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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13
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2answers
176 views

Science Fiction Anthology, probably 70s

I'm fairly sure the book has Science Fiction in the title. It also contains Who Can Replace a Man? by Brian W. Aldiss. I think that was either the first, or one of the first few stories in the book. I ...
3
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1answer
111 views

Meaning of acronym UNBI

"Lochinvar" is a short story by Margaret St. Clair, published in 1961 in Galaxy (and available to read at the Internet Archive). The titular character is an alien creature from Mars, with ...
14
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1answer
2k views

Sci-fi story: they put humans in missiles/rockets

Its a short sci-fi story from 50s/60s/70s where two factions are fighting. They try to outdo one another by constantly putting more advanced weapon guidance systems on their missiles. Eventually their ...
19
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1answer
2k views

Story where guests at dinner or a party cannot leave the table (and may or may not turn into animals)?

During middle school or high school I seem to recall reading a story where guests at a dinner party or party sit down at a table. However, shortly after dinner begins, none of the guests are able to ...
6
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1answer
127 views

What does PE&G stand for, and does it connect with Mazda's name?

I've just read Margaret St. Clair's short story "An Old Fashioned Bird Christmas", available on the Internet Archive. In the setting of this story, mention is made of an organisation (a ...
16
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1answer
2k views

1950s short story with people recruited to fight in far future war

I'm trying to recall a short story from the late 1940s or 1950s about ex-soldiers being recruited by a shadowy agency who then end up fighting in a far-future conflict. The chief recruiter employs a ...
5
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1answer
143 views

Short story where employees agree to attach quasi-alive device to themselves, to keep them on-task when attention wanders

Employees agree to attach a genetically engineered quasi-alive device to themselves, to keep them on-task when attention wanders during the day. Written in a satirical company manual form. The ...
7
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0answers
90 views

An internet story about an immortal soldier

I'm looking for a short story I once read on the internet. I don't know if it was published, it looked more like a creepypasta. It was about a soldier in the medieval era who committed both bad and ...
29
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1answer
3k views

Short story about someone who reassembles a strange skeleton, finds themself turning into the same creature

I read this short story in an anthology book from a public library in England around the mid to late eighties. The story concerned two characters (I believe a man and a woman, possibly lovers) and the ...
19
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1answer
1k views

Story about the Earth being appraised as a work of art [duplicate]

I'm looking for the title and author of a short story I read sometime between the late '70s and the '80s. It's about a young couple who are curious about a neighbor with a peculiar behavior. I don't ...
8
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0answers
88 views

SF short story involving a community of organisms living within a larger organism

I'm trying to identify a story I likely heard on the podcast Escape Pod or something similar quite a few years ago. In the story, smaller bug-like organisms live within the body of a larger bug-like ...
19
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1answer
3k views

A man who sometimes works for the UN accidentally sells the Earth to an alien

Sci fi story from the 1950s: In New York, a man in a trenchcoat approaches and offers to buy planets. The man selling eventually "sells the earth". The buyer says write me a bill of sale ...
3
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0answers
74 views

Short story where an astronaut is sent into space, and then a few years later is found by a significantly more advanced ship, also from Earth [duplicate]

Can anyone tell me the name of a science fiction short story where a spaceship is sent out on an exploration mission from Earth. And then after a few years, the progress of technology is such that ...
11
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1answer
608 views

Sci-fi short story about why you only find one shoe on the road

Looking for the name and author of a science fiction short story about why you only ever find one shoe on the side of the road. Hot babe picks up hitchhiker in a nice sports car. Hot babe turns into ...
5
votes
1answer
75 views

Trying to find a short story where a dragon is impersonating a wizard

I just remembered a memory of a short story I read back in middle school. From what I remember, the story starts off with the 'wizard' blowing smoke into the sky as he looks down on the local village ...
6
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1answer
122 views

Short story from Aliens’ perspective that ‘cure human racism’ (cheeky) [duplicate]

Ok, so the details are vague but the ending gives a strong hint. What I remember is that humans are suffering and either: A) Send out humans out into space for help from other life to get help and ...
9
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0answers
320 views

Hyper-advanced aliens create universes as a class project; one student's project goes to heat death

I was sure I stumbled across it here, but I can't find it at all. It's a short story I've read in the past 10 years, I believe. The viewpoint character is some unimaginably powerful alien who is ...
14
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2answers
3k views

WW2-era bureaucrats escaping nuclear war into Lovecraftian dimension

There was a short story I must have read before 2010, about a group of WW2 American bureaucrats who escaped from a nuclear world in their dimension, into a Lovecraftian dimension. The story ended with ...
11
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1answer
163 views

SF short story about people creating worlds in glass tubes, which are subsequently smashed and destroyed, causing controversy

I remember the plot quite clearly but can't really find the title of this short story that I think I read in the online version of an American science fiction magazine on archive.org. It was ...
14
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1answer
820 views

Science fiction story involving a psychologist having to locate and talk down a car AI that plans to explode its aftermarket bomb

I'd swear I found this one on the site, but I'm having difficulties locating it now. The basic conflict is that, somewhere in a large city, there's a car with an explosive device that's threatening to ...
7
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0answers
342 views

Member of a secret cabal builds a casino to secretly destabilize a city

I'm not sure if I read this in a magazine or anthology; I think I read it around 2010, but it could have been from much earlier. The viewpoint character is a member of a secret organization, but I don'...
13
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1answer
1k views

Short SF story of an island of kids growing up observed by anthropologists

A short SF story with an anthropologic angle. A team of anthropologists devised an experiment placing, as I recall it, 100 babies on an island (tended initially by machines). The island was wired with ...
7
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0answers
103 views

Short story about an author who writes a story about an unfaithful wife being murdered, and is then arrested for the murder of his own wife

A story of psychological horror from a '50s pulp magazine. The protagonist is a writer, he has already published 12 parts of his story about the unfaithful wife. Suddenly the main character of his ...
3
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0answers
96 views

Collection about short stories including very short ones

I first apologize for the lack of details: I read this collection nearly 30 years ago. I remember only a very few details about it: Stories were of various size but at least include a few very short ...
16
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1answer
1k views

Old short story featuring a glacier in Oxford Street?

Set during a future ice age. A glacier in Oxford Street. Written in 50s or 60s. It left a strong impression on me as a 13 year old.
7
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1answer
276 views

Looking for a short story about hunting aliens

I read this story a few years ago while looking at various TVTropes pages. It’s about a group of four, two siblings, their personal assistant and the man who’s flying them to this alien hunting world. ...
5
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0answers
71 views

Short story or book in which a man turns into a giant and is climbed by another man

Looking for a short story or book in which a man turns into a giant and is climbed by another man, who runs into interesting flora and fauna on the giant, and even resorts to eating a mite on the ...
19
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1answer
1k views

Lab demonstration summons alien stripper

This may sound a strange premise for a science fiction story, but maybe it has a resonance for some of the physics educators who contribute to this site. At a meeting this morning, one of my ...
17
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1answer
982 views

A 50s - 60s short story with future children & an ancient shaman

I am trying to find a short story that was in a hardback short story collection which I recall reading in the late 50s to early 60s. It involves a group of children -- boys, as I recall -- on a sort ...
13
votes
1answer
1k views

Short story about teenagers who transfer their minds into the bodies of silverback gorillas to play extreme sports

I read this short story in a collection years ago, so I don't remember much. It was a story about a teenager growing up in a world where it was possible to grow other bodies and transfer your mind ...
6
votes
1answer
135 views

Looking for title of SciFi story (on TV) about invisible men who fix things out of place in time

I remember a short I saw on TV many years ago about time as a continuum, I think a train? there were men who fixed things that were out of place. It was an explanation of why you would think your ...
9
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1answer
1k views

Necronomicon short story about a twin brother who is killed by a wizard, and comes back to take revenge

This is a story most probably by Lovecraft. A wizard kills the twin brother out of jealousy. That brother is trying to come back to take revenge.
12
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1answer
786 views

Scholastic sci-fi anthology book containing a short story about a planet with crystal monsters

During the late 1970's and early 1980's Scholastic would publish and sell books at elementary schools and I picked one up which had 8-10 stories inside which were all fantasy or sci-fi in nature. The ...
5
votes
1answer
121 views

Looking for a short story about a failed diplomatic mission between O2 breathers and non-O2 breathers

In 1971, or earlier, I read a short story in an anthology which has haunted me ever since, and I've spent years searching for it so I can re-read it. It was about a failed diplomatic mission or treaty ...
12
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0answers
147 views

Post apocalyptic short story

When I was in grade 10 back in 1990-1991 in Ontario Canada, there was a short story that we read that as I took place in the aftermath of some catastrophe (nuclear war I think). (I know it is not the ...
7
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0answers
63 views

Trying to find an old Scifi short story for kids. Boy & Father travel to another planet alone after rest of the ships crew goes insane

Read it in the early 80's but felt like it was from the 70's or 60's. School library collection of sci-fi stories for elementary school kids (multi-volume series was blue hardbacks I think). The one ...
8
votes
1answer
237 views

ID short story where God is permanently manifested in everyone's home for them to complain to

I read this in a collection of SF short stories in the 90s, but it could date from several decades before then. I thought it was by Aldiss or Ballard, but I can't find any of their works that seem to ...
5
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0answers
82 views

Short (horror) story about about a guy with an implant that lets him turn off his conscious mind

I'm trying to find a short story about a guy with a sort of p-zombie implant that lets him like, turn off his consciousness or something like that, which he uses to be more productive at work. Except ...
4
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1answer
175 views

Short story about a businessman who goes to Hell and is tortured for an eternity until he becomes a demon

The story concerns a businessman who goes to Hell and is tortured for an eternity until he becomes a demon. The story ends with the demon who tortured him disappearing, and a businessman entering, ...
3
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1answer
211 views

Trying to find a time travel short story

A group of scientists had almost cracked time travel - but then started dying in a series of bizarre accidents. They realised that the universe was protecting itself from the paradox of time travel by ...
8
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1answer
118 views

Short story about a guy that buy “alien pets” to put in a kind of “terrarium” [duplicate]

I can't remember the author's name nor the title (guess it is obvious, otherwise I wouldn't be here). I do not remember much of the story either. It was about a guy that buys from a dealer (or a ...
9
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0answers
83 views

Short story (1970s or earlier) involving a lone explorer, a deserted planet, and a ship trapped in indestructible substance

I am trying to identify a short story that I read when I was a boy, so in the late 1970s/early 1980s. I read it in German, but I am certain it was translated from English. I read it in our public ...
8
votes
1answer
173 views

Story in diary form about a malicious stranger who sets neighbours against one another [closed]

I'm looking for the name of a short story I read in a SF anthology in the early 90's, but I don't know the anthology's publication date. I think the story was written before 1970. The story develops ...
5
votes
1answer
158 views

Book about a person giving in to become a zombie by going to sleep

I read this story a while ago, probably ~5 years now. I think it featured in a SF anthology of some kind, and it may have had a fairly simple name (like "Zombie" or "Sleep"). The ...
4
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1answer
205 views

Short story about scientists attempting to make contact with God

I am looking for a short story I read in the mid to late '90s - part of an anthology. The story is about scientists who are attempting to make contact with God - they eventually do, but the scientists ...
9
votes
0answers
133 views

Old sci-fi short story about bombs sent back through time and space by aliens to destroy earth [duplicate]

The story I remember and am trying to find: Humans had expanded out into the galaxy. Another race of aliens saw humans making their way towards their sector of space and feared us. That race was not a ...
11
votes
1answer
117 views

Short story where guy's house is on a guided tour for aliens or humans from the future. Saxophone reference

Read this story in the 1970's, probably in a "best of" collection. A guy hears strange noises in his house/apartment, thinks it's maybe ghosts. Comes to realize he's hearing a tour guide (...
6
votes
1answer
610 views

Woman pilot with neural jack helps oppressed workers get their kids back

This is a short story or novelette I likely read in the early 1990s, probably in a magazine or anthology. The story starts with a woman spaceship pilot, whose name may be "Gemma" or ...
9
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0answers
81 views

Sci-fi Horror Story About Spiders, Psychology, and Aliens

I'm trying to find the name of a short story from a collection of sci-fi horror stories. (NOTE—I'm not talking about a collection of sci-fi AND horror stories, but rather a collection of horror ...
26
votes
1answer
2k views

Short story about invading another world, twist is the 'futuristic' invaders are actually conquistadores?

I'm looking for a short scifi story about invaders with futuristic sounding technology - blasters and chargers - invading a new world after having conquered many others and attacking the civilisation ...

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