NEWLY REVISED FOR 2012!Christmas decorations went up and music started playing earlier than ever this year. But perhaps that bores you. Instead, how about Christmas tales told in your favorite genre? In a way, most holiday themed stories have elements of fantasy to theme, but some especially fit into the genres of Science Fiction and Fantasy. I’ ve put together a list with links of 10 Christmas themed Science Fiction and Fantasy stories by respected writers for the holiday season.
- 1. Spider by Duncan Shields – When she hears strange noises downstairs on Christmas morning, a young girl investigates.
- 2. Christmas Season by Jay Lake – A girl goes hunting with her PawPaw
- 3. Brass Canaries by Gwendolyn Clare – Just what everyone wants for Christmas: finely tuned, precision made metal birds.
- 4. Christmas Wedding by Vylar Kaftan – a snowy, crime-ridden, post-apocalyptic Miami is the setting for three Christmas weddings.
- 5. Harnessing the brane-deer by Robert Billing – What happens when a physics teachers discovers the secrets of Santa’s success.
- 6. All Seated on the Ground by Connie Willis – What if aliens came to Denver for the holidays?
- 7. A Woman’s Best Friend by Robert Reed – an alternate reality George Bailey shows up on a strange world.
- 8 . The Best Christmas Ever by James Patrick Kelly – The last man on Earth is guest at a Christmas party thrown by his Robotic servants.
- 9. ‘Tis the Season by China Miéville – London’s holiday season is highly privatized, and a man takes his teenage daughter to the one official Christmas party.
- 10. Julian: A Christmas Story by Robert Charles Wilson – the President’s nephew and his friend celebrate a far-future Christmas.
- 11. Christmas Eve At Harvey Wallbanger’s by Mike Resnick – five buddies take a Christmas time trip to Harvey Wallbanger’s Social and Sporting Club for Gentlemen of Quality
- 12. Merry Christmas From Outer Space by Christopher Anvil – a collection of emails from space outposts that you’ll have to read to understand
- 13. The Christmas Mummy by Tim Pratt and Heather Shaw – from Podcastle
- 14. A Lovely Little Christmas Fire by Jeff Carlson as presented by Starship Sofa
- 15. Another Christmas Story by Stephen Dedman – Christmas in Japan and karaoke suppuku. You have to read it to understand.
- 16. The Sugarplum Favor by Tad Williams – a new story out this year in Tad’s new collection.
- 17. If Dragon’s Mass Eve Be Cold And Clear by Ken Scholes, one of my favorite writers.
- 18. O Tannenbaum by Jim Van Pelt, from his new collection Flying In The Heart Of Escadrille from Fairwood – about a 21-year-old who celebrates his birthday in a shelter.
19. Angel Flight by Sarah A. Hoyt - a holiday tale of interplanetary intrigue and a mission of mercy in a Solar System where tyrannical “Good Men” rule Earth and a libertarian society seeks to survive hidden from the home planet’s baleful gaze.
- 20. Detroit Christmas by Larry Correia is a short tied to his Grimnoir Detective series.
- 21. Candy Art by James Patrick Kelly is about the woes of living with a candy artist; also available in podcast form here
- 22. Nuclear Family by Alex Shvartsman is a sad flash fiction tale about Christmas for a radiation challenged family.
- 23. “Miracle” by Connie Willis - A woman encounters the spirit of Christmas Present. The gift kind of present.
- 24. “A Kidnapped Santa Claus” by L. Frank Baum - When five daemons fail to tempt Santa Claus, they instead kidnap him. Also, faeries.
- 25. “The Ghost of Christmas Possible” by Heather Shaw and Tim Pratt - Another riff on A Christmas Carol.
- 26. “Chip Crockett’s Christmas Carol” by Elizabeth Hand - inspired by A Christmas Carol and centered around the death of a children’s television presenter.
- 27. “Merry Christmas” by Stephen Leacock - A tale from 1914 about Father Time and Christmas.
- 28. “Here Comes Santa Claus” by K. D. Wentworth - A Christmas story set in Eric Flint’s world of 1632.
- 29. “The Bear with the Quantum Heart” by Renee Carter Hall - A Pinocchio-like story about an artificial creature and his human companion.
- 30. “Sarah’s Sister” by John Scalzi - A touching holiday story. Watch out for tears.
- 31. “The Gift” by Christie Yant - A short tale about a man’s surprise Christmas gifts for his family.
- 32. “England under the White Witch” by Theodora Goss - An alternate history taking place in post-WWI England with the White Witch in charge.
- 33. “Santacide” by Eliot Fintushel - A futuristic story told in a great style.
- 34. “Wolf Christmas” by Daniel Pinkwater - Christmas from the point of view of a family of wolves.
- 35. “Matchless: A Christmas Story” by Gregory Maguire - A reimagination of Andersen’s “The Little Match Girl.”
- 36. The Star by Arthur C. Clarke asks what relationship we all have to God in a tale of a Jesuit priest.
- 37. In The Late December by Greg van Eekhout is a hopeful tale of Santa vs. entropy
- 38. And of course, no list would be complete without A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens – a wealthy man encounters three ghosts who teach him the meaning of Christmas.
I hope these tales help bring a little joy and/or enlightenment to your holiday season. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all!
If you like these, ROC has an anthology called The Magic Of Christmas with a lot more. Kudos to http://bestsciencefictionstories.com for reminding me of some stories I’d forgotten about and in 2012 and Rajan Khanna for several entries as well, Paula Guran and Prime Books put out Season Of Wonder with some of our tales included and yet many more.
Bryan Thomas Schmidt is the editor of Blue Shift Magazine and an author and editor of adult and children’s speculative fiction. His debut novel, The Worker Prince (2011) received Honorable Mention on Barnes & Noble Book Club’s Year’s Best Science Fiction Releases for 2011. A sequel The Returning followed in 2012 and The Exoduswill appear in 2013, completing the space opera Saga Of Davi Rhii. His first children’s books, 102 More Hilarious Dinosaur Jokes For Kids (ebook only) and Abraham Lincoln: Dinosaur Hunter- Land Of Legends(forthcoming) appeared from Delabarre Publishing in 2012. His short stories have appeared in magazines, anthologies and online. He edited the anthology Space Battles: Full Throttle Space Tales #6 (2012) and is working on Beyond The Sun for Fairwood Press (July 2013), headlined by Robert Silverberg, Kristine Kathryn Rusch, Mike Resnick and Nancy Kress, and Raygun Chronicles: Space Opera For a New Age for Every Day Publishing (November 2013). He hosts #sffwrtcht (Science Fiction & Fantasy Writer’s Chat) Wednesdays at 9 pm ET on Twitter and is an affiliate member of the SFWA.