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209 posts tagged with shortstory.
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Another "Help me find this story"

The core of the story is that a (possibly Indian) guy falls asleep (or is knocked out {during a robbery?}) (possibly near a river) and lives the whole lifetime of a separate existence in a dream. He wakes up (or comes to) at the end (and tries to integrate the experience). [more inside]
posted by achrise on Oct 21, 2014 - 15 answers

Name that short story (you'll see why I don't just Google the plot)

Can anyone help me identify a literary short story I read 20-25 years ago? Description is possibly triggering/NSFW. [more inside]
posted by Perodicticus potto on Oct 18, 2014 - 3 answers

Help me find this short story

It is from the point of view of a man who comes home from war after such a long time that he was believed dead. After an awkward welcome, he finds out that his wife has been sleeping with his neighbor, a young man who was like a son to him before he left to fight. He eventually kills the young man and his wife and dies from a gunshot wound after being chased by the sheriff on a mountain or mesa. What is this short story?
posted by domo on Oct 17, 2014 - 6 answers

Looking for a short story about a woman with a hacked digital tattoo.

Does anyone remember a cyberpunk short story that involved a woman covered in digital tattoos? The tattoos are hacked or a virus is introduced -- by an evil corporation, I think -- and her friends have to rush to save her life. [more inside]
posted by harperpitt on Oct 9, 2014 - 7 answers

Seeking sci-fi baseball story from my youth

I'm hoping the hive mind can help me identify a sci-fi baseball short-story I read a few decades ago, probably in the 1970's. [more inside]
posted by alms on Oct 7, 2014 - 5 answers

Help my friend ID this Bradbury short

He writes: "I'm trying to remember the title of a sci-fi story by Ray Bradbury about a future where people are no longer scared of anything."
posted by komara on Oct 6, 2014 - 3 answers

Science Fiction Short Story ID

The gist of the story: Natives take potion which slows their movements and thoughts to match those of trees, who it turns out are sentient and out to get us. [more inside]
posted by maxwelton on Sep 26, 2014 - 6 answers

MeFi Writers, Help Me With a Personal Writing Project

I'm taking next week off to do two things. The first is to develop some habits that are conducive to me writing continually, daily and with presentable results. The second is to actually have a product by the end of the week. I'm thinking one good and fairly polished short story. Please give me advice and ideas about how to accomplish this. Do you need a place to work that is for "writing only"? Do you have a daily routine? Did you have to develop self-discipline? Do you have rituals like meditation or having tea or writing by candle light? Do you listen to music? With an entire week to do whatever I want, how do I best use my time for writing? [more inside]
posted by snsranch on Sep 18, 2014 - 12 answers

Sci-Fi short story search

I read a creepy utopia/dystopia sci-fi short story ~5 years ago, believe it was in an anthology and haven't been able to find it since... [more inside]
posted by Schlani on Sep 18, 2014 - 4 answers

Trying to remeber a short story about alien archeologists

I'm trying to remember a short story I read years ago, in school probably, about alien archaeologists examining the only remains of earth after glaciers killed the last humans. [more inside]
posted by Canageek on Sep 13, 2014 - 2 answers

Short Story Searching...

Its a story, set I believe in Boston, about a woman, perhaps in the wake of divorce or break-up, who goes to a some kind of therapist who doesn't touch her; she just lies there and he "feels" her energy. She's not sure if its a scam or not but keeps going. Ring any bells?
posted by RandlePatrickMcMurphy on Aug 1, 2014 - 3 answers

Short story identification

What is this short story I read sometime in the late 1990s? Plot involved two teenage girls in the 1960s, Beatlemania, and the terrifying truths of growing up. [more inside]
posted by Ideal Impulse on Jul 23, 2014 - 3 answers

Reasons, descriptions of what it was like to drop out of medical school?

I'm writing a short story in which a character drops out of medical school in his third year. I'm wondering if anyone has any firsthand or secondhand experience with this (dropping out at any point). I've never gone to med school and I'm making this all up, but it would be great to get some real-world input.
posted by swheatie on Jul 7, 2014 - 7 answers

Help me ID a Sci-Fi Story about computation and evolution

A few years ago I went into my school's SciFi library and I was given a book of short stories which I read several of sitting on the floor of the library. And then I put down the book and I don't remember what it was called. One short story was about a world in which computation speeds get faster and faster until someone, eventually makes computers capable of running models on the order of complexity of a world's worth of physics very very quickly. I think the computers may have been the shape of small cubes. [more inside]
posted by ch3cooh on Jun 25, 2014 - 2 answers

Extreme Exposition

I wish to read fiction that has a very high ratio of exposition imparted to amount of actual writing. [more inside]
posted by Evilspork on Jun 19, 2014 - 16 answers

Short Story set in developing country- protagonist is white Western male

[ShortStoryFilter]: Sort of canonical (I'm sure I read it in junior high school in a collection) - unnamed Western tourist is in some village in unnamed developing country. Gets thirsty and asks for water from nearest hut- is given bucketfuls, and asks for more to douse himself. [SPOILER]: Later finds out that the only water supply in entire area comes from one faucet that drips tiny amounts and entire village waits in line for hours to fill one bucket. Ring any bells?
posted by war wrath of wraith on Jun 16, 2014 - 2 answers

Identify 90s (?) short story collection with a title maybe about falling

Cover was white, cover art was a face or mask or both, female author (I think), and my best recollection is that the title story was about falling or hitting bottom or some combination. [more inside]
posted by Xalf on Jun 9, 2014 - 7 answers

Help me identify this sci-fi short story

Some time in the mid 1990s I read a sci-fi short story about an augmented individual hired to steal a password - I'm trying to figure out the name of this story and its author. [more inside]
posted by komara on Mar 20, 2014 - 9 answers

Short Australian(?) horror story about... Pingles? Stay with me here.

Somewhere between 20 and 30 years ago in Australia, I read an anthology of horror stories. I'm pretty sure it was a specifically YA anthology (it wasn't very gruesome) and I think that the stories and authors were Australian. One of the stories was very elliptical, riffing on a sign that said something like "Pingles Parking", and ending with some unspecified but dreadful apocalypse at night, possibly involving parked cars and machinery actually being monsters (this being the hideous true meaning of "Pingles", or whatever the sign said). I think there was an illustration of a steam shovel silhouetted against the night sky. One of the final scenes featured the child protagonist's grandfather dying in bed, his skin "like paper" or "papery" or something. There may have been a lot of irony or misdirection that I completely failed to understand (like maybe it was all just about the horror of your grandfather dying, and there weren't any real monsters involved). MetaFilter, what was this story?
posted by No-sword on Mar 10, 2014 - 7 answers

What was this science-fiction short story?

A friend read an SF short story in the 1970's, probably published in one of the common "Best of" anthologies of that decade. She's trying to find out the title, but Google and other sources turn up nothing so far. Can you help? [more inside]
posted by infodiva on Feb 19, 2014 - 3 answers

A Father Rescues His Son in a Bolano Novel

What is the name of the short story the episode in a Bolano novel, probably "The Savage Detectives," in which a father rescues his son from a cave is based on? [more inside]
posted by slowlikemolasses on Feb 12, 2014 - 2 answers

Short story? Brother/sister in back of truck, coffin falls, kills sister

Simple summary: A brother and sister rode along to the store in the back of a truck to purchase a coffin. On the return trip home, the coffin falls on the sister and kills her, and they have to go back to the store to buy a coffin for her. Google has had some mighty strange or irrelevant suggestions to my query, but nothing that seems right. It's probable that I'd recognize the cover or the name of the book. [more inside]
posted by stormyteal on Feb 7, 2014 - 0 answers

Father & Son Short Stories

What are some good short stories that involve a son trying to live up to his father's expectations, but which don't turn out well?
posted by storybored on Feb 3, 2014 - 7 answers

Help me find this story or tell me to walk on.

There's a short story in which a woman tells her new lover that she has had a mastectomy and he abandons her. Or at least I think there is. [more inside]
posted by janey47 on Jan 27, 2014 - 14 answers

Help me find an Edith Wharton short story

During a recent episode of "Fresh Air," Emma Thompson referenced an Edith Wharton short story "about a young woman who comes back after her honeymoon to confront her mother, who has not given her any information about sexual behavior." Does anyone know the name of that story? My google-fu has failed me.
posted by pasici on Jan 25, 2014 - 1 answer

What's This Short Story, Part I?

I once read a short story about a kid in New York. I was exposed to it in one of my college courses on the short story form, so it wasn't something I randomly stumbled upon. It was the sort of story that would probably be taught to neophytes studying the form. I can't recall if it was in our Norton anthology (don't think so; I've checked through anthologies from that era) or a copy packet. The bare facts: Brooklyn kid, I think; lived in a Brownstone; at the age when it was time to make a decision about college or work; listened to a Giants (baseball) game on the radio; lazed about in his room thinking; went for a walk (maybe at night?) because he had a big decision to make; feels to me now like the sort of thing that would have been written in the 40s or 50s. I've been wanting to reread this story for 15 years. Finally got around to writing this out and seeking the assistance of Ask Metafilter. Can anyone help?
posted by samizdat on Jan 14, 2014 - 3 answers

How do I find out if a foreign work has ever been published in English?

I am trying to find out if an Italian short story now in the public domain has ever been published in English. [more inside]
posted by millions on Dec 16, 2013 - 5 answers

Help me identify this short story based on my hazy memory, please.

I heard a story (fiction) on the radio a few years ago and I'd like to find out what it was called and who wrote it. It was most likely presented on the show "Selected Shorts" but I'm not certain about that. The story took place in a town where everything seemed normal except that a black shape appeared one day in the sky overhead. Slowly over time the black shape fills the sky until the horizon is covered. A married couple are at the center of the story - there's more about their relationship than this thing in the sky. I think the sky-thing is a metaphor for something unspoken that dominates our fears. The characters barely react to it's presence (I think.) Anyone out there know this story?
posted by cellura p on Nov 18, 2013 - 7 answers

What to do with an unpublished, undated short story by my grandfather.

I recently found a short story written by my deceased grandfather that has no date or any hints as to when he might have written it. Am I out of luck on dating it, and should I just publish it as is with no special fanfare? [more inside]
posted by christopherious on Nov 4, 2013 - 8 answers

Help me find a short story about mind control graffiti

This thread and this hypnotic diagram reminded me of a science fiction short story premised around the idea that breakthroughs in psychology and applied mathematics had made it possible to design two-dimensional black and white images that would produce extreme effects in anyone who looked at them. The result was a society in perpetual counter-terrorism lockdown. An image like "The Parrot" could cause immediate seizures and fatal strokes, and one terrorist sneaking a placard of it into the Superbowl could not only kill everyone in his immediate area but also viewers at home. Our main characters in the story are tweens who attend a school with translucent windows. They've gotten their hands on a low-powered nausea-inducing image and they've formed a secret club to take turns looking at it. Where can I find this story? [more inside]
posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow on Oct 28, 2013 - 13 answers

Ultra-short short story filter

Help me find an ultra-short short story assigned in a fiction writing workshop circa 1987. One-page story, 3 sections, takes place in an apartment building or possibly hotel. The sections are, I believe, not in chronological order, are described from different perspectives, and one of the sections describes the view of a piano falling outside the building from an upper floor. The title may be something like "Room XXX".
posted by drlith on Oct 21, 2013 - 0 answers

Short story about a boy, a window and his sister who never exists

I'm pretty sure I came across this through the blue in the last few years: a story by an American author about a boy who becomes fascinated by a window he can see on the outside of his house (round? high?) that doesn't correspond with a window on the inside, and he cajoles his sister into touching it, and when she does she and the window don't vanish, they cease to have ever existed. What is it? [more inside]
posted by Hogshead on Oct 21, 2013 - 7 answers

Fugazi - mouse shoes - Andy's room

In my late middle school/early high school years (2002-5?) I read a short story in a teen magazine that blew my mind. I think it was called "In Andy's Room," and the narrator and her crush, Andy, talked about the band Fugazi. She fretted about her flats that were pointy, like mice, and at the end of the story she sat in a tree outside Andy's room, thinking about him. Help me find this story! [more inside]
posted by wintersonata9 on Sep 30, 2013 - 1 answer

What is the name of this classic Sci-Fi story?

I'm looking for the name of this classic SF story about a handful of astronauts stranded in space in radio contact but slowly drifting away from each other and running out of air. [more inside]
posted by kittensofthenight on Sep 29, 2013 - 10 answers

Help identify this scifi short story about political revolution !

Can you identify this vaguely remembered long lost scifi short story? I read this story in London when I was a kid... but it may not be British, just English language: the basic plot goes something like this - the human narrator is telling an anecdote about the pitfalls of universal translator technologies. He relates the story of a lone human scientist (perhaps a biologist or an anthropologist) studying life on an alien planet. More plot details [and SPOILERS] in the extended explanation !!!! [more inside]
posted by Bwithh on Sep 23, 2013 - 4 answers

It's My Thumb in a Box

I recently half-remembered a story I read way back in elementary school (late 80s-early 90s). I am not sure if it was a standalone short story or part of a novel, but what happens is the narrator has a big plastic bloody novelty thumb that he slips on and uses to prank the person he's with at the movies. [more inside]
posted by Fuego on Sep 16, 2013 - 5 answers

TV in novels?

What novels and short stories do a good job of depicting television? Mostly I'm interested in characters watching TV, but I'll also accept answers like 1984—where (a slightly different version of) TV plays a major role in the plot.
posted by Hoenikker on Sep 8, 2013 - 23 answers

I'm trying to find a story about a pope and a bloody slipper

So I remember reading this short story once. It was about the pope and he had some kind of an infected toe. And it made him ornery and unforgiving. And then at some point the toe bursts, he feels better, it bloodies his slipper (which he doesn't change) and then he just starts forgiving everyone and everything. Does this ring any bells for anyone?
posted by rileyray3000 on Aug 30, 2013 - 4 answers

Short story where the main character is tricked into becoming God

It starts with the main character's death where he meets God. God presents him with some kind of question or riddle to solve. The guy eventually gets the right answer. In the end it turns out that God deceived the man into getting the correct answer so he could be free of his immortality.
posted by laptolain on Aug 24, 2013 - 6 answers

What short story collection was the story story "Pagent Wagon" in?

Wikipedia claims that "Pageant Wagon" by Orson Scott Card has only ever been in the short story collection The Folk of the Fringe (1989). This is wrong, as I've read it, and I've never read an OSR short story collection. I can even remember exactly when and where I read it, but not the name of the short story collection. So, what other short story collection has it been in? Possibly under another name? [more inside]
posted by Canageek on Aug 15, 2013 - 5 answers

Not about the children on the planet where it never stops raining

Help me identify a science-fiction short story I read years ago. It's about the inventor of a remote-viewing device that also lets you view the past. [more inside]
posted by RobotHero on Jul 31, 2013 - 12 answers

Name that short story...

Looking for a pre-1985 story about a man turning into a tree. [more inside]
posted by she's not there on Jul 30, 2013 - 6 answers

How to write a story, pulp style

Specific story-writing method published by a '20s/'30s crime writer? [more inside]
posted by meadowlark lime on Jul 18, 2013 - 3 answers

I need help in improving my short story

Is it possible to find an expert in creative writing in the Boston area or online to help me improve my short story? Several knowledgeable readers pointed out specific flaws in it that I have no idea how to fix. [more inside]
posted by gregb1007 on Jul 13, 2013 - 3 answers

Racing as Transistor Metaphor

I vaguely remember reading a SciFi short story about racing cars backwards around a track that was a metaphor for transistors. Does such a story actually exist, or is it all in my head?
posted by Proofs and Refutations on Jul 9, 2013 - 4 answers

What´s the title of this science fiction short story?

It´s a story about a man who gets a message in his dreams coming from a civilization that´s living in a pore in the skin of his hand. He is told that every time he scratches his hand this will cause a catastrophe in their little universe, which has already happened several times before. Finally he agrees not to scratch his hand for a while.
posted by Faustulus on Jun 20, 2013 - 5 answers

Great short stories to read aloud for ESL teens

I'm looking for a few short stories to read aloud to ESL students between 13 and 16 years old, each divisible into a few 15- to 20-minute chunks, and each engaging. [more inside]
posted by mdonley on Jun 5, 2013 - 16 answers

did I just make up this story?

I heard this short story on audio on a family car trip ~15 years ago, give or take a few years. I'm pretty sure it was a horror story. I don't know if it was targeted towards kids, but I was elementary aged when I heard it. Two kids, a carnival, and a evil being in the clouds. [more inside]
posted by tan_coul on May 7, 2013 - 2 answers

What was that science fiction short story?

I remember reading a short story about a futuristic treatment which causes long-life (1000 years?). In the story, a young couple gets the treatment, and we follow their lives up through old age. The only particular I remember has the couple bored with nothing else to learn or experience, and they sit, playing million piece all-white jigsaw puzzles to pass the time. [more inside]
posted by klausman on May 7, 2013 - 4 answers

Help identifying two short stories

I'm in search of two half-remembered short stories, both probably from European authors in the early-to-mid-twentieth century. One involves a parade and a recurring motif of linden trees. The other was a tale of a young aristocratic man who is seduced by a con woman while on holiday. [more inside]
posted by jeudi on Apr 20, 2013 - 1 answer

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