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Questions tagged [short-stories]

For about a fictional work too small to be called a novel - usually less than 10-20 thousand words and no chapters. Only use when identifying a work (use in conjunction with [story-identification] here) or when there is a tag ambiguity.

1
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0answers
35 views

Can anyone name this short story from a 60's anthology please?

Post nuclear apocalypse the first person is allowed out above ground but wearing a suit and only for few minutes. The oldest person is chosen... he wants to see if there is any sign of life on the ...
8
votes
1answer
124 views

Old scifi story where a married couple “try out” being cloned, at one point switch genders?

Plot Details/Summary I fear this one is another of my "longshot" questions, in that I can only recall a few bits of the story. A married couple, whom I believe are of Hispanic/Latino ethnicity, ...
6
votes
2answers
167 views

Short Story with a simple form of machine evolution

This story Starts out like the standard "Planet of the Apes" routine: Space voyagers from Earth get caught in some sort of warp and return to a recognizable Earth, but the civilization they knew is ...
10
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0answers
74 views

Short story about memory eraser

I have been trying (and failing) to identify a short story which I first read in a 1970s anthology. It was science fiction with a touch of horror and centred around the invention and abuse of a ...
6
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0answers
76 views

Short story about a private investigator with amnesia who forgets everything when he goes to sleep

I think I read this story online, probably in the 90's. Given that, it may have been posted to Usenet. The protagonist is a man with a form of amnesia where every time he goes to sleep, he forgets ...
4
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1answer
121 views

Sci fi short story about humans diverging genetically after contact with aliens

A while ago (about 2016) I read an illustrated pdf about human colonization of outer space. First they fought, Martians with Earthers, then they had some kind of homo novus and, afterwards, they ...
11
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1answer
129 views

Short SF story revisits Poe’s classics

Mid 1980’s I read a SF short story in class and need help identifying it. I could be wrong, but as I recall, the title was merely a year (2064 A.D., 2154 A.D., or similar). If memory serves me ...
11
votes
1answer
140 views

Sci Fi short story from anthology (pre-2010) about a man going to space with strict weight requirements, starving himself to bring a book

The short story was about a man about to go on a space journey/colonize a planet and having to abide by an extremely strict weight limit. He talked about starving himself, shaving hair and doing ...
26
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2answers
3k views

Short story about scientists playing grooves on old pottery like an old vinyl record

Read a long time ago so not recent, maybe in the 1970s or 1980s. It might have been Bradbury, but maybe not. Some kind of researchers (anthropologists? physicists?) figure out how to play the ...
8
votes
1answer
103 views

Scifi short story about Eiffel Tower destruction threat

I have no idea the exact year I read this short story, but I would imagine it was the 1980s when I did. It was probably part of an anthology, which usually was mid-twentieth century. I remember ...
8
votes
1answer
330 views

Short story about one side building better weapons for a space battle [duplicate]

I'm looking for a short story about a two factions engaged in a space war where scientists of one faction figured out a better weapon, but they decided not to waste effort producing it, because, by ...
8
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0answers
93 views

Short story involving a crashing alien spacecraft and a blind girl

I read this short story during the late 1980s to early 1990s in an English language collection. An alien space ship is crashing to earth, with its crew terrified of their impending death. Their only ...
34
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1answer
3k views

Identify a short story involving art thieves given a device which can significantly slow time

I read this short story during the late 1980s to early 1990s in an english language collection. This story involved an art thief asked by some mysterious clients to acquire a priceless piece of art ...
8
votes
0answers
64 views

Short story involving a robotic pilot in a futuristic war facing anti-robotic sentiment

I read this short story during the late 1980s to early 1990s in an English language collection. It's a standard "racism but dressed up" story of a squadron of pilots involved in a war against an ...
9
votes
1answer
153 views

50s/60s short story in which a tourist on Mars becomes dinner

In this short story probably from the 50s or 60s, a tourist on Mars meets a beautiful woman who invites him for dinner with her family. The problem is that with a meat shortage on Mars, he becomes the ...
9
votes
1answer
118 views

Cousin/Brother(?) of Sherlock Holmes works to thwart an alien invasion

I'm searching for a short story where main character was cousin or brother of Holmes but he was genial thief instead. In this story he accidentally discovers an alien invasion taking place and he and ...
9
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0answers
95 views

Unknown short story - stranded astronaut plants forest as SOS message

The story is set in the distant future, maybe 3000AD+. I think the astronaut is a cyborg many hundreds of years old and he crash lands on this planet. On the planet he finds empty streets and houses, ...
3
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0answers
68 views

Short story with amphetamine, barbiturate and luminous paint

I read a story when I was about 14 in 1968ish possibly in the John Carnell series New Writings in SF in which, as I remember, there were a man and a woman, one of them strung out on speed and the ...
12
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1answer
124 views

“Painful death is best gift” - from what short story?

In Soviet times there was one of selected best American sci-fi short stories printed here and there, and I believe it was one of those. I always keep forgetting an author and title, cause the phrase "...
6
votes
0answers
128 views

Short story, possibly a Bradbury one: aliens visit Earth to see if we will destroy ourselves after we discover atomic energy

I am convinced this is by Ray Bradbury, but can't find it. I remember a short story where a family of aliens are coming to watch the Earth and see if we destroy ourselves after we discovery atomic ...
5
votes
1answer
79 views

Title of Poul Anderson's sequel to Darker Than You Think?

Wikipedia's article on Darker Than You Think, a fantasy novel written in the 1940s by Jack Williamson, about a secret war between mankind and werewolf-like shapeshifters, claims Poul Anderson wrote a ...
10
votes
1answer
102 views

Analog early 60s story one spaceship of scientists innovating on the fly to overcome multiple adversaries

This short story or novella published in Analog in the early 1960s was remarkable for the wealth of technical ideas in one storyline. The heroes first developed a space-warp battery capable of ...
8
votes
1answer
153 views

Identify a short story where a paraplegic man travels back in time to save his wife but doesn't get the result he wants

I would have most likely have read this in the '80s or early '90s in a magazine, almost certainly either Analog or Asimov's Science Fiction, two magazines I read regularly back then. The story opens ...
5
votes
1answer
174 views

Story where a traumatised soldier vanishes from a hospital

Story where a traumatised soldier in a hospital vanishes. ‘Experts’ don't understand that poets did this all the time and not a poet can be found anywhere. The story was in English. Perhaps it was by ...
7
votes
1answer
126 views

Short story about time dilation and knowledge gained

I've been trying to remember a short story (possibly a Hugo or Nebula winner) that I seem to recall reading in an omnibus of sorts. The basic plot centred around a spaceship going close to, at or ...
13
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0answers
130 views

Short story about archaeologists on post apocalyptic world finding out about science-fiction

I remember reading a short story in an anthology sometime between the end of the 90's and the 2000's. It was the French translation of an English story, thus it could be much older. I remember the ...
17
votes
1answer
988 views

Looking for Jewish Android Girl Short Story

I read a short story a few years ago in a collection of science fiction stories. It may have been a "best of the year" type of collection, but I am not sure. It included stories from many different ...
3
votes
0answers
54 views

Short story, child time travels when dreaming, finds another child who believes he was created by robots

I remember reading a story about a kid who lives in an old Frank Lloyd Wright house after mankind has returned to Earth after leaving for a time. He meets another child whenever he sleeps who believes ...
6
votes
1answer
132 views

Science Fiction short story about learning to communicate with aliens

I'm trying to remember the name and author of a short SF story that is very similar to "The story of your life" but either is not that story or it's a different version of that story. In this story ...
11
votes
1answer
135 views

Short story about a sociopath funeral director on a planet where goo makes birds sick

I read this online, on a site for SFF short stories, at some point between mid-2016 and May 2017. I am confident it was published within the last 3-5 years or so. I don't know how many words it was. ...
36
votes
1answer
5k views

Short story about astronomers accidentally ending the universe

I read a short story I believe vaguely around 2003 in a print magazine. A group of astronomers sends a laser to bounce off a planet circling Alpha Centauri or some similarly close star. But it turns ...
7
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0answers
126 views

Short story, where humans encounter an alien race, tell them stories; the aliens act out the stories and kill the researchers

Can't remember author or title of the story. Seem to remember the protagonist is an investigator of some sort trying to find out why previously-peaceful alien race has killed the research or liaison ...
27
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1answer
2k views

50s-60s short story: implanted knowledge, except for the protagonist who has to solve his issues the usual way

There was a short story from back in the 50s or 60s, about a student who was struggling in school. Just about everyone else had knowledge downloaded/implanted into their brains. But the protagonist ...
6
votes
1answer
162 views

Pre-1980 short story about solipsism

This could've be in an anthology; it was a novella or short story, published before 1980. The main character goes to the psychiatrist because he thinks he is being followed and watched - or is it ...
10
votes
1answer
182 views

Short story: Genocide averted by Divine Intervention

This was a pretty dark old short story but also a psychedelic affair. By "old" I mean that I must have read it in the mid-80s, in an A-4 sized anthology of Sci-Fi. While the text was German, I'm sure ...
11
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0answers
210 views

Xenolinguist assigned to make first contact with space rabbits who cannot understand counterfactuals

My memory of this story is very thin indeed. It was in a SF digest or anthology in the mid- to late 90s. Read in New York City, but could have been written anywhere (but from what I remember of the ...
6
votes
1answer
191 views

Sci-Fi short story possibly from a “Best of” anthology from the 1950s-60s about a space voyage with a secret engine activated via sex

I read it in the 1980s. I'm pretty sure it was from an annual science fiction short story anthology compilation, probably from sometime in the mid 50s to mid 60s. It was written in English and nothing ...
4
votes
1answer
75 views

body swap (stealing) short story from the 60s(assumed)

I am trying to remember the title and find a collection, by identifying short stories that were in it - this one was a short story involving a young lady, a nurse or aide in an old folks home. Her ...
5
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0answers
108 views

Sci Fi Short Story where astronaut comes back to Earth with virus, in coma, all life dies, he wakes up later and has to nuke earth

I am pretty sure this is from one of the Annual World's Best SF series in the 1980's, I just can't remember the name of the story. In addition to what I listed above the astronaut figures out an alien ...
8
votes
0answers
98 views

Short story, an Earth man and an alien agent married for years, also, alien invasion

The story begins with a normal evening of a normal looking family in US. Married couple with a girl and a boy. The girl was older if I remember correctly. Suddenly there was an alien invasion at ...
6
votes
0answers
88 views

Anthropologist in Mars researching Martian’s sexuality

Some years ago, no more than 5 or 6. I read a story in Asimov about a female anthropology PhD. Student doing research in Mars to try to understand sexuality in a caravan of Martians. They were named ...
3
votes
0answers
43 views

Looking for YA Horror Anthology Title(s) with one story where a mosquito infestation turns fatal and another where water attacks people

I'm looking for a horror anthology book that is aimed at young adults or older. Not really sure when it was published but I would say before or around the early 2010s. Among the stories was one with ...
27
votes
1answer
419 views

Short story about a vast, telepathic, amoeba-like creature that covers an entire planet

This was a short story or novella I read in the 1980s when I was a teenager. I read this in the United States. I'm guessing the story was written in the 1970s. I think I read this as part of a ...
15
votes
1answer
705 views

Short story where man finds out he’s just an electrical impulse in a computer

About 50 years ago, I read a science fiction short story that I'm trying to find today. As best I can remember, it was about a guy who was driving along and the road just ended in front of him. There ...
9
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1answer
425 views

Short story about The Last Zoo on Earth

I remember reading a long time ago a scifi short story about an official who has to go and close down the last zoo. The zoo was just a few pet animals and I think they had to be exterminated which ...
7
votes
1answer
130 views

Sci-fi short story about aliens using primitive weapons [duplicate]

Sci-fi short story where bear-like aliens try to invade Earth but it comes out that excepting hyperdrive technology, (which the author suggests to be primitive near to the wheel concept and not being ...
8
votes
1answer
277 views

Short story: A man invents a force field and govt. tries to take it away from him

Possible short story from 60’s or 70’s about a man who invents a force field bubble by accident in his home using simple items then the government tries to take it away. He discovers the fields ...
9
votes
1answer
100 views

Short story about mind-hijacking aliens (60s or 70s)

I'm trying to identify a short story that I read in a sci-fi anthology from the late 60s or 70s about an expedition to an alien world. The spaceship encounters a civilization and sends one crew ...
6
votes
0answers
82 views

Science fiction short story of mirror universes

I remember reading a science fiction short story in the 1980s about two mirror universes, where the same incident is going on at the same time. In one universe, the keyword is Sleep and in the other, ...
3
votes
0answers
64 views

Slaves working in mines one able make a politician/ruler see condidtions through his eyes

I read a story about a slave working in a mine that was somehow able to either with help/technology or esp to get a ruling member/politician to see and experience his life as a slave/miner. I can't ...