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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I am looking for a Sci-fi short story, about a woman that finds a lonely alien left on Earth

I once heard a radio dramatization of a short story about a woman that finds an alien left on Earth - if I remember it correctly, for exploration and for reporting his findings. She then starts to ...
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Short story about inter-dimensional travel; a boy meets another version of himself, is infected by needle shaped alien life forms

I listened to an audio book a few years ago that contained a story about a boy who started seeing another version of himself in his room. At first he only saw the other, but as the story progressed ...
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Short story about a precognitive person that is unable to say how to stop an alien invasion?

I remember reading this short story in 2016 on the app I Funny about this person who could see the future. They tell how they knew the winning lottery numbers, which horses would win a race, things ...
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Creature that can choose all options in its timeline

I am trying to find a very short story that I read when I was a kid in the 80s, and it is most probably decades older. It was only a paragraph or two long, and it just described an animal or creature (...
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Short story: ship for first contacts, species most like those contacted would seem to be in charge

This story was from the 1960s or earlier, read in a hardbound collection of stories, possibly all from one magazine. The spaceship was large and sent on first contact missions. It had several ...
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Short story collection published 1988-1995

A library patron is trying to identify a short story collection she bought in the late 1980s - mid 1990s. Some of the stories she remembers: A candlemaker who at first hoards his candles but then ...
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129 views

Short Story Search. Man searches city for anything non artificial

I'm looking for the title and author of a short story. Set in the future, the main character (a man) lives in a huge city where nothing "real" grow or lives. The other people he meets are androids. ...
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151 views

Looking for a short story (name and author)

I am trying to find the name and author of a short story I read about 30 or 40 years ago. The story is about a couple who tried to escape a tyrannical government. In the end, (the part I remember best)...
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Science Fiction short story from the 1970s or early 1980s regarding VR and virtual universes

I'm trying to track down a short story regarding an advanced civilization that has the capability, for the sake of personal entertainment, to create virtual universes to explore and be entertained by ...
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224 views

Short story about storing videos in DNA

After hearing the recent announcement that scientists have stored a movie in DNA, I am reminded of a short story I read about a very similar concept; but I can't remember where I read it, the author, ...
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231 views

Identify story: war over two arbitrary phrases?

I've exhausted all my google-fu over this one. Short story published during the golden age of sci fi (Probably) published in either Fantastic Science Fiction or Galaxy Science Fiction Dialogue is ...
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290 views

Short story about a advanced robot guarding a treasure

Does anyone remember the name/location of this short story? The story is about a technologically advanced robot that guards a treasure of great value. To survive the encounter and be allowed to ...
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251 views

I'm trying to identify a short science fiction story from the 60s or 70s. Title and author unknown

I can remember only two incidents from the story: Large machines are watched emerging from the sea up a beach (This is not John Wyndham's The Kraken Wakes!). At the end it is announced that God is ...
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173 views

Trying to find a short story about an undead mother

I remember reading a short story from the perspective of a child about a farmer's wife, their mother, who dies. For some reason the farmer is opposed to the normal burial custom in the town (I think ...
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164 views

Looking for short story about time-traveler coming back from Jupiter to destroy computer that governs humanity

I am looking for a short story comic book about an astronaut who builds an artificial intelligent computer and then goes on a mission to Jupiter. When the astronauts land on one of Jupiter's moons, ...
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Identification: A short story about a character in a video game that is trying to be friends with his mother

In this story, the main character is a video game character. He (or she, I can't remember) travels around with a friend and is killing aliens. He is trying to defeat the aliens in order to level up ...
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Christmas Short story about kids in a school play?

What I remember: young boys, having to sing. Not good at it. Mom is the narrator, I think. She talks of the difficulty of trying to herd her son and others as they don't seem to pay attention to ...
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237 views

Short story where aliens could “imprint” humans to enslave them

I'm trying to remember a short story from about 30 years ago. It was probably part of an anthology. An element of the plot was that there was a species of alien which could "imprint" human beings the ...
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50s/60s short story, written in the form of a letter to an editor, by a girl whose parents are missing in the woods

My mother talks about this story sometimes, written as a letter to the editor of a fantasy and science fiction magazine from a young girl - she's too young to use the powers, Mama got jealous of Daddy'...
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Short story featuring a teenager on an extraterrestrial base, who inadvertently kills an alien mushroom-like creature?

Can anyone identify a short story, which I read in the 1990s but can't find any reference to anywhere? The story features a teenage protagonist who is based in a scientific exploration base on an ...
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Story about person/alien manipulating Stock market

Saw this answer on this question and having read the answer thought I would post here to see if anybody can identify the story. A man crash lands on the earth and must acquire tremendous wealth to ...
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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. ...
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263 views

Bad guy lands on planet unaware of blue giant sun

Hoping for pointer to story. Person lands on planet [having done something bad] in space lifeboat with no windows. Planet has two or three suns. Does bad things on planet. Small children he ...
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221 views

Science Fiction Short Story Identification about humans begrudgingly allowed to join a galactic mindnet

This is a short I read a few years ago about humans joining a galactic mindnet/telepathic network. The other members(some are more resistant than others) allow the humans to join. Some time later, one ...
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Story ID - trying to communicate with alien spaceship using patterns, but breaking patterns works

I'm looking to identify a science fiction short story I must have read, maybe ten years ago or a bit less. It must have been in an anthology, though I don't recall what other kinds of stories were ...
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243 views

Short story about post-apocalyptic cats

I read a short story as a child. A nuclear war has happened and the protagonists are satellites/computers. They chat and plan and think they have human survivors who they nurture and help only to ...
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244 views

Short story about a paranoid space cadet

I'm trying to remember the title of this story where a space cadet is alone in space and is worried about his thermostat. It shows the correct temperature but he's convinced that it's wrong because he ...
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90s short story featuring military guy befriending blue alien that reproduces by fission

I'm looking for a story that was in one of the major sci-fi magazines in the nineties. There was a military guy and he went to a planet and meet a blue alien who didn't speak, but they formed a very ...
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294 views

Silly story where aliens cause everything inanimate (even shoes) to become intelligent and talk

This is another story I read in a science fiction magazine in the mid-to-late 1980s, probably published that decade. The premise is silly: Aliens arrive at Earth and disapprove of the way humans ...
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246 views

Looking for a short story about a runaway Girl rescued by a wildman on a planet taken over by aliens

I read a book in a library stack that was either a short book or a short story in pulp sci fi compilation book. It starts by telling the reader that the planet was taken over by aliens and now ruled ...
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Short story where all hard surfaces are destroyed by the droppings of an alien bird

I read a short story many years ago with a twist-ending similar to Ray Bradbury stories. Tthe story was post-apocalyptic and the ending involved a strange alien birdlike creature that poos on the ...
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Fable-type short story about two-tier society of clay people

This is a story I read maybe 20 years ago in a long-lost anthology. Roughly it was an allegorical fable about a race made of clay. I recall that some clay folk were of a higher caste than others, ...
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346 views

Old story about an assassin squad sent to kill a man who stopped war

The story is told from the point of view of a member of a squad of soldiers sent to infiltrate a dome of some kind that belongs to an immortal man who stopped all countries from fighting wars. The ...
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Short story identification: Sole inhabitant of desolate planet alternatively regenerated as male / female

Written in the first person, this lonely human, inhabitant of a desolate and inhospitable planet, desperately searches for another human being who is apparently leaving traces of its existence and ...
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294 views

Trying to identify a short story (might be a novelette) about alien abduction and meat consumption

Probably by a British author, because it concerns a group of people who is abducted in the United Kingdom (the narrator is abducted in London). The main theme is the identification of what was the ...
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Black bird wreaks havoc

I once read a truly scary short story: a bird sits in a cage. Out of the sky comes a huge, dark bird. It enters the cage and after a few days(weeks?) the bird in the cage hatches a kind of monster ...
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Short story (possibly a novella) about people living in caves; women start giving birth to worms

In eleventh grade, we read many a short story, sometimes novellas if our teacher liked them enough. I remember reading The Most Dangerous Game. This one short story I have been trying to find for ...
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Children's story with magic chocolate pieces and a king whose phone is as big as his desk

I remember a story from a 1980s children's magazine (probably one of my younger brothers' subscriptions, so likely the late 1980s) about two friends—a boy and a girl, who break a chocolate bar in half,...
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Shape changer in space frontier story collection

It was one of the stories in a space frontier collection. A hunter was after the most dangerous game. When killed it had the shape of a small seemingly harmless wormlike creature. But the creature ...
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The origin of the Moon: Short story

This is a Matheson-like story where the human race, once widespread in the galaxy, was beaten back to our home planet after a devastating interstellar war. The aliens won the war and the Moon -- an ...
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138 views

Perpetual war sci-fi story from the 70s

So my dad was telling me the other day that he used to read a lot of short sci fi stories in the 70s and he mentioned one story in particular but has long since forgotten what it's called and who it's ...
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Collection of sci-fi short stories for younger readers

I've been looking for this for several years, and bugs me that I can't find it... It was a collection of about 7 - 8 sci-fi short stories geared towards younger readers that I read in the early 80's ...
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Illustrated short with memory-wiped man being shown down a hallway to an elevator

I’m looking for an illustrated story that would have been from the late 70s or early 80s. Possibly published in Creepy, Eerie or maybe the Epic magazine. I’m pretty sure it was in color, but maybe ...
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139 views

Short story about an astronaut being shot by his own bullet

I’m looking for a short story which involved an astronaut who was on the moon and fired a gun which caused the bullet to orbit and hit him on its return. I read this in the earlyish 50s.
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Short Story- In future, implant-less holdout tries device that gives him experience of being optimized with brain implant

In a future time in which most people have chosen to have a procedure to have implanted in their brains a network of filamentous circuits (described as looking something like a silver spiderweb woven ...
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125 views

Post-apocalypse short story about a young woman living in a post-Yellowstone caldera eruption environment

Looking for a short story about a young woman living in a post-Yellowstone caldera eruption environment. She lives with an abusive boyfriend who tolchoks people with a piece of concrete wielded in a ...
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104 views

90s YA novel or short story: girl on an intergalactic vessel overhears aliens debating whether to destroy Earth, or establish first contact

I believe I read this book in the 90's. I doubt the book was published much past 1999. I believe the protagonist is a female character who might be a stowaway on some kind of intergalactic vessel. I ...
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105 views

Short story about a freed “rehabilitated” prisoner who pulls off a coup

I read it in a collection in the early 80s. I believe it was in the near future. A young prisoner was enrolled in some sort of program where he was educated as part of an experimental program. Once ...
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122 views

Anthology that had both sci-fi stories and “science fact” about space travel/colonization

I'm trying to find this book I remember partially reading about 15-20 years ago. I believe it alternated sci-fi stories with short essays/postscripts that went into whether the story's details were ...
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112 views

Short story about mining crew on planet expecting ship to return them to Earth and realizing it's not going to come

It's about a mining crew who have been recruited with promises of being set up for life once they return from their time on the planet. They gradually realise they are not going to get home, the ...