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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.

5
votes
1answer
134 views

Short story with space microbes latching onto electromagnetic fields

The first is a sci-fi story set on Earth. From the depths of space comes these microbes that latch onto electromagnetic fields. Anything electronic is rendered useless. There's the usual stuff where ...
9
votes
1answer
181 views

Sci-fi “year’s best” type of collection based on hazy memories of two short stories

As the title indicates, I’m trying to identify a science fiction short story “year’s best” type of collection from either the 1980s or early to mid-1990s based on my rather hazy recollections of two ...
9
votes
0answers
91 views

Short story: child assassin turned food blogger has medicine smuggled in her body

This is a fairly recent story, I'd guess not more than five or six years old? It was published online, in English and in an SFF magazine or website, but I'm not sure exactly where or which one. I ...
17
votes
1answer
3k views

Short story with death sentences for patent infringements and a sadistic judge

I read this many years ago. As far as I remember, the judge was fascinated by spiders and an AI computer did play a role as well. I think it was rather a short story and not a novel, but I'm not sure.
24
votes
1answer
4k views

Sci-fi story I read decades ago: young tenants in an apartment which turns out to be a trap

This story featured a young couple who were looking for an apartment. They didn’t have a lot of money to spend and were very excited to find the perfect place, all the amenities, unbelievably low rent,...
11
votes
1answer
422 views

Short story about “nested” computer-simulated universes

I'm trying to find a great story I read in an SF compilation book of some sort. It was about a poet living in a world where we can simulate universes in computers, and people like him go in and ...
14
votes
1answer
759 views

Short story, possibly a Bradbury one: adventurers find a weapon cache of dead Martian civilization, and unleash a blob

This is a short story, I think by Ray Bradbury or Sheckley. Two (?) adventurers/archaelogists are inside of the weapon cache left by Martian civilization which was destroyed by war. Eventually they ...
5
votes
0answers
107 views

Short story which has living mountains that move very very slowly

I remember reading a short story decades ago whose plot involved colonisers on a planet thinking it had no life. Later they realise that the mountains are indeed alive, but move so slowly they could ...
11
votes
0answers
108 views

Searching for a short story scifi/horror of kid teleported to space to die

I'm looking for a short story. I believe I read it in a horror anthology, but it definitely had SF elements. What I can remember: It took place in what I recall as a vaguely dystopian society. This ...
5
votes
0answers
77 views

Does anyone know this story about robots forming a religion by Alex Garland?

So I've read an adaptation of the story, which goes like this: When a spaceship collides with an asteroid, it's almost sure to blow up . When all other measures to save the ship fail, the only human ...
13
votes
1answer
3k views

Footprints in the Sands of Time? [duplicate]

I'm searching for a sci-fi short story. Back in about 1978, I read a story I'd swear was called "Footprints in the Sands of Time." I'm pretty sure it was written earlier, since it was in a class on ...
9
votes
1answer
329 views

Old short story about a visitor that destroys language on Earth

I am searching for a short story I enjoyed in my youth. I think I read it circa 1975 in a hardcover collection of short stories that was old by then. I only recall fragments of it unfortunately. It ...
7
votes
1answer
119 views

Short story about children who stop aging from a scientist's vaccination, and only age if they learn to read [duplicate]

In this short story a scientist introduces a vaccine to stop children from aging so that parents never have to suffer the loss of watching them grow up and leave home. The main character is a mother ...
11
votes
1answer
819 views

1950's Sci-Fi graphic short story about a farm boy, his ham radio and a tiny rocket ship landing in sauerkraut

This story was about a farm boy who built a ham radio and found himself communicating with aliens on a space ship heading towards Earth. The townsfolk and army gather for the event with food vendors (...
12
votes
1answer
695 views

Short story about the maiden voyage of an FTL capable ship

I am looking for a short story about a group of space explorers aboard an FTL-capable ship. The very first jump takes them near a dying star, so they have to flee immediately. On their way back to ...
4
votes
0answers
39 views

Rok and Mog, robotic creatures in an Arthurian plot. Published in Asimov's or Analog within last 10 years

Unusual story of two robot like creatures named Rok and Mog who lived on a dark, metallic planet, lots of clinks, clanks, and spires. Had a sort of Arthurian plot where one of them scales a spire to ...
6
votes
2answers
160 views

Short story from early '70's about pot infused postage stamps

This was a short story from the early 70s where hippies create a better world by putting cannabinoid oil into postage stamp glue. Very short and funny. Asimov perhaps?
8
votes
0answers
93 views

Help identify 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
116 views

Short story from 1988: Boy and soldier walk together to wall, are ignored on the way

This was part of a collection I read. It was my favorite short story of the book, and I'd really like to find it again. A boy meets up with a soldier (the bulk of the story is told from the boy’s ...
8
votes
1answer
146 views

Short Story about body’s repair system preventing suicide [duplicate]

Decades ago I read a short story anthology that had a story that told the tale of a woman who kept trying to commit suicide, and the police detective who was trying to figure out why the body kept ...
27
votes
1answer
3k views

Old science fiction story with an alien creature tapping Planck's constant

About 50 years ago, I read a science fiction story in a "year's best" anthology. As I remember it, a guy was visiting a small moon and ran into a scary giant spider-like creature. He fired a shot, ...
6
votes
1answer
190 views

Short story seemingly set in the past, but is really post-apocalyptic. People uncover US monuments (Staue of Liberty, Lincoln Memorial)

I'm trying to track down a short story from my high school English class, but the details are fuzzy. A group of people are exploring ancient ruins of a civilization and they're discussing how ...
10
votes
1answer
354 views

Short story, “Seven Century Summer”, where man has an accident and time travels to a future post apocalyptic world [duplicate]

Looking for a science fiction short story I believe is titled “Seven Century Summer” or something like that. From what I remember a modern man had an accident and traveled forward in time, to a post ...
3
votes
0answers
50 views

Aliens helping contact spirits of the dead?

I am looking for a short story that involves a plane crash. However, aliens intervene; while they can’t save the crash victims, they have technology that lets them say goodbye to their loved ones.
7
votes
1answer
157 views

Short story: Man crash lands on hostile planet and adapts to it

Old short story where a man crash lands on an alien planet with hostile environment. He thinks he is gradually changing the environment to suit him, but actually he is being changed to adapt to the ...
3
votes
0answers
125 views

Story about a statue in a basement

I am looking for what I believe is a short story. A summary for the plot had to do with a statue of some sorts in I think a basement, the desert, or on an alien planet. The statue had some sort of ...
6
votes
1answer
232 views

Arthur C. Clarke collection with two old stories where light kills?

In an answer to If visible light has more energy than microwaves, why isn't visible light dangerous? on Physics.SE, I wrote: I remember a story by Arthur C. Clarke in which a character criticized ...
4
votes
1answer
121 views

Sci-fi short story: protagonist being convinced by a salesman to buy a better model because his children's work would pay for it, not his [duplicate]

I came across a New York Times article today with the title "No Tuition, but You Pay a Percentage of Your Income (if You Find a Job)". I have remembered that I read a short science fiction story a ...
8
votes
1answer
155 views

Short story where man becomes convinced that if he falls asleep he will die

I remember reading a short story on the internet where teleportation technology is invented. The main character decries the new technology and refuses to use it because it causes a gap in ...
12
votes
1answer
1k views

A short story about post nuclear war

Once I heard a unique story from a teacher. I really need to find its title. Here is the plot: in the post nuclear war times, a man goes to a strange place to find someone who can send people back in ...
9
votes
1answer
124 views

Color Blind Short Story

There was a short story I read years ago that has stayed with me in the back of my mind; I just can not think of the title. It is about an old woman who by happenstance meets a group of humanoid ...
4
votes
0answers
146 views

Sci-fi short story collection: Scientist tries to find one final equation

I am looking for an anthology where one of the stories was about a scientist who leaves everything to find the one final equation or formula that will combine all equations. The scientist was a man. ...
11
votes
1answer
168 views

Seeking an anthology book called 'A View From A Distant Shore'

In the 1990s I came across a book by the title A View From A Distant Shore. It was a collection of short stories from Eastern Europe I believe. It was an older secondhand paperback. I mostly ...
6
votes
0answers
115 views

2018 story about self-driving cars and the trolley problem

I'm looking for a story in which a self-driving car is trying to make a decision on who to hit in an inevitable collision but the story keeps expanding on the life of the different characters. It's ...
8
votes
1answer
279 views

Sci-fi short story about overpopulation, time travel and battle of the sexes [duplicate]

I recall a short story I read many years ago about a soldier or scientist being sent forward in time to see if man survives overpopulation and if we do, how we solved the overpopulation problem. The ...
5
votes
1answer
113 views

Horror story: main character is a college dropout, picks a fight in a bar, and ends up in a cemetery with a lady turning into a rat monster

I remember that it's a short story I first read one year ago. A guy in a mental hospital/prison is telling a tale. There is this guy with long hipster hair who drops out of college and then his car ...
17
votes
1answer
1k views

Time-spanning alien intelligences gamble with the fate of Earth

This earlier question about a seemingly trivial change preventing a nuclear war made me remember a short story I read more than 20 years ago. In the story, there are 2 intelligences (it is not clear ...
57
votes
1answer
7k views

Short story read ~25 year ago where changing person's name prevents a war

I believe I read this short story in a collection. A man's wife goes to a consultant to improve his career. The consultant says include your middle initial (I think). The story goes though the ...
10
votes
1answer
175 views

Short story where a time traveller is sent to discourage Hitler after failing to encourage a sci-fi writer he likes

In this short story, there is a time travel agency which allows people to go back in time to mentor or encourage historical or famous people in their pursuits. The main character visits his favorite ...
8
votes
1answer
123 views

World where the Nazis won. Features “Stappers” (the Gestapo) and “Ceepies” (Communist Party)

I’m looking for story set in a future world in which the Nazis won ww11 . The main character mentions 'stappers' (gestapo) and 'ceepies' (communist party) and schism of mark (Marxism). I read it ...
7
votes
1answer
130 views

Short story with a man inside a time travel box being observed by scientists [duplicate]

I read this sometime in the last 3 years or so, but I believe it was older than that, and was included in a collection of time travel stories. The main thing that I remember from the story is that ...
6
votes
0answers
99 views

Short story about mining crew on planet expecting ship to return them to Earth and realizing it's not going to come

It's about a mining crew who have been recruited with promises of being set up for life once they return from their time on the planet. They gradually realise they are not going to get home, the ...
21
votes
4answers
3k views

Short story about the lifetime that occurs between a bullet being fired and execution

I'm trying to think of the short story about a condemned prisoner that experiences a lifetime between the time a bullet is fired and the time it ends his life. I feel like the story might be Russian?...
11
votes
1answer
139 views

Story about a tribe using phrases as currency

Long after worldwide disaster, a tribe uses phrases as currency: that is, I can pay you by teaching you one of the sacred phrases. (Doing it twice is fraud.) The protagonist is exiled for ...
3
votes
0answers
40 views

Story about a lady who dreams about turning into a witch

The story was in a small anthology volume whose cover showed a haunted house done in green and purple lights, I think, with the title "Horror" or something like that. I read it in the mid-90s. The ...
7
votes
0answers
79 views

Short story about a scientist convinced aliens steal extra time from our days, develops a split personality after trying to check it

I once read a short story about some scientist who was convinced that there were aliens/creatures stealing time from the day (so basically there are actually 25 hours in a day but the aliens steal one ...
3
votes
0answers
72 views

Imaginary friend tries to kill a boy

I am looking for a short story from around the 1970s. It was a horror story about a boy who lived near a lake. He had an imaginary friend that ended up trying to kill him.
23
votes
1answer
878 views

1960s short story — time traveling dinosaur hunter gets eaten by his prey’s ticks and fleas

I am trying to find a short story I read many years ago from an anthology. I remember hunters who time traveled to kill dinosaurs. They were successful in that they did go back in time with big guns ...
4
votes
0answers
65 views

Sci-fi short story: cloned alien-mind-controlled merc with human-body-mod dinosaur side-kick

I've been looking for this story off and on for the past year, to no avail; I think it's pretty recent, published in the past 20 years or so. I read a lot of short story anthologies but I can't find ...
9
votes
2answers
574 views

Short story about humans on a hostile planet, genetically engineering their offspring gradually over generations, to be able to survive on it [duplicate]

This was a short story I read sometime before 2000, most likely sometime between 1981 and 1995. It was collected in a paperback with other stories, which I believe (but am not sure) were by separate ...