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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 instead.

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Looking for science fiction assassination story with mysterious girl

For years I've been looking for a short science fiction story about a man who was released from a prison planet in order to assassinate a candidate for galactic president. He does this on a space ...
Dovid's user avatar
  • 621
49 votes
1 answer
3k views

Novel about an immortal man exposed by world government relates his life through history

I read the book from my local library in the early- to mid- seventies. It was hardcover (library bound) and the dust jacket had a printed burlap or canvas background. The back flap mentioned that the ...
ImaginaryEvents's user avatar
43 votes
1 answer
1k views

Story about Galactic authorities confining humanity to the solar system

I'm looking for a story I once read, in which Humanity sends out a space ship to try leaving the Solar System, and it is promptly destroyed by a military ship belonging to the Galactic Empire, which ...
This isn't my real name's user avatar
41 votes
0 answers
2k views

Humorous sci-fi book with a quirky space captain where everyone is turning into "glass"

I posted this question on another website, but I've yet to find the name of the book. I remember some very specific details, but nothing I can type into a search engine (I've tried). Here are the ...
Ron's user avatar
  • 613
40 votes
0 answers
587 views

Short story where the stars are eyes

A short story I read several years ago in either Analog or Asimov's Science Fiction, probably between 2011 and 2013. In the story there's a 4th spatial dimension whose axes are skew, so that things ...
mymoo min's user avatar
  • 451
39 votes
0 answers
1k views

Story about man unable to wake up from dream

I am looking for a story which I read a long time back but cannot recall the name. The plot line was: In a futuristic world, there are dream parlors which provide sleep with dream services. The ...
Supriyo Das's user avatar
37 votes
0 answers
1k views

Futuristic world where reality is humanity's plaything and God is in a zoo

This is a novel I read in 2015. It was an older book. The cover was black and hardcover. Don't remember any specific details. The book was in English. I believe it was from the 1980s or ‘90s. It was ...
Neo Darwin's user avatar
  • 3,200
36 votes
0 answers
2k views

A space story about a desert planet and a cup of water

I read this story over 15 years ago. It is probably a lot older. I read it in Serbian magazine (Politikin Zabavnik) but I think that the language of the original is in English. It's a short story, ...
jo1storm's user avatar
  • 5,086
36 votes
0 answers
1k views

Old SF novel, set on a military ship, one character can't order spaghetti and meatballs because of sudden mid-voyage rationing?

This one is a real longshot. I won't be surprised if nobody can identify it. I read this book sometime in the early-to-mid-1980s. Science fiction novel, checked out from a public library, written in ...
Lorendiac's user avatar
  • 27.4k
36 votes
1 answer
1k views

Does the movie described in Flowers for Algernon actually exist?

In Flowers for Algernon (by D. Keyes) (1966) there is a passage describing a movie that main protagonist was watching: A psychological film about a man and woman apparently in love but actually ...
lukeg's user avatar
  • 471
34 votes
0 answers
714 views

Short story about a man in a madhouse who asks the guard for a cigarette and tells him his story about having swapped bodies before

I am searching for a short story about a man locked in a madhouse who swaps his body with the guard/doctor while he tells him the story about his own body being swapped. I remember the following: ...
Horacio_Colbert's user avatar
33 votes
0 answers
610 views

A story about a doctor who travels to a parallel universe to seek a cure for bubonic plague

Recent news has been reminding me of various things I've read about the black death, including a story I believe I only saw once, and never stumbled across again. I encountered it over 30 years ago, ...
Lorendiac's user avatar
  • 27.4k
29 votes
0 answers
552 views

Short story about an elite that has mentally regressed due to assistive AI technologies

I came upon a comment describing a scifi short story where reliance on technology meant to improve appearance and demeanor has led to mental regression and AI control of the upper class that employs ...
noctambulus's user avatar
29 votes
0 answers
761 views

SciFi Short Story about an immortal man digging through an asteroid to meet a woman

Short story from the 80's or 90's, I saw someone asking about this on another forum but never got an answer. I've been curious ever since. The story is set in a decadent future where everyone lives ...
sintralin's user avatar
  • 299
28 votes
0 answers
630 views

Aliens secretly use video game to get humans to solve their problems

I recall a story probably 20-30 years ago (pretty sure it was a short story) in which a top gamer hears about a new computer game out that no one can beat. So he gets it and starts playing it. (Pretty ...
NJohnny's user avatar
  • 12.4k
28 votes
0 answers
1k views

Old sci-fi short story about buying an android?

Long, long time ago I came upon a collection of old (pre 1980s?) short sci-fi stories. I'm not 100% sure, but something makes me think they were by Russian authors. One of them was about a woman, who ...
Patrycja's user avatar
  • 281
27 votes
0 answers
942 views

70s book/short story, Man wakes up from suspend animation or cryo and world has collapsed

In the book, the protagonist wakes up from either suspended animation or cryo (Probably supposed to be a short test), After 10-20 years have passed. He finds the facility abandoned (and looted?), ...
NJohnny's user avatar
  • 12.4k
27 votes
0 answers
490 views

Novel about a spacewoman who needs help finding a holographic recording to defend herself in court

This was a science fiction novel, written in English, which I read in hardcover. I checked it out from a public library around the late 1980s. I don't know how old this book was at the time, but it ...
Lorendiac's user avatar
  • 27.4k
26 votes
0 answers
595 views

Short story where a goddess promises a priestess she will see the future, but the way she held her promise was not what was expected

I'm looking for a rather short fiction which I read at least 30 years ago, probably from some collection. I only very rarely read magazines. I think it was a rather big volume, more of an anthology ...
Alfred's user avatar
  • 19.5k
26 votes
0 answers
967 views

Old SF novel about Earth as a prison planet; newly arrived convict has a secret agenda

I think I read this no later than the year 1986. English language, hardback, available in a public library in Indiana in the mid-1980s. I don't think it was by any of the Big Names of 20th Century ...
Lorendiac's user avatar
  • 27.4k
26 votes
0 answers
662 views

Story about a rainstorm that only the blind can see

I would have read this some time probably in the early 1990s. I don't remember how old it was at the time. I only remember the beginning, and a snatch of details from it: Several blind characters ...
Werrf's user avatar
  • 16k
25 votes
0 answers
653 views

Spanish-language comic book story about time-traveling Jewish kids becoming the legendary Adam and Eve?

Around 1992 or 1993, I borrowed a comic-book-format magazine from someone. It was a pretty thick publication (well over 100 pages, I'm thinking; maybe over 200?) and was printed in Spanish. I think I ...
Lorendiac's user avatar
  • 27.4k
25 votes
1 answer
968 views

Man and boy left behind on damaged earth?

What is the name of the sci-fi story featuring an old man and boy who miss (on purpose in the man's case, accidentally in the boy's) the last shuttle leaving a destroyed, polluted earth? I read it as ...
Chris's user avatar
  • 259
24 votes
0 answers
414 views

Car crash leaves man in a world devoid of animal and human life. Sees red flashes with demons and voices

It was a movie from the late '80's to the early '90's. A man and his girlfriend/wife are in a car arguing, driving down a road on a stormy night. They wreck, and she is gone, and he has a bad ...
Robert's user avatar
  • 433
24 votes
0 answers
356 views

Aliens try to liberate "enslaved" dogs from humans

I saw this story in an anthology in a used bookstore in 2009. When the aliens came, we negotiated a peace treaty with them. Everything was going fine until they said "oh, and you'll have to stop ...
user3969's user avatar
  • 341
24 votes
0 answers
609 views

Short story involving a lost-tech green glass highway in Australia

My mom's been wondering if I could find this story but I really can't without more specific details than she can give me. It's rather old, she guessed somewhere in the 1960s or 70s. The story wasn't ...
Syraphine's user avatar
  • 249
24 votes
0 answers
503 views

Astronauts on Europa (moon), time-shift future, gravity, intelligent computer, Aries, 1960s?

I'm looking for the title and artists of a comic about some astronauts (around five I think) doing research/archaeology on (I think) Europa (Jupiter's moon). They're working when one or more of them ...
Baard Kopperud's user avatar
23 votes
0 answers
587 views

A small group of children accidentally time-traveling to the future and learning about everyday life in an utopistic future society

I'm trying to find a science fiction novel about a small group of children accidentally time-traveling to the future and learning about everyday life in an utopistic future society. This is long, so ...
b_jonas's user avatar
  • 33.1k
23 votes
0 answers
606 views

Short story where scientist flees to the ancient past, tries to stop scientific progress to keep man "pure"?

Plot Summary/Details I can only recall the broad theme and a few details on this one. The protagonist, who was a scientist of some sort, has fled his own time to return to man's early period. I'm ...
Helbent IV's user avatar
  • 13.5k
23 votes
0 answers
519 views

Article about science fiction languages

I'm looking for a journal item, probably written between 1992 and 1994, which discusses languages from Venus on the Half-Shell, Sagan's Contact, and several other novels, usually science fiction, ...
Grace Petron's user avatar
23 votes
1 answer
898 views

Short story in which a man gets a phone call about the end of the world by accident

I read this short story within the last year or two, almost certainly in a short story collection. It was relatively old, possibly from the '60s or '70s, but it could have been from the '50s or '80s ...
supperfly's user avatar
  • 381
22 votes
0 answers
451 views

Man accidentally hired into government position, uncovers an attempted alien invasion

This is a book science fiction story. A man was accidentally hired into a (secret?) government position due to having the same exact name as their intended hire. I think that his name was "Mr. ...
Galaxy's user avatar
  • 115
22 votes
0 answers
489 views

A ruined USA, where protagonists are captured by a biker bandits encamped in a zoo

It was written in English. I read it around 2013-2014 in British Columbia, Canada when I was in middle school. It could have been a short series, or one book. The protagonists are young adults, and ...
Afez's user avatar
  • 371
22 votes
0 answers
619 views

Short story: Lost starship crew in suspended animation trying to return to Earth. Crew suicide a factor

Read a sci-fi anthology sometime in the 1980s, though the story feels like it's from the 50s or 60s. An all-male starship crew is trying to return to Earth after performing some mission, but they're ...
Joelogon's user avatar
  • 2,711
21 votes
0 answers
230 views

Novel about a young botanist from a puritanical regime who is sent to study with an unconventional (and possibly immortal) woman

I read this around the mid-1980s -- no later than 1986 -- as a hardback I checked out from a public library in Indiana. I think I ran across it again, in another library, about a decade later, and at ...
Lorendiac's user avatar
  • 27.4k
21 votes
0 answers
376 views

Short story about a giant ship that thoughtlessly destroys planets as it travels, is visited by a victim

I think I came across this ten or fifteen years ago, I cannot remember much clearly so some of these details may be mistaken. The story is told from the perspective of a crew member, on the bridge I ...
S_S_S_S's user avatar
  • 211
21 votes
0 answers
617 views

A man sent to a parallel Earth to save someone important

This is not a novel, but "longish" short fiction, novelette or novella. I read it around 1984, in an already used book containing half a dozen or so stories, in a cheap hotel in the US. There were ...
Alfred's user avatar
  • 19.5k
21 votes
0 answers
458 views

What's this serialised comic strip about a girl who discovers everyone around her is a robot?

As a kid in the '80s, I found myself often in doctor's waiting rooms. I devoured most of the comic magazines there. In one of those, I read fragments of a story that I would like to find. The story ...
SQB's user avatar
  • 38.8k
21 votes
1 answer
525 views

Story about a planet with alien devices that produce 2^64 different items

It was a story about a human colony on a planet where there were mysterious alien precursor devices all over. Each one had two (drums? poles?). Something musical at any rate. You beat the two poles 64 ...
Zyzzyva's user avatar
  • 303
21 votes
1 answer
1k views

Boy playing ball has to run inside to avoid a hail of diamonds

I read this in a collection of sci-fi short stories when I was in elementary school, so circa mid-to-late 1980s. It might have been published by Scholastic. It's a very short story. It may have been ...
TLC's user avatar
  • 211
20 votes
0 answers
388 views

Sci-fi novel about a group of astronauts who discover a cylindrical world

In primary school there was a sci-fi novel that scared me into remembering it, I'm now looking to revisit it. This was about 19 years ago, and I estimate it to have been written in the 80's or very ...
Viktor Kock Appelgren's user avatar
20 votes
0 answers
240 views

Artificially intelligent commuter spacecraft story

I am searching for the title of a story that I read forty-odd years ago; I had thought that the story was in "Time and Stars" by Poul Anderson, but I was mistaken. The story concerns a ...
Stanley Webb's user avatar
  • 7,568
20 votes
0 answers
408 views

WW2 airman is thawed out, and saves Earth from interplanetary invasion

I am trying to find the title and author of an extremely pulpy science fiction yarn. Unfortunately I do not know how the cover was - the version I had was secondhand, and in the vicissitudes of its ...
Clara Díaz Sanchez's user avatar
20 votes
0 answers
388 views

Old movie involving unexplained handprint on mirror in spaceship

I would like the title of an old black-and-white movie. My best guess is that it would have been released in the 1950s or early 1960s, as I saw at least a small part of it when I was about ten years ...
nosirrah's user avatar
  • 301
20 votes
0 answers
344 views

Short story: intelligent dogs create androids

The story I'm looking for takes place in the far future. Humans have long since left for space. The Earth is dominated by intelligent dogs and cats, who are in conflict with each other. The dogs, who ...
Seth's user avatar
  • 151
20 votes
0 answers
1k views

Looking for a children's or young adult novel about three kids travelling to a fantasy land

I've been trying to remember the title of a children's or young adult book I read as a child about thirty years ago. (So it may be from '70s or '80s). I don't remember many of the details. There ...
Drax123's user avatar
  • 201
20 votes
1 answer
1k views

Identify short story in which invention of music redeems humanity from alien death sentence

A small mission of harmless-looking little aliens comes to Earth to observe the place before destroying mankind. These folks have no music of their own but when they are exposed to ours, they love it. ...
Jon W.'s user avatar
  • 251
19 votes
0 answers
178 views

A SF novel about high-tech gladiators-slaves turning against their masters

I read this novel about 20-25 years ago. I read it in French. Of course it might have been a translation, but for some reason I cannot put my finger on, I think it was a French original. I also have a ...
Alfred's user avatar
  • 19.5k
19 votes
0 answers
241 views

Short story ID: colonists on alien planet have problem of deadly bouncing creatures

A short story, probably from sometime between 1960s through 1990s, that I read either in an anthology or in a magazine like Analog or Asimov's, about a guy who describes how he has to figure out how ...
Jacob C.'s user avatar
  • 4,436
19 votes
0 answers
358 views

Continent sized, X-shaped alien

I have a vague recollection of this book, mostly the X-shaped alien. I can’t find anything through internet searches. I thought it may be some sort of “choose your adventure” book, but I haven’t seen ...
BatnorBeskar's user avatar

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