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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
39 views

Short story with alien vampire hunter on Earth

Looking for a short story. Background was there were a ship of alien viruses(vampires) intended for a night planet that had crashed on Earth long ago and were accidentally activated by radio ...
8
votes
1answer
826 views

Short story about an alien named Ushtu(?) coming from a future Earth, when ours was destroyed by a nuclear explosion

I'm looking for a short story about an alien from a future Earth (from an age after a nuclear explosion destroys ours). IIR he was part of a group mind and was named (?) Ushtu
20
votes
1answer
2k views

Short story about astronauts fertilizing soil with their own bodies

There was a short-story about astronauts who lost in space on lifeless planet. They tried to grow crops but all attempts failed until the last one buried their bodies into ground. Those plants ...
6
votes
1answer
132 views

Short story about stranded astronauts who miss the color green [duplicate]

This short story is probably from the 1950s or 60s. In it, a pair of astronauts are stranded on a planet where all the vegetation is red and there is nothing green to be seen. The only time they ever ...
5
votes
1answer
135 views

Short story about a child who is a miniature, living Earth

I saw this short story in an anthology years ago. At least 20 years old, probably more. This was a humorous short story about a child of human parents who was born as a tiny earth, complete with ...
11
votes
1answer
391 views

Short story about a man stranded on a red planet with a sentient hand as his friend

I remember reading a short story 10 to 15 years ago about a man stranded alone on a red planet, where nothing would be green, and so he would miss that color. There was a sentient hand to keep him ...
10
votes
1answer
1k views

Horror short story anthology from early 80s with spider story

I'm trying to track down a horror anthology book from the early 80s. I'm fairly sure it was called something like '50 tales of horror and suspense' and definitely had a cover painting consisting of a ...
10
votes
1answer
223 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 ...
1
vote
0answers
75 views

Story identification by illustration [on hold]

So I have an awfully vague image that I'm hoping may trigger some recognition in the mind of someone out there. I remember owning a collection of scary stories / folk tales when I was a child (early ...
301
votes
1answer
17k views
+150

Story where the number 3 is the monster?

I remember as a child (in the nineties) reading a story where the narrator was a little boy and how he was scared only twice a day – when the clock read 3:33. The 3's would be powerful enough (there ...
9
votes
1answer
766 views

Short story by Isaac Asimov about a mental chef

I'm looking for a short story by Isaac Asimov about someone who creates dishes not in the kitchen but by combining ingredients in his head.
7
votes
1answer
186 views

Short story on an alien world where the most dangerous flora/fauna are the most attractive

Looking for the title and author of a short story, description follows... Two men, possibly cadets in some sort of space force or army but my memory is not so clear are lost in the wilderness on an ...
12
votes
0answers
303 views
+50

Short story about a man turning into a (monstrous*) vampire

*Note: "Monstrous" refers to the protagonist's personality change, not appearance. This story was featured in a short story collection about vampires. I read it in a library in early 2001 (in Germany,...
7
votes
2answers
183 views

Sci-fi/horror short story about a disease that took over people’s minds and made their heads explode

The short story was about how a disease, perhaps from a parasitic fungus, took over people’s minds and made them climb telephone poles and trees so when their heads exploded the spores would spread. ...
15
votes
1answer
746 views

Short Story with Cinderella as a Voo-doo Witch

I remember reading this in a college English class about 20 years ago. The elements I can remember are: Cinderella's mother was killed by the king because she was a witch. Both Cinderella and her ...
14
votes
1answer
164 views

A man enters a comatose author's dreams to wake him up

This is a short story, I think, but I might be wrong. A man is recruited to enter an authors' dreams to try & bring him out of a coma & finds himself in a hackneyed barsoom type world where ...
10
votes
1answer
550 views

Short story, man kills everyone on board spaceship, Earth won't let him land

I was rereading George R R Martin and thought this was by him, but didn't see it. I probably read it between 5 and 15 years ago. The man is one of the crew. He killed various other crewmembers in ...
17
votes
1answer
312 views

Help identifying short story about people never leaving their own house/room

I read this short story quite some time ago (about 20 years) but it stayed with me as the theme was very memorable. I'd love to find the book that the story appears in. The story consists of someone ...
9
votes
1answer
144 views

Short horror story about an explorer poisoned by a witchdoctor, the effects cause him to slowly shrink while still alive

I read this short story maybe 10-12 years ago, about an explorer who discovers or goes looking for a mysterious tribe, I think in South America or possibly Africa. There might be something about ...
14
votes
0answers
428 views

Short story with a computer that saves only relevant information of peoples life stories

Please help me find a short story my uncle read in his youth. When my uncle was in his teens or a young adult he read a story that had profound impact on him and defined his life (he founded a company ...
16
votes
1answer
346 views

Sci-fi short story about gamer who defeats his rival by revealing her disfigured face

I read a short years ago (somewhere between 2007 and 2013). I want to say it was in one of the Year's Best Science Fiction anthologies, between 2003 and 2013, but all I can remember is that I found it ...
36
votes
1answer
3k views

Is there a calendrical error in Asimov's “The Last Trump”?

In the short story "The Last Trump" by Isaac Asimov, there is a point where one of the characters explains that the year is calculated differently by various different cultures: "Nor is that all," ...
9
votes
1answer
226 views

Short story, dystopian military kills new recruits

This was in a forgotten anthology I read maybe thirty years ago. A new recruit on day one of his compulsory military service, he writes home telling his parents (mom) about some of the things such as ...
11
votes
1answer
460 views

Story about a time-traveler living backwards in a capsule

I'm hunting for the title of a short story where a senile old man appears in a capsule in a laboratory. They eventually realize time is passing backwards for him. After years he helps them build the ...
13
votes
1answer
539 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 ...
14
votes
0answers
346 views

Creepy short story: sinister alien dolls, invasion of Earth

I'm looking for a short story that creeped me out as a kid! It involves alien dolls, which are sold to humans as souvenirs but are designed to inject a deadly virus into any nearby human, allowing ...
16
votes
1answer
382 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
292 views

Intergalactic human space ship encounters another ship, character gets shunted off beyond known universe, reality starts collapsing

This question reminded me of a very vaguely recalled short story, most likely from the early '00s or '90s (and probably in a magazine like F&SF, Asimov's or Analog), of a space ship that can ...
10
votes
1answer
468 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 ...
15
votes
1answer
208 views

Old story about a heroic bureaucrat who wants to prove that a war on another planet is just a government hoax

This was a short story I read a long, long time ago. I think I first read it no later than 1986, and I may have run across it again sometime in the 1990s. It was written in English, reprinted in an ...
9
votes
1answer
108 views

Short Story where school kid (and their family) turn out to be alien(s)

I think this was from a book or collection of short stories, but it may have been standalone. IIRC the text was pretty big and I read this as a child, so most likely it was aimed at YA or younger. I'm ...
5
votes
0answers
128 views

1960s short story about a device that stops time for anyone within its field

This short story was in a Sci-Fi or Fantasy anthology I read in the late 1960s. It involves a scientist who invents a small device with a circular cable loop that is capable of slowing time almost to ...
22
votes
1answer
1k views

'Last Man in the World' short Story

The story opens with the protagonist as the 'Mayor' of a town, engaging in some standard actions (cutting ribbons to open a mall or some such.) It turns out he's traveling around and taking whatever ...
8
votes
0answers
111 views

Short web-original story about eldritch horrors repelling an alien first-contact

I've been trying to find a web-original short story I read a couple years back. I found it on Imgur, text on an image, fairly long, it may have been a 4chan greenpost. The essential premise was a ...
15
votes
1answer
960 views

Christmas short horror story about a woman who becomes trapped in another body?

I read this short story maybe about 5-7 years ago, possibly longer. I'm fairly certain it was part of an anthology. It stuck in my mind because I haven't run across that many Christmas horror stories....
16
votes
2answers
2k views

Short story: man watches girlfriend's spaceship entering a 'black hole' (?) forever [duplicate]

I read a sci-fi story in a collection of shorts about 10 years ago, I believe they were stories from 70s possibly and have been trying to track down the title. My recollection is that a number of ...
13
votes
1answer
2k views

Short story: child made less intelligent and less attractive

What is the name of the early to mid-1950's sci-fi short story in which an asteroid miner and his wife decide to have their pretty, intelligent daughter dumbed down and made less attractive?
2
votes
0answers
60 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 ...
13
votes
1answer
1k views

Short story ID: Bouncing-Ball Time Travel

A little help please. The story I'm looking for is probably late-50's to mid-60's, and may well have occurred in an SF magazine. A professor is demonstrating his new time machine to a scientific ...
9
votes
1answer
418 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
363 views

Seeking a short story about psychologically curing a human serviceman of his obsession with an alien female's affection

This was a short story, written in English. I read it in a hardback anthology I checked out from a library in Indiana no later than 1986 (and I suspect it was a couple of years earlier). I think the ...
4
votes
0answers
124 views

Sci fi short story: crew of an exploration ship doesn't know if Earth actually exists or is a product of their imagination

I read this short sci fi story a long time ago, as part of a book which contained a bunch of classic science fiction stores (including Nine Billion Names of God). The story was about an exploration ...
8
votes
0answers
93 views

Sci-fi short story about compensation for stress

People have monitors that measure stress levels. If they interact with someone who causes them stress, money is transferred to compensate. Visual indicators allow others to know if they are causing ...
9
votes
1answer
118 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 ...
12
votes
1answer
612 views

Trying to find a short story (maybe two in the same collection) about Alien education versus Earth

I read this somewhere in the 1990s, but it was probably older. I vaguely remember it as being two stories in sequence in an anthology. One was a story involving an Earth administrator comparing Earth ...
7
votes
1answer
99 views

Anthology science fiction book mid-90's bio-engineering

I'm searching for a book from the 90's that was a collection of short stories about bio-engineering. The first story, I think, was about a man who was discovered to have a clinical condition called ...
12
votes
0answers
172 views

Short story about an alien or robot looking for sources of food

I am looking for a short story about an alien or possibly a robot looking for sources of food. The story was read in a school English comprehension text book in the UK in the early 1980's. Story is ...
11
votes
1answer
120 views

Children/ Young Adult Fantasy Book featuring fairies

I'm looking for a book of fairy stories by a single author that my teacher gave me in the late 70s in grade 5. The book starts with a girl exploring. She finds a tunnel that passes through a mountain ...
13
votes
1answer
2k views

Short story: alien planet where slow students are executed [duplicate]

I read this in the mid-nineties in what seemed to be new hardback book, but some of the other anthology stories seemed 'of the sixties'. The narrator was recounting his experience visiting some alien ...
8
votes
1answer
118 views

60s short story involving two humans, a Russian lady and an American pacifist

The viewpoint character is an American non-violent pacifist and his antagonist is a Russian lady linguist who knows the language of the natives, but has nothing useful to tell them. The natives fly ...