47

"Just a Hint," by David Brin. First published in Analog (April 27, 1981). I encountered it when I bought a secondhand copy of a collection of several of Brin's early shorter pieces of science fiction (as opposed to his early novels): The River of Time. The basic premise of the plot is just as you described. The point-of-view shifts back and forth between ...


35

This is quite probably "Requiem" by Edmond Hamilton, 1962. The full text is here (I remembered the story from this German anthology). The general tone matches, although in the story they look specifically for earth, not stumbling over it. "He or she is the only person who understands and mourns the loss of Earth." - that was the captain of the space ship, ...


30

The Belonging Kind by William Gibson and John Shirley. There's a brief summary on Wikipedia. I read it in the anthology Shadows 4 edited by Charles L. Grant. It's also in Gibson's seminal collection Burning Chrome. It was the damp bills I remembered: In the dim glow of the cab's dome light he watched closely as the man reached into his coat for the fare. ...


27

This sounds like it might be LeGuin's "Vaster than Empires and More Slow" (1971). A survey ship lands on a purely vegetated planet, World 4470. The crew of the survey ship feels fear broadcast at them from the forest even though there are no traces of intelligent life or even any animal life. As she turned Osden's body over so they could lift him, his ...


25

Sounds like a chapter from the 6 book series with Covenant: The One Tree by Stephen R. Donaldson. From its Wikipedia page: Covenant and the Haruchai fight their way to Kasreyn's laboratory but discover that Kasreyn has a parasitic being living on his back that provides him with extended longevity and immunity to physical attack. Findail kills both ...


22

"Soft" by F. Paul Wilson Can be found in a number of horror fantasy anthologies, including Masques and Soft and Others. See the link above for a full list of places the story has been published. I was lying on the floor watching TV and exercising what was left of my legs when the newscaster’s jaw collapsed. He was right in the middle of the usual plea ...


20

This is "The Screwfly Solution" (1977) by James Tiptree Jr. Men start killing their wives, lovers, etc. The protagonist has a husband and daughter, and has a biology background. They recognize some of the danger, and her husband goes to live in the shed away from the women. One day her daughter goes to visit her husband (despite warnings from the ...


18

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 changes the black hole rotation so that the horizon expands and engulfs the missile. After the missile has been destroyed the pilot, Gage, describes what ...


16

Sounds to me like "X Marks the Pedwalk", a short story by Fritz Leiber. It matches the scenario you describe, particularly the old lady shooting at the car as she's being run down. There's also a description of the driver of the car regarding the old lady as a worthy opponent.


15

This is Diabologic by Eric Frank Russel, also identified in Funny short story on man and insect that land on new planet and irritate war-loving inhabitants and Story with the continuum hypothesis at the end. The comment about the mouse is when the protagonist, Wayne Hillder, is talking to the alien, Bulak. who has been assigned to negotiate with him: “...


14

The story you're looking for is The People of the Pit by Abraham Merritt, published in 1918. You can read it here: Everything you remember fits with the story: the temple in the well, the worm-like people, the expedition of a sort, the main character's "sores", his urge to come back, the Lovecraftian atmosphere. It's a solid and enjoyable story, by the ...


12

"The Council of Drones" by William K. Sonnemann A scientist teaches the protagonist how to transfer his mind into the queen bee of a bee hive. The queen is named Masoul because she is the soul of the hive. The protagonist teaches the bees have to use grains of sand to shave the barbs off their stingers. Barbless, they can sting multiple times. With barbs ...


12

I think I've found a couple options for your mysterious collection. If this was Soft by F. Paul Wilson, it was in Masques: All New Works of Horror and the Supernatural. This was printed a little earlier, in 1984, and seems to be mostly horror. Another collection titled Soft and Others: 16 Stories of Wonder and Dread was also published, in 1990, and also ...


12

A story where sex is turned to male violence against women? Why, who else could it be but James Tiptree / Racoona Sheldon / Alice Sheldon? It's The Screwfly Solution published as by Racoona Sheldon originally. A potential difficulty for our species has always been implicit in the close linkage between the behavioural expression of agression/predation ...


11

1928's "The Revolt of the Pedestrians" by David H. Keller is the forerunner of this type of story. Humanity has split into two subspecies: "Automobilists" and "Pedestrians". The motorists have become so dependent on their "autocars" that their legs have atrophied. The motorists have the upper hand at the beginning of the story: There is a scene with a ...


10

This is almost certainly "The Bells of Acheron" (1957) by E. C. Tubb. It was first published in Science Fantasy, April 1957 which given your description is probably where you read it also. This excerpt from the story copied from this answer seems to match very well. "Laura!" I chased after her, caught her, slapped her face. Her eyes opened and shock ...


9

I think the story you are looking for is House Arrest by Erik Larson. It was published in Arthur C. Clarke's "July 20, 2019: Life in the 21st Century" The story is about an investigator called Frank D Angelo that is making a case against an intelligent house called Arthur that murdered its owner Palmerston. The killing is made by dropping the temperature ...


8

This sounds like "Crystal Nights" by Greg Egan, first published in 2008. The premise is that a billionaire has bought the rights to an extraordinary powerful computer, and is using it to simulate artificial organisms in the hope that they will evolve consciousness. His initial choice to run the project turns down the job, on the grounds that natural ...


8

The story you describe sounds like The House on Maple Street, by Stephen King. Here's a summary of the story from Wikipedia: After a summer spent abroad, the four Bradbury children return to their home on Maple Street and discover that something is growing upwards through the house's walls from below, replacing wood and plaster with metal and machinery, ...


8

Schwartz Between the Galaxies by Robert Silverberg might be a possibility. It can be read on archive.org or lightspeedmagazine.com. Excerpt: Then a smiling JAL stewardess parts the curtain of his cubicle and peers in at him, jolting him from one reality to another. She is blue-eyed, frizzy-haired, straight-nosed, thin-lipped, bronze-skinned, a ...


6

End Game by J. G. Ballard. The story starts: After his trial they gave Constantin a villa, an allowance, and an executioner. The villa was small and high-walled, and had obviously been used for the purpose before. The allowance was adequate to Constantin’s needs—he was never permitted to go out and his meals were prepared for him by a police orderly. ...


6

I was thinking of 'The Tear' by Ian McDonald. It is in "The Year's best Science Fiction" 26th edition. I had a number of details off in my question and had really forgotten the vast scope of the story. It does start with two characters sailing on a waterworld, but the story basically goes to the ends of the universe and the beginning of a new one. I ...


6

Unlikely, but Solaris (1961) by Stanislaw Lem follows a somewhat similar premise. I'm not entirely sure about the later part of the plot though. Worth checking out nevertheless. The basic plot summary of the novel according to Wikipedia: Solaris chronicles the ultimate futility of attempted communications with the extraterrestrial life inhabiting a ...


6

No fear of humans by the planet, but the other way around: "Nemesis" by Isaac Asimov? https://asimov.fandom.com/wiki/Nemesis One of the main characters is the daughter of Eugenia -- and her name is Marlene. Marlene exhibits the ability to read body language and determine what they may be thinking or feeling. Marlene feels strangely drawn to the ...


5

Based on the names, I think there's a good chance you're thinking of the novella, "Gulf" (ISFDB), first published in Astounding in 1949. The story postulates that humans of superior intelligence band together, and keeping themselves genetically separate, create a new species. In the process they develop into a hidden and benevolent "ruling" class. The ...


5

Like Eike Pierstorff says in a comment, this matches the seventh voyage from The Star Diaries (Dzienniki gwiazdowe) by Stanisław Lem. In that story, Ijon Tichy is stranded with his spaceship in a time vortex, and ends up together with several copies of himself. The story is humorous, Ijon both gets in fights with his past and future self and has to ...


5

This is "The Man Who Found Out", by Algernon Blackwood, POSSIBLY the origin of the trope. ✓ Tablets of the Gods ✓ Absolute truth of the nature of the universe ✓ The guy is miserable after he finds it ✓ Other guy flips out ✓ Uses hypnosis to erase his memory ✓ Orders servant to discard the tablets and some burnt papers Then he did a curious thing. Taking ...


5

This also sounds like chapter 17 of Ron Goulart's "When The Waker Sleeps," but only vaguely. My apologies for not expanding on this yesterday morning, but I work second shift and it was already getting late. Otherwise, I would have kept on reading to chapter 21: "Hurray for the President!" shouted nearly a hundred voices. "Which President is this?" The ...


5

Found it, it's called Caspar D. Luckinbill, What Are You Going to Do? (available to read online here). Gunfire rattles on the radio. Neither of us pays attention. I’m used to gunfire now. Violence is my music. When I sit near a radio, it sings of murder. When I stand near an advertisement, it cries. All media recognize me. They conspire against ...


5

How about 'The night of the storm' - short story by Dean Koontz. Quoting description from Wikipedia: "The Night of the Storm": a group of intelligent robots go on a hunting trip in the woods, where they learn that the myth of "human beings" may not be a myth after all. I've got a copy in the 'Strange Highways' collection - may have been published ...


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