Questions tagged [short-stories]

For about a fictional work too small to be called a [novel] or [novella] - usually less than 10-20 thousand words and no chapters. Use to either identify the media on a [story-identification] question or disambiguate works where the tag covers the short story and its form in other media.. If you are looking for a particular anthology of short stories, use the [anthology-book] tag instead.

Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
8 votes
0 answers
38 views

Aliens sent to prepare Earth invasion, camouflaged as toy makers. Mission goes wrong because female Martian falls in love with tax agent

I need to remember a short story in a science fiction magazine (old publications maybe between 1937 and 1965). The story is about extraterrestrials (must be Martians if I remember) who were sent in ...
KiltiNasyon's user avatar
6 votes
0 answers
49 views

Short story. Humanity reaches Mars, the whole planet is honeycombed. Aliens rapidly mined everything of any value, then abandoned the planet [duplicate]

I read this after 2000. It seemed a few decades old when I read it. Earth is in a pretty bad way and many humans hope to move to Mars. The first team of astronauts to reach Mars are extraordinarily ...
Judith Jones's user avatar
  • 8,288
8 votes
1 answer
476 views

Where is "Rhiannon's choice" from

Rhiannon's choice is a concept from a science-fiction novel to describe a common dilemma for that society. I just can't recall where is it from or what it is about! I recalled it while reading Seth ...
hwa's user avatar
  • 81
7 votes
0 answers
68 views

Short story or novella. Human colony on planet with intelligent aliens. Aliens, with permission, lay their eggs in living human beings [duplicate]

The humans and aliens have been cooperating in this way for several generations. In the past before humans came to their planet, the aliens used to lay their eggs in animals, they would hatch and eat ...
Judith Jones's user avatar
  • 8,288
8 votes
1 answer
247 views

Sci-fi short story taking place on a swampy planet (could be Venus) on which the natives are like water ducks or geese

I remember reading a short story in a science fiction magazine (probably published between 1937 and 1965) in which an Earth conglomerate had hired a galactic consultant and sent him to a distant ...
KiltiNasyon's user avatar
9 votes
1 answer
692 views

Looking for a SF story with Checkpoint Charlie and a male scientist disguised as a woman

I recall reading in English a short story about the extraction of a German (or Russian) scientist defector from the Iron Curtain in a fiction published in a magazine somewhere in the early 1970s (it ...
Bingo's user avatar
  • 6,715
4 votes
0 answers
74 views

A touching short story about two women leaving Earth forever, one of them to join her husband

I know with some precision when I read this story : while I was a student in the US, between september 75 and june 79. I read it in a collection, but there were so many in that library, I cannot ...
Alfred's user avatar
  • 13.9k
7 votes
0 answers
62 views

Vintage (50s-60s?) SF short story where a young alien roots to the ground during rainy season

The setting is an alien planet. The protagonist is a humanoid alien youth named Spet. The other main character is a human observer monitoring Spet's village, who gradually befriends Spet. The human is ...
Tom Camilleri's user avatar
17 votes
1 answer
171 views

Short story about aliens asking humans for advice on not nuking themselves

I read a story years ago where a number of aliens had contacted Earth. They agreed to trade some of their more advanced technology for sociology advisors. One for each of the different alien species. ...
Arcanestomper's user avatar
5 votes
1 answer
157 views

Short story about Soviet centralized networked computing model

I remember an alternate story from a while ago where the Soviet Union promoted a centralized networked computing model that proved more effective than the decentralized Western version. As I recall it ...
sattler360's user avatar
15 votes
1 answer
174 views

Short Story. Shop in a basement sells items from the future. Future people cannot leave basement. Man's clothes suddenly vanish at his wedding

One man discovers this strange shop in a basement. He enter it and buys a wonderful television at an unbelievably low price. The shop does not accept cash. To pay, you deposit money in their bank ...
Judith Jones's user avatar
  • 8,288
9 votes
1 answer
106 views

Short Story. A human jewel thief teams up with a mountain sized alien thief with psychic powers who doesn't like to leave his planet

The jewel thief starts the story in jail. He is contacted telepathically by a psychic alien. He proposes they team up. The alien can use his psychic powers to make all the people nearby believe the ...
Judith Jones's user avatar
  • 8,288
7 votes
0 answers
130 views

Circa 1950-60 short story about a scientist who builds a machine to create a woman

A super shy scientist built a machine to make a woman. The first success disappeared after 5 seconds. Poof! She was naked. He improved the machine. A woman appeared in evening dress but he couldn’t ...
Jerry hodgson's user avatar
30 votes
1 answer
3k views

Short story; a journalist visits a hospital with inpatients who are mentally ill. One patient pretends to use invisible tools to build a machine

The journalist likes this patient, a friendly little man who seems perfectly normal except for using invisible tools to build a complex invisible machine. The journalist spends some time with him and ...
Judith Jones's user avatar
  • 8,288
11 votes
0 answers
132 views

Short story where a man summons demon who mocks him for not believing in God

I read this short story a while ago and can't for the life of me find it again. I think it might have been around the time that the SFX Pulp books were released and the aliens found humans were ...
Fayth's user avatar
  • 111
17 votes
1 answer
2k views

Short Story. Mouse is sent by a human scientist in a spaceship to moon. Intercepted by intelligent aliens. Given intelligence and speech. Named Mickey

A Short Story read after 2000, seemed to be written much earlier. A German scientist is living in America. He talks a lot to a mouse in his house who he catches, and keeps in a cage. He calls the ...
Judith Jones's user avatar
  • 8,288
8 votes
1 answer
319 views

Looking for Short Story in Magazine: Researcher living in his Computer simulation

Looking for a short story that ran in a magazine, I thought Popular Science, but I can't seem to find it. Was between probably 2014 and 2020, guessing about 2017. A researcher is porting into a world ...
Charles's user avatar
  • 81
24 votes
1 answer
2k views

Ghost Story set on a Victorian age ocean going liner. Everyone who has slept in a certain cabin for the last four voyages has jumped overboard

I read this after 2000 but from the language used it might well have been written as well at set in Victorian times.The name of the ship was The Kamchatka it may have been spelled a little differently ...
Judith Jones's user avatar
  • 8,288
0 votes
0 answers
151 views

Science fiction story that begins with an old man who liked to walk in the desert [closed]

Please help me find an old science fiction story that begins something like: “He was an old man who liked to walk in the desert.” I think it was a novel, but it might have been a short story. It was ...
John Biggers's user avatar
5 votes
2 answers
124 views

A short sci-fi/horror story about an ink blot type alien creature 70’s or 80’s

The story begins with the creature in the forest relating the story from its perspective. It has sustained itself on small animals but appears to need more intelligent life forms to absorb. The ...
Larry DePreta's user avatar
12 votes
1 answer
643 views

A short story about a dish that was not eaten and a bottle that contained no wine

I read this short story in French, about only 10 or so years ago. It might have been a translation, but I doubt it. The POV character has a friend who works for a big jewellers company (this will be ...
Alfred's user avatar
  • 13.9k
7 votes
1 answer
112 views

Testing a drug on animals. Two people take some. Gives intelligence, ability to morph. One becomes a cat the other and his girlfriend become pigeons

A company is testing a new drug on some pigs. I think the idea is that it is to be used in farming to help pigs grow fast and healthily. The young pigs they have tried giving the new drug to do indeed ...
Judith Jones's user avatar
  • 8,288
6 votes
1 answer
100 views

Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Elephant [duplicate]

I am trying to remember the name of a short story I read in the 1990s or earlier. The story was either in an anthology or a science fiction a magazine. The story is centered on a woman on a space ...
JRE's user avatar
  • 17.6k
27 votes
2 answers
3k views

Far future robot historian or archeologist. There are no longer humans in the known universe. It describes meeting one of the last humans

It writes that it met a human who was alone and did not know how to speak. After the robot had taught him its language they got on very well together. The historian says humans have similar skeletons ...
Judith Jones's user avatar
  • 8,288
5 votes
0 answers
106 views

Short story set on a generational ship in which the hero/villain has a device that enables him to run away from his enemies or desperate situations

I am searching for an old Sci-Fi short story, which my mother told me about. According to her, it was in a Sci-Fi anthology, and it must have been written (or published?) approximately in the 60s-70s, ...
Noobfan's user avatar
  • 51
8 votes
1 answer
943 views

Short story. Humans and machines have co-operated in peace and prosperity on Earth for hundreds of years. Aliens attack and begin slaughtering humans

I read this short story since 2010 but it seemed very old, maybe seventy years old from the language used. Humans had invented robots and super intelligent computers. Neither the word robot nor ...
Judith Jones's user avatar
  • 8,288
13 votes
2 answers
3k views

Planet is settled by people who want to recreate their ancestors' African society. A very intelligent girl is not allowed to learn to read and write

I read this short story in about 2010. A planet has been settled by people from an African society. They want to live the way their ancient ancestors long ago on Earth used to live. The people on the ...
Judith Jones's user avatar
  • 8,288
13 votes
2 answers
259 views

Story ID: Time machine that can only move forward loops past Big Crunch/Big Bang

Trying to ID a short story I would have read in the late 70s, maybe early 80s. Because of the type of story collections I was reading at the time, I'm positive it was older, probably from the 50s or ...
David Romerstein's user avatar
15 votes
1 answer
3k views

Alien VIP visits human space station. Humans do not know public eating is taboo for this species. Alien is seriously injured. Translator is killed

This is a short story. I read it in a Science Fiction magazine after 2010. It might have been Analog. I think the cover was green. Humans have been living on a space station orbiting a planet for many ...
Judith Jones's user avatar
  • 8,288
6 votes
0 answers
143 views

Character gets access to universal control panel, fights ancient human already there

This XKCD reminds me of a story in Asimov's magazine from the 1980s or 1990s about a meta-universe in which actions affect the "settings" of our universe - how the laws of physics, etc. work....
Andrew's user avatar
  • 45.7k
8 votes
0 answers
59 views

Time traveler trades with people from alternative dimensions/timelines. Trades ova for high quality dogs, to help humanity in his timeline survive

I read this short story after 2017. It may not have been new but did not seem very many years old. It was in a magazine. I read the magazine online. The protagonist has a trading post that I think ...
Judith Jones's user avatar
  • 8,288
14 votes
0 answers
150 views

Short story about the temptation of Jesus, with a twist

I'm looking for a short story I've read a couple years ago, but forgot where. It starts with the temptation of Jesus as described in the Bible, but then it has a plot twist: the devil shows the future ...
vsz's user avatar
  • 12k
9 votes
1 answer
113 views

Humanity has long been at war with aliens. Protagonist's elderly former chemistry teacher has brain wired to control a spaceship [duplicate]

The war has been going on as long as anyone can remember. The aliens have an advantage in that they have living creatures that are spaceships and can reproduce so do not need to be built. The humans ...
Judith Jones's user avatar
  • 8,288
10 votes
1 answer
707 views

Short story where the aliens looks similar to lions can make themselves invisible

On an alien planet, the inhabitants kind of look like lions and can make themselves invisible. The story is told from the point of view of a teenage girl who has one of them as a pet/friend and doesn'...
CarmenF1's user avatar
  • 111
6 votes
0 answers
82 views

Short story in a comic about insectoid aliens approaching Earth in an invasion armada. They attack lights that turn-out to be a truck's windshield

Comic short story about insectoid alien armada approaching lights while invading Earth. Turns out to be a truck and alien fleet is smashed against truck's windshield.
Darrell Castillo's user avatar
6 votes
1 answer
471 views

A man is high above Earth. He is attacked by aliens who can alter the laws of probability to make their enemies extraordinarily unlucky

I read this short story in the 90s, it seems oldish at the time. The human is incredibly surprised that his parachute lands safely on Earth, knowing how drastically his luck has been reduced. He lands ...
Judith Jones's user avatar
  • 8,288
8 votes
1 answer
109 views

Doomed, telepathic, underground-living alien civilisation. They send an explorer who enters the mind of a baby on an aeroplane [duplicate]

This short story I read about 95 but it seemed to have been written some decades earlier. An alien civilisation have been living underground, for many generation. They have only old stories about what ...
Judith Jones's user avatar
  • 8,288
11 votes
2 answers
738 views

Short story about a patient's OCD keeping the world in order [duplicate]

I'm trying to recall a scifi short story about a psychiatrist who tells a patient suffering from OCD to stop the rituals.
Not-an-alien's user avatar
13 votes
0 answers
155 views

Future primitive society. Tribespeople find a rocket labelled USA. Protagonist's young child brother is important to plot twist

I read this short story online, maybe in an online magazine, about 2020. The magazine artwork looked very professional.I think there was an orange drawing of the rocket. SF Magazines I remember ...
Judith Jones's user avatar
  • 8,288
8 votes
1 answer
141 views

Short story from the early 1980s in Asimov's magazine - man develops superpowers making him dangerously fast and hot

I don't remember many details, unfortunately. The main character was looking for someone who had disappeared, I think, and was exposed to something in the missing person's house, that slowly enhanced ...
Andrew's user avatar
  • 45.7k
20 votes
1 answer
1k views

Device that helps criminals beat lie detectors also cures criminals

While looking for this story I found an interesting story id question at rec.arts.sf.written An old Analog story featured a machine that could help you beat a lie detector. While under this machine, ...
Andrew's user avatar
  • 45.7k
15 votes
1 answer
572 views

Short story about men stranded on Mars who are running out of air, each takes a last walk as they die

After seeing the question about a woman trapped in the nose of a spaceship being burned alive by solar radiation, [The movie "Lifepod (1981)] it reminded me about another story I read. Probably ...
NJohnny's user avatar
  • 12.2k
11 votes
1 answer
203 views

City under attack turns missles to dust. Dust destroys city defences

I read this book back in the early seventies in the UK. It was in the form of a double sided book or magazine. Like the Ace doubles listed here. A city of people was under bombardment from an enemy. ...
RoyC's user avatar
  • 435
19 votes
1 answer
1k views

Trying to identify a cassette tape of science-fiction short stories

When I was a child my older brother had a cassette tape with some short sci-fi stories on. I think it must have been around 1992 to 1993. I've been searching for years because I remember being too ...
Jack87's user avatar
  • 199
16 votes
1 answer
863 views

Human like animals are modified to become more intelligent. One is adopted by humans.The fight for their rights

Short story or novella.I read this about 2005 but it seemed to have been written much earlier. I remember looking at the publication date and noting it was written before humans were capable of ...
Judith Jones's user avatar
  • 8,288
6 votes
1 answer
336 views

Short story set in the future after some sort of disease or environmental disaster has destroyed all paper

I'm looking for a short story which I think must have been written before widespread access to personal computers. It is set in the future after some sort of disease or environmental disaster has ...
Samos's user avatar
  • 69
9 votes
1 answer
1k views

Sci-fi story about a boy living in a city that no one ever leaves, with robots and a master computer

I remember reading this when younger and I think it was in a collection of stories published in the 70's? A boy growing up attends school. He is very curious about his city and surroundings. No one ...
Ken's user avatar
  • 99
11 votes
1 answer
572 views

Short Story Protagonist believes aliens are being mistreated exploited. He has an alien lover

I think I read this in the 80s. Most people are very prejudiced against the aliens on a planet that has been colonised. They treat them appallingly. The protagonist used to feel that way before he ...
Judith Jones's user avatar
  • 8,288
14 votes
0 answers
127 views

Short story about astronauts exploring the interior of a giant organism in space

Trying to find any info about a short story I read in a sci-fi monthly digest in the early '90s. The basic gist is a team of astronauts is exploring and researching the interior of a large asteroid/...
CountSnackula's user avatar
13 votes
1 answer
115 views

Short story about perpetually cloudy skies and some people who find a permanent patch of sun

Trying to find a story that I read probably in the 1990s. Don't know where I read it, but if I had to guess it was in high school in either a fiction magazine or a book of collected stories. I ...
techturtle's user avatar

1
2 3 4 5
98