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

8
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0answers
66 views

Short story where a grandmother is living backwards through time and a flood

Young teen has a grandmother who is seen as crazy, she talks to people who aren't there and moves around the house miming different tasks to air. The teen sees her grandma talking about a birthday ...
-4
votes
0answers
31 views

looking for sf stories about emotions [on hold]

I am not looking for a particular story, but I am interested in ways in which emotions and feelings and affects are dealt with in various sf stories. Can you give me examples of some such stories - ...
9
votes
1answer
130 views

Short story with ship and ancient artifact

Someone receives an artifact which is the model of a ship. He immediately is teleported on top of the ship which becomes life-size and drops in a large ocean. There are two sides in the ocean, one ...
8
votes
1answer
125 views

Late 1950s short story in an anthology titled something like “100 Best Science Fiction Stories”

Circa 1958, I read a short story in a sci-fi anthology in which the protagonist is (possibly) the last human on earth. Stumbling about the ruins of a city he spots something alive – a chicken. He's ...
6
votes
0answers
63 views

The origin of the Moon: Short story

This is a Matheson-like story where the human race, once widespread in the galaxy, was beaten back to our home planet after a devastating interstellar war. The aliens won the war and the Moon -- an ...
23
votes
1answer
710 views

Story about encounter with hostile aliens

This is a short story I read in the late 80s or early 90s in an anthology or collection. Here are the plot points I remember: A human spaceship encounters a ship with hostile aliens (HA). There may ...
10
votes
1answer
137 views

Short story about a lady visiting a conference for multiverse versions of herself?

I would appreciate some help finding a story I read on lightspeedmagazine.com whose title I've forgotten. The details I recall are: The lady had a job involving investigation in some form There is a ...
5
votes
0answers
108 views

Perpetual war sci-fi story from the 70s

So my dad was telling me the other day that he used to read a lot of short sci fi stories in the 70s and he mentioned one story in particular but has long since forgotten what it's called and who it's ...
8
votes
0answers
135 views

Short story where highways are used to manage violence in teenagers

The story follows a teen who is too scared of the highways (where violence and murder are encouraged) and is teased for acting like an old lady. One day, he has to get his license, gets on the highway,...
14
votes
1answer
138 views

Short story with pianist who has to sacrifice too-heavy piano

I'm looking a story I read as a teen back in the seventies, in an anthology no doubt. The plot point that sticks with me is this: a young pianist who is moving off-world has to sacrifice the piano, ...
-3
votes
0answers
68 views

Short story, older people who can't separate mind from body [closed]

Possibly set in Cambridge, true self and form self
5
votes
1answer
113 views

Short story about nuclear war and a rock band? [duplicate]

I read this short story as a kid 25-30 years ago at a minimum. Details in my description may reflect that time gap. I'm at a loss for the title or author, but I'd like to read it again as an adult. ...
7
votes
0answers
134 views

Short story called “The Itchy Teeth”

About 30-40 years ago, I read an unsettling story called "The Itchy Teeth". Here's how I remember it: There is a boy whose teeth itch. His mother is irritated by the constant sound of her son ...
10
votes
0answers
107 views

70s (or earlier) story about human evolution (devolution) and conflict between human species

I recall a rather grim short story/novelette read during my teens (early to mid 1970's) from either a magazine or anthology, so could be written prior to 1970. The setting was either future Earth or ...
9
votes
0answers
122 views

1970s short story about a man 'murdered' by his 'home theater' system?

This story features a detective showing up at a dead man's house to investigate his death. The man died from exposure, he was watching a documentary about arctic wolves, and as the house projected the ...
12
votes
1answer
829 views

1970s short story about a famous hunter who is cloned and will die after three days?

As I remember it, the protagonist is looking inside his window late at night at himself inside his house/apartment. Only over the course of the story does he realize that he is a clone created to kill ...
14
votes
1answer
629 views

Short story with mechanical ecology on future Earth [duplicate]

A spaceship went awry and traveled to the far future. The few people aboard find themselves looking at a gray, steamy Earth. A landing party explores a relatively cool region (Alaska?) and finds it ...
13
votes
0answers
189 views

Dystopian short story about a home computer, likely written 1970s (1970-79)

Looking for futuristic short story about a man who brings a new device home called a "computer" which soon takes an increasingly central role in its owner's life to the point of literally reaching out ...
8
votes
0answers
135 views

Everyone wakes up without memory and dismantles monuments to the past

A man wakes up without memory in a city that is strange to him. Everyone else is in the same situation. Without leaders they set to work dismantling the monuments of the past. He is part of a crew ...
5
votes
1answer
242 views

Bishop Berkeley's ideas put to the test

Bishop Berkeley (who, however, is not credited in the story) is known today for his idea that material things only exist because we think about them, that mind is truly more important than matter. ...
5
votes
1answer
164 views

Research lab punches hole through space into vacuum

An accident at a research lab has resulted in hurricane-force winds converging on it from all directions. Air goes in, doesn't come out: Evidently the scientists, who were exploring the properties of ...
4
votes
0answers
117 views

Science fiction/fantasy short story: humans strap on wings to ascend a huge alien moutain

Looking for the name of an old SFF short story where humans strap on wings to attempt to ascend a huge alien mountain by riding/flying the prevailing winds.Probably 1980s but read it when i was very ...
9
votes
0answers
120 views

South African boy grows up in indecision, and stands aside while shaman obliterates the Earth

A boy grows up in rural South Africa, raised partly by his white family and partly by the local black people. He is particularly impressed by the tribal shaman. As he grows up and travels, he has many ...
11
votes
1answer
183 views

Online short story, where the program handling optimization of ordering decides it has to eliminate humans that order unpredictably

I read a short story recently online (within the past year, I think). It features a company similar to Amazon (maybe by name, but I can't remember), that sells and delivers just about everything. ...
9
votes
1answer
89 views

Short story where TV audiences vote on the plot points of live serials

I would have read this in an anthology in the 1980s, but the book was borrowed from an older cousin, so it's probably from the 1970s or earlier. I don't really remember anything about the book itself,...
7
votes
1answer
121 views

Metal-softening tool [duplicate]

A pair of alien "door-to-door salesmen" comes down to Earth and meets a citizen. They show him some interesting but unsuitable wares, and then a small, cylindrical device that softens any metal that ...
6
votes
0answers
75 views

Collection of sci-fi short stories for younger readers

I've been looking for this for several years, and bugs me that I can't find it... It was a collection of about 7 - 8 sci-fi short stories geared towards younger readers that I read in the early 80's ...
3
votes
0answers
88 views

Short story about alien warfare and the concept of suicide

This is a very, very short piece of fiction. Less than a thousand words, I would say. As far as I can recall, it is about two humans who are discussing a war with an alien race, which was devastated ...
13
votes
1answer
182 views

Novelette: long lost Gypsy homeland returns but then an American city vanishes

I read this in some anthology in UK in the early 1980's. It could have been a longish short story. Plot I can remember:- An explorer is in a jeep (Dead Sea area possibly but I'm not sure) and ...
10
votes
1answer
163 views

Serpentine spaceship captain travels to start new religions

A serpentine alien travels from one solar system to another to spread his gospel of universal love. He is assisted by a First Mate who doubts the efficacy of his captain's program. They land in a ...
8
votes
1answer
128 views

Short story about experiment with two balls pendulum that travels in time

Can't find the source of a short story about an experiment scientist are making with two balls traveling in opposite direction in time. At the end of the experiment nothing seems to happen. But ...
16
votes
1answer
189 views

Tourism in the aftermath of a nuclear war

A senior couple living in the panhandle of Florida decide it's their time to go traveling, so they rev up the RV and head out. The U.S. has undergone a devastating nuclear war, and a lot of people are ...
5
votes
1answer
97 views

A “things that go bump in the night”-themed short story about a man walking to a starport on an alien world? [duplicate]

Plot Summary/Details The story opens with the protagonist (human male, can't remember the name) en route to the starport on a remote, sparsely-populated world. He's currently on foot, as his vehicle ...
11
votes
0answers
116 views

Short story about protagonist & others 'time-travelling' forward as statues

Disclaimer: this might be from a German author, at least I read it in German Read this in the 90s, probably quite older than that. I'll try to tell the rough story, obviously spoilers towards the ...
5
votes
0answers
72 views

Mozart becomes a rock star [duplicate]

Mozart is brought back from the dead, or recreated somehow, I no longer recall which. The man who brings him to the present expects Mozart to compose music in the same eighteenth-century style as ...
9
votes
1answer
545 views

Ecological tale of a world covered by a forest that is all one organism

Interstellar explorers have discovered what looks like a very suitable planet for human colonization. The climate is good, there are no pathogens, and a beautiful forest grows abundantly. A charming ...
10
votes
1answer
134 views

Which story featured a human woman who had a relationship with a short lived alien?

The protagonist was working on an alien world where the natives lived only a matter of days, but despite the inevitable tragedy she allowed herself to enter into a relationship with one. I seem to ...
8
votes
1answer
140 views

Which story had an alien who mistakes autumn/winter for Earth dying?

I think he was sending a report home or communicating with another alien, and the autumn leaves falling from trees etc convinced him the Earth was dying. Likely a short story written before 2000.
6
votes
1answer
217 views

Old story about a creature laying pyramid shaped eggs on Mars [duplicate]

I remember a very old short story/novella about a man on Mars who finds a creature who lays pyramid shaped eggs, the eggs hatch and a new creature lays an egg and so on. Think the man is a stranded ...
9
votes
1answer
157 views

Seeking sci fi book of short stories

I remember a few of the stories, not in great detail, and somewhat strange to explain in detail. The book was missing the protective cover, which left it burgundy or navy blue. It was a book the size ...
6
votes
0answers
62 views

Nuclear explosion in lunar city [duplicate]

I utterly forget the plot of this tale, but it includes a vivid description of a nuclear bomb going off deep inside a large, underground lunar city of many levels. The explosion, set off in secret, is ...
6
votes
0answers
65 views

Illustrated short with memory-wiped man being shown down a hallway to an elevator

I’m looking for an illustrated story that would have been from the late 70s or early 80s. Possibly published in Creepy, Eerie or maybe the Epic magazine. I’m pretty sure it was in color, but maybe ...
-1
votes
1answer
103 views

Sci-fi short story about beautifying technology

There's a story (or Twilight Zone episode) where there's a technology that can make everyone beautiful. The story is about a musician who chooses not to and becomes an outcast. It wasn't Scott ...
9
votes
1answer
119 views

Short story with aliens who hear their own thoughts as god-like voices

I would have read this about 20-25 years ago. I believe the subject was an alien individual, but it could have been a non-standard human instead. The hook of the story was that the subject lacked an ...
12
votes
1answer
237 views

Very creepy short story by Lord Dunsany

I remember a very creepy short story by Lord Dunsany, set more or less in the real world - the reader will hope it is less. I read it during the previous millennium, probably in a book of stories by ...
5
votes
0answers
71 views

Body replaced by insects called Nergs

A boy is resting in bed when he feels an insect sting. Now he is paralyzed and anaesthetized, and he watches in horrid fascination as a stream of antlike insects digs a hole into his abdomen. ...
4
votes
0answers
47 views

Resurrection of Richard Strauss [duplicate]

A new art form has captured the world's attention: the reconstruction of past personalities based on their works and historical records. When the Richard Strauss, composer of such works as Also Sprach ...
5
votes
0answers
101 views

Copyrighting music

A cautionary tale of the "if this goes on..." ilk. The government, which includes all humanity, sets down a law that copyright and royalties apply to any musical theme, and with the aid of computers ...
6
votes
1answer
93 views

Martian plagues afflict the Earth

This brief story is a future chronicle that looks back at the previous few decades. After the first Martian samples were sent back to the Earth, one plague after another decimated the population. HIV ...
4
votes
1answer
83 views

My country Tizathy, and the goddess Salibbidy

It is centuries after the war that left only a few tribes to wander the land of Tizathy. They include the Sippies (Mississippians), the Zurries (Missourians), and a people who don't speak English but ...