- One story per author. Certainly there are many on this list for whom I could effortlessly reel off multiple deserving entries. A side effect of this rule is that it brought a fair bit of organic diversity to the list which would otherwise have been more heavily populated by a handful of favorite authors.
- Nothing is novel length but you'll find plenty of novelettes and novellas alongside the short stories. (But I've tried to favor shorter works all other things being equal.)
- I also didn't include authors whose novels I enjoy but just don't have any short stories I'm aware of that wowed me.
- Everything here can be plausibly categorized as science fiction although some hew far closer to traditional sf tropes than others that are at least adjacent to horror, fantasy, and philosophical fiction.
Hacker News thread: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=23959648