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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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Can you find this sci-fi short story?

I've been looking for this particular short sci-fi story for several years and I am finally giving up on going solo. Help me find it, hive mind. [more inside]
posted by mr_crash_davis on Mar 20, 2013 - 5 answers

I can make your short story disappear

Please help me identify a short story I read in high school. It's about a man who claims that he can make people disappear to the extent that no-one will remember that they ever existed. He is asked to prove the claim... *possible spoilers inside* [more inside]
posted by pianissimo on Mar 2, 2013 - 2 answers

Which Jewish-American author could this be?

Can you help me remember the name of this Jewish-American author? [more inside]
posted by slowlikemolasses on Dec 14, 2012 - 8 answers

Helplessness at a busy crosswalk

Can you help me identify a 25+ year-old short story that describes someone unable to cross a city street? [more inside]
posted by argonauta on Nov 13, 2012 - 10 answers

Need to track down a short ghost story

Half remembered short story: Girl and Guy meet at rail station waiting room. Feel a relationship spark. They walk into nearest Town and dance at a bar. Halfway through the story the couple realise that they (and everyone else in the railway waiting room) are ghosts. *Might* have been a originally posted to the metafilter? [more inside]
posted by Faintdreams on Nov 7, 2012 - 5 answers

Help me identify this short story

What's the story where the guy talks to a bunch of dead people and then finds out he's dead? [more inside]
posted by nzero on Sep 15, 2012 - 12 answers

Forgotten gem.

I'm trying to recall a Star Trek short story published 25-30 years ago. I have no author or title. It was in an anthology. [more inside]
posted by Mblue on Aug 20, 2012 - 6 answers

Robot Jesus of the future

Looking for a short story I read 2 or 3 years ago about a robot who worked in a church, and started reading scripture, and was eventually killed by the townspeople because of it. [more inside]
posted by Gargantuantoe on Apr 10, 2012 - 5 answers

Young Adult Linked Short Story Collections

I'm looking for linked short story collections. [more inside]
posted by joyeuxamelie on Mar 23, 2012 - 23 answers

How to Survive a Bear Attack and Selling Typewriters, in Literature

Help me find two pieces of literature I read about thirty years ago, one a short story, the other a poem. [more inside]
posted by Toekneesan on Mar 9, 2012 - 9 answers

What's this Sci-Fi short story?

What's this Sci-Fi short story? A scientist working on gender selection technology is contacted by future potential outcomes of his work (a male-dominated world and a woman-dominated world) that end up corresponding to the woman he marries.
posted by ropeladder on Feb 17, 2012 - 4 answers

Title of Short Story about a soldier made up of prosthetics?

I can't remember the name of a short story about a man who was made up almost entirely of artificial body parts. [more inside]
posted by Julnyes on Jan 12, 2012 - 5 answers

Curse you, you mysterious orb.

Story-about-orbs filter: in my eighth grade English class, I read a sci-fi story about an extraterrestrial orb that was collecting specimens from Earth. I'd love to find out its author and name (and, optimally, a copy of the story itself on the web.) [more inside]
posted by punchtothehead on Nov 19, 2011 - 5 answers

Post-singularity theater short story id

Today's FPP reminded me of a short story about post-singularity life in the theater. [more inside]
posted by nomisxid on Oct 26, 2011 - 1 answer

Life at Half-Speed

Name that sci-fi short story I read as a child. [more inside]
posted by minifigs on Oct 25, 2011 - 5 answers

Please help me find this depressing sci-fi short story.

Please help me find this depressing sci-fi short story. [more inside]
posted by robot-hugs on Oct 3, 2011 - 8 answers

short story about a composer, a marine biologist and middle C

I'm trying to track down a short story. [more inside]
posted by garlic on Aug 24, 2011 - 1 answer

Trying to find an old scifi short story about time travel

I'm trying to find a SciFi short story I read as a kid - I read this story as a kid in the '70s or '80s. It was in a paperback collection of SF short stories I got from the school library, it could have been published anytime from the '50s to the late '70s. I have no idea of the title or the author, just my memory of the story. It involved someone who was walking backwards through time to get home. Some scientific accident had propelled him hundreds of years forward in time. On the wreckage of the lab, he appeared, briefly, once every year (or maybe every decade or century?). From an observer's point of view, someone flashed in and out of existence predictably on that spot. I think a holiday formed around the appearance. From the person's point of view, he was walking backwards through time, from the far future back towards the date of the accident. Each "flash" was a step in that walk. Anyone know what this story is called or who wrote it?
posted by Cranialtorque on Aug 4, 2011 - 14 answers

Know any stories about camouflage tattoos?

A recent conversation reminded me of something I once read. It was in a Playboy magazine, likely mid-80s, and it was either a short story or an excerpt from a novel if Playboy even does that kind of thing. From what I remember it was written in the first person about a guy (a reporter?) who hears about this Vietnam vet that has learned some art of tattooing which acts as the perfect camouflage. [more inside]
posted by komara on Jun 20, 2011 - 8 answers

Short story about a curmudgeon's home life?

I'm trying to come up with the name of a short story I read eight or ten years ago. It is a first-person narrative of the domestic life of a cynically detached man who lives with his wife and kid. [more inside]
posted by churl on Jun 4, 2011 - 2 answers

Name this story?

Can you tell me the name and author of this story? Aliens contact earth, but they say they will only negotiate with humanity through [woman's name] - it is up to [woman] to decree if humanity is given vast boons of technology, or if it is destroyed by the aliens. [more inside]
posted by Sockpuppets 'R' Us on Mar 26, 2011 - 3 answers

Help me identify this short story based on the plot!

Help me find the name/author of a short story with the following plot: human children are the work slaves of gremlins (goblins?), and made to do manual labor underground. Those with good behavior and who are getting older are "graduated" and told that they're being freed, but after a gremlin-only "ceremony," are killed for food instead. [more inside]
posted by NucleophilicAttack on Feb 12, 2011 - 3 answers

Semi-humourous sci-fi short story ID

I'm trying to remember a science-fiction (?) short story that I read about 10-15 years ago. Basically, a bunch of prominent citizens of Earth (including Miss Universe) are summoned to Mars to be harangued by a sarcastic alien who tells them they're all doomed. [more inside]
posted by Johnny Assay on Nov 28, 2010 - 4 answers

Identification of short story (and author) about an inside joke at a funeral

About two years back, I was traveling and picked up a huge book of short stories in a hostel. They were all by the same author, and for the most part, they were Roald Dahl-esque, intricately plotted, fast moving, usually violent or crimeish short stories with an elaborate twist at the end. However, one of the stories was a lovely departure from the others, and I'd like help identifying it. [more inside]
posted by Ideal Impulse on Aug 25, 2010 - 8 answers

Psych Me Up

Can you recommend a few strong lady stories? [more inside]
posted by *s on Aug 4, 2010 - 34 answers

Help Tracking Down Poem

Poem/story filter: Help me track down a poem I heard a long time ago. [more inside]
posted by derivation on Jul 24, 2010 - 2 answers

No, please, Don ____. Don't get up. SF story ID

Please help me ID a short science fiction story. Space tragedy, Spanish names, and revenge. [more inside]
posted by wzcx on Jul 16, 2010 - 4 answers

Name that sci-fi short story

Inspired by a recent question, I'm looking for a sci-fi story I read many years ago - bits i remember : guy put in some form of hibernation after the-end-of-the-world, robot looking after him, re-seeding life on Earth from grass seeds in his clothes, probably from some kind of young adult collection, the robots colonise the galaxy.
posted by curious_yellow on Jul 5, 2010 - 2 answers

Help me find some texts to teach the children!

I'll shortly be teaching a unit of work to senior high school students titled "Navigating the Global". I'm after short stories, preferably available for free online, that deal with the themes of global vs local culture. [more inside]
posted by robotot on Jul 1, 2010 - 10 answers

What is the name of this really disturbing science fiction short story?

What is the name of this really disturbing science fiction short story? (potentially NSFW description) [more inside]
posted by brundlefly on Jun 25, 2010 - 14 answers

What is this time travel short story?

I need help finding this short story I read in 5th grade, around 1985. It was a sci-fi time travel story, possibly written for a middle grade/YA audience, and it was anthologized in a school textbook/reader. [more inside]
posted by suburbanbeatnik on Jun 11, 2010 - 2 answers

Out on a limb

Trying to track down a kid's sci-fi short story about a girl whose neighbour was an alien who could detach and 'fix' body parts. [more inside]
posted by Paragon on May 12, 2010 - 6 answers

Short story told through communications to Mission Control?

I'm looking for a short sci-fi story that has eluded me for some time. [more inside]
posted by divide_by_cucumber on May 7, 2010 - 5 answers

Starting again: do I mention published work from a "previous" life?

I have published two short stories in my life, and that was twenty, and twenty-five years ago. Do I mention these in my cover letter to the fiction editor? I mean, yes, it is my publication history, and as it happens, both journals still exist, but this is still ancient history. To complicate matters, one of these stories was published under my married name, which I am no longer using. I have never mentioned the dates of publication in my cover letters so far, of course. I'm just wondering if editors check up on these things in some way that could easily leave me looking like a liar.
posted by uans on Mar 16, 2010 - 15 answers

Cool-headed drug-running young Irisher swims for shore to start over

I'd like to re-read this short story and other work by this author: I think this was collected in Best American Short Stories or O Henry short story collection, probably the past fifteen years. A great story, tight writing, great characters, fast pace: Cool-headed young man, Irish heritage, gutsy adventurer, stone-cold in face of danger, and danger abounds in this story, as he's running drugs on a sailboat in the Mediterranean. Drugs purchased with money he borrowed from his sister on some pretext or other. [more inside]
posted by dancestoblue on Mar 9, 2010 - 3 answers

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