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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4
votes
1answer
74 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 ...
8
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0answers
49 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 ...
7
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1answer
178 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 ...
10
votes
1answer
211 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 ...
11
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1answer
384 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 ...
11
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1answer
757 views

The tooth-tapping time traveler

I seem to recall a short story of a time traveler who would tap out a code on his tooth to move through time and space. It starts with him discovering that someone had put him in a closed loop ...
10
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0answers
202 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 ...
28
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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”. ...
5
votes
1answer
68 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 ...
8
votes
2answers
159 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 ...
6
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1answer
144 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 ...
13
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1answer
240 views

2 War machines survive the destruction of humanity, try to build a robot to repair themselves

The story is about 2 war robots who have survived a war that wiped out humanity world-wide. There may be more of the robots functional elsewhere, but since the long-distance communication robots ...
9
votes
1answer
2k views

Short story (+radio play?) in which astronauts outside their ship slowly drift apart in space

Looking for a short story in which the crew of a spaceship for some reason find themselves outside the ship, drifting apart in outer space. They can communicate via their radios but are individually ...
5
votes
1answer
142 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
votes
2answers
180 views

identify “hard” science fiction short story astronaut hides in parade crowd, evades broadcast reporter, was radio drama

In Canada and the United States, FM and AM rebroadcasts of "old" science fiction and fantasy short stories can be heard. Please identify the following short story: The radio program ends with a live ...
49
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0answers
801 views
+50

Spambot becomes self aware but every attempt to contact gets filtered

About 3-6 years ago I read a short story (online, I think) formatted as a series of emails sent by a spambot that had become self aware and was trying to make contact but, due to its origins, was ...
22
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0answers
467 views

Short story about a young man stranded alone on Mars who runs out of air

I read this story in approximately 1979 (plus or minus a year); I found it in an anthology when I was systematically reading my way through all the SF in my library's YA section. Note that the book ...
20
votes
2answers
3k views

Inventor that creates machine that grabs man from future

Discussing the question "Do you consider yourself superior to people in the old days?," poster Matthew here is looking for the title and author of a short story from a scifi anthology with this plot: ...
5
votes
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 ...
14
votes
1answer
1k views

Short story by Sheckley about a man from the future who radiates love and lust

When I was young, I read a collection of Robert Sheckley's short stories. I know it contained "Can you feel anything when I do this?", but that's not the story I'm looking for. It's been a long time ...
5
votes
1answer
163 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
151 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. ...
17
votes
1answer
935 views

New invention compresses matter to produce energy? or other items? (Short Story)

Probably read in 1970s or 1980s (it may have been written earlier.) Pretty sure it was a short story in English from the USA. Scientist develop a device that converts or compresses any material into ...
32
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2answers
2k views

Short story with an old programmer about to lose his job who triggers a Trojan Horse that only he can fix

I remember reading a short story many years ago (1980s) about an old computer programmer who was about to be forced into mandatory retirement. After receiving the news from his boss he returns to his ...
5
votes
1answer
291 views

Looking for short story about the dangers of marketing and advertising

I had a conversation with a few friends about the dangers of advertising the other day, and parts of this story have been running through my mind. The main character is a woman who used to be a ...
8
votes
1answer
230 views

1960s anthology; one story was about people living in cocoons but still looking for one where female scientist is seduced by the plant king

In the 1960s, I read two short stories in a sci-fi paperback anthology magazine. I would like to know the anthology that they were in (and the titles of the two stories, obviously) Future age on ...
31
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1answer
2k views

Science-fiction short story where space navy wanted hospital ships and settlers had guns mounted everywhere [duplicate]

I remember reading a short story where the official space navy of the “Golden Empire” would only fight if hospital ships were close by, so they could be picked up and treated. They had to defend their ...
18
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1answer
2k views

Science fiction short story involving a paper written by a schizophrenic

I have only an image, a fragment of this short stories book: somebody that is looking a text in a paper; before to read it he realized that the shape of the text seems to be a standing man with the ...
6
votes
1answer
192 views

Book of sci-fi short stories: purple and black cover with sorceress and cat

I remember owning a book that had a several short sci-fi stories. One was about an older couple who used to listen to the music in the rain. Another about a woman who wished for a hundred of ...
25
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2answers
1k views

Short story where caffeine is illegal and police detective chases down caff-heads?

I read a story, perhaps 25 years ago, where caffeine is illegal and the main character is a police officer/detective who tracks down "caff-heads": caffeine addicts. The story ends with a memorable ...
5
votes
1answer
254 views

A short story where a man experiences time reversal

A man experiences the reversal of time of the last few days where he relives an argument with his wife which leads to her death and he corrects it.
9
votes
1answer
139 views

Story about a trip to a Valley of Sound

I read a short story, can’t remember if it was part of a larger narrative or just on its own. It was about a crew that was taking a bunch of space tourists to a planet that had plants with seeds in ...
11
votes
1answer
514 views

1960s short story making fun of James Bond-style spy fiction

As my title suggests, I read this story in a magazine - "Galaxy" or "Worlds of If" in the mid 1960s. The science fiction content was pretty minimal. The tone was Robert Sheckley-esque, but I don't ...
13
votes
1answer
574 views

Young adult anthology book from 1970s/1980s

I am trying to figure out the title of an sci-fi short story anthology book that was geared towards young adult readers. It was in my junior high school library and I read it sometime between 1987 to ...
13
votes
1answer
304 views

Short story about a man alone in a station on the moon

I read a short story in middle school I've been thinking about recently but I can't remember it's name. I totally know the story but I have no idea what it was called. A man was alone taking care of ...
11
votes
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 ...
10
votes
1answer
193 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 ...
7
votes
1answer
137 views

Short story about a science experiment that awakens a carrot plant

Trying to identify a SF short story I read perhaps in middle school... in it, there's an experiment to try to reactivate the mind/consciousness of a severely disabled, possibly brain-dead test subject....
5
votes
0answers
91 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 ...
9
votes
1answer
180 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 ...
11
votes
1answer
153 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 ...
24
votes
1answer
917 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 ...
27
votes
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 ...
35
votes
2answers
3k views

Short Story About Population Control Gone Horribly Wrong

I'm trying to locate a short story I read 30 years ago about a public relations guy who is hired to help the government develop a program to reduce the population. He comes up with several ideas ...
14
votes
3answers
2k views

Scifi short story with a star in a jar

When I was in elementary school, I remember borrowing a science fiction short story collection from the library. It had a number of great stories in it, but I've never been able to find it as an adult....
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 ...
15
votes
0answers
230 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 ...
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 ...