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66 votes
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What was this movie I saw billed as the "Worst SF movie ever"?

This sounds like the infamous Plan 9 from Outer Space. The titular plan involves using pineal and pituitary stimulation to awaken the dead: The Ruler : What Plan will you follow now? Eros : Plan 9. ...
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49 votes
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Multi-trunked elephants invade Earth

This is Footfall by Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle. The alien Fithp resemble baby elephants with multiple prehensile trunks. They possess more advanced technology than humans, but did not develop ...
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  • 620k
43 votes

Movie or TV episode where scientists go through a successively less and less probable set of circumstances to finally make first contact

This sounds like the Six Degrees of Freedom episode of the relaunched version of The Twilight Zone, broadcast in 2019. As in the question, the episode begins with a 5-person group of astronauts about ...
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40 votes
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Poem about aliens observing cars on highway?

Southbound on the Freeway by May Swenson The creatures of this star are made of metal and glass. Through the transparent parts you can see their guts. Their feet are round and roll on diagrams of ...
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  • 7,780
40 votes
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Trying to remember a Sci-fi movie or TV series where a human space fighter pilot chases an alien space fighter craft to the edge of a black hole

This sounds like the 5th episode of Space Above and Beyond, entitled "Ray Butts". Quoting from this summary: It becomes clear that the Chigs are trying to corral the squadron towards a ...
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31 votes

Short story where alien pills or medication are used as a way of teaching

It could be Larry Niven's short story "The Fourth Profession". Synopsis from Goodreads: An interstellar trading ship arrived in the moon's orbit two years ago, and the few aliens who have ...
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31 votes
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Movie where a crashed alien spaceship is discovered on Earth, with frozen alien bodies in the walls of the craft

This is remeniscent of Quatermass and the Pit, released in 1967. An alien spacecraft is discoverered during excavations in London. Alien bodies are found in a chamber in the craft. Also the ...
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  • 2,031
29 votes

What was this movie I saw billed as the "Worst SF movie ever"?

Sounds like "Plan 9 From Outer Space": Made in 1957, shot in black and white The titular "Plan 9" refers to "a scheme to resurrect the Earth's dead, referred to as "...
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28 votes
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What story has an alien symbiote bond with a human in a cave?

I wonder if you are remembering the novelette Pard by F Paul Wilson. The reason I say this is that your description sounds almost exactly like the opening chapter of Healer as suggested in Fuzzyboots' ...
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26 votes
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Who wrote it? A short story about aliens replicating things

Could be Pay for the Printer by Philip K. Dick In a war-ravaged future, humanity has come to depend on an alien species known as the Biltongs, possessed of the ability to replicate items identically –...
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25 votes
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What’s the first Indian alien story?

To set a mark for written science fiction, I'll suggest Shukra Bhraman ("Travel to Venus") by Jagadananda Roy, written in 1892 and published in 1914. According to Indian Science Fiction: ...
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23 votes
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Book where alien helmet makes people smarter?

This is My Teacher Fried My Brains (1991) by Bruce Coville, the second book in the My Teacher Is an Alien series. From Goodreads: Brains are sizzling in the seventh grade... The first day of seventh ...
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23 votes

Book with descriptions of alien races, including one that looked like jellyfish

Possibly Barlowe's Guide to Extraterrestrials which is readable and downloadable at the link. The book contains images of different alien races from dozens of various science fiction books. Included ...
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  • 6,118
23 votes

1990s novel with sleeping alien machine inside the moon that teleports to another galaxy

A human research base on Pluto doing gravity research and trying to create a wormhole sounds like The Ring of Charon (1990) by Roger MacBride Allen. The gravity experiment attracts the attention of ...
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  • 88.1k
23 votes
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1960s? movie. Alien Entity gives 6-7 random people scatter around the world the power to wipe out all life in a large area around them

Sounds like The 27th Day (1957). From Wikipedia: The 27th Day is a 1957 American black-and-white science fiction film, distributed by Columbia Pictures. It was produced by Helen Ainsworth, directed ...
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23 votes

Short story about earthlings landing on an alien planet and defending themselves from the indigenous inhabitants with guns that make no noise

This is most likely "The Gun Without a Bang" (1958) by Robert Sheckley, first published in Galaxy, June 1958 (as by "Finn O'Donnevan"). The protagonist, Dixon, is an astronaut/...
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23 votes
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'The Needler' human alien war against the Soetti (sweaty)

The Soetti are the alien antagonists in Keith Laumer's Retief story "Courier" (available to read free on the publisher's website). The humans call them "sweaties" and there are ...
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22 votes

Name of late 70’s or 80s B grade sci fi - aliens disguised as police

There are few details given on IMDB, but I think this could well be "Everything happens to me" (also known by the alternative title "Why did you pick on me"), a 1980 comedy film ...
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22 votes
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Sci-fi short story with shocking reversal of expectation

I was originally going to suggest "Sentry" (1954) by Fredric Brown, but looking at the ISFDb page it doesn't look nearly as likely as the other one Fuzzy Boots suggested, "The Hunters&...
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  • 88.1k
22 votes

Movie with human-sized alien/bugs with guns

District 9 has most of the elements described: bugs with two prominent whiskers, guns, gore, body horror. From Wikipedia: In an alternate 1982, a giant extraterrestrial spaceship arrives at Earth ...
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  • 9,397
20 votes
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Movie where a man has an alien growth on his arm

Might this be Splinter (2008)...? From Wikipedia: The film opens on a sleepy gas station, where the pump attendant is attacked by a splinter-infected animal. The attendant's body begins to contort. A ...
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20 votes
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Movie where a boy finds a talking alien powersuit and gets inside

Sounds like Star Kid (1997). From Wikipedia: Star Kid (originally titled The Warrior of Waverly Street) is a 1997 independent superhero film directed and written by Manny Coto and starring Joseph ...
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20 votes

Sci-fi short story with a microscopic alien spaceship at war with human spaceships

I wonder if this is "A Matter of Magnitude" by Al Sevcik. It is available on Project Gutenberg, so that at least matches. In the story the gigantic human ship is menaced by an unknown alien ...
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  • 88.1k
20 votes

Book where a generation ship is sent to avenge the Earth after it was destroyed by alien probes

This sounds like Greg Bear's Anvil Of Stars, the sequel to The Forge Of God (which I recently proposed as answer to this question). From Wikipedia: Volunteers from among survivors of the recently ...
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20 votes

Movie with human-sized alien/bugs with guns

Alien Apocalypse (2005)...? From Wikipedia: Alien Apocalypse is a 2005 Sci Fi channel original movie, directed and written by Josh Becker, and starring Bruce Campbell, Renee O'Connor, Remington ...
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19 votes
Accepted

Scifi novel about two high dimension beings trapped on earth by a "jailer"

This is Fine Structure by qntm, originally published (and still available) on his website. From the summary there: Fledgling physicist Ching-Yu Kuang has discovered a Rosetta Stone for all of physics,...
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19 votes

Sci-fi movie or anthology series episode where son discovers dad may be an alien imposter

This sounds like The Father Thing from the Electric Dreams anthology of adaptations of works by Philip K Dick. The series was produced in 2017 and has been on Amazon Streaming across most of the world ...
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  • 44.7k
19 votes
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Story about a lone planetary explorer with a robotic assistant

This sounds very much like The Sound of Screaming, a short story by Theodore L. Thomas published in October 1960 in Amazing Stories. The plot is essentially just what you recall. The explorer is named ...
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18 votes
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Short story about telekinetic aliens playing baseball

"Who's on First?", a novelette by Lloyd Biggle, Jr., first published in If, August 1958, available at the Internet Archive. You may have read it in one of these compilations. The story is ...
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  • 145k
18 votes
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Short story where interplanetary explorers find a strange planet that's weirdly suited for human life

This is surely Drop Dead, a short story by Clifford Simak, first published in Galaxy in July 1956. It indeed deals with a team of scientists surveying a new world, and being surprised by its lack of ...
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