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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.

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158 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 ...
9
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167 views

Looking for a time travel story: choosing between Nazis and Communists, ending with becoming a terrorist

I'm trying to identify an SF short story. I'm pretty sure it was in an anthology. I read it in English and almost certainly before 2000, I would guess that it's fairly old. I only remember parts of ...
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154 views

Identify a story where man wins right to pilot first rocketship by disabling Warning Indicators

I'm looking for the identity of a short story that taught me a good life lesson. In this short story from some 30 or so years ago, trainees hoping to pilot the first rocket ship, keep failing the ...
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122 views

short story - outpost of misfits stops alien invasion

As a teen over 50 years ago I read a short story with this plot. A sort of loser commander was sent to run a remote outpost on a rock of a planet in our solar system, where all the staff had ...
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169 views

Story ID: Old scifi mag story about lost robot civilization

I'm looking for the author/storyname/issue of a yarn from Galaxy or a similar 60s or 50s science fiction magazine. The plot was that in the desert on earth someone found an odd looking rock or round ...
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258 views

Short story about supernatural police detective buying a victim's ghost to investigate a murder

There is a short story that I'm sure I own but cannot find because my collection is too huge. I have the feeling it was only about 20 pages worth of story but I'd really like to read it again. I'd ...
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140 views

Short story about wired/smart sidewalks in a dystopian future

The sidewalks are wired and people must wear smart shoes which communicate with the ground at all times, so they can be tracked by the government. The protagonist ultimately rebels by removing his ...
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311 views

Dystopian short story - greasy spoons and unhealthy food are illegal

I read this at least 20 years ago, so the details are fuzzy. What I remember is, the main character is in a greasy spoon, which is illegal. Any unhealthy food such as meat or butter is illegal. ...
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402 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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327 views

Short story about the last two people on Earth; Earth has been paved all over but a small plant grows in concrete

During the 1980s when I was a child, I read a science fiction short story that I believe was part of a larger anthology. If memory serves me, the anthology was a trade paperback with a blue cover. ...
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500 views

Looking for a series of books, collection of short horror stories from the 70s or 80s

It was a series of books, each with a collection of stories. I used to check these out at the library one at a time and scare myself silly: One story was of a young man who kept seeing an older ...
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290 views

Short story: man & woman driving out of town, raining forever, woman leaving man for the petrol station guy

I can't remember the title, nor any exact parts of the text, also it was quite a poor story but it somehow seemed to respond to Ward Moore's "Lot" which is one of my favorites. I've read this other ...
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124 views

Story where ocean advances from one basin to another through extreme tides?

Colonists in a sleep ship are redirected to a different world than what they signed up for and some emergency is cited as an excuse, though they suspect this was planned all along because the cargo ...
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173 views

Identify Story: Trying to stop nano-machine escape, but they're already out

This is a short story that's about a decade or so old. In it, the protagonist is helping to quarantine an area to stop a nano-machine intelligent swarm from breaking out. The "reveal" is that they've ...
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351 views

Short story identification: Man poisons wife with mushrooms and a large fungus appears for revenge

Written in the form of a diary - a man (professor / mycologist ) poisons wife by substituting poisonous mushrooms for edible ones in her meal. He buries her a short distance from the house and a large ...
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105 views

Online short story about a robot plugged to a wall that becomes sentient

I’m looking for an online (very) short story written in English that I read about 10 years ago. The story is about a couple of scientists making repeated experiments on a robot that is attached by a ...
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147 views

short story about a railroad and a steam engine in medieval times

In the early 70's I read this short story in an anthology. A time patrol team must inquire about a railroad in the medieval English countryside. It turns out that a local blacksmith did invent a ...
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150 views

Short story where highways are used to manage violence in teenagers

The story follows a teen who is too scared of the highways (where violence and murder are encouraged) and is teased for acting like an old lady. One day, he has to get his license, gets on the highway,...
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0answers
137 views

Everyone wakes up without memory and dismantles monuments to the past

A man wakes up without memory in a city that is strange to him. Everyone else is in the same situation. Without leaders they set to work dismantling the monuments of the past. He is part of a crew ...
8
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118 views

Short web-original story about eldritch horrors repelling an alien first-contact

I've been trying to find a web-original short story I read a couple years back. I found it on Imgur, text on an image, fairly long, it may have been a 4chan greenpost. The essential premise was a ...
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98 views

Short story about a bunch of scientists visiting a radioactive island

I don't remember much about this short story. All I remember is my friend telling me it around 6 years ago. What I do remember is scientists visit a radioactive island where missiles had been sent and ...
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0answers
119 views

Time travel short story, man tries to stop himself from killing family member

There was a short story, probably from the 1950's, about a man who goes to visit his grandfather or uncle, father etc. The man is confronted by a stranger, who tries to beat him up while walking to ...
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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 ...
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79 views

Short cabin in the woods story involving a monster and two kids

The family visits their/a cabin in the woods. The kids see a local who tells them about the monster residing in the woods. It proceeds with them spotting weird things, indicators that there is indeed ...
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122 views

Short story where Earth was entirely paved over

I would have read this in a mixed-author anthology sometime between 1977 and 1982. Or, just possibly, a school book. It was a short-short, basically a single scene where a crowd of dignitaries plus ...
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102 views

Help identify short story about a flight through the center of the earth

I read a short story in an anthology about pilots of a craft that regularly crosses through the Earth to the other side (commercial travel), the engine of the ship was called Rausch or Rorsch or ...
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85 views

Short story involving a robotic pilot in a futuristic war facing anti-robotic sentiment

I read this short story during the late 1980s to early 1990s in an English language collection. It's a standard "racism but dressed up" story of a squadron of pilots involved in a war against an ...
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143 views

Short story, an Earth man and an alien agent married for years, also, alien invasion

The story begins with a normal evening of a normal looking family in US. Married couple with a girl and a boy. The girl was older if I remember correctly. Suddenly there was an alien invasion at ...
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0answers
167 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 ...
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177 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 ...
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240 views

Milky Way was unexplored because it seemed uninhabitable to all other life, shocked when humans inhabit it

I've been looking for a short story that I read online a few years back. I was told it could be "All the Way Back", but it just doesn't sounds right. The one I read was the same concept, that Earth ...
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192 views

A short story about a family on their way to see aliens

This was a short story about a family on their way to see aliens and a majority of the story is set in the car while the family discusses it. The mother is concerned that they will act like 'cavemen' ...
8
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0answers
150 views

Short story or cartoon about a man who keeps buying new clocks and trying to synchonise them

I don't remember if this is a short story or a cartoon. It would be mid-90s or older. A man has clocks all over his house, and he keeps trying to synchronise them by checking the time on one clock, ...
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0answers
205 views

Short Sci-fi Story about a door on the Moon?

I read it in a sci-fi collection book, like a "Greatest Sci-Fi Of XXXX". I read a story years ago while underway on a submarine, about a door that appears on the moon, and a retired astronaut is ...
8
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194 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 ...
8
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194 views

Short Sci-Fi story about an astronaut circling a planet where evolution happens very fast

I'm trying to identify a Sci-Fi (short I think) story that I read many years ago, probably in the 80's. The core of the story was that an astronaut is stranded around a planet in a stationary orbit. ...
8
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0answers
143 views

Collection of short stories that take place in space I read in middle school. I got it from a Christian bookstore.

I’m pretty sure the title had to do with Mars. The book cover had a lot of blues and greens, with what I think was a planet in the center. I only remember a few stories/scenes, but I’ll do my best to ...
8
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0answers
151 views

Black cat, lonely path, grim ending?

I'm looking for a story I recall only vaguely, but it was haunting. It is told from a first person perspective. The narrator (You) are walking through a dark forest on a lonely path. In front, leading ...
8
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0answers
187 views

Russian short story about a person who can't inhabit time and another who can't inhabit space

Looking for science fiction short story. It was part of a collected work from various Russian science-fiction writers. I think the book was called "Eternal Spring". Plot: Two individuals plan to ...
8
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0answers
264 views

80s sci-fi short story: soldier finds tiny cylindric alien crafts; aliens use a force field to shield him from artillery

Just wondered if anybody would be able to identify an old sci-fi short story roughly from the 80s, in which there was a soldier on a battlefield who dived into a bomb crater for protection, where he ...
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103 views

Sci-fi/fantasy short short story translated from French: lovers that turn out to be robots

I'm interested in locating this short short story that was in one of the many collections I devoured as a teenager in the 80s. Sci-fi/ fantasy, translated from French, I think. But the collection as a ...
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0answers
206 views

Short story about colonist ship's computer deliberately “weeding out” unfit colonists during hypersleep?

Plot Details/Summary This is going to be another of my longshot questions, as I only remember a few details about the story. The entire story takes place aboard an interstellar colony ship, and ...
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697 views

Looking for a short story about a boy and his mischievous shadow

As far as I remember, the story I'm looking for was published in a kids' activity book that featured puzzles, games, mazes and also a few short stories. The book was bought in Switzerland about 20 ...
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0answers
198 views

Story about people who absorb the evil acts of others “sin eaters”. Think this is a fairly old one

My memory of this is fairly thin. But I know it's real and I read it in probably an anthology. I think it might have been fairly short. The concept of the sin eater pops up in other literature from ...
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0answers
157 views

Non-telepathic child is considered a monster by post-nuclear-war telepathic humans

This is a post-nuclear-war story where humans have mutated to have telepathic abilities. Institutionalized child (non-telepathic genetic throwback) has no volume control to his thoughts and "normal" ...
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0answers
198 views

Story where mental disabilities are used as an advantage

This was a fairly old story, probably 1950s at the latest (since I believe I listened to it on Librivox) It was fairly short, either a short story or novella. There was some kind of recurring ...
8
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0answers
159 views

Short story about cyberspace troubleshooter trying to fix commuting system software, discovers program is in love with him?

Plot Summary Details I'm a bit fuzzy on this one, but as best as I can remember, the story opens with a municipal commuting system software malfunctioning and causing a huge traffic snarl. Not sure ...
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0answers
365 views

Looking for name of short story - boy who saves the earth from alien invasion

A short story from the 60s or 70s (I think) - a boy who meets invading aliens and saves the earth by telling them about the powers of his idol, a television superhero (he belongs to a fan club). ...
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0answers
104 views

Remote town with people having three minds in one body

The protagonist is perhaps a doctor. Or maybe a lawyer, teacher... But most probably a medic, since his services were needed immediately. So he, an outsider, was called into some remote town to ...
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279 views

Looking for a short story about human courage

One year ago I read a short story (really short, like a few paragraphs) that I'm trying to find again. The story was about a crew consisting of different alien races, including the human race, and ...