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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9 votes
3 answers
767 views

Short story in which time slips and the passenger pigeon reappears in North America

I read a sci-fi short story in an anthology. The story featured a college professor who realized time was unravelling when the skies darkened with passenger pigeons. This was in the early seventies ...
Don Hill MD's user avatar
6 votes
1 answer
165 views

Short story about a man who gets trapped inside a woman's breast

It's a science fiction short story I read in the late 90's, but I don't know when it was published. A man is making out with a woman when they get hit by a science experiment and the man is trapped ...
David's user avatar
  • 69
20 votes
1 answer
1k views

Horror short story set on Everest, where climbers left behind are eaten by a creature masquerading as a climber

Ran into this story from a twitter post from the author, but cannot seem to find it. The point of view character was a wealthy frequent climber who was on the mountain in a group including his boss ...
OganM's user avatar
  • 303
17 votes
1 answer
946 views

Sci-fi short story about a teacher who was being studied to learn how to get robots to replace teachers in classrooms

Looking to identify a sci-fi short story I read in high school. The story was about a teacher, the last in the country (I think), who was being studied by an AI/government group to learn how to get ...
Sorel's user avatar
  • 179
7 votes
0 answers
81 views

Looking for the author and title of a story about meeting the stagers and scriptwriters of ones life

I'm pretty sure it was a short story about a man deciding to take a shortcut after being stuck in traffic on a highway. By doing this he steps out of his script and meets the stage hands that build ...
Eleni Goga's user avatar
9 votes
0 answers
126 views

Story about spaceship that has immutable digital archive of human knowledge

Trying to locate a short story that I read online a few months ago. It took place on a spaceship that contained a digital archive of all of human knowledge. At some point, one of the characters made a ...
Doug's user avatar
  • 399
10 votes
1 answer
180 views

Looking for sci-fi short story about a spacecraft flight simulator consultant

I hesitate to provide much detail because with the last question I asked, I got many of the details pretty wrong, but still got the correct answer here, amazingly, so here goes… I’ve been trying to ...
Squamula's user avatar
  • 193
10 votes
0 answers
83 views

Short story about a family in a spaceship who land on a planet and encounter a giant baby

I read this short story a year or so ago. It was a part of an anthology of short stories from various authors. I cannot put a lower bound on the year the story would have been published, but it ...
fez's user avatar
  • 16.5k
11 votes
0 answers
108 views

Short story involving two AI negotiating the terms of an insurance claim about an ongoing car accident, all within a few milliseconds [duplicate]

I remember having read this story on some blog. Each car has a central computer with an AI running in each one. They got into a head-on collision but one of the cars can survive if they both agree to ...
Marlinski's user avatar
  • 211
9 votes
1 answer
189 views

SF story about sharing tools and other possesions with RFID tags

I'm thinking of a story I read probably in Asimov's in the 1990s or early 2000s. There wasn't much plot, just an extended "what if" about being able to tag all your possessions with RFID ...
Andrew's user avatar
  • 41.2k
14 votes
1 answer
1k views

Short story about Jesus being actually an alien that got stranded on Earth

This is a story I read about 15 years ago (or maybe 20?) within an anthology book of sci-fi stories that was already old when I read it. From what I can remember, the story goes like this: An alien ...
AndyC's user avatar
  • 149
8 votes
0 answers
132 views

Short story about a group of scientists\explorers coming to terms with finding out that they are living near the heat death of the universe?

Can anybody name a short story (probably 1970s or early 1980s, definitely written prior to 1984) that revolves around a group of scientists and explorers who discover how to travel via naturally ...
Aaargh Zombies's user avatar
4 votes
0 answers
100 views

Short story where a woman's lover is an angel in disguise

This was a short story about a (male) angel who visited a maiden. Every night he is intimate with her, but refuses to show his face to her. He tells her that if she really loves him, she would not ...
BeLoVeD HaWk's user avatar
15 votes
1 answer
1k views

Accidental colonists on Mars survive being stranded because Mars plants grow and provide the necessities of life

I hate myself for not recalling this, but... I thought it might be by Brin, but I checked in The River of Time and Otherness and didn't find it. I would have read it sometime after 1995-ish, I ...
DavidW's user avatar
  • 127k
9 votes
1 answer
823 views

A short story from the 1960s where Martian (?) authorities wear purple togas

I read this story in a science fiction magazine, possibly if, Galaxy, or Tomorrow, sometime in the period of 1963 to 1968. It was a short story, or at least shorter than a novel. The protagonist and ...
M. A. Golding's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
160 views

Identify the author of a story in a high school textbook called "Ask Minnie"

In the early 1980s, my wife read a story during a science fiction "mini-course" in high school, titled "Ask Minnie" - which she describes as "like With Folded Hands, but awful....
Andrew's user avatar
  • 41.2k
9 votes
1 answer
962 views

Short story about a man (the President?) who made a deal with a devil

I have a vivid memory of reading this in a compendium of short stories possibly in my middle school library (I remember a dull-covered "100 Fantasy and Science Fiction Stories" or something ...
jdunlop's user avatar
  • 209
16 votes
1 answer
698 views

Short story about a space shuttle seeing a city of lights on the Moon

Twenty years ago or thereabouts, I listened to an audio book about a sci-fi short story. I remember bits and pieces, and pardon the vagueness of it due it being 20+ years ago, but the general synopsis ...
user171750's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
97 views

Short story with “Roth Stone” and “Schenken Club” (contract bridge) references

I’m looking for a short story published in 1965 or 1966 possibly in “Fantasy and Science Fiction”. It involved a crime mystery and had the terms “Roth Stone” and “Schenken Club”, both obvious contract ...
lgp's user avatar
  • 39
1 vote
1 answer
158 views

Short story. Madonna is the US president. Has gay and dystopian themes [closed]

Supposedly read around the turn of the century in Fantasy & Science Fiction. (Not all recollections reliable, this is second-hand for an aging friend.) Thanks in advance.
Jan Vaněk jr.'s user avatar
21 votes
1 answer
3k views

Inventor creates wishing machine - accidentally calls up hell

I thought this was a Fred Brown short story, but can't find it. In the story, an inventor (living alone in an isolated cabin I think) creates a machine that can deliver/create anything for him. He ...
Andrew's user avatar
  • 41.2k
11 votes
1 answer
882 views

Short story about an alien glossary of untranslatable terms [duplicate]

A story from an anthology, a list of untranslatable terms, possibly written by a female writer... I think one of the terms was "laha sihp", defined as "the first breath of fresh air ...
Gary McCammon's user avatar
10 votes
1 answer
555 views

Short story about teleport trips and passengers going missing

I know that there are a lot of this kind of question but I've looked through as many as I can find and none fit my recollection of this story. There's a world where humans are able to teleport long ...
user1356743's user avatar
23 votes
1 answer
3k views

Philosophy powered spaceship

I'm looking for a short story about a spaceship crewed by philosophers who will the ship to travel through space. Probably around 20 years or more old. I believe it was a female author. A team of ...
Damien's user avatar
  • 233
19 votes
1 answer
2k views

Transplanted brain then finds flesh repulsive short story

It was a short story I read about 1990 in the UK - I can't remember if in a magazine or a SF anthology. Some guy has had his brain (or maybe just his consciousness) transplanted into a humanoid body, ...
Danny Mc G's user avatar
10 votes
1 answer
993 views

SF first contact short story, alien probe visits earth to exchange information, is asked about religion

I recall a short story where first contact occurs when an alien probe enters the solar system, takes up orbit around earth. Turns out that it's a sublight "ambassador/library" with AI on ...
reedstrm's user avatar
  • 293
9 votes
1 answer
1k views

Book about siblings in a magical world?

Okay so the I read the story ages ago, so I barely remember any details but I'd really like to read it again. Anyway, the story revolves around two siblings, their parents aren't present for whatever ...
Khansa Shakeel's user avatar
7 votes
1 answer
159 views

Rogue smart house locks family in the house to ensure they're eating healthy (comedic tone)

I'm looking to find a science fiction short story in which a rogue smart house locks the family in, to ensure that they engage in healthy behaviour. I seem to recall the focus was on weight loss. ...
Shawn's user avatar
  • 79
7 votes
1 answer
286 views

1960s humorous short story set in far future lizard alien protagonist

I read a short story in a science fiction magazine in the 1960s, probably in If, Tomorrow, or Galaxy. I think that the story was set billions of years in the future. The protagonist was a lizard like ...
M. A. Golding's user avatar
5 votes
0 answers
90 views

Short story about a monster trapped behind an invisible wall in the forest

I'm searching for a short story that I read at my local public library in the early 80's. There was a "monster" who was trapped behind an invisible wall in the forest. The only way it could ...
Gaddyart's user avatar
27 votes
1 answer
3k views

Short science fiction story about a dead scientist who invented a telescope without a lens

I've read this story years ago and haven't been able to find it since. I hope I remember it right and don't mix it up with other stories: Three scientists go through the things of their old friend who ...
Annika's user avatar
  • 273
5 votes
0 answers
66 views

Is it ever said what bloomed from Penny Maowkavitz's grave?

I've just finshed reading the short fiction A Second Chance at Eden by Peter F. Hamilton, from the book of the same name. In the scene of Penny Maowkavitz's funeral, it's said that a seed of her own ...
Ren's user avatar
  • 534
15 votes
1 answer
2k views

1970s short story where USA wants to terraform Mars, Communist China wants to settle Mars via pantropy, USSR is defunct

The story revolves around a U.S. diplomat. At this future date, the world has two superpowers, the USA and Communist China. There is a dispute about how best to colonize Mars. The United States ...
K-man's user avatar
  • 327
4 votes
0 answers
158 views

Short sci-fi story about humans in a zoo in an alien spaceship

Around 30 years ago, I read a book in Czechoslovakia (translated into Slovak) which was a collection of short science fiction stories. I remember a particular story where an astronaut from Earth ...
Ondrej T's user avatar
13 votes
1 answer
130 views

Looking for short story concerning spirits of astronauts, now called "Angels", caring for stars

Some time ago I read an interesting story in which the spirits of volunteers/astronauts have been separated from their bodies and somehow converted into beings called "Angels", who work in ...
Cerulean's user avatar
  • 231
24 votes
1 answer
5k views

Crew of soldiers learn that robots have been faking the war in an effort to save humanity

I was making a post on the TV Tropes site, trying to figure out if there was a trope for a fake Polluted Wasteland, where society believes that the outside world is uninhabitable, but that turns out ...
FuzzyBoots's user avatar
  • 221k
6 votes
0 answers
125 views

Scientists make AI machines to save the earth from attacking aliens

I’m looking for a short story I read a long time ago.. I think it was part of a collection of short stories maybe from the 50’s to 70’s. It goes something like this: Scientist detect aliens coming to ...
Wiecher's user avatar
  • 61
19 votes
0 answers
232 views

Trying to find a short story about humans making first contact only to realize they evolved from alien trash

Decades ago I read a short story in an anthology where one of the first human exploration ships was out traveling to another star system when an extremely advanced alien space ship basically pulled ...
Arcanestomper's user avatar
7 votes
0 answers
60 views

Story identification: What's the name of this short story about a star-crossed human-alien romance and the robot that reunited them?

Over two decades ago, I read a haunting short story in school, and I can't seem to find any information about it. In summary: A young human astronaut on an alien planet falls in love with a young ...
Miguelito's user avatar
19 votes
1 answer
2k views

Short story about a self-aware machine that time travels; the title may have been an acronym

I need some help finding the name of a short story in an anthology I read. I think it may have been written in first person about a man-made machine intelligence that causes or survives through a ...
S B's user avatar
  • 201
8 votes
0 answers
70 views

Story about a spaceport gas station and a "Book of Mormon" type pioneer family on new planet

This was a longer story or novelette. It begins with the POV of a gas station worker watching families go to a space transit port. Each family will be transported to their own planet. The POV then ...
Chris C.'s user avatar
6 votes
0 answers
89 views

Werewolf short story about a group of friends going skiing, with a plot twist at the end

I read this book in probably like 2015-2018 or so and I think it was in a kids' horror book compilation or something like that (not Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark). I also believe the cover might ...
Alastair Stålfors's user avatar
24 votes
1 answer
3k views

Story about the accidental discovery of a force field

I'm looking for a story that I probably read sometime around the early 2000s, although I believe the publication was much earlier. I believe it was in the form of a science fiction short story ...
NES's user avatar
  • 251
7 votes
0 answers
103 views

Can you find a fictional short story about time travel that was in 1990s american language arts textbooks?

Group of kids travel to the past and to the future, where humans have evolved and reduced language down to a simple word. The word "sellup" has infinite meanings and is their only form of ...
Ariel's user avatar
  • 71
17 votes
1 answer
2k views

Help finding a short story - Protagonist finds out that people have voted for him to die

I roughly remember the premise as follows: A protagonist finds out that a televangelist has encouraged his audience to vote to kill him. In 24 hours he should die.He spends that time trying to stop ...
imatincr's user avatar
  • 173
7 votes
0 answers
85 views

Short tale from Asimov's Science Fiction - children's psychic abilities tested after mankind is defeated by a race of teleporting aliens [duplicate]

I'm trying to locate a short tale I read sometime ago in an old number of Asimov's Science Fiction. I've trying to find it here and checking old magazines to no avail. The plot went like this: Mankind ...
Álvaro's user avatar
  • 71
7 votes
1 answer
209 views

Short story collection featuring a man living in a woods who got a swan for his wife, a music teacher lost in a city, and a mermaid—possibly Le Guin

In my childhood (??? sorry, it was over 30 years ago...) I've got a book from my local library with short novels, I suppose by Ursula Le Guin. Some stories I remember: there was a man living in a ...
108adams's user avatar
  • 211
4 votes
0 answers
61 views

Online story - mother tempted by youth leader, demonic possession involving a movie

I read this story online in the last five years or so. I think it's a long short story or possibly a novelette. The main character is a woman with two teenage sons. The sons go to scout or church ...
Andrew's user avatar
  • 41.2k
8 votes
0 answers
70 views

Old short sport story that involved students putting on helmets or visors that projected what they imagined at their opponents

I've looked all over but can't find an answer. This is me last hope. One of our elementary school textbooks (Canada) around the late '90s, early 2000s had a collection of short stories. One of them ...
Drosophila Melanogaster's user avatar
4 votes
1 answer
1k views

Looking for a short story in which the narrator describes how he has placed the pages of the story specifically for "you" [closed]

The story was in a hardcover short story collection. I read it in the early 80s, and the book seemed older to me at the time. The narrator eventually goes on to describe how they are watching you.
David Perry's user avatar

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