Dinosaur or Dragon Short Stories

The stories on this page all feature dinosaurs or dragons, in some form. They’re divided into their own sections. See also:

Dinosaur Stories

“Time’s Arrow” by Arthur C. Clarke

Barton and Davis, geologists, are assisting Professor Fowler with an excavation. The professor receives an invitation to visit a nearby research facility. Barton and Davis are curious to know what goes on there. The professor says he will fill them in, but after his visit he says he’s been asked not to talk about it. Henderson, from the research facility, returns the visit. Something he says starts the geologists speculating about a device that could see into the past.

“Time’s Arrow” is in the huge volume The Collected Stories of Arthur C. Clarke. A great book if you like Clarke.

“Think Like a Dinosaur” by James Patrick Kelly

Kamala is on the Tuulen station, which is run by the Hanen, a cold-blooded dinosaur race. Tuulen station is home to a teleportation device, a migrator, that can send people to other planets. A perfect copy arrives at the destination, and the equation is “balanced” by killing the original person. A complication arises during Kamala’s migration.

The beginning of this novelette can be read in the preview of A Fistful of Dinosaurs.

“A Sound of Thunder” by Ray Bradbury

Eckels goes into Time Safari, a business that offers hunting expeditions into the past. They make no guarantees about client safety. They do guarantee dinosaurs and a safari guide who’ll provide specific instructions. It’s expensive and dangerous, but Eckels wants the adventure.

“A Statue for Father” by Isaac Asimov

The narrator tells the story of his father, a theoretical physicist who researched time travel. He’s celebrated now, but it was a difficult climb. When time travel research fell out of favor, the dean forced him out. He continued the research independently with his son. Eventually, they succeed in holding a window open long enough for the son to reach in. He brings back some dinosaur eggs.

“The Fog Horn” by Ray Bradbury

The narrator and McDunn are manning a lighthouse. It’s a lonely life with lots of time for thinking about the sea. McDunn reveals it’s the anniversary of an unusual event; it might happen again.

Read “The Fog Horn”

“The Monster of Partridge Creek” by Georges Dupuy

The narrator receives a letter from Father Lavagneux. He says he once again saw the terrible beast of partridge creek, with a caribou in his jaws and moving quite fast through the snow. This reminds him of another story he heard from a hunter. After seeing some animals scatter, they investigated the spot and found the imprint of a huge animal.

Dragon Stories

“The Rule of Names” by Ursula K. Le Guin

Mr. Underhill is the resident wizard of Sattins Island. He’s a small fat man of fifty who lives outside the village under a hill. He’s not viewed as very competent, but he’s all the village has. He’s in the village to buy some food. He passes the teacher, Palani, who’s outside instructing her class. The lesson is the Rule of Names, which Mr. Underhill knows well.

This story can be read in the preview of Wings of Fire. (12% in)

“Dragon’s Deep” by Cecelia Holland

Perla lives in a fishing village. She’s outside with her sister, preserving some fish to see them through the winter. A procession of horsemen arrive. On the authority of the Duke, a knight announces that their taxes have been doubled. They’re here to collect. Perla’s brother objects to no avail. They start pillaging.

This story can be read in the preview of The Dragon Book.

“Bob Choi’s Last Job” by Jonathan Stroud

Bob examines the remains of a dragon’s victim. There’s only scorched bones, still a little warm. He’s seen this before. They could keep hidden—their cloaks work very well. But they’re beasts with a strong hunger, so they end up revealing themselves. Bob is sure he knows who the culprit is. He’s observed a man named Yang. There’s something about the way he moves.

This story is in The Dragon Book, above.

“Vici” by Naomi Novik

Antonius appears before a magistrate to learn his fate. He’s accused of murder and is in debt. Although he’s the son of  a senator, Antonius knows he’s in trouble. His family won’t raise enough for a sufficient bribe. They have petitioned for mercy, though, and Antonius is given an alternative to execution. He can die trying to slay a dragon, which is honorable.

This story can be read in the preview of The Dragon Book.

“The Pragmatical Princess” by Nisi Shawl

Princess Ousmani is chained to the ground near the edge of a precipice. She wakes up to a dragon resting its head on her stomach. He wants to discuss her situation somewhere more agreeable, so he frees her and flies her to his home. She’s not sure if she’s safer there or not.

This story can be read in the preview of The Dragon Super Pack.

“Draco, Draco” by Tanith Lee

The narrator claims no man has ever really killed a dragon. Despite this, he knows someone who earned the nicknamed “dragon-slayer.” While riding back to the South, he met Caiy, a young soldier who could handle himself. His horse had run off after getting spooked. They ride together, stopping for the night in a forest. The wonder what could have happened with his horse. A few hours later, they find out.

Most of this story can be read in the preview of the anthology Dragons(25% into preview)

“Cockfight” by Jane Yolen

Jakkin prepares his dragon for the pit. He took it from his master’s stables as a hatchling. Fortunately, it went unnoticed by Likkarn, who keeps track of the stock. Jakkin wants to be free. He can win the needed gold in the dragon pits. He gets matched up with a dragon that’s won its last three fights.

“Cockfight” is in the collection Here There Be Dragons.

“The Dragon” by Ray Bradbury

Two knights warm themselves at a fire in the wilderness. They intend to slay a dragon or be killed by it. It has a huge amber eye, comes out of nowhere, vanishes suddenly, and leaves its victims strewn about the hills.

Read “The Dragon”

“Middle Woman” by Byron Walley

Ah-Cheu goes to visit her sister thirty leagues away. She meets a dragon on the road. It gives her a choice—it can eat her on the spot, or grant her three wishes.

Read “Middle Woman” (PDF Pg. 31)

“Vince’s Dragon” by Ben Bova

Vince is a young gangster. He wants to make something of himself, but so far the Family only gives him small-time jobs. One day, he gets a chance. Louie wants him to torch a warehouse. It’s a risky job. Burning it down isn’t so hard, but getting away clean with it is. When Vince gets inside the warehouse, it has an unexpected resident.

This story is in the anthology Dragon’s of Darkness.