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5,459 questions with no upvoted or accepted answers
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116
votes
0answers
4k 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 ...
75
votes
0answers
2k 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 ...
50
votes
0answers
2k views

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 ...
42
votes
0answers
2k views

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 ...
41
votes
0answers
967 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 ...
37
votes
0answers
1k 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 ...
34
votes
1answer
2k views

Short story about aliens warning humanity not to leave Earth

I was reading an answer on Quora and it referenced a story. The answer went like this: Humans were contacted by aliens out in the Oort Cloud and told never to come farther. It wasn’t, they told the ...
34
votes
0answers
889 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 ...
31
votes
0answers
679 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 ...
31
votes
0answers
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, ...
30
votes
0answers
645 views

Does the movie described in Flowers for Algernon actually exist?

In Flowers for Algernon (by D. Keyes) 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 ...
30
votes
0answers
526 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: ...
30
votes
0answers
932 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 ...
28
votes
0answers
747 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
0answers
244 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 ...
27
votes
0answers
831 views

Looking for Sci-fi Short Story - Aliens observe a planet where machines continue a war after the people are dead

I've read this short story within the past 5 years, somewhere online, but I don't believe it was a new or recent story. It is definitely a short story, and a very short one at that, possibly 1700 ...
27
votes
1answer
1k views

Is Jabba the Hutt: The Art of the Deal's title a deliberate reference?

Disclaimer: Please keep this as apolitical as possible while still answering the question. The Dark Horse graphic novel Jabba the Hutt: The Art of the Deal was released 11 years after the more well ...
26
votes
0answers
380 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, ...
26
votes
0answers
418 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 ...
26
votes
0answers
625 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 ...
25
votes
0answers
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 ...
24
votes
0answers
616 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?), ...
24
votes
0answers
435 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 ...
23
votes
0answers
239 views

YA novel with a boy from Earth who gets stuck in a world supposedly without magic, but he can use magic there

This is a book I remember getting from the library in middle school, around 2008, but haven't been able to find again since. I think it was reasonably new. I read it in English, but I don't know if it ...
23
votes
0answers
817 views

Who is this character in the video for "The Saga Begins" by Weird Al Yankovic?

In the video for the Weird Al Yankovic song "The Saga Begins" (1999), Weird Al is playing at a Mos Eisley-type cantina, where several aliens can be seen dancing alongside the regular Star Wars ...
23
votes
0answers
551 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 ...
22
votes
0answers
280 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 ...
22
votes
0answers
343 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 ...
22
votes
0answers
440 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 ...
22
votes
0answers
471 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, ...
21
votes
0answers
315 views

What is the Galactic Senate emblem meant to depict?

Most of the emblems used throughout Star Wars are abstract geometric symbols, often with a radial symmetry pattern. According to the answers to this question, they have a spiritual/religious origin. ...
21
votes
0answers
527 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 ...
21
votes
0answers
859 views

Old sci-fi story about shadowy aliens who surround Earth to protect it from solar flare, tragic misunderstanding by humans?

Plots Summary/Details The story is told from the POV of an astronaut who, along with his crew, is launched into orbit to investigate a weird phenomena that has entered local space. Several enormous ...
20
votes
0answers
267 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 ...
20
votes
0answers
621 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 ...
20
votes
0answers
401 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 ...
20
votes
0answers
457 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 ...
20
votes
0answers
512 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 ...
20
votes
0answers
445 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 ...
20
votes
1answer
324 views

What species are the skulls seen in Dr. McCoy's office from?

Dr. McCoy, aka Bones, has a couple of weird skulls in his office, as seen in the following picture from the episode "Is There in Truth No Beauty?" (they are highlighted with red arrows and ...
19
votes
0answers
329 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 ...
19
votes
0answers
1k views

Does Skynet Feel Guilty?

I stumbled upon a reference from James Cameron stating that Skynet has felt guilty for 30 years with regards to the near extinction of human life. He even suggests that Skynet has used time travel in ...
19
votes
0answers
682 views

Sci-Fi short story read in a collection. Couple with crystal tree that reflected their emotions

I am trying to track down a short story collection (Sci-Fi) that contained this story. A couple have a crystal tree that reflects their emotions. They are very proud of the tree, even though they ...
19
votes
0answers
301 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 ...
19
votes
1answer
2k views

Why does the 'hand of the king' symbol show a left hand?

The right hand often appears as a metaphor in the bible or as a motif in art so it would make more sense if the pin shows the right hand.
18
votes
0answers
258 views

Short story about mankind preparing for contact with an approaching alien spacecraft, finally passing by and ignoring humans

Following the discovery of an alien spacecraft apparently bound to Earth, plagued with conflicts, mankind organizes and prepares for contact, setting up a complete protocol. This preparation turns out ...
18
votes
0answers
323 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 don't remember, is he required to ...
18
votes
1answer
909 views

What does "D.Wiz, X.J. (sorc), S. of Mag. Q." stand for in the Harry Potter: Film Wizardry book?

I received Harry Potter: Film Wizardry (Updated Edition) and the Hogwarts letter seems to be different than in the book and the film, according to how Harry reads it out loud in Sorcerer's Stone. At ...
18
votes
0answers
148 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
0answers
493 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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