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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.

-4
votes
0answers
26 views

Short story with deformed baby who takes on all diseases

Tale of a baby born who was very deformed. I think he was named after a biblical character. People wanted him to be killed as they were scared of him. Ending is he takes on all mankind’s diseases.
19
votes
1answer
395 views

70s book/short story, Man wakes up from suspend animation or cryo and world has collapsed

In the book, the protagonist wakes up from either suspended animation or cryo (Probably supposed to be a short test), After 10-20 years have passed. He finds the facility abandoned (and looted?), ...
15
votes
2answers
787 views

Short story where an old man completely eliminates all trace of a young woman's existence

In the 1980s I read a short story in an anthology that also contained "The Ruum" by Arthur Porges and "Tickets Please" by D H Lawrence. The short story featured a group of possibly British people ...
8
votes
1answer
120 views

Old short story, same personalities, differing planes of existence

It was a short story in a SF anthology (UK) I read it about 20 years ago but I seem to remember it was an older book. A housewife realised her husband wasn't her husband anymore, he had the same name ...
19
votes
3answers
890 views

Short story about rocks watching a city rise and fall, on their timescale

I remember a short story where two rocks are talking to each other, and during the conversation (on their timescale) a giant city rises from nothing, is built right up to the edge of the rocks, and ...
4
votes
0answers
76 views

Story I read in the 1960's about the the human population abandoning the earth

The protagonist is living in a sunny villa on a hill. All (or almost all) other people have voluntarily "beamed up" to a supposedly better place, but he's hesitating about whether to follow them. He ...
1
vote
0answers
119 views

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

Possibly set in Cambridge, true self and form self. An older or aged woman is unable to separate her mind -- true self -- from her body -- form self. Younger people can apparently do this at will, ...
6
votes
1answer
113 views

Post-apocalyptic short story: Traveling technician sells nuclear weapon that requires sacrifice of own son to operate

This is a short story that I read in the mid-to-late 1980s, most probably in a science fiction magazine that was published in the 1960s or 1970s. The story's world is a post-apocalyptic situation, ...
13
votes
0answers
291 views

Short story about a world government planting poison kill switches in everybody's head

This is a question about a short story I read in Norwegian back in the day, in a kind of (monthly? quarterly?) youths' anthology (not a sci-fi anthology, but a collection of youth-related topics; peer ...
9
votes
1answer
147 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 ...
15
votes
0answers
235 views

Short story about a man who receives a floppy disk with a program that can answer any question

I read this in the mid 1990's. It was a short story set in contemporary time (the era it was written), about a man who received a package in the mail that just contained a floppy disk. The program on ...
9
votes
0answers
84 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
32 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 - ...
11
votes
0answers
179 views

Anthology: Vampirism as a cure for HIV; house full of odd characters; arrows on a path through the afterlife

In the mid-90's, I read a wonderful collection of stories that I've been trying to find since. The book was titled something like Year's Best Science Fiction & Fantasy Stories, I believe ...
17
votes
5answers
1k views

Short story where everyone is using wearable personal computers, and the protagonist asks about being able to turn one's own off

What is the name and author of a short story where everyone is using always-on wearable computers, e.g. to help interaction with other people, like hints of what to say during conversation. The ...
8
votes
1answer
132 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
0answers
249 views

Oldish short story where a CEO's daughter gets an experimental treatment that's turning her into an alien

I read this one or two (or more) decades ago, I think in Omni magazine. It was told from the father's perspective; he's the CEO of a company that finds alien technology and is studying it. His ...
10
votes
3answers
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 ...
16
votes
1answer
1k views

Story by Marion Zimmer Bradley about a damaged spaceship that took 75 years to repair [duplicate]

For once, I'm asking for help in identifying a story I've never actually read. Many years ago, I read an essay by Marion Zimmer Bradley in which she talked about a story she wrote, fairly early in her ...
16
votes
1answer
428 views

Short SF Story: The last (Immortal) man visited by Aliens

An immortal and very old man resides in a mausoleum. He is the last man on Earth. He hears a great noise, goes outside and is disappointed, it was only a starship decelerating in the atmosphere. The ...
11
votes
1answer
324 views

Short story; businessman wants secret of immortality from an immortal man

I'm pretty sure that I first read the story in a sci-fi collection. I think the story takes place on a space station. There is a businessman who wields a great deal of power, who has managed to track ...
6
votes
0answers
64 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 ...
10
votes
2answers
281 views

Sci-Fi short story possibly from a “Best of” anthology from the 1950s-60s about a space voyage with a secret engine activated via sex

I read it in the 1980s. I'm pretty sure it was from an annual science fiction short story anthology compilation, probably from sometime in the mid 50s to mid 60s. It was written in English and nothing ...
23
votes
1answer
713 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
139 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
110 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 ...
34
votes
1answer
675 views

Man invents legalese to English translator

Classic sci-fi short story, can remember everything but the title. Almost certainly from the 50s or so. A guy invents a device that translates legal documents into plain English. He uses it on his ...
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
136 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,...
9
votes
1answer
402 views

Looking for author of short story about mechanical cow on space station

In the 1980's I read a short story in an anthology. The short story was called "Hey Diddle Diddle". It was about some guys in a space station (I think) one of which pilfered equipment to make a ...
14
votes
1answer
139 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, ...
7
votes
0answers
168 views

Short story about inter-dimensional travel; a boy meets another version of himself, is infected by needle shaped alien life forms

I listened to an audio book a few years ago that contained a story about a boy who started seeing another version of himself in his room. At first he only saw the other, but as the story progressed ...
10
votes
1answer
164 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
114 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. ...
11
votes
1answer
176 views

Short story: Young girl living alone on space station about to crash into the Moon

I don't really remember the context of where I read this story. It could have been online, but, if so, it would have been at a notable site. It may have been in a collection, too. I think I read it ...
7
votes
0answers
140 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 ...
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
830 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 ...
10
votes
0answers
109 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 ...
33
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 ...
11
votes
0answers
1k views

Hardcover YA Series from the 1980's: starship pilots keep colonists in sleep; planet where everything is disassembled

The stories I read were in my grade school library in the mid 1980's. The series was like an anthology with each story published in its own hardcover. (Rather than being a single novel split up into ...
14
votes
1answer
631 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
483 views

Short story about an obsolete robot

A short story about a wheeled robot that is in turmoil over its apparent obsolescence.But finds a way to go on. I think humans are long extinct at the time this story is set in.
-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 ...
7
votes
0answers
119 views

Short story series about a woman with a sentient computer chip or suit

The series of short stories I am trying to remember are probably from Analog magazine or perhaps Asimov's or The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction. I subscribed to these around 10 years ago. I ...
23
votes
2answers
512 views

A short story about very hostile architecture in an office building

I think I read this in middle school to high school, which places it in the mid to late 90s. It was in English. The protagonist was realizing that a particular office building, I think in the United ...
11
votes
1answer
184 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. ...
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 ...
12
votes
1answer
238 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 ...
6
votes
3answers
3k views

Story with a time-loop where a man sees someone who turns out to be himself

I read a short story in the late 70's or early 80's, but cannot remember the title or the author. In the story a man opens a door in either a house or room and sees someone in the distance. He goes ...