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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.

3
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0answers
65 views

Short story about a 'hole' that trades art/fiction that people make for things from alternative realities

Looking for a short story about a 'hole' that trades art/fiction that people make for things from alternative realities (like trading your high-school essay for the manuscript of an award-winning ...
11
votes
1answer
101 views

Short story about a man who accidentally travels back in time with his car

I'm trying to recall a short story I read somewhere in 2017-2018, most likely in an issue of The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction published between 1980 and 2012. The story was about a man ...
10
votes
1answer
236 views

Short story about an assassin and and his alien ambassador target

This has bugged me for some time re an anthology of Dark Fantasy stories I read in the 1980's. The basic synopsis of the short story I remember best is that an assassin is contracted to kill a ...
4
votes
0answers
51 views

Short story about a man on Mars searching for the rover Opportunity before its signal is lost forever

I've been talking to my friends about Oppy (Opportunity) and I mentioned reading a short story pertaining to it in a Science magazine. Now I'm dumb and it's been well over a year since reading it and ...
11
votes
1answer
86 views

Looking for a short story about world peace achieved through a coin flip

Aside from possibly the idea of world peace being a fantasy (har har) I don’t remember this story having any particular F/SF elements about it except that it was either written by an author associated ...
5
votes
1answer
78 views

Short story published in a magazine: 100 humans are brought to aliens to explain why humans didn't save Earth when it was about to be destroyed

100 humans, including a winner of a beauty pageant, are brought up to aliens who want to learn more about humanity, and ultimately why humans didn’t save planet Earth when they knew century earlier it ...
5
votes
1answer
90 views

Short story: tunnel being dug, fossil hunter asked to look inside and finds small worm-like thing

The last time i knew of this story was as an audiobook anthology. i listened to it about three or four years ago, but unfortunately this doesn't mean the story isn't much much older than this. In ...
4
votes
0answers
77 views

Sci-fi short story about an astronaut adrift in space and a teapot

The story I am referring to was a part of an collection of horror/sci fi stories by Indian authors and had a yellow sandy cover. I read it in 2011/2012. The story in question had an unnamed female ...
6
votes
2answers
137 views

Sci-fi/horror short story about a disease that took over people’s minds and made their heads explode

The short story was about how a disease, perhaps from a parasitic fungus, took over people’s minds and made them climb telephone poles and trees so when their heads exploded the spores would spread. ...
5
votes
1answer
129 views

Short story about a young woman who is deliberately infected with life-preserving and repairing nanites [duplicate]

Short story about a young woman who is deliberately infected with life-preserving and repairing nanites. She lives through the end of humanity and the death of the universe as the nanites constantly ...
9
votes
1answer
1k views

Planetary colonization by human modification

SF short story about an attempt to colonize a planet by modifying successive generations to enable them to live on the surface’s hostile environment. The main character is a modified human but cannot ...
13
votes
1answer
155 views

Short story: Internet is forgotten in future, referred to as “virtuality”

This is a short story that I'm reasonably certain I read online in the last year or so. It was most likely at a publisher's website (e.g. Tor) or an online magazine (e.g. Lightspeed), part of a recent ...
6
votes
0answers
97 views

Anthology that had both sci-fi stories and “science fact” about space travel/colonization

I'm trying to find this book I remember partially reading about 15-20 years ago. I believe it alternated sci-fi stories with short essays/postscripts that went into whether the story's details were ...
4
votes
0answers
82 views

Book of fantasy short stories, including one retelling Cinderella as a vampire

I read this short story in the early 90s and I would love to get hold of the whole book. I think it was an anthology of female science fiction and fantasy writers, possibly lesbian writers. The ...
5
votes
2answers
185 views

Short story with a time loop initiated by aliens studying humans for one million years

Back in the 80s I read a story in an anthology book, in which unseen aliens "invade" Earth and force everyone to relive the same day over and over. They do this in order to thoroughly study humanity ...
47
votes
3answers
8k views

A story where a small child takes on the pain of the world

I think this was a short story, and I have no recollection of where or when I read it. It had a dystopian disguised as a utopian feel. From what I remember, the world was at peace and everyone was ...
11
votes
0answers
70 views

Our hero hems and haws and finally decides to summon the fleet to help his new alien buddies

I read this story some time around 2000. It wasn't brand new when I read it, but I think it was close. It was in a collection of sci fi short stories, and it was by a relative unknown; the central ...
9
votes
0answers
94 views

Short story about alien intelligence testing

I'm looking for a short story I've read long ago, and my memory is fuzzy. It was in an Italian-language, translated in an anthology. The anthology was probably from the 1970s or early 1980s. It's ...
7
votes
1answer
99 views

Science fiction story about a giant robot performing simple math problems

I remember reading it about a decade ago in school, I seem to recall the giant robot maybe being angry that he couldn't make 2 numbers add up to each other.
8
votes
1answer
100 views

Short story: fake robot child of an astronaut meets robot parents on return to Earth

There was a classic-period sci-fi short story about a hero astronaut on a multi-year mission that would land to Earth for a few days and leave again. The astronaut has actually died during the ...
9
votes
1answer
124 views

Story about a woman who believes every bit of bad luck removes significant amounts of time from her life expectancy

I think I read this story in an issue of Analog from sometime in the late 1980s/early 1990s. English language. I don't think I recognized the author's name from any books I had read at the time, but I ...
8
votes
2answers
124 views

Short Story or Novella About Observing the Future [duplicate]

Trying to identify a story: I read it in an anthology during the 80's. The anthology may have been older than that. Narrator is sent by an organization to view the future. He does this on multiple ...
7
votes
3answers
240 views

Short Story about a Malevolent Plane/Dimension

I've been looking for this short story for the past couple of days. I definitely remember reading sometime in the last 4 years. It involves a dimension or plane of existence trying to breach into ours ...
9
votes
1answer
117 views

20th century Fantasy story with protagonist at the court of a child empress - NOT Neverending Story [duplicate]

Definitely not The Neverending Story! This story was probably read sometime in the last millennium (possibly in the 1980s) in a science fiction or fantasy magazine that probably had large pages like ...
7
votes
2answers
129 views

Short story where a scientist uses a time-machine to evolve mice with wings

A scientist encloses a community of mice inside a machine that makes time go much faster inside the machine. Thus he can breed successive generations of mice incredibly quickly. He breeds the ...
5
votes
0answers
100 views

Short story with a teleportation tunnel and a “hole” in it

This is a short story I read back in the '90s (but I think it's been written before that), in which someone develops a sort of "space/time warp tunnel" to travel to work from his home. He uses the ...
8
votes
1answer
2k views

Sci fi short story where technology made the future known but the government ensured that key events happened as predicted

Technology reached the stage where the future was known but the government ensured that key events happened as predicted. A woman thinks that she is being followed. It turns out that he is a ...
9
votes
0answers
166 views

Short story with a girl gang who like to whistle the tune of “I Wish I Was an Oscar Mayer Wiener”

I have the traces of a short story bouncing around in my head. I'd guess it dates from the late 60's, or maybe 70's. A guy has been out of circulation for several years (military? prison?) and ...
0
votes
2answers
153 views

Short story of a man whose reality would gradually become a weird dream

I read it years ago. It told the story of a man whose reality would gradually become a weird dream, while his dreams became as ordinary as real life can be. At some point in the story, the concerned ...
9
votes
1answer
192 views

SF short story about a starship that triggers a supernova when it goes FTL [duplicate]

I remember reading a short story a few years ago about a starship crew from Earth(?), in either their first (or a new model) FTL ship. The story opened with them in a new star system, which they had ...
11
votes
1answer
128 views

Short story about a wrong phone number which turns out to be the number of someone in another timeline

I remember reading a story about some guy who makes a phone call and is connected to someone he doesn't know. They agree to meet, but can't find each other at the agreed meeting place. When they speak ...
18
votes
1answer
472 views

Sci-fi short story about man exploring Jupiter's atmosphere in balloon after accident

In the story, the man is in a balloon, exploring the Jovian atmosphere. He's thinking about an accident in the past, where he escaped from a crashing dirigible with the help (?) of an enhanced ape or ...
5
votes
1answer
134 views

Short story with space microbes latching onto electromagnetic fields

The first is a sci-fi story set on Earth. From the depths of space comes these microbes that latch onto electromagnetic fields. Anything electronic is rendered useless. There's the usual stuff where ...
9
votes
1answer
180 views

Sci-fi “year’s best” type of collection based on hazy memories of two short stories

As the title indicates, I’m trying to identify a science fiction short story “year’s best” type of collection from either the 1980s or early to mid-1990s based on my rather hazy recollections of two ...
9
votes
0answers
87 views

Short story: child assassin turned food blogger has medicine smuggled in her body

This is a fairly recent story, I'd guess not more than five or six years old? It was published online, in English and in an SFF magazine or website, but I'm not sure exactly where or which one. I ...
17
votes
1answer
3k views

Short story with death sentences for patent infringements and a sadistic judge

I read this many years ago. As far as I remember, the judge was fascinated by spiders and an AI computer did play a role as well. I think it was rather a short story and not a novel, but I'm not sure.
24
votes
1answer
4k views

Sci-fi story I read decades ago: young tenants in an apartment which turns out to be a trap

This story featured a young couple who were looking for an apartment. They didn’t have a lot of money to spend and were very excited to find the perfect place, all the amenities, unbelievably low rent,...
11
votes
1answer
419 views

Short story about “nested” computer-simulated universes

I'm trying to find a great story I read in an SF compilation book of some sort. It was about a poet living in a world where we can simulate universes in computers, and people like him go in and ...
14
votes
1answer
757 views

Short story, possibly a Bradbury one: adventurers find a weapon cache of dead Martian civilization, and unleash a blob

This is a short story, I think by Ray Bradbury or Sheckley. Two (?) adventurers/archaelogists are inside of the weapon cache left by Martian civilization which was destroyed by war. Eventually they ...
5
votes
0answers
104 views

Short story which has living mountains that move very very slowly

I remember reading a short story decades ago whose plot involved colonisers on a planet thinking it had no life. Later they realise that the mountains are indeed alive, but move so slowly they could ...
11
votes
0answers
107 views

Searching for a short story scifi/horror of kid teleported to space to die

I'm looking for a short story. I believe I read it in a horror anthology, but it definitely had SF elements. What I can remember: It took place in what I recall as a vaguely dystopian society. This ...
5
votes
0answers
77 views

Does anyone know this story about robots forming a religion by Alex Garland?

So I've read an adaptation of the story, which goes like this: When a spaceship collides with an asteroid, it's almost sure to blow up . When all other measures to save the ship fail, the only human ...
13
votes
1answer
3k views

Footprints in the Sands of Time? [duplicate]

I'm searching for a sci-fi short story. Back in about 1978, I read a story I'd swear was called "Footprints in the Sands of Time." I'm pretty sure it was written earlier, since it was in a class on ...
9
votes
1answer
328 views

Old short story about a visitor that destroys language on Earth

I am searching for a short story I enjoyed in my youth. I think I read it circa 1975 in a hardcover collection of short stories that was old by then. I only recall fragments of it unfortunately. It ...
7
votes
1answer
118 views

Short story about children who stop aging from a scientist's vaccination, and only age if they learn to read [duplicate]

In this short story a scientist introduces a vaccine to stop children from aging so that parents never have to suffer the loss of watching them grow up and leave home. The main character is a mother ...
11
votes
1answer
816 views

1950's Sci-Fi graphic short story about a farm boy, his ham radio and a tiny rocket ship landing in sauerkraut

This story was about a farm boy who built a ham radio and found himself communicating with aliens on a space ship heading towards Earth. The townsfolk and army gather for the event with food vendors (...
12
votes
1answer
694 views

Short story about the maiden voyage of an FTL capable ship

I am looking for a short story about a group of space explorers aboard an FTL-capable ship. The very first jump takes them near a dying star, so they have to flee immediately. On their way back to ...
4
votes
0answers
39 views

Rok and Mog, robotic creatures in an Arthurian plot. Published in Asimov's or Analog within last 10 years

Unusual story of two robot like creatures named Rok and Mog who lived on a dark, metallic planet, lots of clinks, clanks, and spires. Had a sort of Arthurian plot where one of them scales a spire to ...
6
votes
2answers
159 views

Short story from early '70's about pot infused postage stamps

This was a short story from the early 70s where hippies create a better world by putting cannabinoid oil into postage stamp glue. Very short and funny. Asimov perhaps?
8
votes
0answers
93 views

Help identify short story about a flight through the center of the earth

I read a short story in an anthology about pilots of a craft that regularly crosses through the Earth to the other side (commercial travel), the engine of the ship was called Rausch or Rorsch or ...