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Questions tagged [humor]

A form of creativity that is designed to invoke laughter and amusement in the reader/viewer.

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16 votes
1 answer
2k views

Mad scientist spoof - identical snowflakes

I'm trying to remember a short humorous story from Asimov's in the early 1980s (when Scithers was editor, I suspect). There's a mad scientist obsessed with making his mark, trying to do something ...
Andrew's user avatar
  • 51.6k
16 votes
1 answer
414 views

Poul Anderson short story about a communitarian town with two curmudgeons who have conflicting views

Don't know when or where I read it. The story, told with a humorous slant, highlights a small town that implements a mix of libertarian and socialist philosophies, much to the distain of two grumpy ...
PatWagnerDenver's user avatar
26 votes
1 answer
4k views

Humourous television series. An arrogant man seems to be giving a blow by blow account of a dangerous battle. He was describing a game of Risk

Two men are on a spaceship. One is arrogant and a windbag. He is telling a long and detailed story that seems to be about a dangerous battle in which he fought. The other man loses his patience and ...
Judith Jones's user avatar
  • 8,466
2 votes
1 answer
138 views

Lorry or truck driver. He has been rained on his entire life. He is unaware he is a rain god. Clouds love him [duplicate]

Short story in a comic about insectoid aliens approaching Earth in an invasion armada. They attack lights that turn-out to be a truck's windshield This question reminded me of a book a read in the ...
Judith Jones's user avatar
  • 8,466
10 votes
1 answer
423 views

Trying to find a comical sci-fi book, about someone brought to an alternate world by probability

I would have read the book between 2000-2010, but could have been published before that, and the travelling between worlds was somehow facilitated by a dinner party. The world the main character is ...
AncientSwordRage's user avatar
  • 82.2k
5 votes
1 answer
83 views

Humorous SF Novel About Cartoon Animal Looking Aliens That Go To Disneyland [duplicate]

Looking for a humorous science fiction novel about some humorous aliens that look like cartoon animals. They ultimately go public, but before that they visit Disneyland and are stopped by security who ...
Myles Lobdell's user avatar
22 votes
1 answer
2k views

Short story about flowers that look like seductive women

From the late 60s or 70s: explorers on a new planet find what appear to be a sexy naked woman resting in the forest. One man does what comes naturally, after which the "woman" curls up and ...
Carl Witthoft's user avatar
4 votes
0 answers
85 views

Is there a pun in the name of Ori species / dimensions in the Myth Adventures series?

As Wikipedia notes most of the known dimensions and their puns, but doesn't say that the Ori species / dimension's pun, if it exists. Ori: A dimension whose inhabitants resemble house cats. Is there ...
Malady's user avatar
  • 3,845
13 votes
1 answer
2k views

A SF humor short story about the Navy finding a plug at the bottom of the sea, then a giant bar of soap

Very likely to be an early Galaxy story, 1950s. Very short. The navy finds a giant iceberg that turns out to be a bar of soap, then a submarine finds a plug at the bottom of the ocean. No plot. Story ...
UnknownOrbits's user avatar
14 votes
1 answer
522 views

Old British black-and-white humorous ghost movie, with surprise ending

Saw this only once on late night television, many years ago. Looked liked it was shot in 1930s or 1940s, shot in black and white, as I recall. It was set in the British Isles about a castle/mansion ...
user avatar
11 votes
1 answer
148 views

Automatic facile justification for bad decisions [duplicate]

I just remembered a story—perhaps by Isaac Asimov, but the whimsy I'm remembering seems to be a bit different from his—in which a narrator describes how they have created a machine that, when told of ...
LSpice's user avatar
  • 293
32 votes
1 answer
4k views

Alien appears on late-night talk show

This short story is from 40 or more years ago. I thought it was hilarious. A late-night tv host has booked an alien on his show - the first public appearance of the being. The host is a jerk who pokes ...
Sid geico's user avatar
  • 323
45 votes
1 answer
6k views

A man drives the last gas guzzler car. . . but he has a secret

So, in a future where fossil fuels are prohibitively expensive, the men in a neighbourhood envy their one neighbour who drives a large V8 sedan from the old days. The owner of the throwback is well ...
Covertwalrus's user avatar
  • 2,250
21 votes
1 answer
2k views

Funny teleporter invention story

I remember this short story as very funny. It was told in retrospect in the first person by a member of a fairly slap-happy team of inventors developing a new teleportation device. Initially, there ...
PotatoCrisp's user avatar
  • 4,635
25 votes
1 answer
2k views

Short story concerning a dangerous ink blot

Can anyone identify this story? I read it years ago (about 1984-86?) when I had access to a small public library containing mainly old tatty books no longer fit for circulation. This story was in a ...
PotatoCrisp's user avatar
  • 4,635
30 votes
1 answer
3k views

Poem about aliens observing cars on highway?

I read a poem way back in elementary school in the 70's that described the observations of aliens watching cars on a highway and concluding that cars were the inhabitants of earth. They described the &...
Steven Perry's user avatar
9 votes
2 answers
292 views

A short story about (not) reading Shakespeare in class [duplicate]

I read this short story maybe 15-20 years ago, but it might be older than that. With hindsight, it is pretty prophetic. Even for France, now.... It is about an english teacher (in an english-speaking ...
Alfred's user avatar
  • 19.3k
10 votes
2 answers
251 views

How often have Vulcans appeared on comedy television shows as themselves?

In the skit "Mrs. Invisible Man" Carol Burnett's character laments: With my luck it had to look like it's father. She receives a delivery from the pharmacy of a drug that may render the ...
uhoh's user avatar
  • 8,648
20 votes
2 answers
2k views

Science fiction story where Asimov like writer is actually clones

This question: How many books did Isaac Asimov write? reminds me of a short story I read in a science fiction magazine once, probably late in the previous millennium. The title was something like &...
M. A. Golding's user avatar
7 votes
2 answers
290 views

TV series or movie about intern or new employee in a lab with monsters or mutants

I have a very vague recollection of a story involving a new female employee or intern in a lab setting. She seemed inexperienced and somewhat overwhelmed. The lab is performing experiments or possibly ...
Daze's user avatar
  • 235
30 votes
2 answers
8k views

Are self-sealing stem bolts a Star Trek in-joke?

During a scene in Star Trek: Discovery season 3 episode 6 "Scavengers", Burnham mentions self-sealing stem bolts. This item has had a few mentions in earlier Star Trek series, beginning with ...
Anthony X's user avatar
  • 11.2k
17 votes
6 answers
3k views

What is the earliest sci-fi story about humour and AI?

The "humourless robot" is a fairly standard trope in modern-day science fiction. Many writers take the view that the sense of humour is a uniquely human property, and so make a point of ...
Psychonaut's user avatar
  • 2,164
4 votes
0 answers
111 views

I'm trying to find a sound track quote from a British Scifi Comedy (Movie? TV?) [closed]

The specific spoken words are "This is an emergency broadcast. Nuclear missile inbound detected. Seek shelter, duck and cover, and brace for impact". I heard this on a recent tech ...
zipzit's user avatar
  • 149
4 votes
1 answer
546 views

Satan/Devil Short Humorous Story

Short story about some guy in an audience that starts shouting at the devil and gesticulating at him and giving him "the fig" , which I guess is something like the finger or some other sort of gesture....
Rich K's user avatar
  • 49
5 votes
0 answers
138 views

identify humorous short story about spicy pizza defeating a dragon

I recall reading this in a collection of short fantasy (possibly sci-fi and fantasy) in a library circa 1990. In the story a man goes off to fight a dragon. I don't recall the exact details but I ...
William Dilgard's user avatar
11 votes
1 answer
337 views

Funny, Jewish sci-fi novel

I read it mid 80's and found it a few years ago, but with the publication of a new Jewish sci-fi novel, it's harder to find it again. The story is about an investigator working for a government ...
Roy Falk's user avatar
  • 1,076
25 votes
3 answers
11k views

Is Kirk’s comment about “LDS” intended to be a religious joke?

In Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home (1986), the crew find themselves in 1980’s San Francisco, and promptly realize that they are perceived as socially awkward. Kirk, in an apparent effort to explain the ...
Robert Columbia's user avatar
5 votes
1 answer
387 views

Short story about a child who is a miniature, living Earth

I saw this short story in an anthology years ago. At least 20 years old, probably more. This was a humorous short story about a child of human parents who was born as a tiny earth, complete with ...
Rosco's user avatar
  • 61
4 votes
1 answer
138 views

E-book set in fantasy world with trolls and pirates

Looking for the title of an e-book I read a couple of years back. I can't recall the main storyline just that there was some war going on the the heroines village. Her love interest was some kind of ...
Megan's user avatar
  • 43
10 votes
1 answer
358 views

Old comedy routine about the evolutionary race to become Homo Sapiens

A friend told me about this once. I think he later allowed me to listen to his audiotape copy of it. Maybe. But this was in the late 1980s -- call it "thirty years ago" -- and my memory is far from ...
Lorendiac's user avatar
  • 27.4k
14 votes
1 answer
671 views

Comedic short story about a man wanting to be "one with the elves" and getting his wish with a twist

I believe I read this in a fantasy humor anthology, in English, probably 10-15 years ago although that's a total spitball of an attempt to date it. I don't remember any stories being in the same ...
FuzzyBoots's user avatar
  • 230k
6 votes
1 answer
175 views

Name of a book - Genius Space Squid Defeats bad guy, I *think* the word "Emperor" is in the title

The "squid" was emperor of a planet and had, at one time, been a "super villain". It's all set in space and has many references to gadgetry. Humorous sci-fi book and I can't recall the name.
Bodhi's user avatar
  • 61
12 votes
2 answers
606 views

Identify weird Sci Fi movie from 70s/80s

Things I remember (vaguely, maybe incorrectly) about this movie: the setting is overcrowded and we never see "outside", so it may be in space or just a dystopian future it's weird, like Brazil-level ...
Bobby Cottle's user avatar
15 votes
2 answers
2k views

Looking for a humorous short story about the ultimate secret agent

I'm sure I read this in an anthology collecting science fiction stories from various authors. English language. I don't remember the common theme (if there really was one). I think I checked this book ...
Lorendiac's user avatar
  • 27.4k
25 votes
1 answer
2k views

Humorous short story about alien manufacturing ship accidentally dumping defective products on earth

I am looking for a rather humorous short story that I believe I read in an anthology within the last 10-15 years (possibly originally published in an SF magazine in that same timeframe). It was about ...
Old Man Sciffy's user avatar
7 votes
1 answer
625 views

Humorous short story where human lives with aliens as one of their own

I'm looking for a humorous short story where a human lives with aliens as one of their own, as part of a cultural exchange. He and his host have to pretend he is one of them. Against all odds, he is ...
susan socks's user avatar
4 votes
0 answers
491 views

Looking for a humorous sci-fi story about puns

I'm thinking of a very short story that ran in one of the big science fiction magazines--Asimov's or Analog, probably--maybe a decade or so ago, about a disease epidemic that created puns. Anybody ...
Huston's user avatar
  • 41
24 votes
1 answer
5k views

Humorous story in which future archaeologists find a motel room and they believe to have found a great tomb similar to that of Tutankhamun

I read it in Reader's Digest in the seventies. Archaeologists interpreted everyday objects as the TV set and the toilet seat to be sacred and precious.
Ginasius's user avatar
  • 8,044
-5 votes
1 answer
476 views

Dr. Phlox's gag on Captain Archer?

In the episode, "A Night in Sickbay" of Star Trek: Enterprise, Captain Archer and others, including the dog Porthos, return to the ship and have to go through decon because of a pathogen. The decon ...
Jim's user avatar
  • 9
13 votes
1 answer
739 views

90s fantasy novel about a girl on quest with talking pig (I think)

I'm looking for a fantasy novel I read in the 90s. Heroine begins the story overweight and has to go on a long quest (don't remember why). Along the way she acquires a group of animal/spirit? ...
BookNerd's user avatar
  • 131
7 votes
1 answer
235 views

Is Gesar a joker?

I was recently trying to come up with a short description of the character Gesar (or Boris Ignatievich), head of the Moscow Night Watch in Sergei Lukyanenko's Night Watch cycle: powerful, been ...
Rand al'Thor's user avatar
  • 135k
20 votes
1 answer
2k views

Looking for a short story: robot making other robots

A friend of mine is trying to track down a short story that her dad enjoyed decades ago, with a view to buying the book for his birthday. It's a comedy, and the plot follows a guy who assembles a ...
Jack's user avatar
  • 201
10 votes
1 answer
206 views

Man convicted of being anti-social sentenced to share apartment with simulacrum of himself

In the future, man is convicted of being anti-social. Sentenced to share an apartment with another man, who turns out to the most obnoxious person ever. At the end, protagonist figures out that ...
David Week's user avatar
7 votes
1 answer
283 views

What book had a robot going around the galaxy, making other robots?

I remember getting recommended a book about a robot travelling around the galaxy making other robots. However, I never had a chance to read and have now forgotten its title. My recollection is ...
Coreus's user avatar
  • 173
13 votes
1 answer
856 views

SF Short Story: alien apes invade during nuclear war

Trying to identify a science fiction short story from an anthology likely published before 1991. Aliens invade during a nuclear war (which would be World War III, WWIII, WW3). The warring nations ...
Dutiful Son's user avatar
6 votes
0 answers
166 views

80s Short story or novella written from a cat's point of view as they cross a parking lot

Short story or Novella from a pulp magazine in the 80's written from a cat's point of view, involved crossing a dead expanse (a parking lot) and a fear of castration by a human (My human would NEVER ...
Gregory Howard's user avatar
4 votes
1 answer
283 views

Looking for a SF story about robotic explorers who discover intelligent organic life on a planet

I read a humorous science fiction story some ten to twenty years ago about robotic explorers who discover a planet, perhaps Earth, with intelligent organic lifeforms and can't quite believe it. They ...
rosesunhill's user avatar
  • 4,741
6 votes
1 answer
329 views

Short story on a blog which makes fun of plot armour

I once read a short SF/F story on the blog of a Stack Exchange member, which I'd like to find again. (If you are the person with that blog, please do answer this question!) It was basically a big ...
Rand al'Thor's user avatar
  • 135k
42 votes
3 answers
10k views

Snotty made a joke I don't understand

I have always had a nagging question about the transporter scene in SpaceBalls. After Skroob has been "transported", to his then asinine state, we see Snotty "try and reverse the beam&...
Matt's user avatar
  • 696
4 votes
0 answers
312 views

Short s.f. Story, can't remember title, satirical riff on Teenagers Who Saved the Earth (all grown up now)

This is not a particularly famous or widely-published story, but it may have been anthologized once in one of the popular "Year's Best"-type antho's (or "Best of "If", etc.) -- probably where I read ...
Becca Piano's user avatar