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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.

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16 votes
1 answer
2k views

Old pen-pal short story

I remember a short story about someone with an alien pen-pal; over the years he goes through ups and downs and shares with his pen-pal who is supportive always. Eventually he gets to see a picture of ...
Jon Nielsen's user avatar
23 votes
2 answers
3k views

Short story about a future where people spend all their time in cars

I'm looking for a story where people are always in their cars, which are small, individual-sized, and are considered naked when they are out of them. It's from the late 1960s or early 70s.
Ellen's user avatar
  • 517
27 votes
2 answers
3k views

Story about a future of over-production

I'm looking for a story I read in the late 1960s or early 70s about a future in which so much stuff is produced (by machines?) that people are obligated to work very hard to wear it all out. The ...
Ellen's user avatar
  • 517
19 votes
3 answers
20k views

Is the movie "In Time" based on a short story? [duplicate]

Today I read a review of a new movie called "In Time", directed by Andrew Niccol. People have a certain amount of time to live, people can buy and sell time and extend their lives. I feel I have read ...
NiceOrc's user avatar
  • 4,674
24 votes
2 answers
2k views

Short story where aliens deal with humanity on the misunderstanding that Star Trek is non-fiction

I'm looking for a short (which I'm fairly sure I read online rather than on paper) which has as its premise that an alien civilization observing humanity thought Star Trek was real rather than ...
AakashM's user avatar
  • 2,429
17 votes
5 answers
2k views

Short story where everyone is using wearable personal computers, and the protagonist asks about being able to turn one's own off

What is the name and author of a short story where everyone is using always-on wearable computers, e.g. to help interaction with other people, like hints of what to say during conversation. The ...
Jakub Narębski's user avatar
16 votes
1 answer
800 views

A collection of stories about young monsters and vampires

There are a couple of books I have been trying to find for years. I found and read them in my school library when I was in either intermediate or middle school; somewhere around the late 1980's. I'm ...
Elmina Hubble's user avatar
18 votes
2 answers
3k views

Short story where humans and aliens are in faltering negotiations to end a war

I'm trying to identify a short story where humans and an alien race are trying to negotiate to end a war, but the negotiations are failing. Aspects of the story that I can remember: An Earth child ...
Rebecca Abele's user avatar
29 votes
2 answers
3k views

Collection of fantasy/horror short stories with one or two full color illustrations per story

First, this is absolutely not Scary Stories or More Scary Stories. I don't think there is any relation there. From what I remember the book contained a collection of shorties that may or may not ...
peacedog's user avatar
  • 2,319
18 votes
3 answers
3k views

Short story about meddling time travelers [duplicate]

Sometime in the late 80's/early 90's I read a short story about a group of people (I think they were researchers at a university) who go back in time to change something, and then keep going back ...
Ash Logan's user avatar
  • 341
9 votes
1 answer
2k views

What is the story in which an alien was found on a barren planet and the media named it "Cutie-Pie"?

An alien was found on a barren planet by a space expedition, they catch it and bring it to earth. The alien did not live on that planet, it was just passing through. The alien was named "Cutie-Pie" by ...
KenSuvy's user avatar
  • 1,758
16 votes
3 answers
1k views

Short story where a character moves through dimensions via mental exercises

It's been about 25 years since I read a story in an anthology. The only details I remember from it are that a guy is told that if, while walking down a road (or something similar), he mentally forces ...
Larry G. Wapnitsky's user avatar
15 votes
1 answer
2k views

Short story about two brothers leading an expedition to the prehistoric past, one (Orren? Owen?) is killed and erased from history

I read this story (must have been in an anthology; I didn't read SF/F magazines) when I was a kid, which puts the publication date before 1975. I remember it as being much older than that, though, not ...
rhanajoy's user avatar
  • 426
16 votes
5 answers
4k views

The Cold Equations - How could it happen?

For those who are unfamiliar with Godwin's 1954 short story (which is included in a number of anthologies, including the book The World Turned Upside Down found here in the 'Best of Jim Baen's ...
Jeff's user avatar
  • 106k
10 votes
1 answer
673 views

Cannot find a short story named something like "Mask of the Silver King"

In the mid nineties I received a short story anthology as a gift. I believe it was either a Weird Tales anthology, or White Wolf. My favorite story was called Mask of the Silver King, (I think, I ...
Real John Connor's user avatar
17 votes
1 answer
4k views

Short story about an astronaut who discovers an injured alien

I am trying to find a book of short science fiction stories that contains a short story about an astronaut crew that land on a moon or planet and one astronaut on an EVA (spacewalk) on the surface ...
Peter Gonzalez's user avatar
18 votes
1 answer
2k views

Short story in which a man on a train learns how to mentally control the rolling of dice

A long time ago, I read a short story in which there was a man on a train who learns how to control the rolls that come up on dice. The way it's phrased is that he maintains a certain pattern in his ...
jprete's user avatar
  • 2,322
5 votes
1 answer
619 views

What was the Bradbury short story featuring birds whose songs were like musical compositions?

I may be mixing some things up here, but to my memory there is a short story in one of the collections by Ray Bradbury in which the protagonist is involved with transcribing birdsong so complex it ...
Joseph Weissman's user avatar
16 votes
1 answer
2k views

Short story involving survival on a small asteroid; people stranded on it must keep off 'day' side

I have a strong recollection of reading a short story as a kid in the 1980's - 90's about a couple of guys (kids, maybe) that were stranded on an asteroid or moon after some disaster and needed to ...
Matt Peterson's user avatar
20 votes
1 answer
2k views

What short story from the 1960s is about future where there are no printed books [duplicate]

A friend recently reminded me of a story where two children hear/learn /read in a book about a time long ago when all books were in print, and it's very strange to them as they are totally electronic ...
akapulko2020's user avatar
12 votes
2 answers
1k views

Anyone remember a Golden Era pulp mag short story about a sentient(?) implantable computer named Manche? [duplicate]

I believe this story was published in the late 1950s or early 1960s; it may have started as a short story and then been turned into a novel. The basic plot was that the protagonist had created a tiny ...
Tracy O. Logan's user avatar
18 votes
1 answer
1k views

Differences between versions of "Nerves", by Lester del Rey

In 1942, Lester del Rey published Nerves, a novella about an accident at an atomic plant; in 1956 he published a new version of it, expanded to a novel. I read those two. According to the ISFDb, there ...
DaG's user avatar
  • 1,857
21 votes
1 answer
889 views

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 ...
Mike Elkins's user avatar
18 votes
4 answers
49k views

In Jack Ketchum's short "The Box", what exactly was in the box?

In Jack Ketchum's short “The Box”, what exactly was in the box? I really want to know!
gaogaodinosaur's user avatar
15 votes
1 answer
1k views

What short story is about changing humanity into a hive mind?

An alien lands on Earth and is amazed that this species has come this far with all those separate minds. He decides to unite them and rule them. The hive mind that originates from this successfully ...
Richard's user avatar
  • 151
375 votes
1 answer
25k views

Story where the number 3 is the monster?

I remember as a child (in the nineties) reading a story where the narrator was a little boy and how he was scared only twice a day – when the clock read 3:33. The 3's would be powerful enough (there ...
zompz's user avatar
  • 4,197
14 votes
2 answers
698 views

What are the titles of the short stories about Drizzt?

I know there are some short stories about Drizzt Do'Urden out there. I have read most of the books, but I would like to read the short stories too. Any idea what the titles are (and info on where I ...
Vaccano's user avatar
  • 243
32 votes
2 answers
2k views

Short story with an old programmer about to lose his job who triggers a Trojan Horse that only he can fix

I remember reading a short story many years ago (1980s) about an old computer programmer who was about to be forced into mandatory retirement. After receiving the news from his boss he returns to his ...
oosterwal's user avatar
  • 437
21 votes
2 answers
993 views

IChing and space travel identification question [duplicate]

There was a short that I read in an anthology, when I was on my anthology kick about 8-15 years ago. I am fairly positive that the story was from pre-1995, if that helps anyone. I know it wasn't a ...
jcolebrand's user avatar
  • 1,481
14 votes
1 answer
1k views

Which short story involved people betting on turtle races with one man always winning?

Please help me identify this story. It was about a holiday resort where the residents bet on turtle races. One man won every race he bet on. As the story progressed, it appeared that he could see the ...
Reinstate Monica - Goodbye SE's user avatar
37 votes
1 answer
3k views

Short story; war where speed of time changes with distance from front line

Trying to remember a short story (most likely from the sixties). It starts with a soldier at the front line fighting an unknown enemy on the other side of the front line. He then gets withdrawn and ...
Durathor's user avatar
  • 703
19 votes
5 answers
819 views

Why do anthologies have such a prominent place in the history of written SF?

My obsession with science-fiction first came to me through short stories, read in anthologies and single-writer collections. Dangerous Visions and The Science-Fiction Hall of Fame are more or less ...
Goodbye Stack Exchange's user avatar
15 votes
5 answers
3k views

What short story interprets common idioms literally?

I'm trying to place a short story told from the viewpoint of a person who understands common idioms literally. For example, if someone asks him to “lend a hand”, he would understand that the hand ...
user avatar
48 votes
3 answers
5k views

What short story is about an invasion from metallic creatures?

I used to have a bunch of used short form books when I was growing up that I have since long lost, and I remember a story about an invasion of Earth by some metallic creatures that I never finished ...
Jorge Castro's user avatar
  • 2,906

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