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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6
votes
1answer
72 views

70's/80's short story collection about space stories such as a moment by moment account of an astronaut going faster than light

Short stories, may not have been in the same collection from the late 70’s/early 80’s. A moment by moment account of an astronaut as he is the first to travel faster than light. It described how ...
8
votes
0answers
90 views

Short story where science fiction saved the world

This very short story was either in Asimov's or Analog. It was written like a mini history lesson. They replaced all books in schools with science fiction and all the kids grew up to be creative ...
3
votes
1answer
94 views

Short story in which protagonist has to go to where the last human on Earth dies to get back to the present

I read this story in one of the many anthologies I've had over the years but can't find it. The protagonist is a scientist. Something goes wrong with an experiment and he starts skipping forward ...
5
votes
1answer
104 views

Early 80’s short story about invisible gremlins viewable only with special glasses

These gremlins were everywhere causing mayhem, pulling on ladders, etc. Their antics were sometimes fairly innocent but also occasionally dangerous. They could only be seen through the special ...
9
votes
1answer
138 views

Short story with an alcoholic being pursued by imaginary animals that other people can see

My wife and I passed by a winery with a pink elephant statue, and I cracked a joke about how this time, you knew you were drunk when you stopped seeing pink elephants, whereupon, I learned she'd never ...
7
votes
1answer
154 views

Parallel universe horror story where apparently normal people are ravenous monsters

I am looking for a short story. The plot is as follows: Scientists or mathematicians find a way to peer into an alternate dimension. In the alternate dimension the inhabitants appear to be living a ...
5
votes
0answers
62 views

Short story: Person reanimated (?) as online persona “speaks” to steadily growing audience

This is a short story that I believe I read online about 5 years ago, though I may be off by a few years either way. It is told from the perspective of a person who seems to have been brought back to ...
2
votes
0answers
133 views

A guy and his teen girlfriend travel through 27 dimensions, ultimately learn that their reality is artificial with camera and green screen

Its a PG story about a fantasy adventure, very short, about 3 pages. I'm looking for a story written online about a decade ago in 2010 involving a male protagonist and his attractive female companion....
5
votes
1answer
108 views

Short story where people could live 'forever' by buying themselves new host-bodies [duplicate]

I read this sci-fi short story a while back - here's what I remember of the plot: People could live 'forever' by buying themselves new host-bodies for a certain amount of money (a million dollars, I ...
9
votes
0answers
105 views

Short story where a man ends up in the future & commits suicide

Short story where a man ends up in the future when humanity has evolved into something unrecognisable to him & with no way back commits suicide rather than be alone. I think his 'time travel' is ...
6
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0answers
88 views

Short fiction story based on the Doctrine of the Gospel: man dies baptizing a robot

Many years ago a friend shared with me his copy of a book that contained short fiction stories based on Doctrine of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. One story was about a man who, being adamant to share ...
8
votes
1answer
118 views

Short story where a man goes searching for anything natural. Eventually finds a rose, only to discover it's mechanical

Inspired by this question: "I have been looking for this story since 1990. A man goes about, dissatisfied by his man-made, mechanized life. He decides to try to find something real or ...
11
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2answers
215 views

Short story where the fears of mankind have taken refuge on the last planet

Searching for a short story title and author's name. I think this was in an anthology collection. Story is that human astronauts have explored everywhere, and finally come to the end: a tiny rock of ...
14
votes
1answer
270 views

Alien scout outsmarted by humans

I read this sci-fi short story about 30 years ago; it's set in the United States and the main character is an alien who landed on Earth to scout in advance of an invasion force. The alien is ...
11
votes
1answer
134 views

Short story ID: Alien invasion from Sigma Draconis [duplicate]

Not much information about this story, read in the 60s or 70s in an English-language anthology. Humanoid aliens having superior technology take over the Earth, and people mostly buckle under ...
7
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0answers
55 views

Story or novel ID: African American rebellion in Chicago

In this English-language story or novel, probably from the 1960s or 70s, the African Americans of Chicago have rebelled against the government. It's part of a general rebellion of black urban ...
8
votes
1answer
186 views

Short story about England right after nuclear war

Read a story back in the 1980s in a sci-fi anthology about England just after a nuclear war. The government was trying to rebuild and everyone was suffering from radiation poisoning. Towards the end a ...
3
votes
1answer
76 views

1989-ish SF story with a militarized US Border Patrol in open combat with smugglers

This story was probably written in the brief period just after 1989 when Pons' and Fleischmann's cold fusion announcement had not yet been thoroughly debunked. The story begins with a patrol by a ...
7
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0answers
86 views

Book of spooky stories for children, boy runs through wall into another dimension

I read this book, which I think was a collection of short stories, at school in the UK in the late 1980s/early 1990s. One story has stuck with me as I found the ending quite spooky at the time. The ...
8
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0answers
105 views

Military science fiction in an anthology—world war between Islamic countries and rest of the world

A very good short story published in a military science fiction anthology - possible 25 years ago. Protagonist was a female officer trying to get her ragtag platoon through the jungle. There had been ...
6
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0answers
96 views

Short story describing future communications technology called an uvee

Trying to remember the name of this short(?) story and author (possibly North American?) where a technology is described to give humans the ability to communicated wirelessly via an implant to the ...
6
votes
1answer
474 views

Short story with a first person narrator in a future where racial conflict had exploded into an all out war

Years ago, I read a story with a first person narrator that dealt with a future in which racial conflict had exploded into an all out war. At the end of the story the identity of the narrator is ...
4
votes
0answers
71 views

Looking for a ghost story

It was probably in a children's anthology, and I've already searched through the "Scary Stories to tell in the Dark" books. I know it took place at a haunted/cursed lake/bay/island, I think Indian ...
5
votes
1answer
137 views

Science fiction short story: non-telepathic Earthman wins an interplanetary contest on ethics and joins government [duplicate]

The short story was in a collection of short stories. An Earthman takes an exam in an interplanetary contest on ethics and wins. He becomes a part of an interplanetary government. He lacks the ability ...
3
votes
0answers
97 views

Story about robots turning humans into birds

I'm looking for a short story I read many years ago about robots which, in their attempt to make people happy, and knowing that people had fantasies about flying, one day capture all people and turn ...
13
votes
0answers
140 views

SF short story about an immortal man as he grieves for dead partner, becomes a mercenary, meets ageless artificial intelligence

I only remember some elements and only hazily - nothing of the ending. An internet link took me to the story, I read it online, but it wasn't dated so I don't know which era it's from. I, however, ...
8
votes
1answer
160 views

Short story with schizo-tech aliens and “hydrogen fusers”?

I'm trying to remember the source of a story or stories (pretty sure it one or more short stories, not a novel) about aliens that try to attack Earth. The major interesting point was the schizo-tech ...
2
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0answers
77 views

Weird story involving moving, talking standing stones [closed]

Asking for a friend (really): OK, creepy story, crawling up a hedgerow to the top of a hill, standing stones which move, but freeze if you look at them directly. And they talk. Any ideas? Original ...
12
votes
1answer
173 views

Sci-fi story about a planet with a strange religion that makes people want to merge with a parasite and die [duplicate]

What's the name of a classic sci-fi short story about a planet where their religion makes people willingly merge with a parasite in a cave and die? Outsiders can't understand why anyone would do ...
10
votes
1answer
164 views

Wealthy businessman makes a deal with aliens to remove non-productive people from Earth

I'm pretty sure I read this in Analog, in the early 1990s. As best I can recall the story is set on Earth; technology and society are not greatly different from current, except possibly for a certain ...
6
votes
1answer
161 views

Short story where a man stranded on Mars finds an abandoned Martian civilization with machines that try to provide him with food [duplicate]

It's an old story (maybe from the fifties?) about a man stranded on Mars, and about to die. He finds the remains of an ancient Martian civilization, now extinct. But the machines are still working, ...
5
votes
2answers
170 views

Story about characters on a space station where chemicals purposefully give people specific psychoses

I'm trying to find the title of a science-fiction short story where a number of humans live on a space station. Pretty sure the main character is male There's some sort of catastrophe or sabotage, ...
7
votes
1answer
116 views

80's (or earlier) short story: little heads growing out of a man after he offended a witch doctor

A short story from an anthology, read in 1980's but it wasn't a new book. I can only remember one story, this man offended a witch doctor in a jungle village. From then on tiny little hairy black ...
19
votes
2answers
4k views

Science fiction short story where aliens contact a drunk about Earth's impending destruction

Many years ago (~32 years) I read a short story about aliens trying to contact humans to warn them of the Earth's impending destruction, but they could only psychically link with a guy who stumbled ...
5
votes
0answers
112 views

Short story where society is divided by colored areas based on physical color & beauty

A few years ago, I found a short story in the App Store on my iPhone and can't remember the name. It was set in a dystopian world where everyone was beautiful & had amazing lives until they ...
15
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0answers
150 views

Temporary mind transfer for entertainment

In this story, people visit an agency where they can exchange bodies (or, if you prefer, minds) with other people at random. It's a popular form of entertainment, although it is controversial enough ...
6
votes
1answer
159 views

SF short story about alien trying to drive car

I am trying to rediscover a short science fiction story/article. It was about an alien on Earth trying to drive an ordinary automobile and of course finding the whole thing pretty much impossible, as ...
6
votes
1answer
160 views

Itinerant doctor foils a would-be emperor's plans to commandeer old space technology to weaponize space

I most likely read this sometime between the late 1990s and 2010. I have no idea where I would have read it. It might be closer to novella length than a short story. It'd be neat to have it ...
9
votes
1answer
140 views

Short story/novella: alien stranded on Earth befriends girl, gives her a device protecting from rape, accidentally goes to the past and dies in Italy

I remember reading a short story (or novella?) that had a girl who was raised by some terrible relatives because her father went missing. She was befriended by an alien who was stranded on Earth and ...
13
votes
1answer
367 views

Short Story: Cold War setting. In orbit, two astronauts decide whether to launch nuclear counter strike (“MAD” scenario). Twist at end

I'm trying to recall a sci-fi short story. The setting is during the Cold War on a space station orbiting Earth. The way the story is set up it seems as if the astronauts are American, and Russia has ...
7
votes
1answer
317 views

Ghost house where the house only appeared once a year for it was the ghost

I remember reading a short story in a Marvel annual many years ago where a group of young adults were bet they couldn't spend a night in a haunted house. So they took the challenge and spent the ...
24
votes
1answer
3k views

Short comic about alien explorers visiting an abandoned world with giant statues that turn out to be alive but move very slowly

A sci-fi short story, probably part of a comic sci-fi/horror anthology. I remember seeing it when I was 13, but still remember the twist ending clearly. Judging from the artwork, something around 60'...
23
votes
1answer
3k views

A man in the desert is bitten by a skeletal animal, its skull gets stuck on his arm

I'm looking for a short story about a man in the desert who sees an animal out of the corner of his eye. He can't really see it, but it's really hot outside so he takes shelter in an old adobe hut but ...
7
votes
0answers
151 views

Short story about time traveller who brings virus from future

A short story about a time traveller from the future who brings a virus to cull the human race in our present. He muses on previous unsuccessful attempts and why more direct action is needed. He tries ...
3
votes
0answers
106 views

Escaped dolls meet Sugar Jack

I am looking for an anthologized fantasy short story in which two dolls escape from their playroom into an enchanted forest. Living in the forest is a manic, toothless creature named Sugar Jack, who ...
6
votes
0answers
121 views

Black bird wreaks havoc

I once read a truly scary short story: a bird sits in a cage. Out of the sky comes a huge, dark bird. It enters the cage and after a few days(weeks?) the bird in the cage hatches a kind of monster ...
4
votes
0answers
89 views

70s (or earlier) science fiction short story featuring a gem in a velvet box used for time travel or teleportation

I am trying to track down a science fiction story that I read in the mid-1970s and vaguely recall. This was a short story that was in a compilation book in my school library. The details that I ...
2
votes
1answer
211 views

Story by Aaron Bernstein about a man going to space at a speed faster than light and looking at the Earth of the past

An episode of G, a miniseries by Radiolab, about Einstein’s brain describes a story by Aaron Bernstein Einstein read in 1905 or earlier that inspired him to think of relativity. It’s not “Eine ...
11
votes
0answers
113 views

Humanity as a galactic ring species [duplicate]

Short story, published before 1976. Humanity has spread along the circumference of the galaxy (apparently avoiding the core), and diversified. The main characters are a married couple of a hairless ...
9
votes
1answer
109 views

I'm looking for a Sci-Fi anthology from the late 70s. (the stories are probably older) [duplicate]

So, I had this book when I was about 6. I lost it around when I turned 8, (parents found it, and lets just say they weren't fans of SF) and haven't seen it since. Lately I've been wishing I could let ...