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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.

6
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2answers
166 views

Is “A Pail of Air” scientifically plausible? [closed]

Earlier today I was about a post a short story identification question asking about a short story involving survivors living among the frozen atmospheric gasses following a disaster where the Earth ...
4
votes
0answers
84 views

An old short story about a teacher who goes to Mars to work? [duplicate]

A person I know is trying to find a story about a teacher who travels from Earth to Mars and starts working there. It's old, maybe from Bradbury or Asimov. That's the only information she gave to me.
10
votes
1answer
216 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 ...
13
votes
2answers
206 views

Short story with life forms that are like hexagonal tiles with insect-like or crab-like legs

This short story involves a group of scientists that visit a planet where much of the surface is covered with life forms that are something like hexagonal tiles with insect-like or crab-like legs. The ...
13
votes
0answers
222 views

Short story about an angel killing a man so he doesn't commit suicide and go to hell

I recently remembered a short story I read a very long time ago; maybe 7 years ago or more. It was given to us by our teacher so I don’t know where it comes from. In the story a man is thinking ...
4
votes
1answer
67 views

Length of a cubit in Ted Chiang's Tower of Babylon

My question is about the length of the cubit in Ted Chiang's "Tower of Babylon" story. The ancient cubit was, give or take, 20 inches. In his "Tower of Babylon," Ted Chiang describes the tower's ...
9
votes
1answer
108 views

Short story: humans become protoplasm, then re-form as new and improved humans

This was a 1970s short story, which has something in common with Damon Knight's classic "Four in One". Random individuals on Earth start to dissolve into pools of protoplasm. This naturally gives ...
10
votes
0answers
105 views

Sci-fi/horror anthology with a story about a boy who survives a crash and finds an alien who can cause pain with its mind

I have been looking for a specific science fiction/horror anthology book for years. I do not recall the cover art, the publisher, the title, or the author. I am only able to recall bits and pieces of ...
14
votes
1answer
2k views

Short story about a space salvage tug called the Dido, which salvages a passenger ship

Science fiction short story in an anthology or omnibus, about a space salvage tug called the Dido, which salvages a passenger ship. But it loses control of it during reentry into Earth orbit, and it ...
6
votes
0answers
110 views

Anthology of science fiction; aliens have humans visit planet for space ship repairs

I think I've searched the relevant priors so forgive me if this is a duplicate. In the 1980's I read a hard bound anthology of science fiction in a public library. Best guess is that stories were ...
9
votes
1answer
858 views

Looking for an anthology book containing a story about an alien named Ineed by a little girl

One of the stories I am sure was called The Road and another was about a mysterious alien that a young girl named Ineed and her mother kept correcting it to Enid. I read it in the 70's or early 80's. ...
5
votes
1answer
162 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 ...
8
votes
1answer
316 views

Short story: beautiful woman clones herself to avoid ageing but clone burns herself

I'm looking for a SF short story about a beautiful woman named Eden(?) who clones herself to transplant her brain into as she gets older. The young clone discovers the plan and burns her face on a hot ...
6
votes
0answers
113 views

Short story where some people discover their universe was within a piece of bacon

About 40 years ago, I read a short story about some people who get on a spaceship to save their planet. They keep going deeper and deeper into the universe and eventually go through a barrier. They ...
10
votes
1answer
168 views

Creepy post-apocalyptic short story with walking roses

I read the story I'm looking for in the early nineties, as part of an anthology. The narrator was a man who had been at least partially responsible for the (I believe, but am not certain) nuclear/...
16
votes
0answers
189 views

Energy globes flatten everything, turn out be be warp bubbles of starships from another dimension

I read this in the early '70s - I'm not sure if it was in a proper anthology, or just an extra story added in to pad out a short novel to proper paperback size. Set in England (so probably a British ...
3
votes
1answer
87 views

Ghost story book with giant cats coming to life from the bedroom wallpaper

This was a book of ghost stories from the late 80s. One story included giant cats coming to life from the bedroom wallpaper. Another story was of a ghost sat in armchair. Another was of a haunted ...
4
votes
0answers
79 views

Story of a time traveller meeting himself repeatedly [duplicate]

I read this story in the 70s or 80s (it might however be older). I think it was a short story, and not a novel. These are two scenes I remember: In the beginning of the story a guy (lets call him ...
3
votes
0answers
79 views

Short story where a man wakes up in mist and is attacked by a “cyborg”

Read a short story in Warren's Creepy or Eerie in the mid 1970's. Can't remember name, artist, writer or issue. Synopsis: A ragged man wakes up in mist, not knowing where he is or how he got there. ...
7
votes
0answers
90 views

Story about a girl who predicts a weapons satellite will malfunction and destroy the planet

I'm asking this question on behalf of a friend, who posted about this story on Facebook a few months ago. This is my recollection of their recollection, but luckily my long-term memory is pretty good. ...
31
votes
1answer
4k views

Short story where humans are stronger than all other aliens

I'm sure I found this on this site but can't for the life of me find the answer again. I'm looking for a science fiction story that starts off on an alien spaceship. There is a human that was ...
6
votes
1answer
259 views

Story about a computer that solves death

I am trying so hard and failing right now to remember this short story I read online years ago. Hopefully someone here knows what I'm talking about though. The story is about this computer that's ...
5
votes
0answers
107 views

Short story where humans don't understand the concept of “impossible” [duplicate]

There's a story that I read at some point several years ago, but I can't remember when or where. My best guess is that it was either in an out of print book of older SF stories (probably 30+ years old)...
3
votes
1answer
168 views

Short story about a heist that gets foiled because the thief unknowingly crosses the international dateline

I read this really cool short story in middle school about a heist that gets foiled because the thief unknowingly crosses the international dateline to where it's the day before the crime happened.
11
votes
1answer
151 views

70s/80s SF short story about a bullied scientist who develops a new type of simple but deadly nuclear weapon [duplicate]

Back in the late 70s or early 80s, I read a short story in an anthology of science fiction (possibly The Year's Best series) about a scientist who has developed a new type of nuclear weapon. The ...
5
votes
0answers
150 views

Short story - Cars on permanent journeys until ozone hole burns them all

My recollection is of a highway circling the world, people living in their cars until finally a hole in the ozone breaks through then expands, burning them all. It was in English, I believe it was in ...
15
votes
1answer
3k views

Short story - cars designed to seem faster than they actually are

I'm trying to identify the short story(?) in which cars are designed to be slower than they appear to be driving - louder engine noises, higher speedometer readings than actual speed.
8
votes
0answers
149 views

Short story: Girl gets abducted on a date by satanist cult (cute guy and friends) but she has already given her soul to the Greek god Hermes

The main idea is "Girl gets abducted on a date by satanist cult (cute guy and friends) but she has already given her soul to the Greek god Hermes". I read this story sometime in the 1980's. It was ...
10
votes
1answer
165 views

Short story about a woman who grows a spacesuit instead of skin and then floats up into the sky

I read this story in a single-author collection of short stories circa 2002--2004. The book was a new edition trade paperback, taken from the new acquisitions shelf at a public library in southern ...
9
votes
0answers
174 views

Short story about out of control evolution of humanity in an isolated backup base

Far out in deep space, a base that acts like a generation ship was established hundreds of thousands of years before. The residents gradually forgot what they are and where they came from. Now, ...
6
votes
0answers
92 views

90s (?) short story: a society where everyone is eternally young except one man with the disease of age

The whole world is filled by people whose completion of puberty is delayed, so they stay young forever. Their world is mostly just fun and play, with few people understanding science. One man's ...
5
votes
0answers
106 views

Seeking a story about a forbidden planet with a genetic virus

Looking for an old science fiction story about a spaceship that has to make an emergency landing on a forbidden planet. Once they land, they find the planet to resemble paradise, populated by a great ...
2
votes
0answers
52 views

Short Story like “Resurrection Days”

Looking for a pulp short-story with the following plot elements: man dies; wakes in dystopia governed by women; makes bacon using a mental-machine. The theme is similar to Wilson Tucker's '80's novel,...
5
votes
3answers
153 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
156 views

Desolated Earth short story, with Disney characters as robots

Short story I probably read in the 70’s. Civilization is wiped out, but a robotic Mickey, Donald, and Goofy which were intended for theme park use wander the desolation and have philosophical ...
8
votes
0answers
172 views

Short story: Transported to the moon as criminal punishment, people doing crimes to go on purpose

Not sure exactly when this was published. I think it was in Asimov's or Analog, but not sure on that. It might have been on one of the big-round-number anniversaries of Heinlein's, because it has a ...
17
votes
1answer
356 views

Short story about a self-driving car accident where the cars cannot harm the creator or his descendants

I remember a remarkable number of details of this short story, but can't for the life of me seem to find it. The story opens with two self-driving cars driving on a mountain somewhere (maybe ...
7
votes
2answers
243 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 ...
11
votes
1answer
368 views

Story of a whale shepherd who pilots a submarine to herd them

The story is about a guy that pilots a submarine and kind of shepherds whales and protect them from killer whales attacks. I don't remember much else. Just it was a short story or tale and almost ...
6
votes
0answers
122 views

Identifying a short story about digital immortality and the last man to die

Apologies for some of the vagueness, but I recall that this was a short story I read sometime around 2000/2001, though I suspect it was published well before that. The premise is that whenever ...
9
votes
1answer
123 views

Trying to find a Sci-Fi Short story about aliens converting to Judaism

I read this story about seven years ago for a college class, and while I remember most of the plot, I cannot recall the title or author. In this story, there is a colony of orthodox Jews and one of ...
23
votes
1answer
1k views

Planet full of robots turn out to be all humans pretending to be robots

I'm looking for a classic science fiction story where a man disguised as a robot is send to investigate a robot uprising on a mining/factory planet. He is found out to be a human and brought before ...
8
votes
1answer
199 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 ...
7
votes
0answers
108 views

Short Story - Exploding Mountain with Alien Craft Inside, Nearby Town Residents are Killed and Preserved

I seem to recall a story from (maybe) an anthology in the late 80s or early 90s, about some teens or kids who discover an alien spacecraft in a mountain which explodes, killing everyone in the nearby ...
6
votes
1answer
244 views

60s-70s short story: distant future, mankind has spread throughout the galaxy, and make “first contact” with other descendants of Earth [duplicate]

I vividly remember a scene from a short story (?) I read back in the sixties or seventies, and am trying to remember the publication and title. If it sounds familiar to you, please post. The scene ...
8
votes
0answers
112 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 ...
5
votes
0answers
98 views

Short story about scientist aliens destroying Earth [duplicate]

I'm looking for a short story about how scientist aliens look at earth from afar and see a violent race bent only on killing each other. The aliens decide to destroy earth as to eradicate the threat ...
6
votes
0answers
121 views

Short story about aliens that took the deer

I could be wrong, it was so long ago, but I thought the premise of it was that aliens had come to Earth and were communicating with people in their dreams, telling everyone they were judging to bring ...
17
votes
1answer
2k views

Looking for a story about how the USA acquired an inland sea

I came across a story ID request here recently, that reminded me of another similar story I've read. So that earthquake, did you check your math? The story I've read, most likely in '90s or the late ...
6
votes
1answer
119 views

Story about robots which learn and age of information

I am looking for a short story I read in a collection some years ago. The main character is a very busy jetsetting businessman who is always plugged into technology. He visits a factory or school ...