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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.

19
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1answer
2k views

Short story about robots exploring another planet whose inhabitants thought the robots were inferior

The story was about robots exploring another planet. The inhabitants thought the robots were human, and also thought that they were superior to the robots. That is until the robots stirred molten ...
10
votes
0answers
157 views

Short story: Sleep pods compress the time you need to sleep, people go crazy

I read a short story way back in 2006/2007 when I was in fifth grade that I cannot remember the name of. In the story there are pods resembling telephone booths you can enter to experience a full ...
11
votes
2answers
2k views

Science Fiction story where a man invents a machine that can help him watch history unfold

When I started reading science fiction in 1987, I read a lot of “best of” collections and believe I found this story in one. To the best of my recollection, the story involves a man who invents a ...
6
votes
1answer
129 views

Story: Massive black octahedral AI is attacked by a hacker's nanovirus

The story was set in a mid-future Earth (at least 20 years from now, but probably less than 100) with AI and nanotechnology. The most striking element (and the one I thought I could find with Google ...
6
votes
0answers
106 views

Post-apocalypse short story about a young woman living in a post-Yellowstone caldera eruption environment

Looking for a short story about a young woman living in a post-Yellowstone caldera eruption environment. She lives with an abusive boyfriend who tolchoks people with a piece of concrete wielded in a ...
8
votes
1answer
138 views

Short story about a man who goes to get his memory erased after falling in love with a girl but getting separated from her

I read this short story years ago about a couple who meet, then are separated. The guy searches for the girl, but never finds her. In the end, to escape the torture of her memory, he goes to a place ...
8
votes
1answer
114 views

Short story involving a golfer trying to win the hand of a lady, only to find that her father created a robot golfer to beat him

I think I read this in the 1990s as part of a short story collection, but unfortunately, I don't remember anything about the rest of the book. The protagonist is a golfer, an extremely good one, and ...
10
votes
0answers
58 views

Short story about a potion that changes sense of time [duplicate]

Takes place in a tree plantation, maybe Vietnam. Locals and main character of the story drink a potion that slows down their bodies to the point that to others they appear to be frozen in place but ...
12
votes
3answers
547 views

Hero deduces identity of a killer

Looking for the title of a short story I read some years (10+) ago. I think it was in an anthology or possibly a book of linked stories, not sure on that. What I can remember of the story is as ...
7
votes
1answer
249 views

Short story about a deaf man, who cuts people tongues

I'm searching for a short story I read a long time ago in a different language (Bulgarian). It was listed as a story by Ray Bradbury, but I can't find it in his bibliography. I've checked every title, ...
9
votes
1answer
374 views

Short story about a guy who plays a computer game that destroys actual alien ships

I'm trying to remember the name of a story I read some 20 years ago. In the story a powerful alien civilisation is confronted by a strange enemy: a 2-dimensional rectangular shape that destroys their ...
7
votes
0answers
181 views

Short story: alien intelligence take-over in Antarctic base

I'd like to track down an English-language short story I read sometime between 1990 and 2010 approx, and which I'm fairly sure was in a UK-edition anthology. It's about an alien intelligence (monster?...
19
votes
1answer
2k views

In a future war, an old lady is trying to raise a boy but one of the weapons has made everyone deaf

A long time ago, I read a story about a future war. Everything is in ruins. An old lady is trying to raise a boy. But one weapon has made everyone deaf. When the boy does something bad, all she ...
30
votes
1answer
2k views

Science-fiction short story where space navy wanted hospital ships and settlers had guns mounted everywhere [duplicate]

I remember reading a short story where the official space navy of the “Golden Empire” would only fight if hospital ships were close by, so they could be picked up and treated. They had to defend their ...
8
votes
1answer
174 views

1960s anthology; one story was about people living in cocoons but still looking for one where female scientist is seduced by the plant king

In the 1960s, I read two short stories in a sci-fi paperback anthology magazine. I would like to know the anthology that they were in (and the titles of the two stories, obviously) Future age on ...
34
votes
1answer
4k views

Time travel short story where dinosaur doesn't taste like chicken

I ran across this other question about time travel and dinosaurs, and it reminded me of an old short story I read a long time ago. I read it in a collection of short stories. It would have been a ...
12
votes
1answer
208 views

Short story - immortal hero with a metal staff

I read this short story in the early 80s, probably in a collection or anthology of some sort. The hero is a very large but aging man, who wields a solid metal quarterstaff that he crushes his foes ...
3
votes
1answer
138 views

Horror/fantasy short story about a strange man in a (magical?) cabin in the woods

I'm looking for an anthology of short horror or fantasy-like stories, I believe it was by a female author, with this one particular story (entitled The Master, I think) about someone who gets called ...
23
votes
1answer
294 views

Short story with a research facility that ends the world when it runs

A major research facility (like the Large Hadron Collider) is being commissioned. Unfortunately the project appears to be jinxed, because the device always breaks down before it can be successfully ...
8
votes
1answer
349 views

Short scifi story where reproductive organs are converted to produce “materials”, pregnant protagonist is “found fit” to be a mother [duplicate]

I read this story I think in an Issac Asimov short story collection - not necessarily his. It’s about a world where reproductive organs where converted to produce all kinds of materials. The ...
11
votes
1answer
253 views

Short story about a man's bomb shelter in the Cold War

During the Cold War, a man has built a bomb-shelter and stocked it with just enough supplies for his own small family - wife and kids. The whole neighborhood constantly ridicules him for being so ...
6
votes
0answers
95 views

90s YA novel or short story: girl on an intergalactic vessel overhears aliens debating whether to destroy Earth, or establish first contact

I believe I read this book in the 90's. I doubt the book was published much past 1999. I believe the protagonist is a female character who might be a stowaway on some kind of intergalactic vessel. I ...
13
votes
1answer
324 views

Short SF story. Females use stingers to implant eggs in yearfathers

I can't think of any other stories in the anthology and have no memories of the book cover. The story is told from an adolescent girl's viewpoint in what appears to be a low tech agricultural society....
14
votes
0answers
213 views

Short story where a man is killed for being “too intelligent”

I’m looking for a possibly British short story I read in a youth sci-fi collection book that definitely was not new, so the story may be older. I would have read it about 10 years ago but the book it ...
14
votes
2answers
2k views

Short story about cities being connected by a conveyor belt

This is a short story (definitely not a novella) set in 'the future' where cities are connected by massive conveyor belts that people hop on/off and one of them breaks down or gets damaged. I think ...
7
votes
1answer
92 views

Space war story from 1960s song “The Minstrel Boy to the War Has Gone”

A short story or novelette read in a 1960s science fiction magazine, probably If, Tomorrow, or Galaxy. Much of the galaxy has been colonized by humans. Parasitic aliens from another galaxy that ...
15
votes
1answer
863 views

New invention compresses matter to produce energy? or other items? (Short Story)

Probably read in 1970s or 1980s (it may have been written earlier.) Pretty sure it was a short story in English from the USA. Scientist develop a device that converts or compresses any material into ...
36
votes
1answer
3k views

Short story about an infectious indestructible metal bar?

About 15-20 years ago I read a short story (I believe as part of a collection) which as its main plot line featured a metal bar that appeared one day. A guy picked it up and threw it in the recycling....
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
0answers
122 views

80s or earlier short story or serial about natives on a faraway planet battling invading high-tech troops

I read a story in a sci-fi magazine anthology in the early '80s about a "primitive" culture on some faraway planet. The story started with a young boy practicing fighting in a group of other young ...
8
votes
1answer
455 views

Story where a man evades capture from a spaceship by walking round an asteroid [duplicate]

I'm trying to identify a short story I read some time in the nineties, and ideally the anthology it was in too. I was reading a lot of Asimov at the time, and it has a typically Asimovian twist at the ...
9
votes
1answer
107 views

Short story on Mars with wind blown sand structures resembling chapels

Story is on Mars. Windblown sand structures at times resemble the chapel at U of Chicago where the narrator's love and her small dog died in a nuclear attack. Interwoven at times with older images ...
6
votes
1answer
107 views

Bob Shaw short story, set in the Old West, a woman from the future takes refuge in the past, meets a man who has semi-crippled arms

Set in the Old West, a woman from the future takes refuge in the past to escape from (?) She elicits help from a local who makes peyote? He also has semi-crippled arms from a past encounter with local ...
7
votes
1answer
122 views

60s, or earlier, story featuring the last living tree on Earth

I'm looking for the author and title of a short story or novelette that was probably published before 1960. It may even predate 1926. It was probably published in a SF pulp, though I do not know ...
10
votes
1answer
84 views

Anthology about people having historical figures implanted as alternate personalities

Looking to identify a book. I read an anthology somewhere around the year 2,000 give or take a couple of years. They were short stories, I think written by different authors. The idea was that people ...
18
votes
2answers
3k views

Inventor that creates machine that grabs man from future

Discussing the question "Do you consider yourself superior to people in the old days?," poster Matthew here is looking for the title and author of a short story from a scifi anthology with this plot: ...
9
votes
0answers
128 views

Short story about a demon's demon

Trying to identify a short story about a man haunted by a demon from another dimension that, I think, he calls "twisty" because it appears in his peripheral vision as a spinning twist of dust that ...
7
votes
1answer
138 views

Old story about New York City having become “Black New York”

I ran across this in a science fiction anthology. The book may have had a sociological/political theme. I think I read it somewhere around the late 1990s, but I also think the book was a hardback I ...
15
votes
1answer
1k views

Pre-1980's science fiction short story: alien disguised as a woman shot by a gangster, has tentacles coming out of her breasts when remaking her body

Written in a quasi-gangster style. Alien was presenting as a female. I remember a scene where the gangster shot her, (I think while they were in a car) and she scooped up the body matter and remade ...
15
votes
1answer
194 views

Short story about aliens trading for hydroponics

I am looking for information on a short story that was written probably in the late 60's early 70's. This was part of a short story collection; I can't be certain but it was possibly edited by Groff ...
12
votes
1answer
656 views

Story about a person invited to join council of intellects

I remember reading a story about a man, maybe a scientist, whose remarkable intellectual achievements earned him an invitation to join the Council of Intellects, which was considered to be a great ...
4
votes
1answer
86 views

1980s(?) Short story about a Martian colonist who is offered the chance to become a sentient star

I read this story many years ago, probably as a short story in a science fiction magazine in the 80's. It was a fantastic story that took place in the near future on a colony on Mars where a disease ...
4
votes
1answer
123 views

Short stort involving a dwarf with exoskeleton armour and a powered axe

I remember reading this at least 15 years ago. Four or five protagonists, one was a dwarf with exoskeleton armor and an axe. Axe may have been powered also. I seem to think the dwarf's name may ...
4
votes
0answers
79 views

Short story: Political story, San Francisco wins drawing for deciding morals

I think the short story is circa 2005 or so, a time when society has agreed to determine political and moral policy through a lottery system, spinning a wheel - definitely a Wheel of Fortune motif. It ...
10
votes
2answers
216 views

Short story about a man who claimed to be a time traveler, committed suicide, and claimed he instigated the holocaust

I am trying to find the title and author of science fiction short story about a man who killed himself, who claimed to be a time traveler who'd traveled to the past to mitigate his version of WW2, ...
11
votes
2answers
527 views

Short story where statues have their heads replaced by those of carved insect heads

Looking for a short story that takes place after the apocalypse/societal breakdown? Can’t remember much else about it except for the final scene. The protagonists find that the statues in the park/...
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 ...
8
votes
0answers
142 views

Short story about research/exploration team looking for weapon on some distant planet to defend Earth

I am looking for a short story, as far as I remember only a few pages long. (From around the 1980s). The story is set in the distant future, where humans have spread throughout the solar system (at ...
12
votes
1answer
229 views

Short story where a man is actually sane while everyone else is mad

I'm looking for a short story I read as a teen. In the near future, people have machines at home that evaluate their mental health. If it goes bad, they are known to be arrested and taken somewhere ...
7
votes
0answers
83 views

Short story where a creature wrapped in newspaper attacks a man

I am trying to identify a science fiction short story I read many years ago, probably in the late 60s or early 70s. In it, a man living a typical suburban type of life goes outside to get his morning ...