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 in which aliens follow chain of increasingly ferocious/belligerent animals culminating with human child

This is a short story in which aliens land on Earth and track, follow and observe animals. For reasons I forget they follow a chain of increasingly belligerent animals. Near the end a wolverine faces ...
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Story about encounter with hostile aliens

This is a short story I read in the late 80s or early 90s in an anthology or collection. Here are the plot points I remember: A human spaceship encounters a ship with hostile aliens (HA). There may ...
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Short story where miners use ore to turn pirates' guns against themselves

I read this story around 40 years ago in the late 70s, though I think the anthology it was in was already at least 10 years old at the time. The story (in my memory) seems much more like a golden-age ...
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Humorous short story about alien manufacturing ship accidentally dumping defective products on earth

I am looking for a rather humorous short story that I believe I read in an anthology within the last 10-15 years (possibly originally published in an SF magazine in that same timeframe). It was about ...
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Identify a short horror story about a mysterious girl

Please help me find this short story that I read about 20 years ago: The story is set in the late 1800 / early 1900 in an American / English city, where a young man rents an apartment whose former ...
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Short story with a research facility that ends the world when it runs

A major research facility (like the Large Hadron Collider) is being commissioned. Unfortunately the project appears to be jinxed, because the device always breaks down before it can be successfully ...
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Fantasy book filled with short disturbing stories

6/4/2015 Still have not located book but thank you all for trying to help. A special thanks to Hypnosifl and scary who have provided the best leads for this extremely elusive book 1.The book contains ...
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'Last Man in the World' short Story

The story opens with the protagonist as the 'Mayor' of a town, engaging in some standard actions (cutting ribbons to open a mall or some such.) It turns out he's traveling around and taking whatever ...
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Short story where almost all men are infertile, female main character

A few days ago I was discussing SF/Fantasy with unusual subject matter with a friend and he mentioned this short story. I realized I had read it as well a long time ago, but neither of us can remember ...
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Story about colony ships in suspended animation overtaken by newer, faster ships

Does anyone know this science fiction story? It's about Earth sending a colonization ship to another world. The trip would take about 200 years so the people were put in suspended animation. 75 years ...
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Looking for a specific horror/science fiction children's anthology from the 90s/early 2000s

I'm looking for a specific short story anthology, I'm pretty sure it was a children's book. Among the stories in it were: 1) a story where a girl was investigating her friend's death in a car crash, ...
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A bad pun short story

I'm looking for a feghoot or shaggy dog story, either by Isaac Asimov or in an collection edited by Asimov, about the poor dependability of inter-dimensional mail. The story ends with a guy having a "...
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A probable short story about Susan Calvin killing a robot

I read this story in a 11th (or 10th) grade English textbook. A young roboticist has developed a brand new kind of positronic brain by using fractal geometry. The newly developed robot experiences ...
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ID 1970s/1980s pb sci-fi anthology: Story 1, children use high-tech toys as weapons, hold parents for ransom; Story 2, alien spy falls for Earth girl

I'm trying to identify a book I read back in the late 1970s or early 1980s. It was a paperback science fiction anthology, and all I distinctly remember is two of the stories in it. One was a ...
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Hero rescues a minor deity, granted a wish of small value; gets a girl

As a high school student just starting in science fiction, I read a short story collection in paperback that included this story – not quite a short-short, but not very long either. I think that it ...
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Watching “Gravity” reminded me of a short story I read in the 60s, but can't place now

I thought it was by Heinlein or Brown, but if it was I can't locate it online. The plot was aboard a spaceship, or maybe a space station, when an accident sends the astronauts spinning out of ...
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What was Asimov's postcard short story?

In his note to his short story, Quarantine, Arthur C. Clarke alludes to the fact that Asimov wrote a short story that could fit on a post card. Never one to resist a challenge, the Good Doctor ...
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Identifying a short story about advertising

I remember reading a short story at least twenty years ago about a man who spends a lot of money to rent a hovel because there is no advertising in it. During any normal day everything advertises to ...
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Story about crystal flowers that stop time?

There’s a sci-fi story whose title and author escape me. Two beings, not human but not inhuman, clearly a couple, not young, are living contentedly in a splendid but not ostentatious (I’m just trying ...
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Story identification: Old man has hacker neighbor who mysteriously dies

Does anyone know this story? It was a novelette published with another one (I don't remember what it was) in dos-a-dos format. The premise was that the narrator is an old man whose neighbor, a hacker, ...
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Sci fi story about the universe shrinking and it all goes dark (because of mu?)

Looking for the title of a story astronomers on Earth think something is up with the universe as a radio or light signal takes less time to get from Jupiter than it should this makes them realise ...
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Name of a story about a Doctor's bag of surgical instruments transported back in time to the present day

A bag of surgical instruments is transported back in time where it is found in the present by a person with limited medical experience who begins to use the instruments to perform miraculous cures on ...
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Old sci-fi short story where protagonist (a doctor) realizes infant is a serial murderer?

Plot Summary The protagonist in this one is a doctor, who has been seeing to the needs of a family with an infant child. Misfortune starts befalling the family as multiple accidents and one or more ...
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Title of short story: God granting immortality to others to find a way to kill himself

I am looking for a short story I read a long time ago. In it, a man dies and finds himself in a dark and featureless afterlife with a disembodied voice that calls itself god. That god reveals that ...
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Story about a man who keeps getting old and going back in time to give his younger self some guidance

Somewhere between 1980 and 1985, I checked out a hardback SF anthology from a library. English language, with stories by many different authors. Today the memory of one of those stories popped into my ...
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Short story - A ring that lets you relive the last minute

I think I read this in a magazine back in the 1970s or perhaps 1980s. As I recall, the plot went like this: The protagonist is working in a morgue when a body is brought in. The dead man was a jet-...
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Identifying a story about a hot human and a cold alien

Any idea who wrote a short story about a human male who strikes up a relationship with an ultra-cold blooded female alien? They can never touch or communicate, except by intercom from behind ...
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AI story recognition: protagonist turns out to be computer in the end

I had read a story / article about artificial intelligence, I think it was last year (2012) but I'm not sure when it was published. It was on an online blog for an institute I believe. I am telling ...
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Short story about a secret suburban house on the moon

Fairly certain I read this story on paper, possibly in a science fiction anthology. Probably read it no earlier than 12 years ago, and it was probably either something written in the '90s or later, ...
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Short-story about moving “cathedral” cities on a Mercury-like planet

Looking for a particular short-story in an anthology (I don't think it was an entire novel). Set in the future, a planet was colonized by accident that is essentially like Mercury ... too close to a ...
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1970s story: man living alone with robot servants on an estate invaded by hoodlums

The setting is during or after the fall of social order, somewhere in England. An old man is holed up on an estate, his only company a robot butler and other robotic assistants. The house is invaded ...
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Looking for the name of a short story about an alien who comes to Earth to see statues

Story's Plot The main character was a woman who was either a historian or a statue expert. An alien ship shows up and a single, large, female alien comes out and asks to see the Earth's history ...
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Short story about a person dying and describing a terrible afterlife

This is a Science fiction short story that was in a High School Science fiction literature book (1973) About a person who is dying & they are describing how they are dying & going to another ...
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Old sci-fi short story about buying an android?

Long, long time ago I came upon a collection of old (pre 1980s?) short sci-fi stories. I'm not 100% sure, but something makes me think they were by Russian authors. One of them was about a woman, who ...
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Short story about the lifetime that occurs between a bullet being fired and execution

I'm trying to think of the short story about a condemned prisoner that experiences a lifetime between the time a bullet is fired and the time it ends his life. I feel like the story might be Russian?...
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Short Story about interminable rain on Venus

It's not All Summer in a Day. This was a story about explorers on Venus, who are separated from their base (possibly they're lost, possibly they suffered equipment failure, possibly they're just ...
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Short story about astronauts fertilizing soil with their own bodies

There was a short-story about astronauts who lost in space on lifeless planet. They tried to grow crops but all attempts failed until the last one buried their bodies into ground. Those plants ...
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Short story: people rediscover how to do math and want to put people in bombs

Many years ago I remember reading a short story about an advanced civilization at war that rediscovers how to do math mentally. The reason I remember it is the guy tells it to government officials who ...
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Aliens hiding important information about the human race; story ends “‘You don’t’ he said?”

And thereby makes clear in 4 words what the whole story was about. In a 60's or 70's era anthology I think. I’ve always remembered it as being an example of good or clever writing. I've never read ...
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Short story with a alien planet, government officials must wear exploding medallions

Can someone please help me identify the short story where, on some alien planet, every government official must wear a medallion that explodes, on his/her neck. The explosion is triggered when a ...
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Short stories about reversible assassinations as practical jokes

I'm looking for two short stories and I could have sworn they were called "Pamela's Profession" and "Pamela's Pursuit" but searching for these has come up with nothing. I've tried different women's ...
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Short story about an astronaut who comes back to earth and lives a few seconds in the future?

What I remember is that this astronaut comes back to earth and for some unknown reason lives (experience time I should say) 13.6453837 seconds (I don't know this number exactly) in the future. So he ...
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Trying to find a short story: telepathy has all but destroyed the female population of Earth. Returning astronauts offer hope of repopulation

From an anthology read in my youth in the 70's. I recall it has the crew of a deep range rocket being feted on their return because the female crew members may be able to bear children (they had been ...
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Werewolf Short Story - Love Goes Bad (mildly NSFW language)

Somewhere around 2006 I read an unusual and poignant short story written from the perspective of a female werewolf. An American college professor goes on a trip to Eastern Europe and falls in love ...
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Golden Age SF short story about first contact, and a different kind of hyperspace

I've been trying to find a certain "golden age" short sci-fi story for days and it's driving me crazy. Here's what I can remember: first contact with humans and an alien scoutship from a galactic ...
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Short story where humans evolve from vermin on the spaceships of precursor aliens

I've been trying to remember a short story which I read in the 1980s in a scifi anthology. The details which I remember are: Humans were traveling to other planets trying to decipher their big ...
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Which short story has a medical trial that goes better than expected

It was about a medical trial for a menopause treatment that ends up being essentially the fountain of youth (the reader can see this, the pharm company misses the forest for the trees), and then when ...
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319 views

Short story about war with aliens where humans never show their overwhelming superiority

First contact is made on a new planet. The natives attack with spears. Rules of engagement are proportional response. Natives invent arrows, guns, cannons, tanks, missiles; the response is always ...
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Short story where a physics professor goes to a timeline where his son doesn’t exist

The story probably dates from the late 80s to early 90s. I'm almost sure I read it in one of the pulp magazines while researching an article in the early '00s. A physics professor, in a fit of ...
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750 views

Story about someone serving a life sentence when their life has been extended indefinitely

This is a short story, which I'm pretty sure I read online. The narrator was sentenced to life in prison, but after sentencing, some sort of nanotechnology was released, infecting everyone and making ...