If you’re a big fan of fantasy novels, you’re probably the kind of person who’s always looking for new stories. But sometimes for various reasons, you may not find too much time to read a complete book, then the short story is your best choice because you don’t have to concentrate on the whole novel.
Luckily, there are plenty of sites to help you find short stories to read, and they’re completely free. Below, there are the five best:
1. Beneath Ceaseless Skies
First up on this list comes Beneath Ceaseless Skies. Beneath Ceaseless Skies is an online magazine dedicated to publishing literary adventure fantasy.
If you’re not entirely familiar, an online magazine is more or less exactly what it sounds like. It’s a magazine that you can access online. Some require subscriptions while others, such as Beneath Ceaseless Skies, are entirely free and require donations to keep operating.
Each issue of Beneath Ceaseless Skies contains about four short stories. Typically, two of them are entirely new short stories that have been bought by the magazine itself for you to read.
Of the remaining two, one is an audio fiction podcast and the other a story from Beneath Ceaseless Skies’ archives. The audio fiction podcast is typically one of the two short stories provided by the magazine, except spoken aloud for you to enjoy while you drive or the like.
Issues of the magazine come out bi-weekly, meaning that you’ll get new short stories to read around about twice a month. The magazine itself can be read in a number of different ways.
If you want, you can easily access the short stories from your browser, but if you prefer to read on a tablet or digital reader, then Beneath Ceaseless Skies has options to download each issue as well.
2. Project Gutenberg
If you’re looking for free stories, and you’re not too picky about any curated or more modern writing, then Project Gutenberg is a great place to start looking.
Project Gutenberg itself is currently one of the largest online libraries of free e-books. Its goal is, at its core, to make the creation and distribution of e-books easier than ever.
It must be noted here that Project Gutenberg is a completely legitimate resource. You won’t find any current bestsellers in its library, but classics such as Frankenstein, Dracula, and almost every other public domain story can be found here.
This makes it a great place to look for free fantasy novels. Because of the way Project Gutenberg is structured, doing so is a bit trickier than many of the other options on this list, but if you have a story in mind, or have the right perseverance, you can find some hidden treasures.
One way is to use Project Gutenberg’s advanced search features. You can filter by title, author, and topic.
Tor Books is an almost entirely focused publishing house on science fiction and fantasy, while Tor.com is their website dedicated to news, discussions, and, of course, short stories.
The easiest way to find something new to read on a Tor.com is to navigate to all of its fiction categories. Here you can find original novels, comics, poems, and more.
You can categorize this list of stories in a variety of different ways, such as by author, title, or simply by how old or new, they are. There’s also the option to browse by type, which is a great way to find something that better suits your tastes.
However, if you don’t mind what you read, you can always see what Tor.com has to offer by organizing your list in the most up-to-date way. New original novels come out more or less every Wednesday, so you can find new content on Tor.com for most weeks.
If you’re a fan of fantasy fiction in general, there may also be some good reading available in other parts of the Tor.com. While this is not a short story or novel at all, if you are interested in finding more stories, there are also many articles on this site that can be read.
If you love fantasy short stories but don’t have time for physical reading, then PodCastle might be a good choice for you. As you might have guessed from the name, PodCastle is not a website, but a podcast.
PodCastle aims to introduce fantasy short stories to the podcast format by giving you audio performances of various short stories. Each episode contains a number of short stories, sometimes one, sometimes several, from different authors and narrators. If you’re looking for the best website to download audiobooks for free, then PodCastle would be a good choice.
The podcast comes out every week, so there’s quite a bit of variety here in terms of what you can listen to. Each episode also includes a content warning for the story in particular, which is a useful little feature that gives you a bit of an idea of what you’re getting into before you listen.
If you don’t particularly like podcasts or audiobooks, then PodCastle still may hold some value for you. Each episode comes complete with podcast notes, and in these notes, you can find the entire story written out in a text.
If you prefer to read over or listen to your fiction, then this is a great way to find some short stories that you probably wouldn’t have otherwise.
5. Lightspeed Magazine
Like Beneath Ceaseless Skies, Lightspeed is an online literary magazine dedicated to providing you with fantasy and science fiction stories in an easily accessible way. You can read it completely free of charge online, or you can purchase an eBook to support the magazine.
There are quite a few comic questions to choose from, dating back some time, so if you read through the first few stories and find yourself wanting more, you should be able to easily find more to read.
Find the perfect story for you
As you can see, there are a lot of different ways to find new fantasy short stories to read, and it’s completely free. If you’re looking for a new story, why not try one of these sites? There’s a lot out there that you might find attractive.