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27 votes
Accepted

Sci-fi novella where colonists begin to de-evolve - Mankind has reached limits of its evolutionary cycle

Pretty good odds that you're looking for "The Locusts" by Larry Niven and Steven Barnes. First published in Analog in 1979. But I don't believe FTL was involved. It was a sleeper ship of ...
dmckee --- ex-moderator kitten's user avatar
26 votes
Accepted

Agent sent to another planet to stop a genocide and is blinded by the tyrant

Might this be Scratch Monkey (1993) by Charles Stross? This review provides a brief overview of the plot, mentioning a female human agent working for an AI which has created a cyberspace afterlife, ...
LogicDictates's user avatar
25 votes
Accepted

SF novella separating the dumb majority from the intelligent part of mankind

This is very likely "The Marching Morons" by Cyril M. Kornbluth. The story follows John Barlow, who was put into suspended animation by a freak accident involving a dental drill and ...
FuzzyBoots's user avatar
  • 231k
23 votes
Accepted

Novel about dimensional alien goo

I think you are trying to remember The Gods Themselves by Isaac Asimov. The "human chapters" involve an older physicist working on a way to get access to energy from parallel universes. The ...
JRE's user avatar
  • 18k
22 votes
Accepted

"Lost his faith in humanity in the trenches of Verdun" — last line of an SF story

This is "The Custodians" (1975) by Richard Cowper. You've remembered the gist of it quite well - the abbey, the prophetic room, the young woman, the fact that it appeared in F&SF. The ...
Organic Marble's user avatar
21 votes
Accepted

Sci fi story: Clever pigs that help a galaxy lawman

This is The Men from P.I.G. and R.O.B.O.T., by Harry Harrison. Specifically, you are remembering the first of the book's two novellas, which is, according to the dust jacket, "the inspiring story of ...
Buzz's user avatar
  • 98.6k
21 votes
Accepted

Short story/novella about old-school Biblical angels wrecking the world

Your details are slightly sparse but are a possible match for "Hell is the absence of God" by Ted Chiang. It is a novella length story compiled in the collection "Stories of your life and others". ...
skyjack's user avatar
  • 11.8k
21 votes
Accepted

Teen girl named "Leaf" or "Twig" who grew up in wild of forest planet raised by "Grandfather"(forest's plant root nexus). Colonists out to destroy him

I think this is Gordon Dickson's Twig. It has the main character, a young girl named Twig, and the Plant-Grandfather. It's also in a Wollheim Best of collection, 1975 to be precise. The paragraph in ...
Organic Marble's user avatar
21 votes
Accepted

Novella where protagonist's catatonic uncle predicts the dates of novas

The book is Tetrasomy Two by Oscar Rossiter. It was published in 1975. You have misremembered a few things. It's a novel not a novella, though it's a short novel, and the catatonic is not the ...
John Rennie's user avatar
20 votes
Accepted

Novella about the first woman allowed on a planet

Sounds a lot like First Lady by J. T. McIntosh, published in Galaxy in June 1953, and later in Edmund Crispin's Best SF.
Mike Stone's user avatar
20 votes
Accepted

Very faint memory of a book featuring a one man predator

Dimension of Miracles, a 1968 novel by Robert Sheckley, which was also my (unaccepted) answer to this old question. Maybe you will recognize one of these covers. Dimension of Miracles can be borrowed (...
user14111's user avatar
  • 167k
19 votes
Accepted

Short story where a recovering alcoholic scientist uses a chronoscope to try and find out if the Resurrection really happened

This is "Crucifixion Variations" by Lawrence Person, originally published in Asimovs' May 1998 and reprinted in "The Mammoth Book of Extreme Science Fiction" in 2006. It's ...
Andrew's user avatar
  • 52.1k
18 votes
Accepted

Short story/novella: Ship sling shots around a spinning black hole

This happens in Stephen Baxter's short story Pilot, published in the anthology Vacuum Diagrams. The ship is being pursued by a missile. They skim a black hole, just as you describe, and their passage ...
John Rennie's user avatar
18 votes
Accepted

A short story about a man going through insect-like metamorphosis and gaining superhuman powers from it

After some more searching I managed to find the exact story I was remembering - it's Ray Bradbury's "Chrysalis". Apparently there even was a film adaptation. Originally published in 1946 in &...
Vsevolod Timchenko's user avatar
17 votes
Accepted

Story Identification: Rousing speech delivered on alien planet to alien allies that borrowed heavily from Shakespeare and Churchill

That is Poul Anderson's The Man Who Counts AKA War of the Wing-Men, a Nicholas Van Rijn story. Van Rijn and two others are stranded on a remote part of Diomedes when their air car goes down and Van ...
Mark Olson's user avatar
15 votes
Accepted

Short story about a vast, telepathic, amoeba-like creature that covers an entire planet

This is almost certainly The Lonely Planet, by Murray Leinster. Originally published in 1949 and included in the anthology The Best of Murray Leinster in 1978 (Del Rey/Ballantine, ISBN 0-345-25800-2)....
Qev's user avatar
  • 808
15 votes
Accepted

Linked novellas where humans are engineered to adapt to a variety of environments

I'm pretty sure that the "core" story was Surface Tension by James Blish. I don't have the "expanded version" to refer to, but the core story was published in 1952. The story "Surface Tension" ...
Emsley Wyatt's user avatar
  • 9,295
15 votes
Accepted

Mid 60s short story/novella in which failed fusion reactor destroys London

Presumably this is Phantasmaplasmagoria by Herbert Jacob Bernstein. It was published in the April 1968 edition of Analog Science Fiction. The man had obviously been a fool or a liar; but Zave decided ...
Valorum's user avatar
  • 702k
14 votes
Accepted

Outbreak of deadly disease which turns out was accidentally triggered by a government experiment

This is Stålsprånget (1968) by Swedish writer Per Wahlöö, who is best known for his crime novels with co-author Maj Sjöwall . I read it in Danish as a teen. Chief Inspector Jensen has been away from ...
Klaus Æ. Mogensen's user avatar
14 votes
Accepted

Novella where two vast digital civilizations simulate each other

True Names by Cory Doctorow and Benjamin Rosenbaum. I read it in the anthology Fast Forward 2. It is available on the Internet Archive here. It is described as: the tale of duelling galactic colony-...
John Rennie's user avatar
14 votes
Accepted

Short story or novella in which the protagonist's hypnosis-protecting glasses get displaced by a beaded curtain, rendering him vulnerable

"Happy Ending", a novelette by Henry Kuttner and C. L. Moore, first published (as by Henry Kuttner alone) in Thrilling Wonder Stories, August 1948, available at the Internet Archive; the ...
user14111's user avatar
  • 167k
13 votes
Accepted

Name of a story about a man who is colonized by microscopic aliens

"Inside John Barth" by William W. Stuart, also the answer to this old question and this one. Available at Project Gutenberg and the Internet Archive. A man is injured in a explosion No ...
user14111's user avatar
  • 167k
13 votes

Science fiction story about an intelligent man put in suspended animation to solve future problems

This sounds like The Sleeping God, a story by Jesco von Puttkamer. It was published in Sondra Marshak and Myrna Culbreath's Star Trek: The New Voyages 2, in 1978. (Yes, it's a Star Trek short story.)...
Dinae's user avatar
  • 1,041
13 votes

1960s sci-fi novella with a character who is treated as invisible by being ignored

(An update from the original poster confirms that this is not the answer.) A Gift from Earth (1968), by Larry Niven Matt Keller has a psychic power that is sometimes useful and sometimes ...
Gaultheria's user avatar
  • 17.5k
13 votes
Accepted

Trying to identify an old sci-fi novel: a group of space travellers visiting a planet previously long-inhabited but regressed?

This could be Star Rangers (also known as The Last Planet) by Andre Norton, originally from 1953. It's a short book. It's been decades since I read it; I'm going by the Wikipedia synopsis here. A ...
LAK's user avatar
  • 8,454
12 votes

Looking for a sci-fi collection book 2000 to 2010 containing two specific stories

Keith Laumer, The Lighter Side, an anthology published in 2002 by Baen Books, includes two novels and a seven-fingered handful of short stories. Your #1 story is the second included novel, "The Great ...
ImaginaryEvents's user avatar
12 votes

1960s sci-fi novella with a character who is treated as invisible by being ignored

Was the pseudo-invisibility forced upon him? Robert Silverberg wrote a novella called "To See the Invisible Man" about a protagonist who is sentenced to be invisible. Among other things, he enters ...
Mgmills1968's user avatar
  • 2,486
12 votes
Accepted

Novella (and follow up short story) in Isaac Asimov's Science Fiction Magazine about the stars going out. Published ~20 years ago

I have found them! The stories are William Barton's "Moments of Inertia" (Asimov's April/May 2004) and the sequel "Dark of the Sun" (Asimov's April/May 2005) What will you do when the Sun goes out? ...
Thomas Holtz's user avatar
11 votes
Accepted

Identify short story from Year's Best Science Fiction, where school friends descend an ancient stairway into a deep ravine looking for adventure

This is The Edge of the World by Michael Swanwick, and it's in The Year's Best Science Fiction - 7th Annual Collection edited by Gardiner Dozois. I also found a copy on the Fantasy Magazine web site. ...
John Rennie's user avatar
10 votes
Accepted

Short story about a planet with two sentient species

Hunter's Moon by Poul Anderson. The flyers are the Ouranids and the land dwelling species the Dromids. The trace element that the Ouranids accumulate in their bodies is manganese. The new tao is: &...
John Rennie's user avatar

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