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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158 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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309 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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1k views

Hardcover YA Series from the 1980's: starship pilots keep colonists in sleep; planet where everything is disassembled

The stories I read were in my grade school library in the mid 1980's. The series was like an anthology with each story published in its own hardcover. (Rather than being a single novel split up into ...
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282 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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258 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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256 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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933 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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194 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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194 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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173 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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547 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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215 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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440 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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113 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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165 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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125 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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135 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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121 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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193 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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137 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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227 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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265 views

Story about a robot that commits suicide when it can't make new memories

I remember reading a short story in an old anthology about a robot that has a limited memory that is filling up and will soon stop being able to make new memories. I think I remember that the robot ...
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257 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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85 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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156 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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257 views

Looking for a SF short story about a high value prisoner who is actually in control

As per the title. 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 ...
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245 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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197 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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229 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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560 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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145 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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101 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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125 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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123 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 ...
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148 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 ...
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147 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 ...
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90 views

Short story with very a old, plant-like warrior who fights a war against an enemy species

This has been eating at me for a few years now. I believe I read this in one of the 'best sci-fi of the year' aggregations. The plot centers around an old warrior living in peace in a small town. He ...
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149 views

Short story about alien intelligence testing

I'm looking for a short story I've read long ago, and my memory is fuzzy. It was in an Italian-language, translated in an anthology. The anthology was probably from the 1970s or early 1980s. It's ...
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171 views

Short story with a girl gang who like to whistle the tune of “I Wish I Was an Oscar Mayer Wiener”

I have the traces of a short story bouncing around in my head. I'd guess it dates from the late 60's, or maybe 70's. A guy has been out of circulation for several years (military? prison?) and ...
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119 views

Short story involving a crashing alien spacecraft and a blind girl

I read this short story during the late 1980s to early 1990s in an English language collection. An alien space ship is crashing to earth, with its crew terrified of their impending death. Their only ...
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115 views

Unknown short story - stranded astronaut plants forest as SOS message

The story is set in the distant future, maybe 3000AD+. I think the astronaut is a cyborg many hundreds of years old and he crash lands on this planet. On the planet he finds empty streets and houses, ...
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217 views

Short story where a little child lies that the family robot hit her and mother calls the company

I read this short story somewhere between 2002 - 2010, but I remember the book I read it from was very old and tattered, so I think it was likely quite old when I read it. The child asks the robot to ...
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186 views

Short story about a machine that provides people with what they want

There is an old sci fi short story (I think) about a civilization that creates a huge machine to provide all that people want, on demand. They think "apple", and one materializes in their hand. Much ...
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280 views

Short story: astronaut travels through space locked in a “spacesuit coffin”

In this short story, probably from the late 70's/early 80's, an astronaut ejects from his ship in a specially designed suit with a computer and life support that keeps him alive, though basically ...
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151 views

Story of a spaceship swallowed by lush vegetation

About 20 years ago I've read a short story about a scientific expedition that landed on seemingly harmless planet with lush vegetation. Their ship landed on a grassy plain then the crew set to ...
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203 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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156 views

60s (or earlier) short story about a time portal back to the Crusades

It was probably about 40 or 50 years ago when I read an absolutely riveting short story (possibly in a Gollancz sci-fi anthology) about a man who has a strange time portal open up near the ceiling in ...
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173 views

Story identification: post-apocalyptic short story about mutant children returning to their parents

This is a short story, probably horror. May have been part of an anthology. The setting is non-specific, but some event has occurred that causes some children to be born deformed. Rather than murder ...