Questions tagged [short-stories]

For about a fictional work too small to be called a [novel] or [novella] - usually less than 10-20 thousand words and no chapters. Use to either identify the media on a [story-identification] question or disambiguate works where the tag covers the short story and its form in other media.. If you are looking for a particular anthology of short stories, use the [anthology-book] tag instead.

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7
votes
1answer
193 views

Short story or novella from the 50s-60s set on a planet of Rigel

Involving an earth man on a planet circling Rigel, where the green-skinned natives (called “Klahari” or “K’ahari” as I recall) are attacking and wiping out the colonizing earthers. Although Rigel is ...
33
votes
1answer
3k views

Phone calls between man and woman that live in alternate universes

This is what I remember of this story I read 30-40 years ago. A man and a woman get accidentally connected by phone and decide to meet at a certain place at a certain time. Then later they get ...
1
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0answers
156 views

Short story about astronauts that cut off their hand

As I remember correctly this story was written by Andre Norton, and be titled something like "Purple Hand." They cut one hand off, leaving one to drive the spaceship. I can't find anything ...
28
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1answer
3k views

Short story about space maintenance guy?

I'm trying to remember the name and author of a short story I listened to in an audiobook; does anyone know it? It goes like this: Main guy is a maintenance engineer and has to repair a space-beacon ...
0
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0answers
17 views

Novel name asked:about secret spies [migrated]

I think I read it five or six years ago from a collection of novels written by one writer.A man is a spy in a secret illegal organization,one day he took part in a secret party,but he had been be ...
9
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0answers
147 views

Young pilots in a future space war short story

I read this short story in the late 1970s. An anthology from a UK library...no memories of the other stories. A space pilot is sitting in a compartment on a train, another passenger boards and sits ...
9
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0answers
190 views

Short story where a 'farmer' is told that he's actually an astronaut with false memories

I am trying to remember the name of a specific short story. It was about a man who is on a farm or farm-like house made of wood, sitting on his porch drinking something (beer?) As he does so, he sees ...
18
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2answers
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 &...
10
votes
1answer
511 views

Story/author/book Identification. Large space station psychiatrist

A couple of stories popped into my head but I can't remember the author. It was about a space station and 2 had the same character, a large bright guy. The first one had him as a worker on the station ...
34
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2answers
4k views

Short story: alien capable of mimicking human appearance and decision making patterns revealed when a blood test shows sugar concentration of 0

My dad first read this story probably in the 80s, but it's likely older since he read the Arabic translation in an anthology of presumably English science fiction short stories. The translator weirdly ...
16
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1answer
278 views

SF puzzle story; crew of an experimental spaceship can't make it back home

This may not be a golden-age story, but it was written in that style, with a primary focus on solving a scientific/technological challenge as the primary plot and limited characterization. It feels ...
8
votes
1answer
120 views

Short story where a device tosses dry ice into another dimension [duplicate]

I think that this short story is from the late ‘70s. It may have been published in F&SF. The main character is a government scientist sent to aid in the investigation of a science experiment gone ...
11
votes
1answer
143 views

Short story with opening phrase “Old was the island.” [duplicate]

Many years ago I read a Sci-Fi story with the opening words "Old was the island" and I'm hoping someone can help track it down. - Author: Unknown. I want to say Asimov, but that's just a ...
19
votes
1answer
2k views

Short story about two heavily bio-tech modified humans getting “married”

This is a short story (20 pages maybe) that I read in the mid-1980s in a Dutch anthology. The story is most likely translated from an English original. It is set on a space-port (possibly an floating ...
12
votes
1answer
2k views

Slow destruction of earth because of a robot pulling a lever

The novel/short story is based on a murder mystery whereby the protagonists (robots, I believe) end up on a space ship or planet off of Earth whereby they can save the overpopulated Earth and its 8 ...
22
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3answers
3k views

Short novella about alien abduction of an alcoholic

This was rather short story (approx 30 pages of text) about aliens visitors abducting a human but he happens to be an alcoholic. They conduct some test and come to conclusion that whole humanity is ...
8
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0answers
99 views

New Yorker story about a race of giant companions

This might have run in the New Yorker in the 1990s or early 2000s. The human protagonists had companions, confidants, who were giant (10 feet tall) and supposedly stupid, simple, and infantile. The ...
31
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1answer
4k views

Alien captain shows his ship to one of the human delegates, but can't really impress him

Recently I started watching YouTube videos with short stories about spacefaring humans and their first contact or other encounters with aliens. These stories mostly titled HFY, from a reddit site ...
18
votes
1answer
567 views

Name of predator-disguised-as-trash story?

Decades ago I read a short story about a physics researcher who goes out for a walk/jog. He notices a piece of litter (cardboard, maybe?) blowing in the wind. Then he realizes that it's moving AGAINST ...
8
votes
1answer
174 views

Short Story about Teenagers with Computer Chips Implanted in Their Brains

Maybe I’ve just totally imagined this, but I swear I once read a book or a short story about this group of teenagers who had computer chips implanted in their brains. I keep thinking about it and ...
11
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0answers
119 views

Story from the 70's/80's about silver discs that allowed jumping dimensions

The protagonist was a bullied teen with a Vietnamese girlfriend. They find silver coin sized discs that, when pressed, allow the holder to change dimensions. Some of the dimensions were just weird, ...
11
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0answers
137 views

Novella about a man stuck on a moon or small planet, in a facility run by extraterrestrials that resemble stalks of broccoli

I'm looking for a novella I read years ago about a man stuck on a moon or small planet, in a facility run by extraterrestrials that resemble stalks of broccoli. The name of the moon, planet or ...
15
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0answers
167 views

Alien visiting earth forgets he is an alien

I read this short story a long time ago. It may have been written in the 60s or earlier. An alien is visiting earth incognito but has an accident of some kind, has amnesia, and doesn't know he is an ...
3
votes
0answers
77 views

SF short story - Jewel ovary [duplicate]

This came out in the past 10 years, collected in one of the years best anthology. Man stole a jewel from his girlfriend (turned out to be her refrigerated ovary). She then set him up in a double-cross....
24
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1answer
5k views

Asimov story about a man who can do calculations on paper

I'm trying to find a short story by Asimov – I don't think it could be anyone else – where a mid-level office worker brings an underling in to see the boss, and asks the underling to demonstrate to ...
5
votes
1answer
161 views

Story about human-alien sex toys

I am trying to find a story which I think I heard on a podcast sometime in the last ten years or so. The protagonist of the story was the proprietor of a shop which sold advanced sex toys which could ...
5
votes
0answers
149 views

Sci-fi short story about a future where women rule the world and men are worker drones who have to earn money to buy their penises

On Episode 194 of the Flophouse podcast, one of the hosts, Elliott Kalan, asks if any listeners can help identify a short story he remembers, possibly from Asimov's, about a future in which women ...
7
votes
1answer
148 views

Story about an ocean world, monsters attacking colonized islands, a space ship that comes to help

Seeking a short story about sea monsters attacking island colonies on an ocean planet. A space ship that comes to help and creates mutated monsters to attack the sea monster.
36
votes
1answer
5k views

Short story about a boxer/fighter who can teleport a few millimeters, which gives him an advantage in the ring

The story is about a boxer/fighter who can teleport a few millimeters, which gives him an advantage in the ring. I believe in the end of the story he uses his teleportation powers to save someone from ...
1
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0answers
61 views

Are the Black Terror and Knight-Wing based on any pre-existing fictional superheroes?

I just read the short story "The Black Terror Rides Again" by Thaddeus Howze. It's just a few-minutes read and much more interesting if you learn about the characters bit by bit through the ...
6
votes
1answer
103 views

Levitating boy grounded

This would be a short story (turned out to be a novella), probably late 70' or early 80's. It involved three boys from three different alien (to each other) races. One of the boys belonged to aliens ...
8
votes
1answer
1k views

Short story about families on a fake spaceflight

The preteen boy, who has lived his whole life on a spaceship, discovers that food is delivered to a hidden door and that the journey is research.
4
votes
1answer
138 views

Short story about aliens, in contact with a middle schooler who feels doom approaching. At the end the aliens “wind down” Earth

This was a short story from an anthology (maybe one of those "Best Of" phone-sized books edited by Gardner Dozois?) somewhen between 2000 and 2005. The story: Aliens arrive as in the movie &...
19
votes
1answer
2k views

Short story written as future summary of the history of a particular uploaded brain

I read a short story in the last few years which was written from the perspective of several hundred years in the future, about a particular brain which had been uploaded near the present day (...
7
votes
1answer
202 views

Short story about a yellow monster pretending to be a baby

I read this story in an illustrated short-story collection in the late 90s or early 2000s. Unfortunately I don't remember the name of the book. It was about a yellow monster named "El Eano" (...
10
votes
1answer
139 views

Very old (1950s?) time travel story in which a man takes audio recordings into the past

He plays recordings of a great jazz (?) musician for the musician's younger self, who had not yet developed his unique style. Might be inspired by the saxophonist Charlie Parker. I read this decades ...
15
votes
1answer
2k views

Looking for a story about a “Universal Solvent”

This was a short story, probably late 70's, early 80's. The protagonist was an evil villain type, who thought himself super powerful, who was coming to take over the Earth. Everything seemed to be ...
21
votes
1answer
2k views

Short story about a future society where criminals are punished by social isolation

I read this story sometime in the '90s in an old magazine so it's certainly written no later than late '80s, probably even earlier. I recall that it begins with the protagonist being punished for some ...
6
votes
0answers
224 views

Is the story of Henry Sugar written by Roald Dahl actually real?

In the book: "The wonderful tale of Henry Sugar and six more" Dahl claims the story to be true, further the name of the man isn't revealed, and the name "Henry Sugar" is used. I ...
15
votes
1answer
501 views

Story about a collector searching for a rare experimental short film

I'm trying to track down a short story/novella that I read online, probably at least 3 years ago. I think it was published for free through an online magazine such as Clarkesworld or Strange Horizons, ...
12
votes
0answers
175 views

Short story, protagonist afraid of sea; sea is an eldritch abomination hivemind, he is its drone trying to break free

A man who once nearly drowned has extreme thalassophobia and fear of the dark; in fact he conceptualizes the sea as The Dark, and he believes that it is 1) out to get him and 2) able to access all ...
23
votes
1answer
2k views

Agent sent to another planet to stop a genocide and is blinded by the tyrant

I remember reading this about 20 years ago, but neither the author nor the title stand out to me. It starts I believe with the agent having made planetfall, but is soon captured and blinded ...
8
votes
1answer
156 views

A story (c. 2018) about interstellar colonization via nanomachines

This story has been visible on the internet, but likely no more because I cannot find it now with search engines despite a considerable effort. Written in English in 2017 or 2018 (or possibly one year ...
7
votes
1answer
178 views

Short story about humans and aliens on a spaceship - aliens ill and psychiatrist / alienist tries to help - it’s actually a psychosomatic problem

I read it over forty years ago. Takes place on a spaceship and aliens start developing a strange illness. Humans don’t know how to help them. One is a psychiatrist/ alienist and tries psychotherapy. ...
12
votes
1answer
4k views

Man testifies before senate committee. He invented super-powerful easily-made gun which will change society. He just released plans

Man testifies before senate committee. He has invented super powerful gun that is easily made. Can vaporize tanks and planes. Makes governments obsolete. Turns out he released plans already, ...
3
votes
0answers
112 views

Looking for a short story about two astronauts stranded on a beautiful, paradisiac planet/moon, until one of them goes missing

I'm looking for a short story about two astronauts stranded on a beautiful, paradisiac planet/moon, until one of them goes missing the next day. The remaining astronaut is perplexed at first, and ...
6
votes
2answers
142 views

Title and author of a short story where Edgar Allan Poe's body is host to a time traveller's personality?

This short story is based on the premise that future time travellers take over people's bodies like puppets to experience life in the past. However, Poe's personality is so strong that the traveller ...
22
votes
1answer
967 views

Short sci-fi story of scientists testing an upscaled generator in a place that is 'nowhere' (reached by portal)

In this story, there are several portals to other places (and possibly, as speculated by characters, times). I don't know if they 'just happened', or if there was a technology involved in opening them....
14
votes
1answer
1k views

short story: future gameshow in which failure is fatal

I am trying to recall a short story I read in an anthology about 10 years ago. It was written from the point of view of an "ordinary man", chosen especially to be as unremarkable as possible ...
4
votes
1answer
68 views

Looking for a short story about “zombies” (artificial humans") and a space war [duplicate]

This question over on "World Building" reminded me of a short story I read a long time ago. I would have read it in the mid 1990s or earlier. The story itself would have been much older. ...

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