Questions tagged [story-identification]

Use for identifying a work of SF or Fantasy, including novels, movies, comic books, fanfic, TV series, video games, etc. Use with other tags to specify the type of media, eg. [short-stories]. Use [episode-identification] for identifying a single episode of a known series, whether TV, book, or comic. Use [actor-identification], [character-identification], [music-identification], or [object-identification] for those specific ID requests.

Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
333
votes
1answer
19k 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 ...
112
votes
3answers
4k views

Story where scientist communicates with cities directly

In the story, a scientist discovers that cities have more or less a gestalt consciousness, and that they communicate with each other indirectly through people. He decodes this communication, and ...
99
votes
1answer
7k views

Boy transported to another planet where the being who owns the Earth lives

I read this book probably in the late 1990s. I assume the intended audience is teenagers/youth because I checked it out of my junior high library. In the book there is a boy on a plane and the plane ...
88
votes
4answers
12k views

Story about humanity realizing they are in a simulation

I'm trying to locate a story I read a couple of years ago on the internet. The story revolves around the idea that the Earth, humanity, and our entire universe are all part of a computer simulation. ...
83
votes
0answers
3k views

Married couple pretend to like each other due to crystal sculpture

Years ago, I remember reading a short story (as I remember it) about a couple whose prized possession is semi-living crystal structure that is sensitive to their relationship; it grows and maintains ...
82
votes
2answers
3k views

Movie with magical book showing events of any day in history, except missing days of the Gregorian calendar change

I once saw a movie on the TV sometime in the 1990s. I don't remember a whole lot (maybe I didn't even see the whole movie), only one particular scene, which made quite an impression on my young self, ...
81
votes
2answers
5k views

Short story where human explorers accidentally blind an alien race

I read a short story (probably 20 years ago) about a human scientific expedition that arrives at an alien planet. The planet is covered by a thick cloud layer and orbits a dim red star. The humans ...
80
votes
4answers
4k views

Time Travel story where an imprisoned psychopath kills people from his past?

I read a story some years ago (probably about 35) in an monthly sci-fi anthology... It's set in a prison. The main character is a psychopath who has sessions with a psychiatrist - in these sessions ...
79
votes
2answers
12k views

Does anyone know what this fantasy script is from?

My friend keeps on writing it, yet he won't tell me where it's from. He says the third line from the top says : "for what reason."
72
votes
1answer
3k views

Short story about Neurosurgeon uses nanobots to cure patients, 'reprograms' ex-wife to fall back in love with him

I read this story sometime between 1989 and 1991 in a SF&F magazine (Asimov's Science Fiction? The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction? Amazing Stories?) and I've looked for it for years, in ...
70
votes
1answer
6k views

Man serves a sentence for the murder he will be allowed to commit in the future

I recently remembered a short story I had read a while ago in a sci-fi compilation. I tried to identify it, but my Google-fu is not up to the task. Google, however, directed me here. So, I hope ...
69
votes
1answer
10k views

Book in which the “mountain” in the distance was a hole in the flat world

Science fiction novel or short story. Characters were lost or crashed or something on a new-to-them world and were making for a mountain they could see in the distance. But when they reached the ...
68
votes
2answers
11k views

Identify a movie in which aliens believed a sci-fi TV show to be true documentary

I remember watching a sci-fi movie in the early 00s. It was full of comedy. Here are the details I recalled: There was a space opera TV show in the movie. It seemed a true copy of Star Trek (they ...
64
votes
10answers
14k views

Which Asimov story has malevolent 3-law AI?

I'm reading some of the Q&A on Worldbuilding.se about the Control Problem (how to keep a general artificial intelligence in a box), like this one, and someone invariably touts Asimov's three laws ...
64
votes
1answer
17k views

Asimov's story where a man's speech contains no information

I am trying to remember the name of a tale or novel by Isaac Asimov. I am positive I've read this some years ago, but for the life of me, I can't recall the name. In the story, one of the characters, ...
63
votes
1answer
12k views

Soviet statistician deduces the existence of parasites feeding on the human race

This short story would obviously have been written no later than the 1980s, though in my recollection the style was more reminiscent of the 1950s or early 1960s. Darker than a typical Asimov, but ...
63
votes
1answer
3k views

A man takes riskier and riskier jobs (involving a transportation ring) for more money

I'm looking for a story I read in 1980. It is a short story and may have been in one of Asimov's or Bradbury's collections. It was about a man looking for a job. He goes into an office with, I ...
62
votes
1answer
8k views

Short story read ~25 year ago where changing person's name prevents a war

I believe I read this short story in a collection. A man's wife goes to a consultant to improve his career. The consultant says include your middle initial (I think). The story goes though the ...
61
votes
2answers
4k views

What story does C.S. Lewis acknowledge in the preface to “The Great Divorce”?

This isn't a typical story-identification question, since it's not a story I've read myself. As such, I unfortunately can't offer any more details or more clarification beyond what's already in this ...
61
votes
3answers
3k views

Trying to identify “I will measure the dust” story

I have a distant memory of a story which involves a person conversing with an intelligent space probe before it's launched on a long-term mission. As I recall it, their conversation goes something ...
60
votes
2answers
8k views

A cynical demon writing annotations into the book for puny human readers

One of the first series I've ever read was about a young boy who was learning to become a mage. In this world it was possible to summon demons of different categories, ranging from small and not very ...
59
votes
3answers
12k views

A Book where an Animal is advertising itself to be eaten

I remember having read (at least I think I've been reading, it might have been a series but I'm almost positive it was in prose) a book or story where an animal, maybe genetically engineered? ...
58
votes
1answer
6k views

Looking for a really old novel where the people are geometric figures

A while ago I read about a really old science fiction novel/novella (could have been more than a century old) where there weren't exactly people, but geometric figures in a 2-D world. I think the ...
58
votes
1answer
2k views

Novel about a spacefaring mission trying to reestablish contact with Earth

Looking for a novel I read in the early 90s; it came from a local library so it may be quite a bit older. Might've been a YA novel, as it was in the same shelf as a bunch of William Sleator novels. ...
58
votes
0answers
1k views

Spambot becomes self aware but every attempt to contact gets filtered

About 3-6 years ago I read a short story (online, I think) formatted as a series of emails sent by a spambot that had become self aware and was trying to make contact but, due to its origins, was ...
56
votes
1answer
3k views

Star Trek: The Next Generation episode with a black snowman

My three-year-old daughter has just been telling me about an episode of The Next Generation which was on earlier. The man runned on the sand and he fell in the black thing, and he came up a black ...
55
votes
1answer
4k views

Comicbook short story where a man inherits a clock that tells when you die

The story was in an anthology comic book, possibly something like Tales From The Crypt but not necessarily. An escape stunt artist reveals to a young man that the secret for him surviving his ...
55
votes
1answer
3k views

A short story where criminals are sent back in time as punishment?

I've already searched Wikipedia's list of time travel stories in hopes of finding it, but no such luck. This is the basic plot of the story: In the future, criminals are sent back to the Renaissance ...
54
votes
2answers
9k views

Movie about a boy, two men, a robot and a war

I saw this movie about 12 years ago (2005) when I was about 8 years old but it probably came out way earlier than that since I saw it on local TV in West Africa. I remember there being a little boy ...
53
votes
2answers
4k views

Let There Be Light Story Identification

I am looking to identify a story that I read around 2001 (it is probably much older). Someone showed me the story on pages printed from the internet, and it was attributed to Isaac Asimov (although I ...
53
votes
1answer
7k views

Story about a spaceship “emergency program” that simulates a “perfect woman”

There’s an SF story I’ve been looking for for a long time. I have a hard time believing that I made it up myself, so I feel like it must be out there, somewhere. But I can’t seem to find it. The ...
53
votes
1answer
5k views

Short story about an endless space ship

I read it online few years ago. It is a short story about exploring a spacecraft/ship/station that seems to be infinite inside. It is written like a log, and each entry starts with a measure, like ...
52
votes
2answers
9k views

1980s live-action movie where individually-coloured nations on clouds fight

I saw this movie in July or August 1986. It wasn't a commercial movie - I didn't see it in a normal movie theatre. The story takes place somewhere there are 3 nations, each on its own cloud. The ...
52
votes
1answer
5k views

Novel where the wealthy could save up time and use it for an “eighth day of the week”

Sometime around the 1980s, I recall reading one of my father's 'mass market paperback' science fiction novels. The book was showing its age even then, so it's likely to have come from the 60s or 70s. ...
52
votes
1answer
3k views

Short story about a boy and girl enclosed in an experiment and given injections to age rapidly

The story is told from the point of view of one of the scientists. He meets the subjects in the experiment as they play in the lab before being put into the enclosure that will become their world/home....
51
votes
3answers
16k views

Short story about “the monster under her bed”, where the monster protects the girl from abusive parents

I remember reading a short story on the internet, maybe a year or two ago, that was about a monster under the bed of a little girl. The story took about 10 minutes to read I think. Can you help me ...
50
votes
1answer
6k views

Pratchett Quote about Research and Development

I'm looking for a quote by Terry Pratchett. I'm pretty sure that the patrician was speaking about Leonard of Quirm and giving funds to Research and Development. It was something along the lines of: ...
50
votes
2answers
4k views

Short story: Interstellar inspector senses “off” nature of planet hiding aggressive culture

This story was one of several published together that I read in paperback form sometime in the mid-1990s. It takes place in a period after the collapse of an interstellar human empire, and it follows ...
50
votes
1answer
7k views

Old story where computer expert digitally animates The Lord of the Rings

Back in the 1960s there was a story about the head of a corporation in the late 20th or early 21st century who discovered that his computer expert was using the mainframe to digitally animate a ...
50
votes
1answer
3k views

Short story with a battle fought by attempting to change genres

I came across a short story a few years back. Probably post 2010. I suspect it may have been on a forum thought it may have been a short story site. I thought it might have been a comment on on ...
49
votes
2answers
11k views

Movie where protagonist time-travels to dystopian future when people become mentally degraded

Please help me identify a movie referred by an acquaintance. (I haven't watched it.) No cast or director info is available. The protagonist is today's average man who participates in a scientific ...
49
votes
2answers
9k views

The boy at the bottom of the river who spent 2,000 years looking at a statue of an angel?

I'd really like to re-watch this sci-fi flick: a young boy is presumed dead because he fell into a river/was in a car that drove off a pier in New York. He freezes but doesn't die, and spends +/- 2,...
49
votes
1answer
9k views

What is this fantasy series which the author sabotaged to prevent sequels?

When I was a teenager, I heard about a fantasy series where the author was mad about publishers assuming the rights to series and publishing unauthorized sequels. So this author, who was close to ...
49
votes
1answer
6k views

Old short story where scientist creates “time viewer” to see founding of Stonehenge, realizes at end he may have inspired its creation

Plot Details/Summary The premise of this tale is that a scientist, or small group of scientists, have created a device that will allow them to open a viewing portal to the past. With it, the ...
48
votes
1answer
5k views

Funny story about galactic postal union?

I vaguely remember a story in which some New York businessman was noticing that he was getting mail from Hong Kong faster than from New Jersey, so he posted a letter to the Postmaster General of Alpha ...
48
votes
0answers
1k views

90s novel: wood nymph (similar to an otik) who becomes a scientist

I am trying to hunt down a book I read in the 90s, but lost some time ago. It starts with some children wandering in a wood, and they encounter a wood nymph creature that starts following them around. ...
47
votes
3answers
8k views

A story where a small child takes on the pain of the world

I think this was a short story, and I have no recollection of where or when I read it. It had a dystopian disguised as a utopian feel. From what I remember, the world was at peace and everyone was ...
47
votes
3answers
5k views

Short story about free will and a device which buzzes/lights up moments before you press it

I read this story about a device that lights up or buzzes or does something moments before it you press a button or something, effectively killing the notion of free will. I read the recently, online, ...
47
votes
1answer
4k views

Seeking a story about a subway train journey, through a universe made entirely of city

A man living in an underground city gets on his local subway train and keeps traveling, station after station, just to see where it goes. Nobody has ever done this before. The staff on the train (...
46
votes
2answers
8k views

Cyberpunk story: Black samurai, skateboarding courier, Mafia selling pizza and Sumerian goddess as a computer virus

Please help me to identify this book that I've read in early 00s (but might be bit older): While there are no cyborgizations, big portion of the book takes place in the Virtual Reality, hence you can ...