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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.

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i need help figuring out and idea for a school spec-fic wrighting assignment?

it cant be normal, as in it has to be new and creative and have a really big WHAT IF? in it. my previous one was about what if the government was hiding the cure for cancer, but that didn't have a big ...
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1answer
126 views

Time travel short story where someone from the past follows the travelers back

Short story on time travel where, at the end, a primitive follows them back to the present but gets scared of a delivery truck and jumps back through the device.
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5answers
2k views

Sci-fi short story about time travel

It is set during the last ice age as a modern man is living among a small community of early humans and is told to kill one of the last neanderthals as a test to see if he is really human or a savage. ...
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1answer
165 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 ...
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1answer
398 views

A spaceship saved by a teen who realizes destination planet is surrounded by electromagnetic field

I'm looking for an old short story or possibly a book, more than 30 years old, probably a lot older, about spaceship heading to some planet, possibly Venus. The previous ships have not been heard ...
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1answer
2k views

The last tree in the Universe

The setting: Humanity has spread through the galaxy, but there is only one tree left on a remote planet. It seems that Earth was the only planet where trees evolved; there are tall grasses and such ...
10
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1answer
225 views

80's (or earlier) short stories book: tiny visitors in a house inside a house, horses appearing upon wishes, and a story about getting lighter

I read a book of short stories when I was a kid or pre-teen in the 80's that included a story about a man who has a small house inside his house (think doll house/birdhouse) and he gets tiny visitors ...
13
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0answers
629 views

Boy playing ball has to run inside to avoid a hail of diamonds

I read this in a collection of sci-fi short stories when I was in elementary school, so circa mid-to-late 1980s. It might have been published by Scholastic. It's a very short story. It may have been ...
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2answers
4k views

Short story about psychologist analyzing demon

I heard about a short story where a psychologist or psychiatrist conjures up a demon. He analyzes the demon who shrugs off his evil aspect and an angel emerges. I'd love to know the author and title....
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1answer
365 views

Short story where the value of pi changes during the course of history, implying that the universe itself is changing

The story was about the value of pi changing throughout the history of civilisation, suggesting not that technology was improving but that the universe itself was changing.
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1answer
279 views

Bishop Berkeley's ideas put to the test

Bishop Berkeley (who, however, is not credited in the story) is known today for his idea that material things only exist because we think about them, that mind is truly more important than matter. ...
10
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1answer
619 views

Ecological tale of a world covered by a forest that is all one organism

Interstellar explorers have discovered what looks like a very suitable planet for human colonization. The climate is good, there are no pathogens, and a beautiful forest grows abundantly. A charming ...
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0answers
106 views

Story identification: man living in a matrix world to save his life

I have tried and failed to remember/identify this short story or short film (can't remember which!) of a guy who goes about his normal life with a nagging feeling that something is controlling his arm ...
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2answers
555 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 ...
16
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1answer
2k views

Short story about astronaut stung by a “bee”

A group of astronauts travel to a mysterious planet where they find an empty city. One of the crew is stung by a "bee" and when they begin traveling back to Earth the swollen sting area hatches and ...
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1answer
99 views

Book of horror stories based on Native American folklore

I was reading the fourth book of the Iron Druid series, which has a heavy slant on Dîné (Navajo) folklore, and I suddenly remembered a book of stories I started (but hadn't quite finished before I had ...
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0answers
147 views

short story about a railroad and a steam engine in medieval times

In the early 70's I read this short story in an anthology. A time patrol team must inquire about a railroad in the medieval English countryside. It turns out that a local blacksmith did invent a ...
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7answers
3k views

Sci-fi short story where man becomes a plant

This is a sci-fi short story which ends with the protagonist growing roots on his feet and sinking them into soil, finding peace. Thought it was Bradbury/Martian Chronicles, but seems not. Pretty ...
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7answers
2k views

Searching for a short story about the crucifixion

My dad once mentioned that he had read short story that explained why there were no time travelers at Jesus' crucifixion. He said he had thought was by Orson Scott Card, but he never managed to find ...
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1answer
101 views

Short story, child time travels when dreaming, finds another child who believes he was created by robots

I remember reading a story about a kid who lives in an old Frank Lloyd Wright house after mankind has returned to Earth after leaving for a time. He meets another boy whenever he sleeps, this other ...
9
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1answer
372 views

Short story: Mercenary general with a supercomputer

The story involves a famed mercenary general that will only work for those clients he deems "worthy." In reality he is working towards galactic peace using his army as a tool to reshape interstellar ...
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0answers
82 views

Short story, dystopian famine, chemical food changes a man into a creature

Short story i read in late eighties in a thick hardback anthology. Dystopian future where everyone lives on a very basic meagre ration. Then there is some supply failure and a much further reduced ...
12
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1answer
231 views

Online short story, where the program handling optimization of ordering decides it has to eliminate humans who 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. ...
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2answers
7k views

Pre-1972 sci-fi short story or novel: alien(?) tunnel where people try new moves and get destroyed if they're not the correct ones

It might be a short story or it might be a novel. It must be before 1972 because I read it in my youth and I am OLD. The following is very impressionistic. There is a multidimensional/not of this ...
13
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1answer
214 views

A short story where a time traveller gets mistaken for Jesus Christ?

I read this short SF story in around 2008, but cannot remember the title and only vaguely remember the story. I'm not able to find the story on any search site, so I am asking about it here. I have ...
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0answers
78 views

70s/80s comic space opera short story published in some SF magazine, containing the phrase “in durance vile.”

A ship is intelligent. It plays tricks on its crew to keep them alert. Sometimes they think it goes too far. The crew shut it down for a period of time as punishment. Space pirates then chase and ...
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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 ...
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0answers
64 views

Shape changer in space frontier story collection

It was one of the stories in a space frontier collection. A hunter was after the most dangerous game. When killed it had the shape of a small seemingly harmless wormlike creature. But the creature ...
4
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1answer
156 views

Short story where a girl collecting pink shells is trapped in a cave by a storm

I read this short story at school, I think Primary school but I'm not very good with dates, so over ten years ago. Though as we read it for school it was probably older than that. I also remember it ...
19
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1answer
1k views

Short story where ship propulsion is done by crew walking

Answering the question "What is your favorite SF propulsion concept?" recently on Quora.com reminded me of a science fiction story I read many many years ago. I can’t recall the name of the writer. ...
7
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1answer
122 views

Short Story About The Afterlife And Worm

I once read a story about a man who had recently died. After his passing he went to a kind of after-death nexus where he was told that he had his choice of afterlife from various different cultures, ...
9
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1answer
145 views

Short story in a society where people constantly record their whole lives and receive “ratings” on their skills/abilities?

This is a recent story, probably from the 2000s. The protagonist of the story is a teen-aged boy whose highest "rating" (based on the entirety of the world population) is in... magic, or card tricks, ...
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0answers
157 views

Non-telepathic child is considered a monster by post-nuclear-war telepathic humans

This is a post-nuclear-war story where humans have mutated to have telepathic abilities. Institutionalized child (non-telepathic genetic throwback) has no volume control to his thoughts and "normal" ...
34
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1answer
5k views

An average heaven where everyone has sexless golden bodies and is bored

In this story, the dying protagonist discovers that Heaven is a real, physical place, but not what he expected. On reawakening, he chutes down a miles-long slide into a bowl-shaped city that, he is ...
12
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1answer
254 views

Short story where scientist creates and then unsuccessfully tries to destroy miniature civilisation in space

I have had a good search and haven't been able to identify a story I read in the 80's or early 90's in a Russian sci-fi anthology. I'm pretty sure it was a translation from English. It is NOT "The ...
18
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1answer
307 views

Short story about a woman who is about to leave on an interstellar trip to search for non-human intelligence

I read this short story years -- decades -- ago. A young woman is spending her last day at home before joining an interstellar expedition to search for non-human intelligence. She lives on a sheep ...
5
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1answer
141 views

Short story: man frozen in time seen as a monster [duplicate]

I need help identifying a short science fiction story. I can't remember who the story is by or what it is called. It is about man who is frozen in time, initially appearing as a blur, but over a long ...
4
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1answer
209 views

Short story with evil supercomputer/AI probably based in Xanadu

That is almost everything I remember about it. It was really short, probably old too. The early portion of the story describes the land and compares it to Xanadu, with fountains and stuff. The later ...
5
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0answers
41 views

60s/70s short story: man trapped in lunar cave by military robot [duplicate]

I'm trying to find a short story I remember reading in the 1980s. It concerns a man trying to deactivate a military robot which has remained active after the end of a war, due to damage to its ...
6
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1answer
161 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 ...
41
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1answer
868 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 ...
5
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0answers
98 views

Short Story : Universal Living Payment, Conscripted Employment, Union Entanglement

Late 70's, early 80's. Possibly Amazing Stories/Science Fiction Science Fact or similar periodical, possibly a reprint (astounding ?). I am pretty sure this was not a comic, and for many years I ...
5
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1answer
123 views

ANALOG story about Genetic engineering

OK, tricky one. I know the title, not the author. Sometime in the last couple decades, ANALOG magazine ran a story called "Super Hero" about a robbery of a submarine sandwich shop (hence the pun ...
8
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1answer
186 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 ...
11
votes
1answer
2k views

Looking for a short story about a boy discovering that the government puts mind control chemicals in his cereal

I would have read this around 1985-1998 because I remember being in school at the time. It may have been in a short story collection with "The Ugly Little Boy" and a story about a family dealing with ...
40
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1answer
6k views

Short story written from alien perspective with this line: “It's too bright to look at, so they don't”

In this brief story read in the 1980s to 1990s, the narrator is an alien explorer who is describing the Earth and its inhabitants. Regarding the Sun, the alien says, "It's too bright to look at, so ...
8
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0answers
105 views

Online short story about a robot plugged to a wall that becomes sentient

I’m looking for an online (very) short story written in English that I read about 10 years ago. The story is about a couple of scientists making repeated experiments on a robot that is attached by a ...
8
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2answers
252 views

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

This is a short story and/or novel that I read in the mid-to-late 1980s, most probably in a science fiction magazine that was published in the period of late 1960s to early 1980s. Based on a half-...
24
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2answers
3k views

60s (or earlier) short story where each colony has one person who doesn't connect well with others who is there for being able to absorb knowledge

I read a short story in the mid 1960's and now cannot remember the title. It was in an anthology I think. The story began with space travelers, male and female. I think they were involved in a ...
9
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0answers
400 views

Short story about dogs and humans in the far future

I'm looking for a short story I saw on Reddit once, but apparently didn't save or bookmark. It's about how, in the far future, humanity finally achieves some technological singularity and "transcends" ...