33 BEST Fantasy Short Stories [Free Audiobooks]

I present to you a collection of my favorite fantasy short stories hand-selected from the hundreds available on my podcast, Tall Tale TV. All free, all professionally narrated, and all in one place.

There is nothing better than picking up a nice book or short story and disappearing into a land of adventure and magic for few hours. Except, perhaps, having someone read it aloud to you! Even while doing chores or running errands, Audiobooks and podcasts are changing the way we live, allowing us to find that extra time to enjoy a little vicarious adventure.

As my podcast grows, so will this collection. So check back from time to time, or subscribe if you want to hear them as they come out. So sit back with a hot cup of your favorite drink, or lace up those running shoes. Either way, it’s time to listen to some fantasy!

Genre Categories:

 

(The ‘Best Sci Fi’ compilation will be posted soon. Until it is ready, you can check out the entire Sci Fi Archive)


High Fantasy Short Stories

Elves and orcs. Mages and knights. All the classic tropes of fantasy.


 

A Little Too Late

Written by H. Ferry

Author Website

One of the best tropes of High Fantasy is the experimental mage. Are they the first to try this new approach? Or simply unaware of why others don’t do it that way? I love this type of story. Experimenting with cosmic forces has the potential for great rewards or great consequences, and often times both. A Little Too Late is beautifully written in a smooth style that simply lends itself to narration.

 

 

 

 

Maurkim’s War

Written by Joe Jackson

Author Website

This short story centers around the capture of the leader of the Gnolls, a race that has been attacking the outskirts of a particular kingdom. But he is no mindless beast. The more you dive into the story, the more you question your preconceptions. Joe Jackson does an amazing job of pulling on your emotions and gently guiding you through the twists and turns of this tale.

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

 

 

 

The Hunt

Written by ZF Sigurdson

Author Website

Orcs, Elves, and Fae gods. This story is dripping with high fantasy. But it comes with a bit of a twist, as this takes place in a larger world crafted by ZF Sigurdson. This short story is rife with action and misconceptions of good and evil. If clashing steel and acrobatic archery is your thing, this story is for you!

Part 1

Part 2

 

 

 

Dragon’s Honor

Written by Joe Jackson

Author Website

For a story that centers around dragons and demons, this tale is surprisingly deep. The simple act of surviving can make a compelling story. Part of a much larger series, Dragon’s Honor serves as a great primer for Joe Jackson’s other work.

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

 

 

 

Challenge

Written by ZF Sigurdson

Author Website

In a world where humans have won the war against ‘evil’, the many Orc clans are left to survive on scraps. Living in fear of human reprisal, their leader’s hoard what little resources there are, leaving the weaker members of their race to starve. One such weakling decides to challenge his chief, relying on his wits and cunning to keep him alive.

 

 

 

 

Garg the Good

Written by Dominic Bowers-Mason

Garg the Good is a masterpiece. Perhaps my favorite fantasy short story of all time. An ogre ends up in possession of a sentient sword who can communicate telepathically. While Dominic Bowers-Mason claims not to be a writer, his skills as a D&D Dungeon Master must be god-tier to craft a story with so much depth.

 

 

 

 


Urban Fantasy Short Stories

Tales of magic and the supernatural, just a little closer to home. Fantasy stories set in relatively modern times.


 

Deliverance

Written by Hunter Blain

Author Website

A prequel novella to a series of novels, Deliverance stands on its own as an excellent example of dark urban fantasy with a comedic twist. The main character, an ancient vampire with a personality akin to Deadpool, yearns for a way to save his damned soul.

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

 

 

 

Grigori’s Remains

Written by G. Connor Salter

Author Website

If you are a fan of Indiana Jones, Tomb Raider, or Uncharted, then this is the story for you. Full of your favorite tropes of the genre, G. Connor Salter wrote this piece in a way that brings out that nostalgic feeling all over again.

 

 

 

 


Dark Fantasy Short Stories

Gritty, dark, and often times hard to swallow. Dark fantasy stories can be based in horror or drama, and rarely end well.


 

Black Phasm

Written by S. Alessandro Martinez

Author Website

Dark fantasy sometimes has a way of shining light into current events, and this piece is a prime example. Set in a world ruled by a vicious religion that teaches one must cleanse the soul through pain and blood. Anyone who speaks out is put to death, and the economy suffers intensely as a result. Fae races, daring heroes, and citizens willing to put their life on the line to help others. Black Phasm is a must-read story for anyone who enjoys the genre.

 

 

 

 

Necessary, Not Casual

Written by Eric Lewis

Author Website

Hidden deep in the woods is the elite sect of forest rangers in the employ of the king. They patrol the woods for outlaws that threaten the livelihood of the common citizens. A romantic position to hold, but one that becomes all too real for a young recruit. I enjoyed this piece for the gritty reality that it delivers to the main character, and the style of writing is extremely engaging.

 

 

 

 

The Wight Warden

Written by S. Alessandro Martinez

Author Website

Classic fantasy and wonderfully dark. S. Alessandro Martinez is a horror writer, and it shows in his fantasy short stories. A mage drags a bodyguard to a castle full of corpses with a singular, dark goal in mind.

 

 

 

 

Dagon

Written by H.P. Lovecraft

Classic horror by the master himself. The original, unabridged version of H.P Lovecraft’s horror short story ‘Dagon.’ Mind-bending eldritch horror. What else needs to be said?

 

 

 

 

Confessor

Written by Ryan S. Omalley

What to say about a short story that starts with a child witnessing a public execution? Ryan S. Omalley crafts a world based around the idea that no man should do a deed without payment, a twisted karmic balance of sorts. A world without heroes.

 

 

 

 

Circle

Written by Author

Author Website

C.S. Fuqua has a way of writing that brings forth the grim reality that those less fortunate face in real life. He writes it so well it is sometimes hard to stomach, such as with this story. A child, raised in a violent home, flees into the forest after his parents start to fight. What he finds in the dark is, if anything, worse.

 

 

 

 


Comedic Fantasy Short Stories

Fantasy stories meant to make you giggle! From slapstick to pure wit, these funny short stories are sure to make you smile.


 

The Grammarians’ Grimoire

Written by E.E. King

Author Website

It is said that the term Grimoire actually stems from the ancient Greek word for Grammar, to know one’s letters. So imagine my delight at this light-hearted comedy that truly takes this concept to the next level! When a library cleaning lady picks up an odd book on her way home, she opens her world up to a whole host of new experiences.

 

 

 

 

The Adventures of Jaron & Bren

Written by JM Williams

Author Website

Three hilarious short stories following the misadventures of Jaron and Bren, two less than stellar sneak thieves. JM Williams has a wonderful sense of comedic timing, and the characters are simply amazing.

 

 

 

 

The Last of the Line

Written by Liam Martin

Hunting witches is a noble cause, but what do you do when the evil creature is an adorable old woman? Last of the line is a feel-good short story that is guaranteed to make you smile.

 

 

 

 

Tin Soldier

Written by Liam Martin

Slapstick fantasy at its finest. Tin Soldier follows a brave knight, too noble for his own good, and his sarcastic squire. Together they face off against the Supreme Overload, a fiend most conniving and foul!

 

 

 

 

A Matter of Scale

Written by Jonathon Burgess

Author Website

Cutting a deal to escape a close shave with a large axe, Hristomarth Rofolio is tasked with taking care of a nearby ‘pest‘ problem. Part of a much larger series of novels, this comedy short story is one of my personal favorites. Jonathon Burgess gives his characters so much personality and his writing is smooth as butter.

Part 1

Part 2

 

 

 

 

Grah

Written by Chris Herron

One of my own creations! Grah, a risen skeleton warrior, finds himself less than impressed with his adventuring party. But who knows? Things might work out for the best in the end.

 

 

 

 

The Disappearance of Class 2C

Written by Helen French

Author Website

In this short story, Helen French makes the stress of being a teacher all too relatable. Esme begins to panic when she turns around and finds her entire class has completely vanished. This would be disconcerting for any teacher, but as Esme teaches a class for the magically gifted, they could literally be anywhere.

 

 

 

 

Murder Sharp and Shiny

Written by Rodney Milton

Author Website

A grizzled detective and a mischievous granny are thrust into a magical land, where they decide to make a living solving crime. Only some crimes are more dangerous than they are worth. Rodney Milton paints a wonderfully fantastical world.

 

 

 

 

Mechanistry

Written by Chris Herron

The series that started it all. I wrote Mechanistry to be my pilot episode for Tall Tale TV. Since then I have added two sequels, each on an anniversary of the show.

In a steampunk world, Nalt tries to survive his apprenticeship at the foremost university for aspiring Mechanists.

Mechanistry 1

Mechanistry 2

Mechanistry 3

 

 

 

 


Steampunk Fantasy Short Stories

Fantasy stories from the age of steam and clockwork. Steampunk fantasy is often set in Victorian times, but not always.


 

Steampunk Confederation

Written by Roger Ley

Author Website

A Silver Honorable Mention in Writers of the Future, Steampunk Confederation is a prime example of Roger Ley’s work. In the near future, a plastic-eating bacteria sends us back into the age of steam engines and dirigibles. Filled with spycraft and intrigue, this is a can’t miss short story.

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

 

 

 

The Noble Sport

Written by Chris Herron

Another one of my own stories, ‘The Noble Sport’ starts out following a lighthearted pickpocket as he infiltrated a private upper-class establishment. But sometimes levity is a mask for something deeper.

 

 

 

 

Jucarii

Written by D.A. D’Amico

Author Website

A variant of steampunk, Jucarii is an amazing example of clockpunk. The story follows a clockwork automaton on his mission to find the one man who may hold the key to saving the crown prince.

 

 

 

 


Niche Fantasy Short Stories

Stories that are either hard to categorize, or simply don’t fit into the main categories above.


 

Poisoned Food, Its Master, and The Guests

Written by Abhishek Sengupta

Author Website

Abhishek Sengupta is a master of the surreal. His fantasy short stories are like works of abstract art, that at first glance seem to make no sense, but hold a sublime beauty to them nonetheless. This is my favorite piece of his. A dish of poisoned food awaits to be enjoyed by a gathering of people looking forward to their final meal. It is bizarre, but by the end surprisingly emotional, and even a little dark, but not in the way you would expect. I have seen dozens of stories trying to tug on the heartstrings that fall short of the mark, but somehow this piece struck true. If you’re willing to take a chance, listen to the end and you won’t regret it.

 

 

 

 

The Sailor’s Voyage

Written by Fanni Sütő

Author Website

Even the god of the seas fears something. Fanni Sütő takes you on a journey as beautiful as it is compelling. The god of the sea wants nothing more than to enjoy his ship and the salt in the air, but a nagging prayer keeps intruding to the point of madness.

 

 

 

 

Year of the Mountain Lion

Written by Maria Schneider

Author Website

This tale centers around what you might describe as tribal fantasy. Outcast from her tribe and hunted to break the curse she brought upon them, Jolan must survive the badlands and stave off dehydration beneath the desert sun. In the same vein as stories such as Clan of the Cave Bear, Year of the Mountain Lion is a wonderful addition to this niche genre.

 

 

 

 

Fantasy Short Stories - The Night LibrarianThe Night Librarian

Written by Jane Jago

Author Website

The Night Librarian reads like classic fantasy, but the setting is vague enough, in a good way, that it is hard to pin down exactly where to categorize it. The story follows a no-nonsense librarian as she tends to the thousands of magical books in her mysterious library. But the tiny fae creatures that live between the pages come to her, begging for her to help with the evil that has escaped into the halls of this wondrous place. Jane Jago is known for her high concept writing, and this piece is an excellent example of that.

 

 

 

 

Cold

Written by Amir Lane

Author Website

Even for the world’s greatest vampire hunter, there are things that go bump in the night that you pray you never have to face. Follow Laurentz Geiger in this gritty fantasy as he faces more than he can handle. Amir Lane really lets you feel every scrape she inflicts on her main character and leaves you wanting more.

 

 

 

 

When Ants Tell a Story

Written by J.M. Williams

Author Website

With no magic to speak of, this fantasy piece might be better classified as a medieval mystery. A guard uses common sense and out of the box thinking to help solve a murder.

 

 

 

 

Odyn’s Reward

Written by Bryan Aiello

Author Website

Every Viking warrior hopes for a good death, and when two feuding Jarl’s battle, many will go to that great hall to feast with the gods. Hillevi knows she might be one of them, hopes even. But things don’t always go the way you plan.

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

Legal-

Artwork:

All art used above is royalty-free, purchased, or used with the permission of the artist. The vast majority of the art above was sourced from Pixabay.com . Other common sources include canstockphoto.com

 

Stories:

All stories were submitted to Tall Tale TV by the right holder, or someone acting on their behalf with permission. By doing so the rights holders agreed to Tall Tale TV’s Terms and Conditions.

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