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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8
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0answers
47 views

Two astronauts killed on a water planet

I read this very short story on the Italian sci-fi magazine "Urania" in the late 80s /early 90s but can't remember the author or title. The synopsis is about 2 astronauts that landed on a water-...
9
votes
1answer
345 views

Short story about friends talking about parallel universes and probability

Trying to find a short story where two people talk about how the "many worlds" theories (or possibly the idea that if the universe is infinite everything will eventually happen) with the example of a ...
6
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0answers
119 views

Tourist utopian island where you could only stay 6 days as something horrible happens on the 7th [duplicate]

I remember reading, recently (2018 or so) a short sci-fi/horror story online about a tourist visiting a utopian island, the catch was that a tourist could only stay six days, as something horrible ...
5
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0answers
66 views

Short story about a planet of technology-blocked geniuses? [duplicate]

I remember reading a short story with the following synopsis: An Earth exploratory expedition arrives at a planet thinly populated by friendly humanoid folk at a very primitive technological level - ...
12
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0answers
124 views

Identify a story about a man who pays to dream that he is successful

Can anyone help me identify some science/speculative fiction plot I remember from the 1980s? I'm pretty sure it was a short story I read in a book, though it's possible that I have gotten it confused ...
8
votes
1answer
131 views

Shuttle jet crashes into a flying wing, which must manage to land it

I'm pretty sure this was an Analog story from the mid-to-late 1980s. The protagonist is an engineer for an aircraft company, taking a long-distance flight. The setting has long-distance air travel ...
6
votes
2answers
344 views

Short story about future humans rediscovering the NASA Golden Record

I saw it in a Reddit comment a few years ago and I don't know if it was written originally by the commenter or if it came from somewhere. Basically, humans in the distant future after some apocalypse-...
11
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1answer
148 views

Short online story in which protagonist is the last holdout against advertising products to friends

I read this online in the '90s or 2000s. The male protagonist is a counterculture artistic type who talks about how they and their friends throw all the most coveted parties. In the larger culture, ...
4
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1answer
59 views

Short story where expedition crew picks up and magnifies planet's anxiety

probably from 60's .. planet is sentient, but since it's the only one it knows about, when a human expedition arrives it becomes paranoid, sending that fear out to the humans who then intensify it and ...
2
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0answers
95 views

90s (or earlier) short story about a future war fought only by machines maintained by people underground

In school I read a short story about a future war fought by ancient machines that are maintained by people (deep underground, I believe). The war is waged by humans perhaps on multiple planets. I ...
7
votes
1answer
762 views

Aliens, masquerading as foreign humans, have conquered the Earth; fly using pressor beams

I believe this is a short story or novelette I read in the late 1980s. In my memory it has the feel of an old story (pre-New Wave), so I probably read it in an anthology. The Earth is subjugated by ...
1
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0answers
107 views

Short story about an investigator trying to contact a man who inherited a lot of money [closed]

I am trying to find a Science Fiction short story probably from an anthology in the 1980s or 1990s. The story line is in the form of field reports from an investigator who is trying to contact a man ...
9
votes
1answer
1k views

Plains natives happen across a late 1890s airbase

Long ago I read an anthology whose introduction to one story seemed to claim it was the first of its sort. Reading over the Wiki article on alternative history, this appears to be very much not the ...
6
votes
1answer
189 views

Sci fi short story about a female activist that is really a clone of her virgin mother

I read several years ago a short story about a female activist (told by her mother), that seemed like a “Jesus Christ in modern times story”... at the end you discover the mom is a biotechnician that ...
6
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0answers
157 views

Sci Fi short story about a woman who goes to a tower to gamble with its ancient protector who has a gun that never misses?

A couple years ago I read a good short story that I haven’t been able to find. I only sporadically read Tor, Clarkesworld, or award winning short stories, so it probably had some buzz. I think it was ...
15
votes
1answer
827 views

Short story about intergalactic pizza delivery via time travel

I am looking for the name/title of this short story (not a book) with the following plot/elements: An intergalactic pizza delivery service run by a family The pizza kitchen never stops ("the mad ...
2
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0answers
75 views

Short story about rock throwing fight [closed]

I read a short story back in the 2001/2002 time frame while I was in middle school. It may have been assigned reading, or part of a text book, or a library book I can't remember. I was reading it ...
9
votes
2answers
204 views

1979 or earlier short story - dispute settled with opposing factions fighting on a planet using WWI rules

I am trying to track down a sci fi short story from a magazine. Been bugging me for years. Not sure what magazine - journal size 7-8" x 10-11" - approx 70 pages when I picture holding it. I got the ...
5
votes
2answers
252 views

Short story where aliens think cars are the dominant life form

It's not HGttG and it isn't a poem. It was like a page long and it was in my textbook in high school circa early 2000s in CA, USA. I remember there were aliens and they were talking about how humans ...
9
votes
1answer
136 views

Brian Aldiss short story about caveats of advanced military technology [duplicate]

I'm trying to remember a short story I read many years ago about the negative side of developing and deploying advanced weapons technology in an SF setting. It was about some intergalactic power that ...
24
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1answer
4k views

SciFi writer’s stories are plagiarized from the future

An author of science fiction repeatedly finds that no sooner has he published a new work than he finds that that it appears as though he had plagiarized it because it is suddenly listed as an already ...
4
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0answers
103 views

Short story: post-climate-change, mega-rich underwater retreat

I'm trying to find a short story from a pretty recent collection (sometime in the past 5-10 years). The plot involves 2 people in a sub (some sort of male consultant/operative/spy, and a female pilot)...
18
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1answer
1k views

Short story: humorous story with protagonist talking in riddles

I read this short story a few years ago, online, but I didn't save the link, author or title. It was about 5-10 pages long, with the following plot points that I remember: A lone human explorer lands ...
4
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0answers
63 views

Sci fi short story, enemy weapons made the population deaf [duplicate]

I read this short story at least thirty years ago, an anthology in the UK but the story was set in the US. A grandmother is struggling to raise her grandson, I think the parents are dead. There is an ...
5
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0answers
138 views

Looking for story about farmer who sees aliens land in his field, but it turns out that the farmer is the alien and the aliens are humans

I’m looking for the name of a YA Science Fiction short story that I read in middle school in the 70’s. As I remember it, the story was told from the perspective of a farmer who was tending his fields ...
7
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0answers
302 views

Scary short story about boy who finds out he’s the only real human on Earth

Looking for a short story I read maybe 10 years ago, about a boy who finds out that he’s the only real human on Earth, and all the other people he sees are not human but something else. It takes place ...
2
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0answers
55 views

Looking for YA short story about boy who finds family living in cave from alternate world

I’m looking for the name of a YA short story that I read in middle school back in the late 70’s. I believe it was part of a Science Fiction short story collection. My recollection is that it had “Key” ...
5
votes
0answers
226 views

Short story: what happens when everyone in a room goes silent?

40 or 50 years ago I read a story (possibly not actually sci-fi) that referred to a moment when everyone in a room stopped talking. Such moments were actually a remembrance of another world or ...
3
votes
1answer
281 views

Taking LSD while having sex and dying

Decades ago I read a story about a pilot who had a one-night stand with a stewardess native to Papua who had blue eyes due to some genetic changes in the future. They took LSD together and he realized ...
17
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6answers
4k views

1960's or so short story of humans landing on a planet that is sentient

The planet has always been alone and thus is terrified by the human "others." The planet's fear is felt by the people and becomes a positive feedback system until one human goes crazy and runs away. ...
7
votes
1answer
291 views

Looking for a short story I read in ‘85/‘86

I took a science fiction class in high school. Upstate New York. I remember reading a story about an astronaut landing on a planet. When he crash-landed he thought it was uninhabited. Then his eyes ...
15
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2answers
2k views

Short story/novella: Ship sling shots around a spinning black hole

Synopses: Ship is being chased by 'bad guys', to escape they use a sling shot maneuver around a spinning black hole. As a consequence the black hole's event horizon expands (due to the rotational ...
32
votes
1answer
3k views

Short story about distant-future researchers who rediscover the forgotten Earth shortly before it falls into the sun

I’m looking for a short story which I read in high school, sometime between 1999 and 2005 (most likely around 2003). It’s a contemplative sci-fi story. As I remember, the plot was: In the distant ...
7
votes
1answer
118 views

Scary short stories anthology book - House that was a crashed spaceship

I was hoping someone could help me remember this book of scary stories I read as a child. It was a collection of short scary stories. One was about a family living with an abusive father or ...
9
votes
1answer
148 views

Story about soul-trapping prisoners to serve full sentences

Someone described a story with an interesting premise: I remember reading a SF story many years ago, in which mankind had developed a way to capture a person's consciousness/personality/soul/...
13
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2answers
1k views

Story in which something turns men's lust into murderous impulse

I recall reading a short story in which sexual desire was causing men to act out and murder those to whom they were attracted. IIRC it was a twist on the alien invaders theme, but instead of an armed ...
9
votes
3answers
181 views

Robot/AI short story about a group of robots on furlough/leave in the wilderness, hunted by humans

I am trying to find the title of a short story about a group of robots on furlough/leave in the wilderness. There is a big snow storm and they are forced to leave the shelter where they are. They ...
7
votes
1answer
279 views

Story demonstrating the Unexpected Hanging Paradox

Another lost story with a memorable fragment. A man is held captive in an authoritarian country. He was once an important man but has fallen out of favor, and he will be executed at a time of his ...
7
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0answers
111 views

Short story about a kid who finds a robot and has it do his homework and chores

This is a long shot but... in 7th grade (1995) I had a math substitute who read us a short story instead of class work. Here's what I remember. A kid finds a robot on his way home from school. He ...
3
votes
1answer
117 views

Short story: Mindset of believing something is possible (even if not true) influences the outcome [duplicate]

Trying to find what I think was a short story, probably written 30 or more years ago. Synopsis, to the best of my recollection: Organization (military?/government?/corporate?) shows film of an ...
7
votes
1answer
184 views

Short story with explorers or tourists on a planet with dangerous, but attractive glass plants

I read this in the past 3 years, but I'm sure it was in an old (1950s most likely) pulp magazine that I read once I discovered that the Internet Archive had hundreds of them. The story concerns ...
12
votes
1answer
276 views

Short story about a space combat/chase that can never be resolved due to the deltaV between the ships

I'm looking for the name of a scifi short story. I'm pretty sure it is in one of the 'Years Best in Science Fiction' but I have like ten of them and they are huge so I don't know which one it is in. ...
3
votes
1answer
107 views

Short story and/or excerpt of book about alien culture with orange eyes and human colony on alien planet?

A story I read as a short story/book excerpt in an English textbook in middle school in 2007 and haven't found since. There is an alien girl with orange eyes and a colony of humans has moved onto the ...
10
votes
1answer
263 views

Short story where a killer house lowers the temperature to match that of a movie scene the owner is watching

I need the title of the short story that I describe next. I was fairly confident it was in Ray Bradbury's Illustrated Man, but when I went to Wikipedia to review the short-stories there contained, I ...
14
votes
1answer
3k views

Sword and sorcery short story with a wizard carrying an infant in a backpack that actually is a parasite

I'm looking for a sword and sorcery short story I read a long time ago: it's from the pulp era, possibly the 30s. I used to think it had been written by Clark Ashton Smith as both the style and the ...
6
votes
1answer
132 views

Scifi short story where man is plagued by violent images

It was about a man living in a world where every surface could display pictures. One day he is targeted by a cyber-terrorism attack that displayed gore, violence, and similar on every surface in his ...
18
votes
1answer
4k views

Short story about night-dwelling party people who live on alcohol and grow their clothes and money

I think I read this in the early 1990s. Possibly in Asimov's or Analog, but more likely in an anthology. The viewpoint character is a man who has been increasingly insomniac. Restless, he has taken ...
7
votes
1answer
219 views

Short story where a guy becomes a bee, teaches bees to shave the barbs off their stingers

I'm looking for a story about a guy who inadvertently becomes a bee in his hive and teaches them to shave the barbs off their stingers. I think it was in an anthology somewhen and was pinched by RL ...
16
votes
2answers
3k views

Book of Science Fiction Horror I Read as a Kid

The book was probably printed in the early 90s when I was a child reading science fiction. I think it was largely about space sci-fi, but the one story that I remember clearly was called "Soft." It ...
36
votes
1answer
4k views

Story: The problems of two worlds could be solved by interstellar communication

The story alternately follows events on two worlds of approximately equal technological development, separated by interstellar distance. One is the Earth, where the characters worry about the ...

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