Questions tagged [short-stories]

For about a fictional work too small to be called a [novel] or [novella] - usually less than 10-20 thousand words and no chapters. Use to either identify the media on a [story-identification] question or disambiguate works where the tag covers the short story and its form in other media.. If you are looking for a particular anthology of short stories, use the [anthology-book] tag instead.

Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
6 votes
0 answers
82 views

Identify a short story about a wall at the edge of the universe

2 astronauts arrive at the edge of the universe and find a wall. There is a coin slot that opens a portal to look through the wall. One of the astronauts takes a look and tells the other there is ...
11 votes
0 answers
111 views

Short story about artificial intelligences communicating through coded messages in noisy data

I read this short story in English a few years ago online, and I believe that it was fairly new at the time, so probably written sometime in the 2010s. The main character is a powerful AI that does ...
9 votes
1 answer
1k views

Short horror story I read in the 70's where the protagonist witnesses a monster disguised as a human eat someone

A guest at a hotel or bed and breakfast accidently sees into an open door in another room. He sees a human turn into a monster and devour another guest. The monster turns back into a human and is ...
3 votes
0 answers
114 views

A story of four people landed on a planet and fallen into alien molluscum which consumed them but left brains so they possessed and controlled it

I would be very grateful for the name of this story. I read it in some sci-fi book full of short stories. One man was a biologist, then a woman also scientist, then a military dude and a state ...
  • 39
4 votes
1 answer
557 views

Sci-fi novel about a group of people stranded on a planet populated by automated war machines

This was a short novelette about a group of people who are intimidated to land their cargo ship on a planet destroyed and inhabited by automated ai war robots, to loot valuable technology on the ...
  • 49
12 votes
2 answers
2k views

Looking for a short story that was written about a future where most people live in perpetual adolescence except one person who reaches maturity

Looking for a short story about a future time when all people live in perpetual adolescence, except for one boy who ages into maturity. The final line of the story is something like “for you are a ...
4 votes
0 answers
86 views

What is the title of SciFi anthology with a short story about the singers at the end of time?

The anthology cover shows a woman and man (lower left) and some barrel-chested natives (upper right). While listening to the natives sing, the anthropologists are transported to the far future where ...
7 votes
1 answer
165 views

SciFi story about "hive mind" babies that are born around the same time in a village

I'm looking to re-read a SciFi short story about some "hive mind" babies that are born around the same time in a village... A similar plot to John Wyndham's The Midwich Cuckoos, but quite ...
20 votes
2 answers
2k views

Looking for a short story about the highest flight ever

Read in the ]80's, this felt like a '60–'70s-era sci-fi story. The story is set on a high altitude plane or craft that has a malfunction, and the flight crew cannot get the craft to go back down. ...
20 votes
1 answer
4k views

Sci-fi horror short story about alien that wants to be eaten

In 2017/18 I was really into story podcasts, and heard one that I cannot find again, and do not know what podcast I heard it on. It was a sci-fi/horror short-story about a group of people who went ...
  • 209
1 vote
0 answers
66 views

Vehicle (Station Wagon?) gets shot at by darts in wilderness? [closed]

Many years ago, in the late 80s or early 90s, I ran out of stuff to read, so started reading my mom's textbooks. In one of her old literature textbooks, I ran across a story that was about a family ...
  • 149
18 votes
2 answers
4k views

Science fiction short story in which Einstein is cloned but shows no interest in much except playing his violin

I read this in the 90s. Based on the failure of getting anything productive out of the Einstein clone, future cloning targets are more engineering-minded like Poincare.
4 votes
0 answers
72 views

Short story in which people have forgotten how to do even simple arithmetic [duplicate]

I read this story in the 1990's or possibly the late 1980's, but I believe it was older than that, probably 1960's or possibly 1950's or 1970's. I do not remember if I read it in Swedish (my native ...
8 votes
0 answers
141 views

Sci-Fi short story telepath uses CAPITAL LETTERS

It was in a collection of Sci-Fi short stories which I lent to a friend and never got back. It was about a human who somehow became trapped in a muddy cave or beneath the ground. There the man ...
  • 81
9 votes
1 answer
188 views

Name of short story in which aliens install suicide buttons in their children to improve their race

Men and aliens are cooperating freely on some extraplanetary task. A human gets into a discussion with an alien colleague about how peaceful and mature his alien species is, as opposed to humans, who ...
14 votes
1 answer
477 views

Most Dangerous Game with shapeshifting alien

I have been trying to find a story that I read 20-25 years ago in a science fiction anthology about frontier planets. In the story, a big game hunter has come to a planet to hunt the most dangerous ...
  • 157
9 votes
1 answer
196 views

Short story where traveller is sent to future into body of future self but turns out he died in the time before he jumps into

Read the story in grade school, possibly in a children’s magazine (1980-1992). All I remember is scientist invented a way to jump into your future self and sent someone ahead then brought them back. ...
  • 101
12 votes
1 answer
147 views

Short story about children, crows, and language learning

While in Covid Quarantine in 2020, I read a short story in which a child starts talking to a mysterious person online when they're supposed to be chatting with their aunt. That person is not a human ...
  • 131
11 votes
0 answers
128 views

Short story where man was mauled by dogs in dream

I remember reading this story in an old High School literature textbook years ago (2009-2010 timeframe), but the story itself is probably a lot older. The entire story is framed in a series of letters ...
7 votes
1 answer
871 views

Short sci-fi story about a prisoner and mind teleportation [duplicate]

I remember studying this short story in my school book of class 9 or 10 maybe (Indian CBSE board book) in the year 2004/2005. The short story was something about two people from two different planets. ...
6 votes
0 answers
100 views

Short story from a 1970s era collection about aliens clandestinely selling perfect tech on Earth [duplicate]

It was in a sci fi collection, probably from the 1970s. It's about a main character who is trying to figure out how another person has such perfect things from a brand name "P" (for perfect, ...
18 votes
1 answer
3k views

Short story, probably from the '70s, where a new procedure would supposedly make people smarter

This is not "Flowers for Algernon." There was one very intelligent scientist who initiated it (as I remember) and the results were that the people who went through it started speaking in a ...
  • 197
8 votes
0 answers
82 views

SF short-story about an alien invasion of Earth by backward aliens [duplicate]

The aliens have discovered a star drive for interstellar travel but are very backward in all other technology. The have conquered other races. When they reach Earth, the air on their ship is becoming ...
10 votes
1 answer
175 views

Looking for sci-fi short story about a time loop

This is a short story, I think I read it in an anthology of the author's work, possibly. I don't remember too many details, unfortunately. It had a male character who has the choice to break out of a ...
  • 171
25 votes
1 answer
2k views

Story about automatic writing machine in a dispute between writer and editor

I'm trying to find a short story I dimly recall, with the following elements: Within the story, there is a dispute between a writer, and an editor, about how the next scene of a science fiction story ...
  • 353
10 votes
1 answer
179 views

Christian priest discovers aliens are God's new chosen [duplicate]

I probably read this short story or novella in the 70s-80s but I think it could have been pretty old then. The Earth has been invaded by aliens. The aliens are pretty horrible people, violent, blood-...
  • 4,684
28 votes
1 answer
2k views

Short story about a man who travels to another planet via astral projection, where he encounters an alien intelligence that exchanges minds with him

Looking for short story read in the '60s. In the future, space exploration uses a sort of astral projection. The traveller is in the lab and hooked up to monitors, but they don't allow real-time ...
7 votes
0 answers
118 views

I’m looking for a book of science fictionish short stories

I can’t remember too many stories but the one I do remember is about two kids, a boy and a girl. The boy, who's father is missing, is being bullied by the girl, who says “she’s in the wrong era” but ...
  • 71
19 votes
1 answer
1k views

Short story about discovering that geometry is inconsistent

I'm thinking of a story I read in the 1980s or early 1990s, which may have been published at any time prior. I probably encountered it in an anthology, but I cannot remember anything particular about ...
  • 486
8 votes
1 answer
1k views

Short fantasy with Merlin and Arthur's granddaughter in modern times

This is a short story from Asimov's Science Fiction Magazine in the 1980s, I think. Merlin finds Arthur's daughter in a modern American city, for purposes I don't remember. The key thing I remember is ...
  • 16k
12 votes
0 answers
148 views

Science fiction short story about a cashless society where they let a guy pay cash but his change is credit

I read this story in an anthology of science fiction short stories. I was in grade 6 and it was 1969. It was about a man that goes to buy something with money but the store was cashless. Finally they ...
  • 121
30 votes
1 answer
3k views

Short story: aliens change world at housewife's accidental request

This is a mid-'80s story from Asimov's, I think. A woman is grocery shopping (or just finished) and in a bad mood — people are rude, her kids poorly behaved and U.S.-U.S.S.R. tensions very high. She ...
  • 16k
10 votes
1 answer
636 views

A short story about a man who unexpectedly received in the post a machine which can draw pictures alone. found in an anthology audiobook

A short story about a man who unexpectedly received several packets in the post which finally result to build a somehow 'printer' which discover, surprisingly, that can draw fantastic pictures 'alone'...
  • 401
11 votes
0 answers
133 views

Short story from the 1980s - alien virus erases concept of space travel from modern humanity

This story might have been in Omni. Our hero learns that the concept of space travel has been erased from human memory by an alien virus - almost everyone just can't understand the concept even if it'...
  • 16k
8 votes
0 answers
125 views

Nanotech arms-race short story - nanodevice kills people who have read Drexler

I think I read this short story online (and I think it was quitet short) around 2000. The main character has a friend who is enthusiastic about nanotechnology and has a copy of Drexler's Engines of ...
  • 16k
0 votes
1 answer
104 views

Short story about a soldier(?) captured by aliens underground

And they skin his back and tattoo him, and he basically goes crazy from the pain and isolation and wanders about
7 votes
0 answers
99 views

I am looking for a story from Omni about sentient aircraft of different types interacting in the atmosphere

I read a story in (I believe) one of those Ellen Datlow OMNI science fiction collections about sentient aircraft of different types (with different duties) flying around in the atmosphere and ...
7 votes
1 answer
133 views

Short story with a piano player on a space station who plays a bunch of old songs and, when asked why, claims he was "possessed by a ghost"

This one is a very sketchy memory because the main thrust of it was, I'm pretty sure, based on a misunderstanding. When I was a child, in the late 1980s to the early 1990s, I remember reading a short ...
  • 195k
21 votes
2 answers
1k views

Short story about alien transmission which ends with the aliens' star exploding

Read this story online a few years back but I am quite sure it was far older, maybe from the 1970s or even earlier. It has a pair of scientists receiving a transmission from a distant star system. ...
9 votes
1 answer
170 views

50s SF story about a man who is burdened with being the "life" of any party or assembly

In the short story, he is a "life of the party" guy whom everyone admires and wants to be around, but when he gets home from the party, he sheds the burden of false animation and jollity as ...
  • 155
2 votes
1 answer
116 views

Earworm takes over the whole town

This is a children's fantasy story about a magical record that I read in grade school, during the time a certain Californian was president. But I think the story is much older than that, probably from ...
  • 11.6k
20 votes
1 answer
707 views

Old SciFi short story on debt to society and a brain ship

There was this story I read when I was quite young that left an impression on me. Could have been anytime in the 70's. It would not have been a new story at the time because it probably came from my ...
  • 203
25 votes
1 answer
3k views

Fantasy in Asimov's magazine - words that cause bad luck to anyone who reads them

Around 1990 (plus or minus 5 years) I read a short fantasy in Asimov's Magazine about nonsense words that cause bad luck to anyone who reads them. The main character (a person in modern times) reads ...
  • 16k
5 votes
1 answer
196 views

Short story where a man corrects a machine and the machine combusts

I’m looking for a short story in which a man is with a machine (maybe in a cave) and the machine makes a false statement (similar to 1+1=3) and the man corrects the machine which somehow ends in the ...
  • 59
4 votes
1 answer
97 views

Vintage short story of school kids studying a lethal alien design [duplicate]

I am trying to remember the title and author of a classic sci-fi short story / novella involving an alien invasion. It is difficult to fight the aliens because they use images designed to disrupt ...
6 votes
0 answers
96 views

Short story involving parallel universes and a war between humanity and some dark version of humanity

In this story, as humans travel through closely linked universes, they eventually become distorted and changed. The twist at the end, I believe, was that humans were fighting vastly distorted versions ...
  • 131
6 votes
1 answer
145 views

Old story about plant symbiont-enabled simulated paradise [duplicate]

I'm looking for an SF short story in which the protagonist has a vision of the future in which all humans end up living in tanks filled with a plant-like or algae-like symbiont. The people in the ...
3 votes
1 answer
113 views

Short story about people who are unknowingly imprisoned by aliens in some sort of giant dome or underground chamber

I'm trying to find a short story I read a while ago about people who are unknowingly imprisoned by aliens in some sort of giant dome or underground chamber. They don't realize they are imprisoned ...
4 votes
0 answers
78 views

Time travel short story where a few people travel in a house and experience a large subjective duration

As the title says, I am looking for a short story I read probably one to two years ago. It's about three people volunteering for a scientific experiment concerning time travel. In it, they travel ...
5 votes
1 answer
119 views

Looking for a short story about space crew who are taken over by an alien consciousness

I think I read it in a collection of horror or SF. The incident happens after landing on an alien planet. It may be Mars. I can not recall a physical entity being involved but somehow one of the crew'...
  • 59

1
2 3 4 5
84