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Use this tag when asking about a fictional work too small to be called a novel - usually less than 10-20 thousand words and no chapters.

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Short story: A trash robot in Chicago who becomes self aware and frees a human

I am trying to remember the name of a short story (or novella). It is about a lowly menial robot that collects trash or something like that in Chicago who gains some measure of self-awareness. ...
2
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0answers
30 views

Story of a time traveller meeting himself repeatedly [duplicate]

I read this story in the 70s or 80s (it might however be older). I think it was a short story, and not a novel. These are two scenes I remember: In the beginning of the story a guy (lets call him ...
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0answers
23 views

Looking for dog/ wolf story [on hold]

I would like to use science fiction to teach about the evolution of the dog. Any recommendations for short stories?
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0answers
53 views

Short story where a man wakes up in mist and is attacked by a “cyborg”

Read a short story in Warren's Creepy or Eerie in the mid 1970's. Can't remember name, artist, writer or issue. Synopsis: A ragged man wakes up in mist, not knowing where he is or how he got there. ...
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0answers
74 views

Story about a girl who predicts a weapons satellite will malfunction and destroy the planet

I'm asking this question on behalf of a friend, who posted about this story on Facebook a few months ago. This is my recollection of their recollection, but luckily my long-term memory is pretty good. ...
27
votes
1answer
3k views

Short story where humans are stronger than all other aliens

I'm sure I found this on this site but can't for the life of me find the answer again. I'm looking for a science fiction story that starts off on an alien spaceship. There is a human that was ...
5
votes
1answer
127 views

Story about a computer that solves death

I am trying so hard and failing right now to remember this short story I read online years ago. Hopefully someone here knows what I’m talking about though. The story is about this computer that’s ...
4
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0answers
90 views

Short story where humans don't understand the concept of “impossible” [duplicate]

There's a story that I read at some point several years ago, but I can't remember when or where. My best guess is that it was either in an out of print book of older SF stories (probably 30+ years old)...
2
votes
1answer
133 views

Short story about a heist that gets foiled because the thief unknowingly crosses the international dateline

I read this really cool short story in middle school about a heist that gets foiled because the thief unknowingly crosses the international dateline to where it's the day before the crime happened.
11
votes
1answer
111 views

70s/80s SF short story about a bullied scientist who develops a new type of simple but deadly nuclear weapon [duplicate]

Back in the late 70s or early 80s, I read a short story in an anthology of science fiction (possibly The Year's Best series) about a scientist who has developed a new type of nuclear weapon. The ...
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0answers
43 views

Short horror story I read two years ago about a Jack-in-the-box [migrated]

About two years ago I read a short story about a Jack-in-the-box that is unused. I believe that he was at the bottom of the toy box and where he came from was unknown. In the house were a bunch of ...
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0answers
122 views
+50

Short story - Cars on permanent journeys until ozone hole burns them all

My recollection is of a highway circling the world, people living in their cars until finally a hole in the ozone breaks through then expands, burning them all. It was in English, I believe it was in ...
15
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1answer
3k views

Short story - cars designed to seem faster than they actually are

I'm trying to identify the short story(?) in which cars are designed to be slower than they appear to be driving - louder engine noises, higher speedometer readings than actual speed.
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0answers
128 views

Short story: Girl gets abducted on a date by satanist cult (cute guy and friends) but she has already given her soul to the Greek god Hermes

The main idea is "Girl gets abducted on a date by satanist cult (cute guy and friends) but she has already given her soul to the Greek god Hermes". I read this story sometime in the 1980's. It was ...
10
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0answers
74 views

Short story about a woman who grows a spacesuit instead of skin and then floats up into the sky

I read this story in a single-author collection of short stories circa 2002--2004. The book was a new edition trade paperback, taken from the new acquisitions shelf at a public library in southern ...
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0answers
148 views

Short story about out of control evolution of humanity in an isolated backup base

Far out in deep space, a base that acts like a generation ship was established hundreds of thousands of years before. The residents gradually forgot what they are and where they came from. Now, ...
6
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0answers
75 views

90s (?) short story: a society where everyone is eternally young except one man with the disease of age

The whole world is filled by people whose completion of puberty is delayed, so they stay young forever. Their world is mostly just fun and play, with few people understanding science. One man's ...
5
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0answers
87 views

Seeking a story about a forbidden planet with a genetic virus

Looking for an old science fiction story about a spaceship that has to make an emergency landing on a forbidden planet. Once they land, they find the planet to resemble paradise, populated by a great ...
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0answers
33 views

Short Story like “Resurrection Days”

Looking for a pulp short-story with the following plot elements: man dies; wakes in dystopia governed by women; makes bacon using a mental-machine. The theme is similar to Wilson Tucker's '80's novel,...
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0answers
103 views

Short story - Professor threatens to fail student unless he can guess what element the professor is thinking of [closed]

I am looking for the title/author of a short story that has a student saying "aluminium" and his professor chastising him for using too many syllables. He threatens to fail the kid unless he can ...
5
votes
3answers
140 views

Planet of iron oxide inhabited by robots

I believe this is a pretty old sci-fi short story. As I recall, it takes place on a planet of iron and iron oxide (rust). The only inhabitants are robots. IIRC, a ship lands, or crash lands there, and ...
6
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1answer
139 views

Desolated Earth short story, with Disney characters as robots

Short story I probably read in the 70’s. Civilization is wiped out, but a robotic Mickey, Donald, and Goofy which were intended for theme park use wander the desolation and have philosophical ...
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0answers
147 views

Short story: Transported to the moon as criminal punishment, people doing crimes to go on purpose

Not sure exactly when this was published. I think it was in Asimov's or Analog, but not sure on that. It might have been on one of the big-round-number anniversaries of Heinlein's, because it has a ...
16
votes
1answer
261 views

Short story about a self-driving car accident where the cars cannot harm the creator or his descendants

I remember a remarkable number of details of this short story, but can't for the life of me seem to find it. The story opens with two self-driving cars driving on a mountain somewhere (maybe ...
7
votes
2answers
159 views

Scifi short story-aliens with inscrutable thinking have taken over Earth, one alien in charge of each continent

The main character is a human who has risen to be the assistant to the alien in charge of North America because he can understand their inscrutable thinking a little better than most. It's a mystery ...
11
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1answer
354 views

Story of a whale shepherd who pilots a submarine to herd them

The story is about a guy that pilots a submarine and kind of shepherds whales and protect them from killer whales attacks. I don't remember much else. Just it was a short story or tale and almost ...
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0answers
89 views

Identifying a short story about digital immortality and the last man to die

Apologies for some of the vagueness, but I recall that this was a short story I read sometime around 2000/2001, though I suspect it was published well before that. The premise is that whenever ...
9
votes
1answer
104 views

Trying to find a Sci-Fi Short story about aliens converting to Judaism

I read this story about seven years ago for a college class, and while I remember most of the plot, I cannot recall the title or author. In this story, there is a colony of orthodox Jews and one of ...
23
votes
1answer
1k views

Planet full of robots turn out to be all humans pretending to be robots

I'm looking for a classic science fiction story where a man disguised as a robot is send to investigate a robot uprising on a mining/factory planet. He is found out to be a human and brought before ...
8
votes
1answer
130 views

Man crashes on planet and is treated nicely by natives, then nastily by another group. Possibly Isaac Asimov story

In the early- to mid-nineties I bought a book that was a collection of sci-fi short stories. One story was about a man that I think had emergency/crash-landed on a planet where he was treated nicely ...
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0answers
101 views

Short Story - Exploding Mountain with Alien Craft Inside, Nearby Town Residents are Killed and Preserved

I seem to recall a story from (maybe) an anthology in the late 80s or early 90s, about some teens or kids who discover an alien spacecraft in a mountain which explodes, killing everyone in the nearby ...
6
votes
1answer
216 views

60s-70s short story: distant future, mankind has spread throughout the galaxy, and make “first contact” with other descendants of Earth

I vividly remember a scene from a short story (?) I read back in the sixties or seventies, and am trying to remember the publication and title. If it sounds familiar to you, please post. The scene ...
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0answers
94 views

Horror monster attacks 1st Venus Expedition World War IV

I am looking for a not particularly outstanding old horror science fiction story about a monster or monsters attacking the first expedition to Venus. My main memory is one particular detail. I ...
5
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0answers
93 views

Short story about scientist aliens destroying Earth [duplicate]

I'm looking for a short story about how scientist aliens look at earth from afar and see a violent race bent only on killing each other. The aliens decide to destroy earth as to eradicate the threat ...
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0answers
107 views

Short story about aliens that took the deer

I could be wrong, it was so long ago, but I thought the premise of it was that aliens had come to Earth and were communicating with people in their dreams, telling everyone they were judging to bring ...
17
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1answer
2k views

Looking for a story about how the USA acquired an inland sea

I came across a story ID request here recently, that reminded me of another similar story I've read. So that earthquake, did you check your math? The story I've read, most likely in '90s or the late ...
6
votes
1answer
109 views

Story about robots which learn and age of information

I am looking for a short story I read in a collection some years ago. The main character is a very busy jetsetting businessman who is always plugged into technology. He visits a factory or school ...
7
votes
1answer
77 views

1970s-80s SF short story about a logger sent to a planet to fell the biggest tree

May have been in Astounding/Analog. The logger meets the spirit of the tree, cuts it down anyway -then all the houses of the village at its base begin crumbling. The tree had grown them for the ...
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0answers
92 views

Short story about a man remembering his father who deleted bad memories and only left the good ones

The story is about a Native American who contemplates his father. Over the years, the father underwent treatments to delete old, bad memories leaving only good ones, leaving the man smiling all day ...
9
votes
1answer
196 views

Short story where peaceful inhabitants of a planet defeat militant invaders by making them smarter [duplicate]

I read this in an anthology back in the late '60s and have been looking for it again ever since. Militant people arrive on a peaceful planet where the natives live in harmony with nature and go about ...
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0answers
337 views

Short story about aliens warning humanity not to leave Earth

I was reading an answer on Quora and it referenced a story. The answer went like this: Humans were contacted by aliens out in the Oort Cloud and told never to come farther. It wasn’t, they told the ...
9
votes
1answer
207 views

Short story about a man finding out his (ex?)wife is a rebel leader of a robotic society

I've been trying to google this for years. I'm pretty sure I read it in a short story collection, but don't remember the collection or the author or even the name of the story or any of the characters ...
6
votes
1answer
127 views

Short story about a modern nurse treating revolutionary war soldiers

This was a short story. Possibly in OMNI magazine, though it could have been elsewhere. Probably published some time in the 1980s. Viewpoint character is a nurse in a special military camp, modern ...
11
votes
1answer
126 views

A collection of short stories with one story focusing on a spot where time stands still

I'm looking for a collection of short stories that was read to me some time in the late 90's- early 00's (between 1997 and 2001). I recall a number of stories from this book being read to me, but only ...
6
votes
0answers
68 views

Online short story about two factions fighting with time as territory

I remember reading it online about 10 years ago, someone linked the story. There were two sides fighting, one from the future and one from the past, and instead of fighting for land they were fighting ...
13
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2answers
231 views

70s-80s short story: man obtains immortality, regrets it, tries to kill self in explosion, but lives on in pieces

There's a short story I read when I was a young kid. In it, a man meets a demon who grants his wish for immortality. The man quickly tires of his new state and tries to kill himself, but his first ...
4
votes
2answers
117 views

Name of a short story where 10-year-olds battle each other gladiator style (not Battle Royale)?

I read this story in Russian in 1990s. It was a translated story. The name of the author escapes me, but I have a vague feeling it was some Anglophone or Hispanic name. The story is essentially about ...
4
votes
1answer
61 views

Name of short stories about chimeras, as well as author, published in magazine

I remember reading a series of short stories published in one of the main magazines in the late 70's or 80's. The stories were about a crashed colony, which had ended up on a planet with a lot of ...
6
votes
1answer
93 views

Sci-fi anthology for kids of alien stories - aliens lure humans into a garbage disposal and put them in zoos

One of the stories was about the aliens building an invisible structure and they play music that calls all the humans to it. The main character is pulled away from it and is angry even though he knows ...
3
votes
2answers
135 views

Looking for short story, prehistoric young man returning to tribe, giant bugs

I’m looking for a science fiction short story. My memory is a little hazy but I believe the story was about a prehistoric young man who was traveling to return to his tribe and had to deal with giant ...