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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92
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0answers
3k views

Married couple pretend to like each other due to crystal sculpture

Years ago, I remember reading a short story (as I remember it) about a couple whose prized possession is semi-living crystal structure that is sensitive to their relationship; it grows and maintains ...
58
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1k views

Spambot becomes self aware but every attempt to contact gets filtered

About 3-6 years ago I read a short story (online, I think) formatted as a series of emails sent by a spambot that had become self aware and was trying to make contact but, due to its origins, was ...
42
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2k views

Story about enemies in a space battle sharing their last moments over com as their ships die

I am looking for the title of a short sci-fi story which I read sometime around the mid '80s. It is about a man and a woman talking through some communication system during the last moments of their ...
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1answer
2k views

Looking for science fiction assassination story with mysterious girl

For years I've been looking for a short science fiction story about a man who was released from a prison planet in order to assassinate a candidate for galactic president. He does this on a space ...
28
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1answer
2k views

Short story about aliens warning humanity not to leave Earth

I was reading an answer on Quora and it referenced a story. The answer went like this: Humans were contacted by aliens out in the Oort Cloud and told never to come farther. It wasn’t, they told the ...
27
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423 views

Short story about a man in a madhouse who asks the guard for a cigarette and tells him his story about having swapped bodies before

I am searching for a short story about a man locked in a madhouse who swaps his body with the guard/doctor while he tells him the story about his own body being swapped. I remember the following: ...
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0answers
371 views

Short story about an elite that has mentally regressed due to assistive AI technologies

I came upon a comment describing a scifi short story where reliance on technology meant to improve appearance and demeanor has led to mental regression and AI control of the upper class that employs ...
24
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591 views

SciFi Short Story about an immortal man digging through an asteroid to meet a woman

Short story from the 80's or 90's, I saw someone asking about this on another forum but never got an answer. I've been curious ever since. The story is set in a decadent future where everyone lives ...
23
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502 views

Story about building up speed leading to increased quality of life

It's a story I read in 2 or 3 parts in a Greek sci-fi magazine called 9 around 2004 (give or take a few years), but it may be a bit older than that. This is what I remember (and I hope it's all ...
22
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0answers
1k views

Old sci-fi short story about buying an android?

Long, long time ago I came upon a collection of old (pre 1980s?) short sci-fi stories. I'm not 100% sure, but something makes me think they were by Russian authors. One of them was about a woman, who ...
21
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514 views

70s book/short story, Man wakes up from suspend animation or cryo and world has collapsed

In the book, the protagonist wakes up from either suspended animation or cryo (Probably supposed to be a short test), After 10-20 years have passed. He finds the facility abandoned (and looted?), ...
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162 views

A story about a doctor who travels to a parallel universe to seek a cure for bubonic plague

Recent news has been reminding me of various things I've read about the Black Death, including a story I believe I only saw once, and never stumbled across again. I encountered it over 30 years ago, ...
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1k views

A space story about a desert planet and a cup of water

I read this story over 15 years ago. It is probably a lot older. I read it in Serbian magazine but I think that the language of the original is in English. It's a short story, less than two A4 ...
20
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0answers
618 views

Looking for a Sci-fi short story about an alien race traveling to a dying star

I once found a short story on a library computer about an alien race and a dying star. I've been searching for this story since the 9th grade and I've never gotten close to figuring out what it is. It'...
19
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0answers
816 views

Old sci-fi story about shadowy aliens who surround Earth to protect it from solar flare, tragic misunderstanding by humans?

Plots Summary/Details The story is told from the POV of an astronaut who, along with his crew, is launched into orbit to investigate a weird phenomena that has entered local space. Several enormous ...
19
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0answers
404 views

Short story involving a lost-tech green glass highway in Australia

My mom's been wondering if I could find this story but I really can't without more specific details than she can give me. It's rather old, she guessed somewhere in the 1960s or 70s. The story wasn't ...
17
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0answers
263 views

Looking for Sci-fi Short Story - Aliens observe a planet where machines continue a war after the people are dead

I've read this short story within the past 5 years, somewhere online, but I don't believe it was a new or recent story. Edit 2: It is definitely a short story, and a very short one at that, possibly ...
17
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0answers
728 views

Short story about a boy who makes a virtual girl and updates her A.I as he grows up

I am searching a free short story I found about 5 years ago on some book app on my tablet. Basically in the story, this young boy got a computer (sometime during the 80s I believe) that had just ...
17
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0answers
413 views

Short story: Lost starship crew in suspended animation trying to return to Earth. Crew suicide a factor

Read a sci-fi anthology sometime in the 1980s, though the story feels like it's from the 50s or 60s. An all-male starship crew is trying to return to Earth after performing some mission, but they're ...
17
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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 ...
16
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0answers
441 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 ...
16
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0answers
472 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
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0answers
464 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 ...
15
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0answers
168 views

Short story where aliens visit Tranquillity Base and take the discarded backpacks for their space museum

I'm looking for the title of a story in which aliens have visited Tranquillity Base and have taken the discarded backpacks used by Armstrong and Aldrin for their space museum. The story is told in a ...
15
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0answers
289 views

Short story from an anthology book where a man travels back in time trying to meet Jesus but ends up becoming him

This story involved a young man in the future who travels back to the time of Jesus to meet him only to end up as Jesus. He is able to perform "miracles" because he shares some aspirin from his ...
15
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0answers
391 views

Short story where a scientist discovers all the secrets of the universe as he is dying

I read this story around 3 years ago, but it might have been written much earlier. The premise of the story is this: A scientist has spent his whole life researching some aspect of the universe but ...
15
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0answers
294 views

Short story about a man who receives a floppy disk with a program that can answer any question

I read this in the mid 1990's. It was a short story set in contemporary time (the era it was written), about a man who received a package in the mail that just contained a floppy disk. The program on ...
15
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0answers
283 views

Super sophisticated AI spacecraft autopilot saves the day

Looking for the title of this rather excellent sci-fi short story... Human spacecraft approaches alien planet Humans piloting the spacecraft about to do something inappropriate, given apparent ...
15
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1answer
733 views

Story about monks who are keepers of English language?

In the 1960s/early 1970s, I read a lot of science fiction short stories and anthologies from Ray Bradbury, Arthur C. Clarke, and Isaac Asimov. One of the stories was about an interview for an order of ...
14
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0answers
231 views

Short story about a photo restoration specialist who can travel back in time to the day a photo was taken

This was a short story, told in the third person. Written in English. I first read it in a library book, sometime during the 1980s, probably no later than 1986. (I lived in Indiana at the time.) I'm ...
14
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0answers
145 views

Pre late-80s UK-based short horror story. Giant alien shapeshifters imitate a house and a uk phone box to trap and devour the young protagonist

General This UK-based short story was from a horror or SciFi compilation I read during the late 80s/early 90s (but was almost definitely from earlier). I have a feeling the compilation was probably ...
14
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0answers
227 views

Short story about memory eraser

I have been trying (and failing) to identify a short science fiction/horror story which I first read in a late 1970s British horror anthology. The story's central theme was the invention and ...
13
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0answers
58 views

SF-Fantasy short story collection themed around the Yoruba smith god Ogun

As per the title, I am looking for a short-story collection of SF, Fantasy, and whatever else might fall in between. I cannot recall what the book looked like, nor its length, nor if it was a recent ...
13
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0answers
180 views

Short story about two spaceships moving in opposite directions

I'm looking for a sci fi short story: It is told in a slightly surreal dreamscape kind of way. Two identical spaceships are headed in opposite directions, each carrying a solitary person one of ...
13
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0answers
154 views

SF short story about an immortal man as he grieves for dead partner, becomes a mercenary, meets ageless artificial intelligence

I only remember some elements and only hazily - nothing of the ending. An internet link took me to the story, I read it online, but it wasn't dated so I don't know which era it's from. I, however, ...
13
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0answers
232 views

Dystopian short story about a home computer, likely written 1970s (1970-79)

Looking for futuristic short story about a man who brings a new device home called a "computer" which soon takes an increasingly central role in its owner's life to the point of literally reaching out ...
13
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0answers
104 views

Our hero hems and haws and finally decides to summon the fleet to help his new alien buddies

I read this story some time around 2000. It wasn't brand new when I read it, but I think it was close. It was in a collection of sci fi short stories, and it was by a relative unknown; the central ...
13
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0answers
256 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 ...
13
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0answers
305 views

Short story about a world government planting poison kill switches in everybody's head

This is a question about a short story I read in Norwegian back in the day, in a kind of (monthly? quarterly?) youths' anthology (not a sci-fi anthology, but a collection of youth-related topics; peer ...
13
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0answers
256 views

Identify Story: Telepath investigating saint finds proof of eternal damnation

I read this in a pulp magazine (Analog or Galaxy), I think. In it an atheist telepath is asked to confirm that in his death throes, a saint had never despaired and thus still deserved canonization. ...
13
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0answers
678 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 ...
13
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0answers
510 views

Man whose job is to destroy broken robots on Mars

Could anyone help me please. I am looking for a short story where the setting is on Mars, protagonist a human waste disposal worker. His job is to shovel broken down robots into the furnace and they ...
13
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0answers
597 views

Story about Neil Armstrong being transported across the galaxy

Attempting to search for the answer myself (and also ignited by current events), I recalled another short story I read back in 2006 that involved Neil Armstrong getting caught in a wormhole while ...
13
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1answer
784 views

Identify short story in which invention of music redeems humanity from alien death sentence

A small mission of harmless-looking little aliens comes to Earth to observe the place before destroying mankind. These folks have no music of their own but when they are exposed to ours, they love it. ...
13
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1answer
283 views

Lessons designed for the average man work extraordinarily well

This is a short story I read a long time ago, almost certainly before 2000 and likely before 1990. I don't recall if it was in a magazine or in a book/anthology. It was probably published a decade ...
12
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0answers
149 views

Identify a story about a man who pays to dream that he is successful

Can anyone help me identify some science/speculative fiction plot I remember from the 1980s? I'm pretty sure it was a short story I read in a book, though it's possible that I have gotten it confused ...
12
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0answers
136 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 ...
12
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0answers
247 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 ...
12
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0answers
218 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 ...
12
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0answers
345 views

Sci-Fi short story read in a collection. Couple with crystal tree that reflected their emotions

I am trying to track down a short story collection (Sci-Fi) that contained this story. A couple have a crystal tree that reflects their emotions. They are very proud of the tree, even though they ...

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