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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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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247 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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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' ...
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Short story series about a woman with a sentient computer chip or suit

The series of short stories I am trying to remember are probably from Analog magazine or perhaps Asimov's or The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction. I subscribed to these around 10 years ago. I ...
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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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212 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 ...
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220 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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198 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. ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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229 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 ...
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271 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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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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212 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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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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206 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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158 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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203 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 ...
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164 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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372 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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105 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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293 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 ...
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276 views

short story about seeding a planet with humans

A family travels to another planet in order to seed it with humanity. Meanwhile earth's technology surpasses that of the ship and gets to that planet before the ship. There's also a subplot involving ...
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160 views

Sci fi short story that contains the line “My JJ's are melting!”

I'm trying to recall a short story from the 80's that, as I think back, seems prescient of several computing technologies we're currently using. There was an AI capable of self-improvement and a ...
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125 views

Short story with audible computer networks

I am looking for a short story where all the computer to computer communications were audible to humans. After being exposed to this for long enough the younger generations start creating music ...
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195 views

Prescient story about proto-hipsters

I remember a short story which at the time (late eighties is when I read it) seemed most absurd, but which in a few decades has become prescient: a world where people in the old generation were ...
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210 views

Military sf short story: something like super-infantry on a raid

Maybe 20 or 30 years ago I read a short story recounting a futuristic raid (I suspect on another planet) on an enemy settlement by (I think) a handful of soldiers. I think that they more or less run ...
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348 views

Cannot find simple first contact “mood” story

I read a first contact science fiction story in class in 1976 that I found fascinating but cannot find anywhere after many searches. It was perhaps written by Pohl or Asimov or Leinster ? but every ...
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249 views

Short story: Door to a world of werewolves

I'm sure it was in an anthology of short horror stories. I read it many years ago, and it has bothered me ever since because I don't remember the author or the title! Help is much appreciated. This is ...
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284 views

Story about angel who got stranded on earth for crying

I read this story long back in my Malayalam textbook, but I believe that it was translated from some other language (probably Russian?). The rough plot - from what I can remember - is like this: ...
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Short story from the 80's about a strike team going through some tunnels with deadly traps

I'm trying to recall a short science fiction story, I think from the 80's. It involved a military strike team, going through some tunnels/maze with deadly traps in each section which kill off various ...
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813 views

Story title where an alien invasion is accidentally averted

I read this story in the late 80's or early 90's, but I suspect was written much earlier. It was about a precocious boy, about 10-12 years old, who was always getting into mischief. One day he ...
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326 views

Story about a factory that produces precious stones but nothing useful

In the original question, the OP also asked about a second story that was removed from the question, and I've got my interest piqued. I assume it's also a short story - can somebody help me find the ...
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266 views

Story where a (child?) protagonist gradually explores lower decks of generation ship?

I can't remember the name or author of this generation ship short story, where the (child?) protagonist descends to progressively lower decks and encounters the various unfathomable technologies that ...
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362 views

Story about a mind-wiped criminal trying to find who he was

Looking for a short story about an man who lives in a society where instead of executing criminals, the government erases their minds and turns them into new people. The protagonist is a normal law-...
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Short story where science fiction saved the world

This very short story was either in Asimov's or Analog. It was written like a mini history lesson. They replaced all books in schools with science fiction and all the kids grew up to be creative ...
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Story or novel ID: African American rebellion in Chicago

In this English-language story or novel, probably from the 1960s or 70s, the African Americans of Chicago have rebelled against the government. It's part of a general rebellion of black urban ...
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Book of spooky stories for children, boy runs through wall into another dimension

I read this book, which I think was a collection of short stories, at school in the UK in the late 1980s/early 1990s. One story has stuck with me as I found the ending quite spooky at the time. The ...
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Short story about time traveller who brings virus from future

A short story about a time traveller from the future who brings a virus to cull the human race in our present. He muses on previous unsuccessful attempts and why more direct action is needed. He tries ...
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Story about an Arthurian knight who forces himself to volunteer for everything

I'm looking for a fantasy story about a Knight of the Round Table with Impostor Syndrome (they don't call it that). He's scared of being found-out, so he volunteers to do every quest, fight every ...
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Two boys pursued through the woods by a fire-eyed monster who tears up trees

Short story or folktale from before 1972. Could be decades earlier. Two boys are pursued by monster who says something like, "Rum, rum, Sally Drum! Tearing up trees and throwing them as I come!" ...
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194 views

Short story: alien intelligence take-over in Antarctic base

I'd like to track down an English-language short story I read sometime between 1990 and 2010 approx, and which I'm fairly sure was in a UK-edition anthology. It's about an alien intelligence (monster?...
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91 views

Short story where a creature wrapped in newspaper attacks a man

I am trying to identify a science fiction short story I read many years ago, probably in the late 60s or early 70s. In it, a man living a typical suburban type of life goes outside to get his morning ...
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104 views

Series of short stories about an intelligent bear bred to fight an alien beast the size of a locomotive

I'm looking for a series of short stories about an intelligent bear (or species of such) bred to fight an alien beast the size of a locomotive. I recall only one story that featured a pack of bumbling,...
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Looking for short story set on alien planet where natives receive memories from brain ingestion

I read this story around 1996. It was probably no more than 10-15 years old then. It was in an anthology book which may have been Nebula showcase or Hugo winners anthology but may have been an ...
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Anthology of SF short stories, one involving scientists discovering planet that produced every life form in existence

I think this anthology consisted of five short stories. One was where explorers landed on a alien planet and were killed one by one by alien life forms. One of the forms mimicked the night sky and ...
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Trying to identify self-published story about fans of a children's book series

I'm trying to track down a self-published story or novella I read online roughly a decade ago, possibly on someone's Livejournal, written in the form of a series of emails or newsgroup posts exchanged ...
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Short story about a scientist convinced aliens steal extra time from our days, develops a split personality after trying to check it

I once read a short story about some scientist who was convinced that there were aliens/creatures stealing time from the day (so basically there are actually 25 hours in a day but the aliens steal one ...
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294 views

Short story, where humans encounter an alien race, tell them stories; the aliens act out the stories and kill the researchers

Can't remember author or title of the story. Seem to remember the protagonist is an investigator of some sort trying to find out why previously-peaceful alien race has killed the research or liaison ...
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Science fiction short story of mirror universes with the keywords Sleep and Aestivate

I remember reading a science fiction short story in the 1980s about two mirror universes, where the same incident is going on at the same time. In one universe, the keyword is Sleep and in the other, ...