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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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8 votes
0 answers
66 views

Time traveler trades with people from alternative dimensions/timelines. Trades ova for high quality dogs, to help humanity in his timeline survive

I read this short story after 2017. It may not have been new but did not seem very many years old. It was in a magazine. I read the magazine online. The protagonist has a trading post that I think ...
Judith Jones's user avatar
  • 8,466
14 votes
0 answers
164 views

Short story about the temptation of Jesus, with a twist

I'm looking for a short story I've read a couple years ago, but forgot where. It starts with the temptation of Jesus as described in the Bible, but then it has a plot twist: the devil shows the future ...
vsz's user avatar
  • 12k
9 votes
1 answer
119 views

Humanity has long been at war with aliens. Protagonist's elderly former chemistry teacher has brain wired to control a spaceship [duplicate]

The war has been going on as long as anyone can remember. The aliens have an advantage in that they have living creatures that are spaceships and can reproduce so do not need to be built. The humans ...
Judith Jones's user avatar
  • 8,466
10 votes
1 answer
751 views

Short story where the aliens looks similar to lions can make themselves invisible

On an alien planet, the inhabitants kind of look like lions and can make themselves invisible. The story is told from the point of view of a teenage girl who has one of them as a pet/friend and doesn'...
CarmenF1's user avatar
  • 111
6 votes
0 answers
86 views

Short story in a comic about insectoid aliens approaching Earth in an invasion armada. They attack lights that turn-out to be a truck's windshield

Comic short story about insectoid alien armada approaching lights while invading Earth. Turns out to be a truck and alien fleet is smashed against truck's windshield.
Darrell Castillo's user avatar
6 votes
1 answer
480 views

A man is high above Earth. He is attacked by aliens who can alter the laws of probability to make their enemies extraordinarily unlucky

I read this short story in the 90s, it seems oldish at the time. The human is incredibly surprised that his parachute lands safely on Earth, knowing how drastically his luck has been reduced. He lands ...
Judith Jones's user avatar
  • 8,466
8 votes
1 answer
120 views

Doomed, telepathic, underground-living alien civilisation. They send an explorer who enters the mind of a baby on an aeroplane [duplicate]

This short story I read about 95 but it seemed to have been written some decades earlier. An alien civilisation have been living underground, for many generation. They have only old stories about what ...
Judith Jones's user avatar
  • 8,466
11 votes
2 answers
774 views

Short story about a patient's OCD keeping the world in order [duplicate]

I'm trying to recall a scifi short story about a psychiatrist who tells a patient suffering from OCD to stop the rituals.
Not-an-alien's user avatar
13 votes
0 answers
165 views

Future primitive society. Tribespeople find a rocket labelled USA. Protagonist's young child brother is important to plot twist

I read this short story online, maybe in an online magazine, about 2020. The magazine artwork looked very professional.I think there was an orange drawing of the rocket. SF Magazines I remember ...
Judith Jones's user avatar
  • 8,466
8 votes
1 answer
171 views

Short story from the early 1980s in Asimov's magazine - man develops superpowers making him dangerously fast and hot

I don't remember many details, unfortunately. The main character was looking for someone who had disappeared, I think, and was exposed to something in the missing person's house, that slowly enhanced ...
Andrew's user avatar
  • 51.6k
20 votes
1 answer
1k views

Device that helps criminals beat lie detectors also cures criminals

While looking for this story I found an interesting story id question at rec.arts.sf.written An old Analog story featured a machine that could help you beat a lie detector. While under this machine, ...
Andrew's user avatar
  • 51.6k
18 votes
1 answer
660 views

Short story about men stranded on Mars who are running out of air, each takes a last walk as they die

After seeing the question about a woman trapped in the nose of a spaceship being burned alive by solar radiation, [The movie "Lifepod (1981)] it reminded me about another story I read. Probably ...
NJohnny's user avatar
  • 12.4k
11 votes
1 answer
207 views

City under attack turns missles to dust. Dust destroys city defences

I read this book back in the early seventies in the UK. It was in the form of a double sided book or magazine. Like the Ace doubles listed here. A city of people was under bombardment from an enemy. ...
RoyC's user avatar
  • 435
19 votes
1 answer
1k views

Trying to identify a cassette tape of science-fiction short stories

When I was a child my older brother had a cassette tape with some short sci-fi stories on. I think it must have been around 1992 to 1993. I've been searching for years because I remember being too ...
Jack87's user avatar
  • 199
16 votes
1 answer
891 views

Human like animals are modified to become more intelligent. One is adopted by humans.The fight for their rights

Short story or novella.I read this about 2005 but it seemed to have been written much earlier. I remember looking at the publication date and noting it was written before humans were capable of ...
Judith Jones's user avatar
  • 8,466
6 votes
1 answer
350 views

Short story set in the future after some sort of disease or environmental disaster has destroyed all paper

I'm looking for a short story which I think must have been written before widespread access to personal computers. It is set in the future after some sort of disease or environmental disaster has ...
Samos's user avatar
  • 69
9 votes
1 answer
1k views

Sci-fi story about a boy living in a city that no one ever leaves, with robots and a master computer

I remember reading this when younger and I think it was in a collection of stories published in the 70's? A boy growing up attends school. He is very curious about his city and surroundings. No one ...
Ken's user avatar
  • 99
11 votes
1 answer
579 views

Short Story Protagonist believes aliens are being mistreated exploited. He has an alien lover

I think I read this in the 80s. Most people are very prejudiced against the aliens on a planet that has been colonised. They treat them appallingly. The protagonist used to feel that way before he ...
Judith Jones's user avatar
  • 8,466
14 votes
0 answers
132 views

Short story about astronauts exploring the interior of a giant organism in space

Trying to find any info about a short story I read in a sci-fi monthly digest in the early '90s. The basic gist is a team of astronauts is exploring and researching the interior of a large asteroid/...
CountSnackula's user avatar
13 votes
1 answer
152 views

Short story about perpetually cloudy skies and some people who find a permanent patch of sun

Trying to find a story that I read probably in the 1990s. Don't know where I read it, but if I had to guess it was in high school in either a fiction magazine or a book of collected stories. I ...
techturtle's user avatar
16 votes
1 answer
352 views

Analog story circa 2010 - scientist invents a machine that can detect consciousness in human - and finds many people aren't conscious

In the story, a scientist invented a machine that detected "internal consciousness" in people. He tested it with a drug that left someone apparently awake but who would have no memory of ...
Andrew's user avatar
  • 51.6k
6 votes
2 answers
785 views

When was "Fast Trip" by James White Published?

Short version: I need to know when "Fast Trip" by James White was first published because I might be experiencing a "Mandala effect" about its publication date. Long Version: This ...
M. A. Golding's user avatar
21 votes
1 answer
1k views

Child in a dystopian city who had to forage for food

In this story, a man appears to a child who lives in a dystopian city, which I think is contained in a dome. He appears to the child once the pollution or radiation in the outside has dissipated ...
Dermid1789's user avatar
9 votes
1 answer
117 views

Old short story about a group of authors who write using a machine AI [duplicate]

A long time ago (maybe in the 70's?) I read a short story where humanity and aliens were in contact, and the only thing they wanted was Earth fiction. So many people became authors, and were using ...
Larf's user avatar
  • 93
4 votes
1 answer
119 views

Short Story. Spaceship controls are designed to perfectly match the pschological make up of the pilot. Emergency attempt to fly another's ship [duplicate]

I think I read this in the 80s probably in an anthology from a UK library. All spaceships are individually designed for their pilot to match the things they like and the way their mind works. There is ...
Judith Jones's user avatar
  • 8,466
12 votes
1 answer
353 views

Short story about a point in the solar system where ships disappear and reappear with scientific break throughs

I'm trying to find the title of a short story about astronauts being sent in ships to a point in the solar system (orbit of Jupiter?) where they disappear temporarily. When they return they have been ...
Bob's user avatar
  • 129
11 votes
1 answer
893 views

1980s story about all-female society that reintroduces men for genetic diversity

Back in (probably) the 1980s I read a short story or novella (English, US) set in an all-female society where people reproduce by parthenogenesis. Eventually their scientists re-create the Y ...
arp's user avatar
  • 1,208
3 votes
1 answer
82 views

Short Story. Man sells his soul to the devil who arrives by train. Gets a watch which can stop time in exchange [duplicate]

The man is homeless. The devil arrives by train wearing a conductor's uniform. The devil offers him any wish he desires in exchange for his soul when he dies. They make the bargain and he wishes the ...
Judith Jones's user avatar
  • 8,466
5 votes
1 answer
56 views

Short Story. Man given exprimental drug which gives him perfect recall of his memories [duplicate]

I think I read this in the 80s. It is a short story. The protagonist is soon to be married. He works for a drug company. He is approached by researchers who also work at his company. They want him to ...
Judith Jones's user avatar
  • 8,466
12 votes
1 answer
186 views

Space adventure story: infiltration identified by restrictions on ship's menu

This is a 1950s-era short story, I think. If I recall correctly, the hero wants spaghetti for dinner at the mess, and while investigating why he can't get it, he uncovers a conspiracy: The aliens who ...
Andrew's user avatar
  • 51.6k
9 votes
0 answers
99 views

Trying to find a Sci Fi book about a man in love with the captain's daughter put in charge of hydroponics

I'm looking for a book that was a favorite of a friend of mine, who is elderly and blind. She was recounting the plot to me but I couldn't find any matches searching. She said it was like a series ...
Amy P's user avatar
  • 91
9 votes
1 answer
934 views

Short Story. Super intelligent telepathic unborn child. Communicates telepathically with his mother. Writes a well received book

A young married couple are expecting their first child. From the womb he communicates telepathically with his mother. He tells her to drink milk which she hates the taste of. The unborn child tells ...
Judith Jones's user avatar
  • 8,466
5 votes
1 answer
90 views

Evil man uses robot teddy bear to raise a boy to be a killer [duplicate]

An evil man wants to hire an assassin. He cannot find anyone who can do the job. For many years every human child has been raised with a talking robot teddy bear. Amongst many other things these teddy ...
Judith Jones's user avatar
  • 8,466
5 votes
1 answer
193 views

Humans are kept as livestock by aliens. They all know an old song. The song teaches them how to fly their long abandoned spaceship [duplicate]

I read this short story about 2015. I think it was old at the time. The planet was settled by humans long ago. The indigenous aliens later beat them in a war. Humans are kept as livestock on farms, ...
Judith Jones's user avatar
  • 8,466
11 votes
1 answer
1k views

Small girl visits sweet innocent-seeming Martian old lady. She is far less harmless than she seems

I read this about ten years ago but it seemed much older. The Martian seems like an innocent sweet old lady. A human girl visits her house and watches her baking something like apple pie. The girl ...
Judith Jones's user avatar
  • 8,466
19 votes
1 answer
4k views

Short story. If a family has a third child, it is announced that for the next 24 hours killing the father will be perfectly legal

I think I read this in the 80s. In the future overpopulation is a problem and all families are limited to two children. (It is not the Ender's game series which has a similar restriction on family ...
Judith Jones's user avatar
  • 8,466
17 votes
1 answer
2k views

Which short science fiction story warning of nuclear war was about the telephone book?

I know I read this when it was already a classic, as a teenager in the 1990s. The author I think was well-known and male and American, but that doesn't narrow it down once. It was unusually short. It ...
AFCat's user avatar
  • 179
10 votes
1 answer
678 views

Story involving fabbers (replicators / 3D-printers), famous quote

I'm trying to identify a short story involving replicators/fabbers/3D-printers. The devices use a carbon fiber that can be recycled, and that fact is important. I remember the use of the Harold ...
Chris B. Behrens's user avatar
17 votes
1 answer
809 views

Technician kills an early time traveller, requests private trial [duplicate]

Another question reminded me of this short story, which I read in an anthology before 2000. A time machine has been constructed. It takes up a lot of space, possibly the entire ground floor of a ...
Pastychomper thanks Monica's user avatar
10 votes
0 answers
69 views

Short story where a human and alien fighter have to battle it out to decide the outcome of a war [duplicate]

Back in high school, around 1990, we read half of a short story where, to end a war, an alien and human have to battle it out. They are in an area that is separated by an invisible division so that ...
Duncan's user avatar
  • 101
11 votes
1 answer
776 views

Short Story. Five year old human boy adopted by elderly female telepathic bison from another planet or reality

The small boy is born with the ability to teleport to other realities. His parents have been killed in a war. In another reality there is an elderly female bison like animal also telepathic. Her ...
Judith Jones's user avatar
  • 8,466
21 votes
1 answer
3k views

Short Story. Humans land on Mars. Communicate with martians by drawing pictures. Miscommunication gets humans killed

They communicate with the martians by drawing pictures. At first it seems to be going well. The human draws a right angled triangle labelled two sides III and IIII. The martian labelled the hypotenuse ...
Judith Jones's user avatar
  • 8,466
1 vote
1 answer
87 views

Short story about a kitten being killed by humans and the mother cat taking revenge by trapping them in a dungeon [duplicate]

I once read or heard a short story (maybe from Lovecraft, but I am not sure). I am able to remember the following details: A single person or a couple, perhaps tourists, are in a possibly European ...
Féileacán's user avatar
5 votes
2 answers
148 views

Short story about the ultimate paradox: Computer tries to solve the riddle "I always lie" and causes the lab to shut down [duplicate]

Read a sci-fi short in the early 70's in an anthology. It was not at that time I do not believe a recent print. A man lives in a space lab. His computer can solve anything. The man gave a riddle ...
bryan stairs's user avatar
12 votes
1 answer
932 views

What is the title of a short story about a man searching for a holy man St. Anselm who turns out to be a robot?

I read a story in an anthology published in the 80s about a future where religion was illegal and a secret Christian was searching for the body of a holy man - maybe named Anselm, whose body was ...
Charles's user avatar
  • 129
8 votes
0 answers
121 views

Near-future sci-fi short story with apologetic synthetic creatures cleaning up the environment and restraining humans from doing any more harm

Trying to remember the name of near-future (~2070?) sci-fi short story I read about 6 months ago. It features synthetic creatures which clean up pollution and prevent humans from harming the ...
Ben Reid's user avatar
7 votes
0 answers
81 views

Short story about a press conference dealing with something space or alien-related

I read a short story in an anthology, probably 30 years ago. I'm guessing it was written sometime between the 1950s - 1970s, but am not sure. It was about a press conference given by a government ...
whidbeycs's user avatar
15 votes
3 answers
3k views

1980's short story about people being harmed by reading something on a computer?

I'm trying to remember the name of a story that I think was a short story in a collection. It had to be from the 1980's or maybe earlier, but computers were definitely involved. My mental image of the ...
Djembot's user avatar
  • 153
5 votes
0 answers
83 views

Astronaut crashing on a planet full of robots and a weapon factory

I'm looking for a short SF story that I read in the late 1970s or early 1980s. The narrative was in English. I read it from a hardcover book. I am quite sure it was a compilation of science fiction ...
Bingo's user avatar
  • 7,328
13 votes
1 answer
285 views

SciFi short story with space travel, alien artifacts, and drug therapy [duplicate]

I'm trying to remember this story I read, but so far my google-fu is failing me. The story had some people who worked on a space station that camped out near some magic point (maybe a Lagrange point?) ...
SomeGuy's user avatar
  • 133