Short Stories Ebooks
Written by one of the world's most famous and beloved storytellers, this attractively packaged book includes three tales: Where Love Is, There God Is Also, The Hermits, and What Men Live By.
Tolstoy is best known for his classic works, War and Peace and Anna Karenina.
In the city lived the shoemaker, Martuin Avdyeitch. He lived in a basement, in a little room with one window. The window looked out on the street. Through the window he used to watch the people passing by; although only their feet could be seen, yet by the boots, Martuin Avdyeitch recognized the people. Martuin Avdyeitch had lived long in one place, and had many acquaintances. Few pairs of boots in his district had not been in his hands once and again. Some he would half-sole, some he would patch, some he would stitch around, and... read more
A collection of nine enchanting short stories filled with curious beasts and unexpected endings. Included are The Bee-Man of Orn; The Griffin and the Minor Canon; Old Pipes and the Dryad; The Queen's Museum; Christmas Before Last: Or, The Fruit of the Fragile Palm; Prince Hassak's March; The Battle of the Third Cousins; The Banished King; and The Philopena (summary by Gryphon Perkins)... read more
H. Beam Piper
OF LOST WORLDS
Was this ill-fated expedition the end of a proud, old race—or the beginning of a new one?
There are strange gaps in our records of the past. We find traces of man-like things—but, suddenly, man appears, far too much developed to be the "next step" in a well-linked chain of evolutionary evidence. Perhaps something like the events of this story furnishes the answer to the riddle.
Aboard the ship, there was neither day nor night; the hours slipped gently by, as vistas of star-gemmed blackness slid across the visiscreens. For the crew, time had some meaning—one watch on duty and two off. But for the thousand-odd colonists, the men and women who were to be the spearhead of migration to a new and friendlier planet, it had none. They slept, and... read more
It was the exact kind of abode that I had been looking after forweeks, for I was in that condition of mind when absolute renunciation of society was a necessity. I had become diffident of myself, and wearied of my kind. A strange unrest was in my blood; a barren dearth
in my brains. Familiar objects and faces had grown distasteful to me.I wanted to be alone.
This is the mood which comes upon every sensitive and artistic mind when the possessor has been overworked or living too long in one groove. It is Nature's hint for him to seek pastures new; the signthat a retreat has become needful.
If he does not yield, he breaks down and becomes whimsical and hypochondriacal, as well as hypercritical. It is always a bad sign when a man becomes over-critical and censorious about his own or other people's work, for it means that he is losing the vital portions of work, freshness and enthusiasm.... read more
The single thing to fear was
fear—ghastly, walking fear!
Stiff with shock, Naomi Heckscher stood just inside the door to Cappy's one-room cabin, where she'd happened to be when her husband discovered the old man's body.
Her nearest neighbor—old Cappy—dead. After all his wire-pulling to get into the First Group, and his slaving to make a farm on this alien planet, dead in bed!
Naomi's mind circled frantically, contrasting her happy anticipations with this shocking actuality. She'd come to call on a friend, she reminded herself, a beloved friend—round, white-haired, rosy-cheeked; lonely because he'd recently become a widower. To her little boy, Cappy was a combination Grandpa and Santa Claus; to herself, a sort of newly met Old Beau.
Her mouth had been set for a sip of his home brew, her eyes had pictured the delight he'd take in and give to her little boy.
She'd walked over with son and husband, expecting nothing more shocking than an ostentatiously stolen kiss. She'd found a corpse. And to have let Cappy die alone, in this strange world ...... read more
Another in the "Doom of London" series, in which the author sounds a clarion call of potential disasters that may fall upon the great city. Here he relates a tale of air pollution.
THE weather forecast for London and the Channel was "light airs, fine generally, milder." Further down the fascinating column Hackness read that "the conditions over Europe generally favoured a continuance of the large anti-cyclonic area, the barometer steadily rising over Western Europe, sea smooth, readings being unusually high for this time of the year." Martin Hackness, B.Sc., London, thoughtfully read all this and more. The study of the meteorological reports was part of his religion almost. In the laboratory at the back of his sitting-room were all kinds of weird-looking instruments for measuring sunshine and wind pressure, the weight of atmosphere and the like. Hackness trusted before long to be able to foretell a London fog with absolute accuracy, which, when you come to think of it, would be an exceedingly useful matter. In his queer way Hackness described himself as a fog specialist. He hoped some day to prove himself a fog-disperser, which is another word for a great public benefactor.... read more
The Kreutzer Sonata (Russian: Крейцерова соната, Kreitzerova Sonata) is a novella by Leo Tolstoy, named after Beethoven's Kreutzer Sonata. The novella was published in 1889 and promptly censored by the Russian authorities. The work is an argument for the ideal of sexual abstinence and an in-depth first-person description of jealous rage. The main character, Pozdnyshev, relates the events leading up to his killing his wife; in his analysis, the root cause for the deed were the "animal excesses" and "swinish connection" governing the relation between the sexes.
Travellers left and entered our car at every stopping of the train. Three persons, however, remained, bound, like myself, for the farthest station: a lady neither young nor pretty, smoking cigarettes, with a thin face, a cap on her head, and wearing a semi-masculine outer garment; then her companion, a very loquacious gentleman of about forty years, with baggage entirely new and arranged in an orderly manner; then a gentleman who held himself entirely aloof, short in stature, very nervous, of uncertain age, with bright eyes, not pronounced in color, but extremely attractive,—eyes that darted with rapidity from one object to another.
This gentleman, during almost all the journey thus far, had entered into conversation with no fellow-traveller, as if he carefully avoided all acquaintance. When spoken to, he answered curtly and decisively, and... read more
The figure of my wife came in... it came straight towards the bed... its wide eyes were open and looked at me with love unspeakable' Edith Nesbit, best known as the author of The Railway ren and other ren's classics, was also the mistress of the ghost story and tales of terror. She was able to create genuinely chilling narratives in which the returning dead feature strongly. Sadly, these stories have been neglected for many years, but now, at last, they are back in print. In this wonderful collection of eerie, flesh-creeping yarns, we encounter love that transcends the grave, reanimated corpses, vampiric vines, vengeful ghosts and other dark delights to make you feel fearful. These vintage spooky stories, tinged with horror, are told in a bold, forthright manner that makes them seem as fresh and unsettling as today's headlines.
It was an enthusiastic send-off. Half the students from her atelier were there, and twice as many more from other studios. She had been the belle of the Artists' Quarter in Montparnasse for three golden months. Now she was off to the Riviera to meet her people, and everyone she knew was at the Gare de Lyon to catch the last glimpse of her. And, as had been more than once said late of an evening, "to see her was to love her". She was one of those agitating blondes, with the naturally rippled hair, the rounded rose-leaf cheeks, the large violet-blue eyes, that looked all things and meant Heaven alone knew how little. She held her court like a queen, leaning out of the carriage window and receiving bouquets, books, journals, long last words, and last longing looks. All eyes were on her, and her eyes were for... read more
In addition to his great "Wessex Novels," Thomas Hardy wrote "Wessex Tales" (1896), a collection of six stories written in the 1880s and 1890s that, for the most part, are as bleakly ironic and unforgiving as the darkest of his great novels -- "Jude the Obscure." But this great novelist began and ended his writing career as a poet. In-between, he wrote a number of books that many readers find emotionally-wrenching, but which are considered among the classics of 19th Century British literature, including "Far from the Madding Crowd," and "Tess of the D'Urbervilles." Readers will experience Hardy's uncompromising, unsentimental realism in "Wessex Tales," and for those seeking a taste of the Dorset poet and novelist, they represent an ideal start.
An Imaginative Woman
The Three Strangers
The Withered Arm
Interlopers at the Knap
The Distracted Preacher
An apology is perhaps needed for the neglect of contrast which is shown by presenting two consecutive stories of hangmen in such a small collection as the following. But in the neighbourhood of county-towns tales of executions used to form a large proportion of the local traditions; and though never personally acquainted with any chief operator at such scenes, the writer of these pages had as a boy the privilege of being on speaking terms with a man who applied for the office, and who sank into an incurable melancholy because he failed to get it, some slight mitigation of his grief being to dwell upon striking episodes in the lives of those happier ones who had held it with success and renown. His tale of disappointment used to cause some wonder why his ambition should have taken such an unfortunate form, but its nobleness was never questioned. In those days, too, there was still living an old woman who,... read more
The creatures on the little planet were real bafflers.
The first puzzler about them was that they died so easily.
The second was that they didn't die at all.
Tension eased away as the spaceship settled down on its metallic haunches and they savored a safe planetfall.
Ekstrohm fingered loose the cinches of his deceleration couch. He sighed. An exploration camp would mean things would be simpler for him. He could hide his problem from the others more easily. Trying to keep secret what he did alone at night was very difficult under the close conditions on board a ship in space.
Ryan hefted his bulk up and supported it on one elbow. He rubbed his eyes sleepily with one huge paw. "Ekstrohm, Nogol, you guys okay?"... read more