A short story is a literary work of fiction that is too small to be noted as a novel, usually contains less than 100 pages and no chapters.

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1980/90s scifi book about a librarian who recommends 3 short stories to two students at an alien university

As I remember, this might have been a young adult book. Two alien students at university seek the help of the librarian in finding research material. He recommends three "books" which are short ...
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126 views

Immortality thanks to nanotechnology

Trying to find a short story. I first read it approx 5 years ago. It was part of a short story collection from various authors. I can only guess at the original published date, but the paperback I ...
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59 views

Looking for title of sci fi short story about lunar base

All I remember is there is a "siren" like effect luring people out of a lunar base to the surface where they die. There is a man looking into this on the base, he barely manages to escape the pull of ...
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Please help identify a story about an ugly bird that would die of shame when someone looked at it

I can't figure out the title of this short story I read in the early 2000's about a bird that was so self-conscious about its ugly appearance that it would die of shame if it noticed that someone else ...
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3k views

Giant Bird in Space

I read a short story as a child that revolved around the people of earth observing a distant object in space approaching. Over time as the distant speck got closer it was observed to be a giant bird ...
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165 views

Dystopia where match-making computer gives user no choice

I need help remembering the name of a story that had a computer that functioned as a vending machine for relationships, but where the user had little to no control over who came out. It's killing ...
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74 views

Short story collection with one story where two boys saw the arm off a statue that is holding gold-painted torch

About 20-25 years ago, when I was a kid, I picked up a short story collection in a Waldenbooks store (I believe it was a collection of stories, however it is possible that this was just a novella). ...
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103 views

The rise and fall of empires (cyclical barbarian invasions) set in a lecture hall

I read a short story a few years ago (late 90s) where a professor of Ancient History is giving his favorite lecture to his students about the rise of their empire. Some points I remember: The story ...
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153 views

Looking for a short story about a box

I'm looking for a short story that I've read a long time ago, I hope you can help me. The plot goes like this : a man wakes up in a strange room, he has no memories of how he's got there. He finds ...
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176 views

Short story where humans receive false distress signal, lured into galactic federation

I read a story years ago whose major themes stuck with me but I can't remember the name or author. I'm almost certain it was a short story. From what I can remember, the plot went roughly as follows: ...
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163 views

Short story about a person dying and describing a terrible afterlife

This is a Science fiction short story that was in a High School Science fiction literature book (1973) About a person who is dying & they are describing how they are dying & going to another ...
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233 views

Looking for Story Title - Cheating Wife exterminator

I think I read this in the 90's. As I recall, a guy found out his wife was cheating on him. While flipping through the phone book, he finds an "Exterminator". He calls the number and is offered a two ...
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446 views

Science fiction short story about a Schwarzchild radius growing

I read this short story in an anthology from NMSU library in the 1980s. It had adult themes, and I still can't forget how shocked I was. Possible author was Stanislaw Lem but I might be wrong. The ...
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222 views

Short story - Man invents easy to make doomsday device capable of cutting the Earth in half

I'm looking for a story I read in the 90s (probably written much earlier) about a man who is part of some sort of scientific group that discovers a way to build a doomsday weapon capable of cutting ...
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1answer
145 views

Genetically modified humans study insectoid alien miners with super-intelligent hive-mind

This is a short story that appeared in a collection. Two genetically-modified humans (corporate anthropologists, basically) travel to a planetoid inhabited by an insect race that is mining the planet ...
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65 views

Intermediate reader level horror fantasy story in a compilation

There was a book of short horror stories that I remember reading in after-school care about a million years ago. The one story I remember involves a huge mirror that lures a kid into it. At first it ...
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136 views

An anthology published at least 17 years ago, containing an asteroid ghost story and others

I bought a book at a book fair 17 years ago. It is a collection of short stories. Can anyone give me the title of the book, any of these stories, or the authors involved. It is driving me crazy! A ...
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69 views

Looking for a short story about painters who fake a death [closed]

I'm trying to find a short story about two painters. They realize that nobody ever becomes famous or earns any money from their work until after they die. So they decide to fake one of them being ...
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81 views

“John Brown's Body”

NOT the William P. McGivern/David W. O'Brien story. This short story had Brown colonized with helpful microbes (from the days before nanites) that did him all sorts of good, however sometimes they ...
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274 views

Short story :super computers save humanity

This is a short story about 1 super computer (USA). The computer(big one) is talking to the captain , the news is that there are less and less children born on Earth. They ask the computer if the ...
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Aliens experimenting on human capitalism by creating an entirely new market in butter pats

As I recall it, after creating a huge butter pat market from nothing, one day the aliens just walked away from it. Probably some deep political philosophy behind it that I missed when I first read it ...
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224 views

Short story about a boy talking to an alien on his computer, alien asking for help

I read this short story in elementary school, 15-20 years ago. I can't remember if it were part of an anthology, or if it were its own book. It was written for youth 7-12, and when I read it I think ...
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215 views

Stamps that can almost instantly deliver letters or packages to any destination

This is a long shot because my recollection is rather vague, but around 40 years ago when I was a kid, I read a story about a boy who somehow acquired special stamps. If you addressed a letter to a ...
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3answers
163 views

Short Story: Space probe (Voyager?) discovered by aliens?

I read this story a few years ago in an anthology, but I'm sure it was written in the 70s or 80s. It was only a few pages long and explored a number of scenarios that could occur if aliens were to ...
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91 views

Looking for a story where all sickness and disease has been eliminated

Takes place in a future where all sickness and disease has been eliminated leaving people with weak immune systems. The main character is in charge of sending all time hoppers from the past to a moon ...
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264 views

Short Story: Criminals are sent back in time as punishment?

I've already searched Wikipedia's list of time travel stories in hopes of finding it, but no such luck. This is the basic plot of the story: In the future, criminals are sent back to the Renaissance ...
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129 views

Astronomer experiments with irradiating mushrooms to preserve them and creates very deadly plague

At least 30 years ago I read a short story about an astronomer trying to create a new theory that will make him famous. In addition to his efforts in the field of astronomy, he tinkers with ...
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101 views

Short story from the 70's about a super fast ship approaching earth

Here one for the older readers: I read this short story, in an anthology, back in the '70's or early 80's. A spaceship is approaching planet Earth at light speed, or maybe just really really fast, ...
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123 views

The owner of a newspaper in the future describes his day as he effectively runs the world

I believe this short story was from the early to mid 20th century, i.e., Gernsback, Heinlein, Asimov etc. The setting was retro-futurist: airships, chrome, food pills, and the like. In the story, the ...
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217 views

A spaceship saved by a teen who realizes destination planet is surrounded by electromagnetic field

I'm looking for an old short story or possibly a book, more than 30 years old, probably a lot older, about spaceship heading to some planet, possibly Venus. The previous ships have not been heard ...
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242 views

man forced to compete in contest where if you win you are killed and you body is used for reproductive material

Short story from at least 25 years ago. A man visiting a planet is forced to compete for the right to die and be used for reproductive material or die trying. The men on this planet intentionally put ...
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160 views

Short story about humans and aliens fighting over colonizing a habitable planet, read about 30 years ago

Man comes to planet to work on dispute between human colonists and another race. The other race captures some of colonists and performs horrible experiments on them and uses germ warfare. The problem ...
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429 views

Short story about humans as beasts of burden for another race, read about 30 years ago

Short story or possibly book where humans on a planet are work animals for a different race. It turns out that it was a human colony that was overrun by this race a long time ago. I believe it is the ...
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922 views

Short story banned for content

Many years ago I read a collection of stories that had not been published, not because of their quality but because of the challenging themes. I am trying to remember the name of the story, and its ...
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106 views

Book of three short stories with gay themes

I read this book at least 8 years ago. It had a red cover with an angel?(I'm not sure) on it. If I'm not wrong it had three short stories, all with gay themes. One had something to do with an angel ...
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206 views

(Nuclear powered?) airplanes stacked in an infinite holding pattern

As the title states, I'm looking for a short story about (nuclear powered?) planes that cannot land. I read it in an anthology many years ago and would love to find it again.
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Aliens hiding important information about the human race; story ends “‘You don’t’ he said?”

And thereby makes clear in 4 words what the whole story was about. In a 60's or 70's era anthology I think. I’ve always remembered it as being an example of good or clever writing. I've never read ...
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158 views

Science fiction short story about a strange family

I read this as a kid in the 70s or 80s. It had a man (Census Taker, Reporter, Author?) visiting an unusual family. I seem to recall they were VERY advanced for time frame the story was set in. They ...
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108 views

Short Story - Underground Dystopian possibly Steampunk

I remember reading a story about possibly a boy and girl living in an underground city because of some event that sent the population underground - it was a short story, I believe, possibly in SF/F, ...
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Looking for a short story about a runaway Girl rescued by a wildman on a planet taken over by aliens

I read a book in a library stack that was either a short book or a short story in pulp sci fi compilation book. It starts by telling the reader that the planet was taken over by aliens and now ruled ...
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218 views

Looking for a short story about an anonymous candidate running for President

Way back in one of the pulp science fiction magazines (probably If or Galaxy circa 1950-1970 but could have been a more obscure one), there was this short story about someone running for President. ...
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Anthem-esque short story about a dude who is very smart and strong so he wears devices to slow him and weaken him

I remember reading a short story back in high school that was similar to Anthem by Anyn Rand about this guy who was very strong and smart. And because everyone in this world had to be equal he was ...
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149 views

30's story about space war: Earth ship destroys enemy planet with weapon, only to return to find Earth destroyed by the enemy with the same weapon

Looking for 1930's short story about space war where Earth ship destroys enemy planet, only to return to find Earth destroyed by the enemy with the same weapon. The gist of the story was the debate on ...
6
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1answer
418 views

Looking for the title of a sci-fi story about astronauts using their knowledge of evolution to figure out they're in a space zoo

I read it back in junior high, and google isn't helping. EDIT: Someone pointed out how ambiguous that is. Sorry. I would have read it about a decade ago, but I think it's from the seventies. From ...
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1answer
91 views

70s scary stories youth anthology. Very eerie black-and-white drawings. a ghost saves a kid from drowning

I'm looking for a book or books that I used to check out of my school library in the early 70s. It was an anthology of short spooky stories for 'tweens or teens. It had several ery eerie ...
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92 views

Help me track down a short story about a pursuit across time-rates?

This was in an anthology from way back in the 60s or 70s when I was just getting into SF - I've no idea who the author was. One man pursues another as he slips across different time rates - the only ...
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525 views

Short story with carnivorous organisms mimicking objects

I remember reading a short story some time ago about a colony or outpost on an Earthlike planet. Some people went missing and the scientists discovered that they were being attacked (and consumed) by ...
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What was Martina and his family in “Picking up the Pieces” by Pat Cadigan?

I just read the short story "Picking up the Pieces" by Pat Cadigan and despite reading the bit where the first person character sees Quinn and Martin and his family I still did not get what was ...
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182 views

What story has a robot that gains psychic power after direct exposure to hyperspace?

I'm looking for a story I read about twenty-five or thirty years ago, in a book I got in a second-hand store. I don't remember the title of the book, which had a number of short stories in it, but in ...
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What short story has the protagonist killed in his upper story apartment with the window crushed from the outside

I remember a short story that started as a murder mystery where a man was found dead in his upper story apartment with the window broken from the outside. There weren't any clues as to what happened. ...