The Veldt


Ray Bradbury - 1950
    The advanced technology of a house first pleases then increasingly terrifies its occupants.

Anthem


Ayn Rand - 1938
    In Anthem, Rand examines a frightening future in which individuals have no name, no independence, and no values. Equality 7-2521 lives in the dark ages of the future where all decisions are made by committee, all people live in collectives, and all traces of individualism have been wiped out. Despite such a restrictive environment, the spark of individual thought and freedom still burns in him--a passion which he has been taught to call sinful. In a purely egalitarian world, Equality 7-2521 dares to stand apart from the herd--to think and choose for himself, to discover electricity, and to love the woman of his choice. Now he has been marked for death for committing the ultimate sin. In a world where the great "we" reign supreme, he has rediscovered the lost and holy word--"I."

Harrison Bergeron


Kurt Vonnegut - 1961
    Because of Amendments 211, 212, and 213 to the Constitution, every American is fully equal, meaning that no one is stupider, uglier, weaker, or slower than anyone else. The Handicapper General and a team of agents ensure that the laws of equality are enforced.One April, fourteen-year-old Harrison Bergeron is taken away from his parents, George and Hazel, by the government.

The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas


Ursula K. Le Guin - 1973
    Some inhabitants of a peaceful kingdom cannot tolerate the act of cruelty that underlies its happiness.The story "Omelas" was first published in New Dimensions 3, a hard-cover science fiction anthology edited by Robert Silverberg, in October 1973, and the following year it won Le Guin the prestigious Hugo Award for best short story.It was subsequently printed in her short story collection The Wind's Twelve Quarters in 1975.

The Bet and Other Stories


Anton Chekhov - 1889
    The Bet is an 1889 short story by Anton Chekhov about a banker and a young lawyer who make a bet with each other about whether the death penalty is better or worse than life in prison.

Candide and Related Writings


Voltaire - 2000
    David Wootton's scalpel-sharp translation of Candide features a brilliant Introduction, a map of Candide's travels, and a selection of those writings of Voltaire, Leibniz, Pope & Rousseau crucial for fully appreciating this eighteenth-century satiric masterpiece that even today retains its celebrated bite.

The Destructors


Graham Greene - 1989
    Each book in the series has been designed with today's young reader in mind. As the words come to life, students will develop a lasting appreciation for great literature.The humor of Mark Twain...the suspense of Edgar Allan Poe...the danger of Jack London...the sensitivity of Katherine Mansfield. Creative Short Stories has it all and will prove to be a welcome addition to any library.

Continuity of Parks [Short story]


Julio Cortázar - 1964
    Short story "Continuity of Parks" as extracted from the Complete Works of Julio Cortázar.

The Pit and the Pendulum


Edgar Allan Poe - 1995
    The story centres around the torments endured by a prisoner of the Spanish Inquisition. The story is especially effective at inspiring fear in the reader due to its heavy focus on the senses, emphasizing its reality, unlike many of Poe's stories which are aided by the supernatural.

How Much Land Does a Man Need?


Leo Tolstoy - 2013
    Although Pakhom enjoys health and family happiness, he feels dissatisfied when he learns of the grand fortunes of his relatives. He decides to go on a quest for more land, only to find that with each new acquisition new problems develop... How Much Land Does A Man Need? gives a delightful insight into old Russian values many of which, you will not be surprised to hear, are paralleled today.

1984


George Orwell - 2013
    Published in 1949, the book offers political satirist George Orwell's nightmarish vision of a totalitarian, bureaucratic world and one poor stiff's attempt to find individuality. The brilliance of the novel is Orwell's prescience of modern life—the ubiquity of television, the distortion of the language—and his ability to construct such a thorough version of hell. Required reading for students since it was published, it ranks among the most terrifying novels ever written.

Pudd'nhead Wilson and Other Tales


Mark Twain - 1992
    It reveals the sinister forces that, towards the end of his life, Twain thought to be threatening the American dream. The central plot revolves around the tragedy of "Roxy," a mulatto slave whose attempt to save her son from his fate succeeds only in destroying him. An astringent work which raises the serious issue of racial difference, Pudd'nhead Wilson is considered by the critic F.R. Leavis to be "a classic of the use of popular modes--the sensational and the melodramatic." The volume also includes two other late works by Twain, Those Extraordinary Twins and The Man that Corrupted Hadleyburg.

The Awakening & Other Short Stories


Kate Chopin - 1899
    Departing from literary convention, Kate Chopin failed to condemn her heroine's desire for an affair with the son of a Louisiana resort owner, whom she meets on vacation. The power of sensuality, the delusion of ecstatic love, and the solitude that accompanies the trappings of middle- and upper-class life are the themes of this now-classic novel. As Kaye Gibbons points out in her Introduction, Chopin "was writing American realism before most Americans could bear to hear that they were living it." Kate Chopin (born Katherine O'Flaherty on February 8, 1850 - August 22, 1904), was an American author of short stories and novels, mostly of a Louisiana Creole background. She is now considered to have been a forerunner of feminist authors of the 20th century.

The Necklace


Guy de Maupassant - 2004
    After devoting their energies and income for ten years to replacing a borrowed diamond necklace which they have lost, a woman and her husband learn the irony of their efforts.

The Summer People


Shirley Jackson - 1970
    A New York City couple encounter sinister resistance when they decide to stay at their summer cottage past Labor Day.