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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Story about enemies in a space battle sharing their last moments over com as their ships die

I am looking for the title of a short sci-fi story which I read sometime around the mid '80s. It is about a man and a woman talking through some communication system during the last moments of their ...
45 votes
0 answers
1k views

A Novel About Time Travel Into The Future

So this is what I remember, and it's very specific, but even so I can't seem to track down the novel: a man discovers a portable time travel device that he can carry around with him. He gets caught ...
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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 ...
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38 votes
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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 ...
38 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 ...
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33 votes
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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, ...
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32 votes
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746 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 ...
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32 votes
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977 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 ...
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31 votes
0 answers
300 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 ...
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31 votes
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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: ...
30 votes
0 answers
809 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 ...
27 votes
0 answers
427 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, ...
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27 votes
0 answers
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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 ...
27 votes
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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 ...
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26 votes
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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?), ...
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26 votes
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455 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 ...
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26 votes
0 answers
586 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 ...
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26 votes
0 answers
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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 ...
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25 votes
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592 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 ...
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25 votes
1 answer
835 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 ...
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24 votes
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Story-id: “Lost in Space” novel (posted on USENET in 87-88) with an engineer and an AI trapped on a interstellar freighter and the other crew dead

This is an incredible long shot, because I read this in the late 80’s in a USENET newsgroup and I have no idea if it ever appeared in print. In schoolyear 87-88 I had newsgroup access via my ...
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24 votes
0 answers
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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 ...
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23 votes
0 answers
370 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 ...
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23 votes
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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 ...
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23 votes
0 answers
465 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 ...
23 votes
0 answers
492 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, ...
22 votes
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690 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 ...
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22 votes
0 answers
566 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 ...
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22 votes
0 answers
377 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 ...
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22 votes
0 answers
460 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 ...
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22 votes
0 answers
469 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 ...
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21 votes
0 answers
312 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 ...
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21 votes
0 answers
568 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 ...
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21 votes
0 answers
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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 ...
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20 votes
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340 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 ...
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20 votes
1 answer
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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. ...
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19 votes
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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 ...
19 votes
0 answers
783 views

Short story about a boy who makes a virtual girl and updates her A.I as he grows up

I am searching a free short story I found about 5 years ago on some book app on my tablet. Basically in the story, this young boy got a computer (sometime during the 80s I believe) that had just ...
18 votes
0 answers
255 views

Alien deduces everything about human Earth culture (including English language) from only a wardrobe & a coat hanger with the name of a cleaners on it

I think it's a short story. I probably read it in the 1970s. Somehow an alien finds a wardrobe containing one wire coat hanger that has a paper cover on it with the name of a dry-cleaning business. ...
18 votes
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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 don't remember, is he required to ...
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18 votes
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163 views

Animated film/show with man's journey of reverse civilization to an extent that he goes naked and hunts for food

I remember watching an animated film or an episode from an animated TV show (maybe anthology) on Indian channel Doordarshan aka DD1 in mid 90s but the movie or show appears to be little older as ...
18 votes
0 answers
530 views

Space battle fleets, intergalactic elfs

This again from long ago, i think I read it in the seventies but maybe later. It was one of the first times I came across the concept of motherships and star carriers, before that space battles in ...
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18 votes
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A book I read about a girl whose paintings could make the future happen

About six years ago (but probably the book itself is older) I read a book for children (probably but not surely), fantasy genre. I read it in Italian, but think the original language was Spanish since ...
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18 votes
0 answers
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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 ...
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18 votes
1 answer
898 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 ...
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17 votes
0 answers
444 views

Cartoon episode where the protagonists encounter a futuristic shopping mall with no exit

I vaguely remember seeing an episode of a children's cartoon series on German television in the 90s where the group of protagonists finds a futuristic looking mall. Upon entering it, they are welcomed ...
17 votes
0 answers
359 views

Weird Galaxy/IF Short Story

I am almost positive this short story appeared in either Galaxy, IF, or Worlds of Tomorrow in the late 1960s or early 1970s. The MC is an alien with three(?) legs and a bell-like head with a circle of ...
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17 votes
0 answers
200 views

Short story where aliens visit Tranquillity Base and take the discarded backpacks for their space museum

I'm looking for the title of a story in which aliens have visited Tranquillity Base and have taken the discarded backpacks used by Armstrong and Aldrin for their space museum. The story is told in a ...
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17 votes
0 answers
305 views

Story where a guy realises he is in a computer simulation and breaks it by setting fire to a village

A guy is working in the field and is suddenly surprised by two officials asking for his social security number. He has a reason (I forgot) not to give it. When they leave, the guy is puzzled: there is ...
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17 votes
0 answers
550 views

Short story with a computer that saves only relevant information of peoples life stories

Please help me find a short story my uncle read in his youth. When my uncle was in his teens or a young adult he read a story that had profound impact on him and defined his life (he founded a company ...
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