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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12
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320 views

Sci-fi short story about a high value prisoner who is actually in control

A friend of mine lent me a short story a few years ago. It involved a high value political/war prisoner in a prison in space (perhaps he was the only prisoner?). The wardens are trying to interrogate ...
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285 views

Sci-fi story. Survivor ejected in lifepod lands on planet. AI has terraformed the planet to resemble his physiology

Sci-fi story from late 90's or early 2000's collection book that was about a starship survivor who is ejected in a lifepod only big enough for himself that has an AI that keeps him in a matrix-like ...
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371 views

Help Identifying Sci fi short about game show with button to kill stranger

I read this short story about 15 years ago, in some anthology, and the plot was: Man lives in slums, gets selected for participation in game show, has no choice but to go on. (I think) they ...
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1answer
245 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 ...
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108 views

Science fiction story about an intelligent man put in suspended animation to solve future problems

I am asking this question for an older relative. This story sticks out to them over four decades after reading it, but they can't remember the title. The story is about an extremely intelligent man ...
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168 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 ...
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148 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 ...
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256 views

Xenolinguist assigned to make first contact with space rabbits who cannot understand counterfactuals

My memory of this story is very thin indeed. It was in a SF digest or anthology in the mid- to late 90s. Read in New York City, but could have been written anywhere (but from what I remember of the ...
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137 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 ...
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199 views

Alien comes to Earth. When man learns it came to save humanity, man allows alien to die

I'm looking for the title of a short story that I read a while back. Plot: There is a fish-like alien that came to Earth. A man (we'll call them Person A) finds it and gives it water so that it ...
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162 views

Title of short story of newly discovered color

My daughter is trying to recall a book she read as a child in the 90's that contained a short story about a boy who dug up and discovered a new color in his backyard. Then his family has to buy a new ...
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Please help me ID this '70s(?) SF/Horror story about a monster in a little box

My last question was answered so quickly and so successfully, I'm going to present another, which I fear may not be as easy to answer. It is one of my holy grails... Somewhere back in the '70s (...
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187 views

Anthology: Vampirism as a cure for HIV; house full of odd characters; arrows on a path through the afterlife

In the mid-90's, I read a wonderful collection of stories that I've been trying to find since. The book was titled something like Year's Best Science Fiction & Fantasy Stories, I believe ...
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160 views

Short story about a woman who is changed in to a puma for a month

I read a short story MANY years ago (more than 20). A woman saves a small fairy-like creature from her cat. The fairy-creature grants her a wish, and she unknowingly asks to be her cat. Conservation ...
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324 views

Short story where scientist flees to the ancient past, tries to stop scientific progress to keep man “pure”?

Plot Summary/Details I can only recall the broad theme and a few details on this one. The protagonist, who was a scientist of some sort, has fled his own time to return to man's early period. I'm ...
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287 views

Short story about a future archaeologist finding a gramophone record

Years ago I read a story about an archaeologist - either alien or one incredibly far away in earth's future - finding an old record of some description and speculating about it. They thought it to ...
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259 views

Oldish short story where a CEO's daughter gets an experimental treatment that's turning her into an alien

I read this one or two (or more) decades ago, I think in Omni magazine. It was told from the father's perspective; he's the CEO of a company that finds alien technology and is studying it. His ...
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270 views

Short story published in a magazine about spider-women on an alien planet?

I'm hoping to locate an old sci-fi story I first heard about in an old New Yorker article by Margaret Atwood [http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2012/06/04/the-spider-women], in which she describes a ...
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972 views

Monkey Wife story

My father described a short story he read years ago, in an anthology published circa 1978 (or before) and I would like to track it down. He doesn't know the title or author. What he remembers is that ...
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212 views

Sci-Fi Short Story About Man Who Seeks Something “Real” or “Natural”

I have been looking for this story since 1990. A man goes about, dissatisfied by his man-made, mechanized life. He decides to try to find something real or natural. He goes as high up in the ...
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199 views

Trying to find story from magazine between 1976 and - cee-pee guns

When I was too young, my mother got me a subscription to Analog or Asimov or another main sci-fi fantasy magazine - a little too advanced for her nerdy son at the time. But there was a story (after ...
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176 views

Alien dances with woman on beach at night. Returns years later, woman had just died, alien leaves with her dog

Most likely published in Asimov's or Fantasy & Science Fiction in the 80's or 90's. The woman lived alone in a cabin in the Northwest, I think, and went down to the beach when she saw the ship ...
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571 views

Short story/film about a scientist experimenting on an ant colony

My uncle told me about a story when I was a kid, between 1989 and 1995. It is either a written story or a short film. There might be obvious mistakes in my description, but I am hoping someone can ...
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217 views

Short story about a teenager that uses his allowance to replace his body parts with bionic parts

I'm looking for a sci fi short story about a teenager that uses his allowance to replace his body parts with bionic parts. It's an older story probably from before 1970. His parents are upset that he ...
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446 views

Story where a young mans stays up with a corpse which revives in the morning

Hi I am looking for a short story that is about a teen who is trying to make it back home but is short of cash. He calls his parents and tells them his situation. A lady offers to let him stay at her ...
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142 views

Short story: extraterrestrials visit lunar landing site soon after Apollo 11 flight, examine and return discarded backpacks

I read a very short summary of a short story. Soon after the July 1969 Apollo 11 flight, extraterrestrial(s) examine what was left behind at the landing site. They remove the two backpacks. Those ...
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110 views

Story about brute soldiers psychically linked to operators

I am trying to find a story I read a while ago, but I can't remember all of the details. This was probably a short story, either in a collection or a sci-fi magazine. I usually read Analog, Asimov's, ...
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127 views

70s (or earlier) story about human evolution (devolution) and conflict between human species

I recall a rather grim short story/novelette read during my teens (early to mid 1970's) from either a magazine or anthology, so could be written prior to 1970. The setting was either future Earth or ...
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127 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 ...
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141 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 ...
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140 views

Short story about memory eraser

I have been trying (and failing) to identify a short story which I first read in a 1970s anthology. It was science fiction with a touch of horror and centred around the invention and abuse of a ...
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195 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, ...
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138 views

50's story: space travelers reach speed of light, universe implodes

It was probably a short story by one of the popular sci-fi writers of the 50s. As I remember it, the story unfolded in a space vehicle where two travelers had embarked on a mission to exceed the speed ...
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137 views

Story about homeless person’s DNA that was kept and used for clones in later times

Pretty sure it appeared in (or at least I read it in) Fantasy and Science Fiction magazine in the late 90s or early 2000s. Basically a homeless woman dies, her DNA is kept for later use (the person ...
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211 views

Trying to ID story / collection of stories read in high school

I just want to say thank you in advance to anyone with any leads; this mystery has been plaguing me for years. In grade school, somewhere in the 7-8 grade zone so about six, seven years back, my ...
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239 views

Name the (short?) story about a man who creates tiny exhibits and kidnaps and shrinks the girl he fancies

So I read this story about 10-15 years ago and it would itself have been a bit older than that. I think it was in an anthology of short stories but I can quite remember. I think it was a longish short ...
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264 views

Story ID: Guy with daily anterograde amnesia. Female doctor becomes expert on it. Attempt to cure him fails

I read a short story about a guy with anterograde amnesia (i.e. being unable to form new memories, as in the film "Memento" or a case described in one of the chapters in the 1985 book The Man Who ...
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434 views

Short story about dogs and humans in the far future

I'm looking for a short story I saw on Reddit once, but apparently didn't save or bookmark. It's about how, in the far future, humanity finally achieves some technological singularity and "transcends" ...
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86 views

Canadian anthology: includes cannibals in Newfoundland; time-travelling stock traders; etc

Looking for the title of a book published in the late nineties. It was an anthology of science fiction short stories by Canadian authors, where the stories had Canadian involvement, either via ...
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163 views

Story Identification: collection of fantasy stories involving a priest whose world around him accelerates

As a kid I read a collection of fantasy stories I have only the vaguest memories of. This must have been in the 80s or early 90s. One story involves a priest who notices that time seems to accelerate ...
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250 views

Story Identification: Roald Dahl (?) Tale of Resurrected Mice

Can anyone identify this story which traumatised me as a child? The story concerned a small boy at a boarding house, or apartment and his creeping upstairs to spy on the old woman who lived upstairs. ...
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199 views

Trying to find horror story: painting that swallows up people during wartime?

I listened to a short horror story reading online a while back, but unfortunately lost my link to the page. The story is about some people stationed in a cave, somewhere in Europe, during World War ...
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1k views

Looking for a short story about aliens

I'm looking for a short story I read in high school (1995-1999). I don't remember the title or the author. It was in a book of science fiction short stories. I have tried to find it online, and spoke ...
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231 views

Identify sci-fi short story about hired assassin hunted after a botched job fleeing in self driving car

The premise is a bit weird: the assassin lands at the airport after a failed mission knowing that he is marked for death unless he can reach somewhere first. The point of the story is how proud he is ...
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565 views

A short story about a woman alone on a spaceship, she gives birth on the way to a planet, and is all alone

Ι am looking for a short story about a woman alone on a spaceship, she gives birth on the way to a planet, and is all alone and the baby won't stop crying. It turns out to all be a simulation to get ...
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226 views

A tribe of telepathic male aliens produced by a tree. 1960s/70s short story

When the sentient aliens reach adolescence they mentally block out the rest of the tribe and die crossing a desert in a futile attempt to reach — we later learn — a similarly isolated female tribe and ...
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163 views

Aliens try to liberate “enslaved” dogs from humans

I saw this story in an anthology in a used bookstore in 2009. When the aliens came, we negotiated a peace treaty with them. Everything was going fine until they said "oh, and you'll have to stop ...
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110 views

Short story where a grandmother is living backwards through time and a flood

Young teen has a grandmother who is seen as crazy, she talks to people who aren't there and moves around the house miming different tasks to air. The teen sees her grandma talking about a birthday ...
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127 views

1970s short story about a man 'murdered' by his 'home theater' system?

This story features a detective showing up at a dead man's house to investigate his death. The man died from exposure, he was watching a documentary about arctic wolves, and as the house projected the ...
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128 views

South African boy grows up in indecision, and stands aside while shaman obliterates the Earth

A boy grows up in rural South Africa, raised partly by his white family and partly by the local black people. He is particularly impressed by the tribal shaman. As he grows up and travels, he has many ...