Questions asking for identification of a published story, based on the details you provide within the question. Please be THOROUGH and provide ALL of the details that you can remember when using this tag.

This tag should be used by people who have read/heard of a story, and can no longer remember the title of that story. People using this tag should provide detailed descriptions of everything they can remember about the story, to help those answering identify it correctly. Please do NOT use this tag to ask for literature recommendations - it is meant to find stories you have forgotten.

A list of details one should add to their question includes, but is not limited to:

  • When did you read the story, and how old was it?

    Did you read it 10 years ago? Last summer? "When I was in high school" is not descriptive. Try to provide a year range instead.
    Was it an old crumbling book or a fresh one? Did you see it in a magazine from the 1980s or on a website yesterday?

  • Medium and appearance

    What did the cover look like? Was it a thick book? A magazine? Short story collection? Novel? Maybe printed in a textbook? Was it an online story?

  • What language did you read it in, and was it translated?

    What language did you read the book in? This helps to narrow down the possibilities. In case you read a translation, you should also try to provide the original language the book was written in - this will significantly narrow down the search area.

  • Where did you read this story?

    Public library? Airport book shop? USA? Italy? Any of these will help.

  • Anything else

    Every little detail will help - do not omit anything just because you think it is insignificant.

Also, story-ID questions should have meaningful and descriptive titles. The title, ideally, should mention the distinctive points that would allow people who know the story to identify it immediately and cause those who don't to become interested in it. Titles like "Looking for a short story I read as a kid" are not helpful at all, but a title like Overpopulated world, where volunteers are being taken to be converted to food is much more descriptive and distinctive.

It will also be helpful for potential answerers if you describe what research efforts you have already undertaken and, if appropriate, any 'false positives' you came across ie. works which meet the general description but are NOT the one you are looking for. This will save other people duplicating your efforts and proposing works which you ave already rejected. For more guidance, refer to Guidelines for good story-id questions? on meta.