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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5
votes
1answer
37 views

Short story about humans -> machines -> disembodied spirits

I've been scouring the internet trying to find a science fiction piece I remember reading when I was in elementary school. It was very short and about how humans will evolve into machines leaving our ...
5
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2answers
85 views

Story about an endless source of meat

I remember reading a short story at some time in the 1990s which featured a regenerating organism which was used for meat. Workers would carve the meat off of it. They may have sent the meat through ...
5
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0answers
91 views

Short story where the discovery of God makes the newspaper headlines

I'm looking for a short story about the discovery of God by scientists that makes the newspaper headlines. The story ends a with headline like: God dead; is not able to alter anything. 80s perhaps?
14
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0answers
121 views

Time traveler tells historical figures of their importance just before death

I'm trying to remember / find a short story (a few pages, if that) about a time traveler (possibly rogue(?)) who meets important historical figures just before their death and informs them of the ...
5
votes
1answer
115 views

A story where prisoners could be remotely controlled as laborers

I remember reading this story, maybe in the 1990s, where condemned prisoners were not killed, but their minds erased and their bodies put to work. Miners (or whoever needed) could rent such bodies to ...
9
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1answer
208 views

Short story, maybe by Budrys: unpleasant man makes himself conspicuous to attract aliens

Short story about an unpleasant character who claims that he acts the way he does to attract first contact with aliens. At the end of the story contact is made with the aliens and they are captured ...
29
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1answer
3k views

Old short story where the future emperor of the galaxy is taken for a tour around Earth

This short story is about a future emperor of the galaxy who is brought to Earth for what he thinks is a tour. A guide takes him around Earth on horseback and keeps saying “your life is in my hands”. ...
11
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1answer
390 views

Crab Nebula short story from 1960s or '70s

An alien, though human like, race escapes from their dying world on a FTL ship and land on Earth in prehistory, settling peaceably and mating with the natives (possibly in Ancient Egypt). The story ...
5
votes
1answer
73 views

Conan story with a wizard's wall of fire

I'm pretty sure at some point in the past I read a Conan story (could be from Howard or a later author) which features a scene something like the following: Conan leads an army against an opposing ...
10
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0answers
220 views
+250

Story Where Everyone Takes Nootropic Drugs

I remember reading a story about where everyone used cognitive enhancement drugs to perform intellectually. The main character had a daughter that used them (in law school?) but they were earlier ...
5
votes
1answer
145 views

Isaac Asimov short story: circa 1976, male astronaut saves space station inhabitants during solar storm

I've read through several in-print lists of Isaac Asimov short stories, and have been unable to identify one short story. It may have been published in THE SATURDAY EVENING POST around 1976. In the ...
6
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1answer
147 views

Science fiction story or novel: humans do not leave apartments, communicate via two-way television, “McCloo” mentioned

I once read a concise, printed description of a science fiction short story or novel. I never read this short story or novel. The story's central idea: a future civilization in which humans lived in ...
5
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0answers
66 views

Short story where a snail-like alien creature preys upon the protagonist in the end [duplicate]

The description of the story may be a little bit wrong since I read this story many years ago. Also, the short story is not recent (thinking maybe written in the 50s or 60s) and it is science fiction/...
18
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1answer
2k views

Short story about Nobel Prize winning scientists that drop out when they realise they were incorrect

It's a short story that I read in an anthology a few years ago. The premise is several scientists are preparing to go to Geneva to accept the Nobel Prize for their work in astrophysics. But one of ...
16
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1answer
2k views

Intelligent Ants in the Amazon

What's the sf short story where an entomologist discovers a swarm of intelligent ants that collect butterfly and moth eggs for him? But then realizes they are extremely dangerous? (I think they might ...
5
votes
1answer
167 views

Short story where a man is stranded on an island on another planet and records messages for his future self

There's this one short story where some people or some guy gets stranded on an island on another planet. He starts recording messages for himself so when he's old and senile he's basically making fun ...
10
votes
1answer
153 views

Story about descendants of space colonists becoming slaves of aliens? [duplicate]

I read this old short story in an anthology (about 25 years ago) but can't remember the title. The plot was that human colonists/astronauts arrive at a planet inhabited by rather primitive aliens. ...
5
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0answers
92 views

Short story about a girl with a spider in her hair

I'm trying to find the name of a short story I read around 2002-2003 as an e-book from the now-defunct fictionwise.com. It could have been a free book from them, implying it was either a recent award ...
11
votes
1answer
154 views

Short SF story , future people who feed on sunlight try solid food

Short story read in an anthology in UK maybe ten years ago, I can’t think of other stories in the book, or recall any details of the book. Protagonist and his future people live in massive space ...
15
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0answers
231 views

Short story from an anthology book where a man travels back in time trying to meet Jesus but ends up becoming him

This story involved a young man in the future who travels back to the time of Jesus to meet him only to end up as Jesus. He is able to perform "miracles" because he shares some aspirin from his ...
10
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0answers
103 views

Story about brute soldiers psychically linked to operators

I am trying to find a story I read a while ago, but I can't remember all of the details. This was probably a short story, either in a collection or a sci-fi magazine. I usually read Analog, Asimov's, ...
29
votes
1answer
3k views

Story about two rival crews terraforming a planet

In the mid to late 80's I read a longish short story or short novella (it may have had several chapters) that I like to find again. I read it in an anthology in Dutch but I'm about 99% certain is was ...
8
votes
1answer
160 views

1980s or 90s magazine story: girl can read emotions because she sees outside the normal visual range

This would have been in either Analog or IASFM in the mid-to-late 1980s or early-to-mid 1990s. Loner boy meets outcast girl, who he discovers can read anybody's emotions. They fall in love, they get ...
5
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0answers
66 views

Short story where a retired detective assists his police officer daughter through video surveillance nanotechnology imprinted on a child's balloon?

Plot Details/Summary The protagonist is an older man, probably in his 60's. He's a retired police detective of some sort, and he is also ailing physically. He lives in a nursing home, and IIRC is ...
7
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0answers
91 views

Sci-Fi story about a detective uncovering a conspiracy, getting captured and tortured

I only read the last part of the story in a magazine that used to publish short stories like this in chapters. The final chapter of this one went like this: The protagonist is driving to his boss to ...
11
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2answers
179 views

Fantasy story, probably by Esther Friesner, about Arthurian characters talking like Valley girls

I think I read this somewhere in the interval of 1993-2004, and I think it was in an issue of an SF/Fantasy magazine which was new on the stands at the time. As opposed to being a back issue from the ...
14
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2answers
171 views

1980s Analog story about the inventor of an autodoc

If I'm off by a couple of years it could have been early 1990s, but not later than that. I don't clearly recall the structure of the story; I believe there is a present-time framing story with a ...
8
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1answer
127 views

Vintage sci-fi short story: Telepaths, Aliens and Cats [duplicate]

Looking for the title and author of a sci-fi short story wherein an Earth spaceship with telepathic crew encounters an alien spaceship. The telepathic crew try to convince the aliens that the ship's ...
5
votes
1answer
202 views

Short story about kids going down a hole, from my English book in 1979

The story was about these kids who went down into a hole and ended up in a different place. It started out at night with stars in the sky. I remember there was a mean old man, who was possibly a ...
7
votes
1answer
106 views

Children's Fantasy Book involving village of dwarves fighting dragons and tug-of-war

I read this early/mid 90's, the book I am looking for is a collection of illustrated short stories. The book itself was large in size (oversized) and filled with illustrations. I read the Indonesian ...
5
votes
1answer
134 views

Story about astronauts crashing on a planet inhabited by robots [duplicate]

I read this SF story somewhere in 2000s. I believe it was in English but might have been a translation from the original work. It might have been a short story or a novella. The story's core premise ...
29
votes
1answer
2k views

Children's short story about material that accelerates away from gravity

I am looking for a children's short story about a scientist that invents a material that is pushed away from other matter. It accelerates away from gravity instead of towards it. He makes several ...
9
votes
1answer
122 views

Poul Anderson short story about sentient dolphin-like race with green blood

I'm looking for the name of a Poul Anderson short story (written prior to 1979). The short story involves a lone space traveler who finds a planet inhabited by a dolphin-like race. He befriends the ...
13
votes
3answers
242 views

Spiderlike Aliens on Mercury

I'm looking for what I think was a short story about astronauts visiting Mercury and discovering Spiderlike creatures that lived there. I think it was something I read as a young teen in the early ...
24
votes
1answer
919 views

Short story with brother-sister conjoined twins as protagonists?

Plot Summary/Details This one is a real longshot, I fear. I can only recall specific details about the protagonists, with a few hazily remembered story elements to go with them. I am certain the ...
4
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0answers
97 views

Alchemist meets time-traveller

I would like to identify a short story, probably written before 1975, in which an alchemist somehow captures a time-traveller and demands a quantity of gold in return for his release.
7
votes
1answer
129 views

Short story featuring microbes that eat plastic and rubber, causing regression of technology

This is a short story that I read in one of those many magazines that I was reading in the mid-to-late 1980s. It was most likely published between 1960 and 1985, but I'm not 100% certain. One scene ...
10
votes
1answer
216 views

Looking for a Bradburyish story from Read magazine ca. 1970

I'm trying to find a story that I read around 1970 (my best guess would be 1968-1971) in Read magazine, which was a little magazine that we used to get in junior high school. The details are hazy at ...
27
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1answer
3k views

Sci fi short story, robot city that nags people about health

I read this sometime in 1980's in an anthology in UK. Protagonist is a near vagrant in the future, he hears about an automatic city where all is free so he follows hints until he finds it. Totally ...
23
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1answer
3k views

Old sci-fi story: radiation mutated the animals, a boy loses a limb, but it's okay because “humans used to do great with only two arms”

I read this story in an anthology in the late 80's or early 90's. The story deals with a father and son at a zoo, and the father describing how radiation has mutated the animals over the years. ...
7
votes
0answers
75 views

Two boys pursued through the woods by a fire-eyed monster who tears up trees

Short story or folktale from before 1972. Could be decades earlier. Two boys are pursued by monster who says something like, "Rum, rum, Sally Drum! Tearing up trees and throwing them as I come!" ...
14
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0answers
103 views

Pre late-80s UK-based short horror story. Giant alien shapeshifters imitate a house and a uk phone box to trap and devour the young protagonist

General This UK-based short story was from a horror or SciFi compilation I read during the late 80s/early 90s (but was almost definitely from earlier). I have a feeling the compilation was probably ...
8
votes
1answer
114 views

Short story about military airships and a dragon corps

I'm looking for a short story that appeared in an anthology of either fantasy or science fiction stories. I believe the story is called "The Day is Saved" Personal Honor was an important aspect of ...
29
votes
1answer
3k views

Prisoner on alien planet escapes by making up a story about ghost companions and wins the war

I read this short story decades ago in a German translation in some anthology, but I believe the original was in English. Or was it in German? I'm not even sure. I'd like to find out the name of the ...
15
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1answer
1k views

Story of a Witch Boy

Looking for a story about a young warlock who flies around at night with witch friends. He is callous and unfeeling until he befriends and falls in love with a Quaker? or Amish? girl he meets at a ...
11
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1answer
347 views

60's (or earlier) sci-fi short story about two spacecrafts exchanging plants for gold and thinking they got the better of the exchange [duplicate]

I'm looking for the title or author of a sci-fi short story about two spacecrafts somehow meeting and exchanging plants for gold or other items. Both crews think that they have gotten the better of ...
11
votes
1answer
180 views

60's (or earlier) sci-fi short story: man travels back to the Stone age, his glasses get broken and his attempts to grow crops fail

Looking for title or author of a sci-fi short story about a man who somehow accidentally travels back in time to the stone age, where he tries to survive and help people, but ends up having his ...
9
votes
1answer
227 views

Time travel short story where someone from the past follows the travelers back

Short story on time travel where, at the end, a primitive follows them back to the present but gets scared of a delivery truck and jumps back through the device.
18
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1answer
2k views

The last tree in the Universe

The setting: Humanity has spread through the galaxy, but there is only one tree left on a remote planet. It seems that Earth was the only planet where trees evolved; there are tall grasses and such ...
8
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0answers
120 views

Story identification: man living in a matrix world to save his life

I have tried and failed to remember/identify this short story or short film (can't remember which!) of a guy who goes about his normal life with a nagging feeling that something is controlling his arm ...