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.

learn more… | top users | synonyms (1)

10
votes
2answers
193 views

Story about mankind being alone in the Milky Way galaxy [duplicate]

Many years ago I read a short story about mankind searching the galaxy, hoping to find intelligent non-human life. After many millennia, on the opposite side of the galaxy, they think they have ...
6
votes
1answer
158 views

Science fiction anthology, possibly called Monsters (or Creatures or Dragons)?

I am trying to recall an anthology of science fiction short stories I read about 15-20 years ago. It was called "Monsters" or something similar (could have been "Creatures" or "Dragons" or something ...
4
votes
1answer
84 views

Short story with a mechanical fly

Trying to identify a short story from some long-forgotten collection with multiple authors. All I really remember is a man attempting to swat a fly that landed on him...when a blue flame shoots out ...
10
votes
1answer
131 views

Man's consciousness transferred into machine and asked questions

I read a short story online a while back which starts off with a guy being in the dark and asking where he is and panicking, and then a scientist starts asking him questions but he is super freaked ...
7
votes
1answer
94 views

Novel with travel to purple grassed planets and space pets. Possibly a series

So for years I have been trying to search for the book(s) that captured my imagination with sci-fi. I found the book in my middle school library some time between 1979-1983. The book may have been ...
5
votes
1answer
197 views

Story about kids and book that tells about good old times in schools

I'm trying to find an short story I read in a collection about ten years ago. Publication date before 1980. Here's everything I remember: The story is about kids that found an old book with story ...
15
votes
1answer
704 views

Short story about astronauts landing on a planet of shapeshifters

I'm trying to find an English-language short story I read in a collection about five to ten years ago (I don't have any idea of the original publication date). Here's everything I remember: The ...
5
votes
0answers
80 views

Identify sci-fi short story about hired assassin hunted after a botched job fleeing in self driving car

The premise is a bit weird: the assassin lands at the airport after a failed mission knowing that he is marked for death unless he can reach somewhere first. The point of the story is how proud he is ...
17
votes
1answer
1k views

Identify sci-fi short story about last man and woman on earth

It's a short short. Humanity destroyed by a disease (virus?) that causes temporary paralysis. Written from pov of last man about to marry last woman who is devout (Christian?) and very proper. Man ...
23
votes
1answer
1k views

Scientist discovers hyperspace with a twist

I believe the setting is an Earth that desperately needs transportation to the stars (overpopulation?) A scientist discovers hyperspace (I believe he solves a theory that explains how to reach it, ...
6
votes
1answer
146 views

Looking for title of sci fi short story about attempts to colonise planet (Venus?). Scientist and his dog are main characters

They want to see if humans can survive in harsh planet conditions with a view to future colonisation. Scientist guy invents a machine which can transform humans into beings which are adapted to ...
9
votes
1answer
385 views

Technology breaking down, No-one knows how to fix it

the story, or maybe part of a larger work, I am thinking of involves a portrait of either a.) an alien race or more likely b.) the future human race this race relies entirely on their technology ...
22
votes
1answer
2k views

Spaceship crew loses piece of equipment, lies about it, causes all other spaceships to be grounded

Years ago I read a short story about a spaceship crew who were reviewing a checklist of equipment but couldn't figure out what one of the items was supposed to be (it was some sort of abbreviation). ...
5
votes
1answer
98 views

A man who buys true love [duplicate]

Many years back I read a short science fiction story about sold love. If memory serves, a man comes to a pleasure-planet. He passes several attractions, the weirdest one being a place where you can ...
4
votes
0answers
105 views

Short-story about moving “cathedral” cities on a Mercury-like planet

Looking for a particular short-story in an anthology (I don't think it was an entire novel). Set in the future, a planet was colonized by accident that is essentially like Mercury ... too close to a ...
6
votes
0answers
73 views

Looking for time-changing story

In the story I'm looking for, the main character is a convicted murderer who is an experimental subject in a scientific research project into the nature of time. He has been subjected to some sort of ...
11
votes
1answer
1k views

Human vs. alien to avoid extinction by omnipotent being

I read a science fiction short story where a human being and an alien battle it out among themselves in an area equally disadvantageous to both of them where they have been placed by member of a third ...
3
votes
0answers
60 views

Boy makes clone of himself to stave off loneliness on a spaceship journey to his parents

The story is set in a space ship where a boy is traveling to his parents. To keep himself company he makes a clone of himself. For a while everything is perfect but then the kid starts feeling like ...
4
votes
0answers
84 views

Story about angel who got stranded on earth for crying

I read this story long back in my Malayalam textbook, but I believe that it was translated from some other language (probably Russian?). The rough plot - from what I can remember - is like this: ...
27
votes
2answers
3k views

So that earthquake, did you check your math?

There was a short story in one of my dad's books about a seismologist living in California who was predicting 'the big one' on the San Andreas fault, but kept arguing with the computer about the math. ...
7
votes
0answers
134 views

Story identification: Man working from home is isolated, becomes paranoid about invasion outside, blind himself- twist is that he is right

He realises he hasn't communicated with anyone for a couple of days and soon descends into a paranoid state. I think he worked in IT? During story can't tell if he is crazy or not as he is so paranoid ...
4
votes
0answers
74 views

Short story: covert agent on planet “Iatria”(?), gadgets disguised as buttons on his clothes

The story took place on a planet named something like Iatria. The main character is some sort of covert exploration agent from off-planet, trying to observe the locals without being detected as such. ...
5
votes
1answer
89 views

Short story about exobiology during human exploration of an alien planet

I have read a story long ago, where some explorers of an alien planet take an animal and use it like a boat (with a description similar to a very large Victoria. Eventually, they have serious ...
8
votes
1answer
169 views

Last line: “I've finally gotten down to The Basics!”

This is a story that was published in a fantasy and/or science fiction magazine -- not sure if it ever appeared in any book collection. Sorry, I don't even know the name of the magazine, but it would ...
12
votes
2answers
1k views

Spy on an alien planet with a game similar to Go (the strategy board game)

This is something I read in the mid-to-late 1980s, probably in a thick collection of short stories. A man who is acting as a spy or maybe just a researcher goes to an alien planet. The aliens of this ...
6
votes
0answers
121 views

Short story where a person's name defines their nature

I am looking for the title of the following story (or possibly two stories): I read a short story in the late '80s where people were defined by their names. A man sees a depressed woman and wants to ...
14
votes
1answer
554 views

Story where someone gets disconnected from computers for cybercrime

I read a short (in the range of 5-20 pages) science fiction story a while ago, and can't remember the title of the story or its author at the moment. The basic story is that of a super-savvy computer ...
4
votes
1answer
75 views

Looking for the source of a scary story involving two brothers fighting off a type of ghoul trying to get to their sister

I think it was in an anthology book of supposedly true scary stories, but it involved siblings inheriting a house next to an old church. Some kind of ghoul appeared outside the sisters' window a few ...
11
votes
4answers
555 views

Anyone know the title of a sci-fi short story where man becomes a plant

Anyone know the title of a sci-fi short story which ends with the protagonist growing roots on his feet and sinking them into soil, finding peace. Thought it was Bradbury/Martian Chronicles, but ...
12
votes
0answers
164 views
+50

Married couple pretend to like each other due to crystal sculpture

Years ago, I remember reading a short story (as I remember it) about a couple whose prized possession is semi-living crystal structure that is sensitive to their relationship; it grows and maintains ...
4
votes
0answers
184 views

A Glowing White hot chair a man is forced to sit on

This I believe may have been one story from an anthology. The horrific image has been with me from the early 70's. I remember a metal chair is heated over a fire until it glows. A man is brought ...
4
votes
1answer
102 views

40s or 50s scifi short story contact with alien spaceship

I'm trying to remember the title and author of a short story I read years ago. It concerned a deep space exploration ship that comes upon an alien ship. The alien crew is in hibernation. The ...
2
votes
1answer
140 views

Looking for the name of a short story about how weird humans are

I'm trying to find a short story that I read years ago that talks about how weird the human race is and satirizes things like going to the dentist. The narrator may be an alien anthropologist. I ...
3
votes
1answer
111 views

Country boy goes to the city, encounters shooting galleries with live targets and true love

I'm pretty sure this was in an anthology of older stories that I read in a paperback in the 90s, although the book may have dated from when my parents were growing up in the 60s and the 70s. The ...
5
votes
1answer
159 views

ID Short Story: Humanity stumbles across ancient booby trap [duplicate]

I probably read this before 2000 in an anthology work. I frequently read books like "Best SF of yyyy". The style of the writing is like that of the SF Golden Age. Humanity developed interstellar ...
8
votes
2answers
170 views

Title and author of early 50s story about ray guns versus bang sound of gun or hammer

Trying to identify a science fiction short story I read in the early 50s. The essence of the plot was that silent ray guns were not effective against the aliens but the bang of an old fashioned gun ...
5
votes
1answer
129 views

Short story about a woman who has lost her right to use science

This story would have been in a short story collection or anthology over the last few years. I think it was about a woman who would not allow medical treatment for her children due to vague ...
10
votes
1answer
339 views

Short story about a man who could see his parallel selves in the multiverse

Does anyone know this story? It's a short story about a guy who was born with the ability to see his parallel selves in the multiverse, provided their lives are not too different from his. In one ...
8
votes
1answer
797 views

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 ...
6
votes
1answer
159 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
133 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 ...
11
votes
2answers
1k views

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 ...
21
votes
1answer
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 ...
5
votes
1answer
185 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 ...
5
votes
0answers
94 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). ...
11
votes
1answer
126 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
182 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
209 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: ...
12
votes
0answers
248 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 ...
11
votes
1answer
342 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 ...