57

The Man Whose Name Wouldn't Fit (Or, The Case of Cartwright-Chickering) by Theodore Tyler. First published way, way back in 1968, when the whole idea of having a mainframe computer start handling a large corporation's payroll records, etc., probably using lots of "punch cards" in the process, was considered cutting-edge technology, and nobody had ever seen ...


36

I believe this is probably Solaris (1961, English translation 1970) by Stanislaw Lem. Kris Kelvin is sent from Earth to Solaris, where there is a research stations studying the gel-like organism that inhabits the world-spanning ocean. He meets Snow, now in charge, and finds Gibarian, the former head, has killed himself. The only other live human on the ...


34

I believe you are looking for the SCP Foundation stories. Operating clandestine and worldwide, the Foundation operates beyond jurisdiction, empowered and entrusted by every major national government with the task of containing anomalous objects, entities, and phenomena. These anomalies pose a significant threat to global security by threatening either ...


34

Crying Willow by Edward Rager. I read it in Asimov's 100 Great Science Fiction Short Short Stories. If this is the story your memory isn't quite correct. Plants communicate their distress to each other, and the grapevine detector is used to catch someone who is torturing a plant. No humans were harmed in the making of this short story. The tree being ...


31

Could this be Time Trax? He is assisted by the Specified Encapsulated Limitless Memory Archive, or SELMA, an extremely small but very powerful computer (described as equivalent to a mainframe) disguised for the mission as a credit card; SELMA communicates through a holographic interface which takes the visual form of a prim young woman. ...


20

It sounds like you're describing Harrison Bergeron (1995). Everyone wears an IQ suppressing headband and everything's very '1950s'. Harrison: Last night, seeing those programs I realized that...Everything looks like in the 1950's. Is it intentional? John Klaxon: Rule number 1: Everything is intentional. The U.S. was happier in that decade, at least ...


17

Jack Vance's The Blue World (1966) might be a possibility. It fits the time frame and physical description (190 pages). The protagonist is a semaphore operator; he lives on a floating raft on an ocean world with no land. I hardly recall it though, so I'm just going to quote the summary from Wikipedia. Sklar Hast, the protagonist, had achieved a measure ...


16

"The Painters Are Coming Today", a short story by Steve Rasnic Tem. You may have read it in the 1984 anthology 100 Great Fantasy Short Short Stories edited by Isaac Asimov, Terry Carr, and Martin H. Greenberg. Out of the corner of his eye Walter could see one of the painters swiping at the side of the house with a paintbrush. "Hey you! Just a darn . . ." ...


16

This sounds like "Riding the White Bull" (2004) by Caitlín R. Kiernan. If you read it in a hardcover anthology it might have been Two Worlds and In Between: The Best of Caitlín R. Kiernan (2011). (I wonder if she's a Sisters of Mercy fan?) Dietrich (Deet) Paine works as a freelance scrubber for the Agency, hunting down and killing (scrubbing) infected ...


15

Possibly Desertion by Clifford D. Simak? It pre-dated the similar Poul Anderson "Call Me Joe" and I think matches a little closer to your description". Years ago, in the 90's, Written in 1944 I read a Sci-Fi story in an airline mag. It is a short story vs. Call Me Joe which is a novelettte so better fits what might be in an airline mag. It is ...


14

Star Colony by Keith Laumer. Coming in fast and low, the huge ship made planetfall. Three years out from Terra, the colony ship Omega had reached her destination, and the crew began to off-load the cargo and passengers. Then the ship vanished. Against the vast panorama of an unexplored universe, Keith Laumer sets this first volume of the history ...


13

"The Dueling Machine" by Ben Bova and Myron R. Lewis. Google books cover blurb: At first, the dueling machine seemed like a benign or even a helpful invention, allowing people to blow off steam and solve conflicts in a virtual reality-like environment. But before long, an evil tyrant discovers a way to use the device to inflict real and lasting harm on ...


13

This is very much like Hinterlands, a short story by William Gibson. The copy I have was published in Burning Chrome. Astronauts are sent to a space to this place to gain unknown knowledge/ technology, but the astronauts returning Earth are either dead or die in 24 hours. The astronauts won't speak of their experience or are too frightened of their ...


13

How long ago was this? Is it possible that it is the Lightbringer Series by Brent Weeks, beginning with The Black Prism (2010)? Description from TV Tropes: Mages are exclusively called 'drafters,' who can create and shape 'luxin' of various colors into physical objects and effects (walls, bridges, weapons, bursts of flame, etc) with a lot of room for ...


12

There is a line like this in Legends from the End of Time by Michael Moorcock. My Lady Charlotina's Ball must have been at least a mile in circumference, set against the soft tones of a summer twilight, red-gold and transparent so that, as one approached, the guests who had already arrived could be seen standing upon the inner wall, clad in creations ...


11

It only just squeezes into your time frame because it was published in 2014, but possibly By Darkness Revealed, the first book of the Blackwell Magic series by Kevin O. McLaughlin. Ryan Blackwell thought to escape his magic by burying himself in the military college at Northshield, Vermont. But Northshield University has a secret: a nexus of magical power ...


11

This may not be a sufficiently good match, but this kind of semaphore is featured in one of the stories in Pavane (Keith Roberts, 1968) (also discussed in this question). The specific story is "The Signaller" ("an apprentice semaphore operator is assigned to a remote station") From Google Books: For hours on end the towers to east and west were lost in ...


10

Could this be "Twilight of the Gods" by John C. Wright? This was published in 2009 in a collection called "Federations" edited by John Joseph Adams. I have not read it myself, but according to an interview with the author: The story springs from two roots. First, this is my attempt to tell the story of Wagner’s Ring of the Nibelungs in space, complete ...


10

2012: The War for Souls (2006) by Whitley Strieber sounds promising. From this Goodreads review: This is a parallel universes story with three universes included in this story though with all of them based on Earth. [...] In universe 3 the dinosaurs never died out but instead continued to evolve. Apparently they are under severe resource and ...


10

This is the Borribles – a trilogy of books by Michael de Larrabeti. It features runaway children who become 'Borribles' (match: 'small people') in London ('big English … city') and live in abandoned houses ('lost buildings'). They hide from the police who they call 'Woollies'. Their rivals are the 'Rumbles' who are a rather obvious parody of the Wombles (...


9

This is the 1971 novel Lord of the Red Sun by William T. Silent. I read this paperback book in the early 1980's but it wasn't in a new condition. Published 1971 There was a young gunfighter arrived on a frontier world and he goes to a bar and almost immediately is challenged to a fight, he wins. In this story dueling with firearms is legal. ...


9

This likely is Dark Benediction by Walter M. Miller Jr.. The disease was called "neuroderm", which is indeed "nerve-skin", and a derogatory term for the infected was "grey-skins". The sensorial improvement and intelligence increases are all present in the story. (The disease in itself was not sentient per se; it had come from outer space as a benediction ...


8

Sorry, I somehow missed this question! I believe you're looking for the Tommy Chong comedy Far Out Man from 1990. There's a scene where a doctor tests his brainwaves and says his intelligence is somewhere between plankton and a toaster. He then suggests he goes into politics or something, yuk yuk. Tommy's not a strongman, though, more of a stoned hippie. (...


8

I looked up "A Perfect Vacuum" and while it was interesting, it definitely wasn't the book I was looking for. However, searching for similar books did eventually lead me to find it! "The Catalog of Lost Books" by Tad Tuleja https://www.amazon.com/Catalog-Lost-Books-Tad-Tuleja/dp/0449903478 It was published in 1989 so I was close with the date, and also ...


8

Blast from the Past (1999) In 1962, eccentric American scientist Dr. Calvin Webber (Christopher Walken) believes nuclear war with the Soviet Union is imminent, and builds a secret fallout shelter beneath his backyard. Alarmed by the Cuban Missile Crisis, Calvin takes his pregnant wife Helen (Sissy Spacek) into the shelter. Due to a freak mechanical ...


8

Aside from the living arrangement, this seems very much like the Danny Dunn books by Jay Williams and Raymond Abrashkin. They were published from the mid-1950s until the late 1960s. Danny's mother was the (live-in, with separate quarters) housekeeper for Professor Bullfinch, and Danny (along with his friend Joe and sometimes another friend, a girl whose ...


8

This looks like "Murder Will In" by Frank Herbert. The being you refer to was actually a symbiotic pair sentience, whose two members are identified by "Tegas" and "Bacit". You can find some pages of that in Google Books' "The Collected Stories of Frank Herbert". This is the section where the "invaded" being, Joe Carmichael, that Tegas/Bacit has just ...


7

Is it possibly 2081? It's a short film adaptation of Harrison Bergeron. I also don't see Terrence Knox listed among the cast, but perhaps the poster was mistaking the identity? Here's a trailer: Also, it may not be a match to what was described because


7

Powerless, by Matthew Cody From Google Books: Superheroes soar in this promising debut—and they’re kids! Twelve-year-old Daniel, the new kid in town, soon learns the truth about his nice—but odd—new friends: one can fly, another can turn invisible, yet another controls electricity. Incredible. The superkids use their powers to secretly do good in ...


7

This sounds a lot likeThe Dueling Machine by Ben Bova. Points that match: The story begins in media res with as the viewpoint character fights a duel on a frozen planet. They combatants are wearing something between a power suit and a single-person armoured vehicle; visibility is almost zero and radar range is short. The viewpoint character knows what ...


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