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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7
votes
1answer
142 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 ...
6
votes
0answers
59 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 ...
11
votes
1answer
295 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 ...
12
votes
1answer
328 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 ...
54
votes
0answers
902 views

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 ...
7
votes
2answers
351 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 ...
7
votes
1answer
287 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 ...
11
votes
1answer
326 views

Story about a robot that commits suicide when it can't make new memories

I remember reading a short story in an old anthology about a robot that has a limited memory that is filling up and will soon stop being able to make new memories. I think I remember that the robot ...
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 ...
23
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'...
6
votes
3answers
236 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 ...
3
votes
0answers
97 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 ...
9
votes
1answer
362 views

Curator working late discovers the night watchman is the vandal and the Egyptian gods are real

I’d love to identify a short story I read in an anthology that must’ve been printed in the 80s or 90s. The main character is a museum curator and she’s working late studying a statue of an Egyptian ...
7
votes
0answers
122 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 ...
10
votes
1answer
273 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 ...
15
votes
8answers
2k views

Short story with teleportation from Mars (or another planet) to Earth

Short story, definitely no later than the 1980s, but probably much earlier, in which there’s a chap on Mars (I think — could be the moon or another planet) in a base or ship (can’t recall which) that’...
6
votes
0answers
111 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
170 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 ...
4
votes
0answers
79 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 ...
10
votes
2answers
1k views

Sublight Starship “passed” by FTL

I'm a huge fan of SF from the golden age of SF, so this could be a fairly old book. It was a story about a "generation" starship or sublight starship. I believe most of the story was about their ...
20
votes
0answers
532 views
+50

Time travel to the crucifixion of Jesus and changing the past

The story I'm looking for is not Let's Go to Golgotha!, although there are a few core similarities. It's not Up the Line either. In the mid 2000s, I read in a magazine a science fiction short story ...
7
votes
1answer
236 views

Short stories book, including one where human-looking aliens betray themselves by not pulling up their pants when sitting

There is this one book that I've been looking for for years, my intermediate school teacher would read us a new short story when we had enough time. I know it's an old sci-fi book, it could have been ...
16
votes
1answer
971 views

YA paperback about a boy talking to an alien on his computer, alien asking for help

I read this short story in elementary school, 15-20 years ago. It was a small book, similar to Apple Paperbacks, but I've combed through lists of all their published works to no avail. It was ...
11
votes
0answers
108 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
0answers
225 views

A tribe of telepathic male aliens produced by a tree. 1960s/70s short story

When the sentient aliens reach adolescence they mentally block out the rest of the tribe and die crossing a desert in a futile attempt to reach — we later learn — a similarly isolated female tribe and ...
9
votes
1answer
93 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 ...
5
votes
0answers
94 views

Short story about a kid who turns out to be a robot?

I read this short story in a compilation of short horror stories for kids back in 2005-06. One thing I do remember is the title of this short story was a combination of numbers and letters, like “...
9
votes
1answer
497 views

Short story with a helmet that fits a guys face

I was 14 when I picked up a book from my school library which contained excerpts and short stories related to space travel and such. There was this particular story, the first one actually, where a ...
13
votes
1answer
349 views

Short Story involving time travel, origin of man, and an ancient enemy

I'm looking for a short story that involved: time travel; the search for the origins of humanity; an ancient enemy. It was one of several short stories published in one of the monthly Amazing ...
40
votes
1answer
4k views

Short story about a teenager who has his brain replaced with a microchip (Psychological Horror)

There was a short story I read as a kid (between 2007 and 2009) about a world where people were raised from a young age with a microchip implanted in their skull which was trained over time to ...
21
votes
1answer
2k views

Short story about a girl who lost/replaced her personality

I'm trying to remember the title/author of a short story I read about 5-10 years ago; I think it was new at the time. It's about a teenage girl who lost her personality because of overdosing on some ...
9
votes
1answer
194 views

Story about a spacecraft crewman picking up women in a bar, intending them harm

A crewman has just finished a job, landed on a planet, rented a room, and goes to a bar. He picks up a few women who are dancing, taking them back to his room. He intends them harm. He expects to get ...
21
votes
0answers
255 views

Short story about an elite that has mentally regressed due to assistive AI technologies

I came upon a comment describing a scifi short story where reliance on technology meant to improve appearance and demeanor has led to mental regression and AI control of the upper class that employs ...
2
votes
0answers
88 views

Short story with mechanical house that completes all tasks [duplicate]

I am 90% sure that this by either Isaac Asimov or Ray Bradbury. I think I might have read this in The Martian Chronicles. Basically, the story starts off with a house that cooks, cleans, and performs ...
8
votes
1answer
362 views

Identify a short story where a paraplegic man travels back in time to save his wife but doesn't get the result he wants

I would have most likely have read this in the '80s or early '90s in a magazine, almost certainly either Analog or Asimov's Science Fiction, two magazines I read regularly back then. The story opens ...
7
votes
1answer
108 views

Social experimentation with cryogenics fails to solve humanity's overpopulation problem [duplicate]

This may be a tough story to identify because of incomplete memory. A technique for cryogenic preservation and revival of the body has been developed and is applied to the overpopulated world in a ...
7
votes
1answer
144 views

Human evolution SF short story, investigation about shoplifting reveals both investigator and thief can go unnoticed by Homo sapiens

Looking for a short story about a man who is investigating a spate of shoplifting in a small town. The local business people are close to panic as merchandise seems to vanish without a clue. ...
9
votes
1answer
237 views

Heinlein story regarding suspended animation and reading newspapers?

In one of Heinlein’s stories, a character awakes after having been in suspended animation for many years and catches up on what he’s missed by spending a few hours reading a history book, then remarks ...
26
votes
1answer
2k views

Short story with physics professor who “brings back the dead” (Asimov or Bradbury?)

There is a physics professor who, one day, gets drunk and starts a conversation with an English teacher saying that he can bring back the dead. I believe he said he tried... Shakespeare? Whoever it ...
3
votes
1answer
73 views

Short story man in dream facing monster in area remembers his Dad's .45 auto shoots monster [duplicate]

Short story where man is in a dream world or a world that is not quite real, his thoughts can become true. He is either a prisoner or a subject of an experiment, in a sandy arena facing a monster. ...
6
votes
0answers
92 views

Short story (possibly a novella) about people living in caves; women start giving birth to worms

In eleventh grade, we read many a short story, sometimes novellas if our teacher liked them enough. I remember reading The Most Dangerous Game. This one short story I have been trying to find for ...
8
votes
0answers
93 views

A recent short Sci-Fi story about a family at Christmas and climate change

I'm looking for a recent (last four years?) SF story about a family enjoying a nice day in their house at Christmastime, watching the snow fall in the forest near their home through the windows. The ...
16
votes
1answer
276 views

“Painful death is best gift” - from what short story?

In Soviet times there was one of selected best American sci-fi short stories printed here and there, and I believe it was one of those. I always keep forgetting an author and title, cause the phrase "...
14
votes
1answer
244 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 ...
16
votes
2answers
3k views

Disease transmitted by postage stamps

The United States is afflicted by a cold- or flu-like disease that has the epidemiologists floored because its distribution is so spotty. In one town practically every adult person comes down with it, ...
28
votes
2answers
833 views

A bad pun short story

I'm looking for a feghoot or shaggy dog story, either by Isaac Asimov or in an collection edited by Asimov, about the poor dependability of inter-dimensional mail. The story ends with a guy having a "...
15
votes
1answer
158 views

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 ...
11
votes
1answer
186 views

Pre-70s science fiction short story or novel: astronaut lands on planet or natural satellite, discovers it is a hemisphere

A colleague told me he read a pre-1970s science fiction short story or novel involving a male astronaut who approached a planet or small moon. When the space traveler landed, he discovered that the ...
38
votes
1answer
3k views

Identify a short story involving art thieves given a device which can significantly slow time

I read this short story during the late 1980s to early 1990s in an english language collection. This story involved an art thief asked by some mysterious clients to acquire a priceless piece of art ...
16
votes
2answers
614 views

Two characters sliding around on a gigantic mirror

I read a sci-fi short story sometime before 1983 I think. In this story there were two characters who were deadly enemies. For some reason I can no longer remember they met on a large asteroid which ...