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. If you are looking for a particular anthology of short stories, use the [anthology-book] tag.

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7
votes
1answer
95 views

1979 or earlier short story - dispute settled with opposing factions fighting on a planet using WWI rules

I am trying to track down a sci fi short story from a magazine. Been bugging me for years. Not sure what magazine - journal size 7-8" x 10-11" - approx 70 pages when I picture holding it. I got the ...
4
votes
2answers
184 views

Short story where aliens think cars are the dominant life form

It's not HGttG and it isn't a poem. It was like a page long and it was in my textbook in high school circa early 2000s in CA, USA. I remember there were aliens and they were talking about how humans ...
8
votes
1answer
99 views

Brian Aldiss short story about caveats of advanced military technology [duplicate]

I'm trying to remember a short story I read many years ago about the negative side of developing and deploying advanced weapons technology in an SF setting. It was about some intergalactic power that ...
23
votes
1answer
4k views

SciFi writer’s stories are plagiarized from the future

An author of science fiction repeatedly finds that no sooner has he published a new work than he finds that that it appears as though he had plagiarized it because it is suddenly listed as an already ...
4
votes
0answers
96 views

Short story: post-climate-change, mega-rich underwater retreat

I'm trying to find a short story from a pretty recent collection (sometime in the past 5-10 years). The plot involves 2 people in a sub (some sort of male consultant/operative/spy, and a female pilot)...
18
votes
1answer
1k views

Short story: humorous story with protagonist talking in riddles

I read this short story a few years ago, online, but I didn't save the link, author or title. It was about 5-10 pages long, with the following plot points that I remember: A lone human explorer lands ...
4
votes
0answers
41 views

Sci fi short story, enemy weapons made the population deaf [duplicate]

I read this short story at least thirty years ago, an anthology in the UK but the story was set in the US. A grandmother is struggling to raise her grandson, I think the parents are dead. There is an ...
5
votes
0answers
120 views

Looking for story about farmer who sees aliens land in his field, but it turns out that the farmer is the alien and the aliens are humans

I’m looking for the name of a YA Science Fiction short story that I read in middle school in the 70’s. As I remember it, the story was told from the perspective of a farmer who was tending his fields ...
5
votes
0answers
204 views
+100

Scary short story about boy who finds out he’s the only real human on Earth

Looking for a short story I read maybe 10 years ago, about a boy who finds out that he’s the only real human on Earth, and all the other people he sees are not human but something else. It takes place ...
2
votes
0answers
51 views

Looking for YA short story about boy who finds family living in cave from alternate world

I’m looking for the name of a YA short story that I read in middle school back in the late 70’s. I believe it was part of a Science Fiction short story collection. My recollection is that it had “Key” ...
-4
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0answers
44 views

Science fiction stories by Isaac Asimov [closed]

What do you think is the best Isaac Asimov story I should search.So far I've read only one "Callistan mennace" and I was wondering how his other stories are.
5
votes
0answers
214 views

Short story: what happens when everyone in a room goes silent?

40 or 50 years ago I read a story (possibly not actually sci-fi) that referred to a moment when everyone in a room stopped talking. Such moments were actually a remembrance of another world or ...
3
votes
1answer
263 views

Taking LSD while having sex and dying

Decades ago I read a story about a pilot who had a one-night stand with a stewardess native to Papua who had blue eyes due to some genetic changes in the future. They took LSD together and he realized ...
17
votes
6answers
4k views

1960's or so short story of humans landing on a planet that is sentient

The planet has always been alone and thus is terrified by the human "others." The planet's fear is felt by the people and becomes a positive feedback system until one human goes crazy and runs away. ...
5
votes
0answers
176 views

Looking for a short story I read in ‘85/‘86

I took a science fiction class in high school. Upstate New York. I remember reading a story about an astronaut landing on a planet. When he crash landed he thought it was uninhabited. Then his eyes ...
15
votes
2answers
2k views

Short story/novella: Ship sling shots around a spinning black hole

Synopses: Ship is being chased by 'bad guys', to escape they use a sling shot maneuver around a spinning black hole. As a consequence the black hole's event horizon expands (due to the rotational ...
32
votes
1answer
3k views

Short story about distant-future researchers who rediscover the forgotten Earth shortly before it falls into the sun

I’m looking for a short story which I read in high school, sometime between 1999 and 2005 (most likely around 2003). It’s a contemplative sci-fi story. As I remember, the plot was: In the distant ...
7
votes
1answer
114 views

Scary short stories anthology book - House that was a crashed spaceship

I was hoping someone could help me remember this book of scary stories I read as a child. It was a collection of short scary stories. One was about a family living with an abusive father or ...
9
votes
1answer
134 views

Story about soul-trapping prisoners to serve full sentences

Someone described a story with an interesting premise: I remember reading a SF story many years ago, in which mankind had developed a way to capture a person's consciousness/personality/soul/...
13
votes
2answers
1k views

Story in which something turns men's lust into murderous impulse

I recall reading a short story in which sexual desire was causing men to act out and murder those to whom they were attracted. IIRC it was a twist on the alien invaders theme, but instead of an armed ...
9
votes
3answers
174 views

Robot/AI short story about a group of robots on furlough/leave in the wilderness, hunted by humans

I am trying to find the title of a short story about a group of robots on furlough/leave in the wilderness. There is a big snow storm and they are forced to leave the shelter where they are. They ...
7
votes
1answer
272 views

Story demonstrating the Unexpected Hanging Paradox

Another lost story with a memorable fragment. A man is held captive in an authoritarian country. He was once an important man but has fallen out of favor, and he will be executed at a time of his ...
7
votes
0answers
108 views

Short story about a kid who finds a robot and has it do his homework and chores

This is a long shot but... in 7th grade (1995) I had a math substitute who read us a short story instead of class work. Here's what I remember. A kid finds a robot on his way home from school. He ...
3
votes
1answer
115 views

Short story: Mindset of believing something is possible (even if not true) influences the outcome [duplicate]

Trying to find what I think was a short story, probably written 30 or more years ago. Synopsis, to the best of my recollection: Organization (military?/government?/corporate?) shows film of an ...
7
votes
1answer
177 views

Short story with explorers or tourists on a planet with dangerous, but attractive glass plants

I read this in the past 3 years, but I'm sure it was in an old (1950s most likely) pulp magazine that I read once I discovered that the Internet Archive had hundreds of them. The story concerns ...
12
votes
1answer
256 views

Short story about a space combat/chase that can never be resolved due to the deltaV between the ships

I'm looking for the name of a scifi short story. I'm pretty sure it is in one of the 'Years Best in Science Fiction' but I have like ten of them and they are huge so I don't know which one it is in. ...
3
votes
1answer
105 views

Short story and/or excerpt of book about alien culture with orange eyes and human colony on alien planet?

A story I read as a short story/book excerpt in an English textbook in middle school in 2007 and haven't found since. There is an alien girl with orange eyes and a colony of humans has moved onto the ...
10
votes
1answer
260 views

Short story where a killer house lowers the temperature to match that of a movie scene the owner is watching

I need the title of the short story that I describe next. I was fairly confident it was in Ray Bradbury's Illustrated Man, but when I went to Wikipedia to review the short-stories there contained, I ...
14
votes
1answer
3k views

Sword and sorcery short story with a wizard carrying an infant in a backpack that actually is a parasite

I'm looking for a sword and sorcery short story I read a long time ago: it's from the pulp era, possibly the 30s. I used to think it had been written by Clark Ashton Smith as both the style and the ...
6
votes
1answer
129 views

Scifi short story where man is plagued by violent images

It was about a man living in a world where every surface could display pictures. One day he is targeted by a cyber-terrorism attack that displayed gore, violence, and similar on every surface in his ...
18
votes
1answer
4k views

Short story about night-dwelling party people who live on alcohol and grow their clothes and money

I think I read this in the early 1990s. Possibly in Asimov's or Analog, but more likely in an anthology. The viewpoint character is a man who has been increasingly insomniac. Restless, he has taken ...
7
votes
1answer
214 views

Short story where a guy becomes a bee, teaches bees to shave the barbs off their stingers

I'm looking for a story about a guy who inadvertently becomes a bee in his hive and teaches them to shave the barbs off their stingers. I think it was in an anthology somewhen and was pinched by RL ...
16
votes
2answers
3k views

Book of Science Fiction Horror I Read as a Kid

The book was probably printed in the early 90s when I was a child reading science fiction. I think it was largely about space sci-fi, but the one story that I remember clearly was called "Soft." It ...
36
votes
1answer
4k views

Story: The problems of two worlds could be solved by interstellar communication

The story alternately follows events on two worlds of approximately equal technological development, separated by interstellar distance. One is the Earth, where the characters worry about the ...
11
votes
1answer
160 views

Lovecraftesque Story with a Giant Stairwell [duplicate]

Long time ago, I read a story which in retrospect I'd classify as Lovecraftesque in style, though I doubt it was one of HPL's own works (it doesn't match any of HPL's stories I've read long afterwards)...
7
votes
0answers
112 views

40-60s short story: nuclear explosions slow time

Read this short story in a collection of classic scifi stories I'll guess published 1940s - 1960s. During an atomic war, 3 simultaneous nuclear explosions happen over a small American town. The exact ...
5
votes
0answers
82 views

Short story: dream machines and androids

A boy sets off on a quest and eventually learns from an oracle/librarian/sentient machine/? that he is an android, and so is everyone in his city, without being aware of it; there are no more real ...
2
votes
1answer
231 views

Heinlein short story about Mr & Mrs Joseph Green saving the moon

In one of Heinlein's short stories, two characters wind up saving the moon (or perhaps the universe). The character Beetle Kelly (sp?) was involved. What was the title, and in what collection did it ...
7
votes
1answer
235 views

Looking for an old-old sci-fi tale about time-traveling

As recommended, I'm "migrating"/"duplicate" from literature here, to sci-fi. I can not remember, who is the author, but this seems was Ray Bradbury, however, I've already read couple of his short ...
7
votes
1answer
322 views

Short story where artificial life gets out of control [duplicate]

Please bear with me, memories are vague. I'm looking for the name of a short scifi story, by a fairly prominent author IIRC, where a person was evolving "pet artificial life" in their basement. ...
10
votes
2answers
795 views

An old short story about an urban war between car drivers and pedestrians [duplicate]

For decades I’ve been struggling to remember the title of a science fiction short story I read in some anthology as I was younger: by tone and subject it could be from the 50s or 60s. It must have ...
8
votes
1answer
110 views

Cosmic horror story featuring a tablet and hypnosis

I remember a story from the POV of a British man; one of his teachers is an archaeologist, whose lifelong dream is to find something called the Tablet of the Gods or something along those lines, a ...
6
votes
1answer
116 views

Sci-fi short: invading aliens scared off by kid’s comic books

Our English teacher read this to our class in the late 60’s. Advance scouts preparing for an alien invasion explore a boy’s bedroom and are mystified by his sports equipment, thinking it is objects ...
7
votes
0answers
89 views

Short story in Analog/Asimov's about far future godlike human, seduction, betrayal?

I've been trying to find a short story in Asimov's or Analog from the 1990s or later (to at least 2010) about the following: extremely far future from present-day Earth, maybe a million years a ...
4
votes
0answers
90 views

Fantasy story, beginning has old woman waiting in line to see someone important

Maybe 20-30 years old. Paperback in English. The first chapter (or maybe the preface, or intro, or maybe just a short story prequel) describes an old poor woman waiting in line with other people (...
28
votes
1answer
3k views

Story I read in early 70's about men forced inside container wringing water endlessly from fabric

I read a short story long ago about a team of men in a hollow container. They were forced to endlessly wring liquid from some type of fabric. But, whenever they managed any success, more moisture or ...
37
votes
1answer
3k views

Short story where a scientist regrets curing the common cold

I read this in the 1980s, though it might have been published much earlier (I had a huge stack of paperbacks from an older cousin). Basically, the scientist protagonist (plus maybe a collaborator) ...
19
votes
1answer
1k views

Story on a planet with very long seasons from the 80s or earlier

I read this at least 25 years ago. It is short fiction, but I think it is a novelette rather than a “short story” per se. It takes place on a planet where the cycle of the seasons lasts about 30 of ...
12
votes
1answer
3k views

Science-fiction short story ending with the line “Twenty years later, it didn't seem so funny.”

In Science fiction short story before 1970s "Cracker for my Megatherium?", user VWFeature asked a question about a story they read. As I read the question I was reminded of two separate ...
4
votes
2answers
134 views

Pre-70s science-fiction short story: “Cracker for my Megatherium?” [duplicate]

Looking for a science-fiction short story written before the 1970s, which involves starship travel in the 1950's style. Written from the point of view of a male researcher, who encounters a planet of ...