44 votes
Accepted

Inventor creates wishing machine - accidentally calls up hell

A Lot to Learn by Robert T. Kurosaka Yet again a story from 100 Great Science Fiction Short Short Stories edited Isaac Asimov. It's so short I'll quote the whole story: The Materializer was completed....
John Rennie's user avatar
28 votes
Accepted

Philosophy powered spaceship

It's considerably older than twenty years, and it wasn't written by a woman, but otherwise this describes the short story SHAWNA, Ltd by Barry Longyear, published in Asimov's in September 1979. The ...
Clara Diaz Sanchez's user avatar
23 votes
Accepted

Horror short story set on Everest, where climbers left behind are eaten by a creature masquerading as a climber

This is "The Eight-Thousanders" by Jason Sanford. It was originally published in the September-October 2020 issue of Asimov's Science Fiction. The POV character, Keller, is on an expedition ...
LogicDictates's user avatar
23 votes
Accepted

Transplanted brain then finds flesh repulsive short story

That's Masks by Damon Knight. It ends The prospector was climbing a crater slope with its handling members retracted and its head tilted up...And he was there, and it was not far enough yet, for the ...
Organic Marble's user avatar
17 votes
Accepted

Accidental colonists on Mars survive being stranded because Mars plants grow and provide the necessities of life

"In the Hall of the Martian Kings", a novella by John Varley, first published in The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, February 1977, available at the Internet Archive. You may have ...
user14111's user avatar
  • 161k
17 votes

Sci-fi short story about a teacher who was being studied to learn how to get robots to replace teachers in classrooms

Nor a Lender Be by James Van Pelt. It was published in 1999 so it's a lot older than 2015, but the story matches your description perfectly. The teacher is William. I don't think we ever learn his ...
John Rennie's user avatar
15 votes

Short story about Jesus being actually an alien that got stranded on Earth

This sounds very much like Un inesperado visitante ("An unexpected visitor") by the Cuban writer Ángel Arango, originally published in 1979. It was more recently published in the anthology ...
Clara Diaz Sanchez's user avatar
15 votes

A short story from the 1960s where Martian (?) authorities wear purple togas

When Time Was New by Robert F. Young. It was written in 1964 so it fits with your memory that it was from the 60s, and it was originally published in If magazine. It is a novella rather than a short ...
John Rennie's user avatar
13 votes

Book about siblings in a magical world?

I believe this is A Charmed Life by Diana Wynne Jones. The hero, Eric (or Cat) is a an enchanter who possesses nine lives (like a cat). He does not know it. His sister Gwendolyn is a witch. Cat ...
user23087's user avatar
  • 4,726
13 votes
Accepted

Short story about a man (the President?) who made a deal with a devil

Props to Zeiss Ikon for the clue; you're describing "Apogee" by Spider Robinson, originally published in Antinomy (1978) and reprinted in By Any Other Name. He has everything and wants more: ...
DavidW's user avatar
  • 127k
12 votes
Accepted

Short story about a space shuttle seeing a city of lights on the Moon

Could be "City of Lights" by Tim Vicary: From this link: A young pilot Cathy Fox has lost her job. She is said to be seriously ill. But Cathy tells a completely different story. Last year ...
AJM's user avatar
  • 1,292
12 votes
Accepted

Short story about an alien glossary of untranslatable terms

"Confluence", a short story by Brian Aldiss which was also the answer to the question Scifi short story that is only dictionary entries, including a word for eating maternal grandmothers. It ...
user14111's user avatar
  • 161k
12 votes
Accepted

Short story about teleport trips and passengers going missing

This seems to be a week for asking about stories by Lloyd Biggle Jr. You are describing the plot line of the novel All The Colors of Darkness (1963). From the cover blurb: In the summer of 1986, the ...
Ethan's user avatar
  • 5,599
12 votes

Bad guy lands on planet unaware of blue giant sun

This is "Page and Player" by Jerome Bixby, a novelette published in the August 1952 STARTLING STORIES and then reprinted in Andre Norton's YA anthology SPACE PIONEERS. The paraphrased line ...
John Boston's user avatar
12 votes

Short story in which the first men to fly meet flying monsters

This is "The Horror of the Heights" by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. It was first published in the November 1913 edition of The Strand Magazine. From Wikipedia: The story is told through a blood-...
LogicDictates's user avatar
11 votes

Short story in which time slips and the passenger pigeon reappears in North America

"Sidewise in Time", a novella by Murray Leinster which was also the answer to the question A story about reality breaking down as timelines cross in increasing numbers; first published in ...
user14111's user avatar
  • 161k
11 votes
Accepted

Identify the author of a story in a high school textbook called "Ask Minnie"

"Ask Minnie" was written by Juliana O. Muehrcke. It appears in the 1978 edition of Be a Better Reader: Level F which can be borrowed from the Internet Archive. Here is the introduction to ...
David Noble's user avatar
  • 1,255
11 votes
Accepted

SF first contact short story, alien probe visits earth to exchange information, is asked about religion

This is super reminiscent of the shoehorned-in "Starglider" subplot in Clarke's Fountains of Paradise. Starglider shows up, asks a bunch of questions, claims that only species that form ...
Organic Marble's user avatar
11 votes

SF short story about a man trapped in torus with triangular cross-section

"What Dead Men Tell", a novelette by Theodore Sturgeon which was also the answer to the question Corridor with a dead body turns out to be in a Möbius strip; first published in Astounding ...
user14111's user avatar
  • 161k
10 votes
Accepted

1960s humorous short story set in far future lizard alien protagonist

I think you're probably misrecalling "Habsburg." If we consider instead "Hapsburg," we find "Simon Says," by Lawrence S. Todd (Larry S. Todd), If, June 1965. Our ...
DavidW's user avatar
  • 127k
8 votes

Rogue smart house locks family in the house to ensure they're eating healthy (comedic tone)

I was wrong about us having had it before. I suppose I must have read it on my own. It is "The Iron Chancellor" by Robert Silverberg. A robot controls a family’s diet with disturbing ...
FuzzyBoots's user avatar
  • 221k
8 votes

Short story in which time slips and the passenger pigeon reappears in North America

Sidewise in Time by Murray Leinster, I think, which features a professor who leads a group of students through a series of transitions between alternate histories. This article mentions the pigeons ...
Andrew's user avatar
  • 41.2k
7 votes

Short story in which time slips and the passenger pigeon reappears in North America

In the story Sidewise in Time by Murray Leinster time unravels and passenger pigeons appear. The size of each flock was to be measured not in feet or yards, but in miles of front. ... "It's a ...
Organic Marble's user avatar
7 votes

Short story about a man who gets trapped inside a woman's breast

This is the appropriately titled "Big Bust at Herbert Hoover High" by Jay R. Bonansinga (1996). It appeared in the It Came From the Drive-in collection by Partridge and Greenberg. From this ...
Cassfrank's user avatar
  • 3,626
7 votes
Accepted

Short story with “Roth Stone” and “Schenken Club” (contract bridge) references

Randall Garrett's A Case of Identity contains bridge allusions, though not the ones you specified. From the wiki article The story "A Case Of Identity" also contains two subtle references ...
Andrew's user avatar
  • 41.2k
6 votes
Accepted

Short story about two cities and their architects

Self-answer as the anthology turned up after a 27 year absence. A friend of mine had borrowed it from me in 1987 and he lost it. Couple of weeks ago he started clearing out his living room in ...
Tonny's user avatar
  • 3,344
5 votes

SF story about sharing tools and other possesions with RFID tags

Searched the isfdb pages of some cyberpunk and found User-Centric by Bruce Sterling, conveniently online here. Here's the passage I was remembering: If Al has the location and condition of all his ...
Andrew's user avatar
  • 41.2k
5 votes
Accepted

1960s story about young girl who could influence people

This may be a slightly garbled recollection of R. A. Lafferty's 1967 short story "Ginny Wrapped in the Sun", first published in Galaxy Magazine, August 1967, available in the Luminist ...
user14111's user avatar
  • 161k
4 votes
Accepted

Looking for a short story posted online, about a baby being grown in a artificial womb, but there's complications

From Vice's Terraform, it's Hysteria, summarized in a companion piece as: Elison slyly narrates this tale of cold feet, impulse decisions, and prenatal heists entirely through the gestation company's ...
Malady's user avatar
  • 3,547
3 votes

Short story about a young engineer at a present day tech firm who finds that his manager has died at his desk

The querent has identified the story as "Code" (ISFDB entry), from the Bruce Sterling collection, Visionary in Residence. I'm a science fiction writer. This is a golden opportunity to get ...

Only top scored, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible