Short stories


A Deal in Ostriches

A short story by H. G. Wells, published in 1894. A confidence trick involving an ostrich that allegedly swallowed a diamond displays the extent of human greed.

A Dream of Armageddon

“A Dream of Armageddon” is an anti-war short story by H. G. Wells published in 1901.

A Slip Under the Microscope

“A Slip Under the Microscope” is a short story by H. G. Wells, first published in 1896, about the ethical dilemma faced by a student who inadvertently cheats during his botany exam.

A Vision of Judgement

A short story by H. G. Wells published in 1899, about the Biblical day of judgement.

Aepyornis Island

A short story by H. G. Wells, first published in the Christmas 1894 edition of the Pall Mall Budget. It can be read as a Robinsonade, a parable on the theme of loneliness, or simply a ripping yarn in the manner of Rudyard Kipling.

Answer to Prayer

The last short story written by H. G. Wells, published in 1937, about an Archbishop who develops doubts about his relationship with God.

Certain Personal Matters

Certain Personal Matters is a collection of 39 humorous essays and articles by H. G. Wells published in 1897.

In the Abyss

“In the Abyss” is a short story by H. G. Wells first published in the August 1896 edition of Pearson’s Magazine. It tells of a descent to the deep ocean bed and an encounter with a previously unknown undersea civilisation.

In the Avu Observatory

A short story by H. G. Wells, about an attack by a large bat-like creature on an assistant at an observatory in Borneo.

Jimmy Goggles the God

A short story by H. G. Wells first published in 1898, about a treasure hunter who because of his diving suit is mistaken for a god.

Mr. Brisher’s Treasure

A short story by H. G. Wells first published in 1899, a morality tale of greed and hypocrisy.

Mr. Ledbetter’s Vacation

“Mr. Ledbetter’s Vacation” is a short story by H. G. Wells about a schoolmaster who, to prove his courage to himself, burgles a house while on holiday, leading him into a strange adventure.

Mr. Skelmersdale in Fairyland

A short story by H. G. Wells first published in 1901, about a young man who falls asleep one midsummer’s night and wakes to find himself in Fairyland.

Oh, Whistle, and I’ll Come to You, My Lad

A ghost story by M. R. James published in 1904, about a mysterious whistle found on a beach in Suffolk.

The Apple

A short story by H. G. Wells published in 1896, about a schoolmaster who comes into possession of an apple from the Tree of Knowledge.

The Argonauts of the Air

A short story by H. G. Wells first published in 1895, about the disastrous first flight of a heavier-than-air flying machine.

The Ash-tree

A ghost story by M. R. James, published in 1904, about the vengeance of a witch against her accuser.

The Beautiful Suit

“The Beautiful Suit” is a short story by H. G. Wells, first published in Collier’s Weekly in April 1909 under the title “A Moonlight Fable”. The exquisitely tailored suit of the title, made for the little man by his mother, ultimately leads to his death.

The Black Cat

“The Black Cat” is a short story by American writer Edgar Allan Poe, first published in the 19 August 1843 edition of The Saturday Evening Post. It is a study of the psychology of guilt.

The Cone

“The Cone” is a short story by H. G. Wells first published in 1895. It concerns one man’s revenge on an artists he suspects of having an affair with his wife.

The Country of the Blind

“The Country of the Blind” is a short story by H. G. Wells, first published in the April 1904 issue of The Strand Magazine and subsequently in book form in The Country of the Blind and Other Stories (1911).

The Crystal Egg

A short story by H. G. Wells first published in 1897, about a dealer in antiquities who discovers a communication device between Earth and Mars.

The Diamond Maker

A short story by H. G. Wells first published in 1894, about a tramp who claims to be able to make diamonds.

The Door in the Wall

“The Door in the Wall” is a short story by H. G. Wells first published in 1906, about a man’s grieving for a magical garden he had found as a child, and desperately wants to find again.

The Flowering of the Strange Orchid

A short story by H. G. Wells first published in 1894. A collector of orchids grows an unknown species which develops aerial rootlets that attach themselves to his skin and suck his blood.

The Lord of the Dynamos

The “Lord of the Dynamos ” is a short story by H. G. Wells first published in 1894. It concerns a stoker employed at the Camberwell electric railway workshops who becomes convinced that a large dynamo is a deity, and kills his superior in a religious frenzy.

The Magic Shop

A short story by H. G. Wells first published in 1903, about a young boy and his father’s visit to a shop selling disturbingly realistic magical illusions.

The Man Who Could Work Miracles

A short story by H. G. Wells about a man who is granted the power to do anything merely by willing it to happen.

The Moth

“The Moth” is a short story by H. G. Well, first published in 1895. It concerns a bitter rivalry between two entomologists, ending with the death of one and the insanity of the other.

The New Accelerator

A short story by H. G. Wells published in 1901, concerning the effects of a fictional drug designed to speed up the human nervous system.

The Pearl of Love

A short story by H. G. Wells first published in 1925, about an Indian prince who, in constructing an elaborate memorial to his deceased wife, loses sight of the building’s original purpose.

The Plattner Story

A short story by H. G. Wells published in 1896, about a chemistry teacher who causes an explosion that propels him into another world.

The Purple Pileus

A short story by H. G. Wells first published in 1896, about a struggling small shopkeeper whose life is transformed after consuming some magic mushrooms.

The Queer Story of Brownlow’s Newspaper

“The Queer Story of Brownlow’s Newspaper” is a short story by H. G. Wells, in which the protagonist receives a newspaper printed forty years in the future.

The Red Room

“The Red Room” is a short story by H. G. Wells first published in 1896, a horror story in the manner of Edgar Allan Poe.

The Sea Raiders

Short story by H. G. Wells, first published in 1898, about a raid by an unknown species of octopus-like creatures on the south coast of England.

The Star

“The Star” is a short story by H. G. Wells about a near collision between a comet from outer space and the Earth.

The Stolen Bacillus

A short story by H. G. Wells first published in 1894, about an anarchist who steals what he believes to be a tube of cholera bacteria to poison London’s water supply, but which is in reality harmless.

The Stolen Body

A shory story by H. G. Wells, first published in 1898, about two paranormal researchers one of whom loses his body to an evil spirit.

The Story of the Inexperienced Ghost

Short story by H. G. Wells about a man who dies after re-enacting the masonic passes he had seen a ghost use to disappear.

The Temptation of Harringay

A short story by H. G. Wells, published in 1895, about an artist who paints a man’s head that comes to life and criticises his work.

The Thing in No. 7

“The Thing in No. 7” is a short story by H. G. Wells first published in 1894, about the thing that one of a group of friends encounters after taking shelter in an empty house.

The Triumphs of a Taxidermist

A humorous short story by H. G. Wells first published in 1894.

The Truth About Pyecraft

Short story by H. G. Wells published in 1903, about a fat man who loses so much weight that he begins to float.

Through a Window

A short story by H. G. Wells, first published in 1894, a precursor to the sub-genre of thriller in which a crippled or bed-ridden hero, after observing the world through a window, is suddenly confronted by a killer.

Under the Knife

“Under the Knife” is a short story by H. G. Wells first published in 1896, about an out of body experience while under anaesthetic.