no idea flash fiction was so popular. First I discovered Kraxon then Flash Fiction Online.


Beholder by Sarah Grey (
Listen and You’ll Hear Us Speak by A.T. Greenblatt (
Death By Scrabble by Charlie Fish (
The Nymph Of Hampstead Heath by Jo Zebedee (
The temperature of guilt eleven months on by Stephanie Hutton (

Short Stories

Favourites include:

The Sword of Loving Kindness Part I & Part II by Chris Willrich (
The View from Endless Scarp by Marta Randall

Two of my favourite publications not mentioned above are Apex Magazine and Fireside. DreamForge is also recommended and especially interesting for newer writers and budding editors, as each issue contains author notes and edits (including line edits) from Scot Noel, the editor. The writing community is blessed with great people, and Scot and Jane Noel must be two of the kindest.

I subscribe to Apex and DreamForge. Both have loads of valuable extras for writers.

Short Stories from Book Anthologies

Most are also available in ebook/Kindle format. This section includes links to Amazon from which I'd gain a small percentage should you click and buy any anthologies (at no extra cost to you). It all helps with the running costs of a website.

I haven't read any of Ray Bradbury's novels (yet), but he has plenty of outstanding short stories. Stories Volume 1 has 100. I only remember the titles of two favourites - The Lake and I, Mars.

Writers of the Future Volume 31 contains two of my favourite stories from the whole series - Stars That Make Dark Heaven Light by Sharon Joss and Switch by Steve Pantazis.

Damon Knight wrote great short stories, and a great book of advice about writing them. Four in One is one of my favourites, which I read in Science Fiction: 101, an anthology compiled by Robert Silverberg, with each story followed by a critique from Silverberg. Fondly Farenheit by Alfred Bester was another favourite from this book.

Laws of Survival by Nancy Kress in The Mammoth Book of Best New SF 21 is the most brutal of my favourites, but well worth a read. It's also free to read at and was reprinted in the January 2021 issue of Galaxy's Edge.

Another favourite - and as a result my favourite fan fiction - Nothing O'Clock by Neil Gaiman in Doctor Who: 11 Doctors, 11 Stories and Trigger Warning: Short Fictions and Disturbances.

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