This question is a story-identification: https://scifi.stackexchange.com/questions/151238/looking-for-the-story-when-people-experience-life-in-reverse-like-a-movie-which

Normally, questions can't be marked as duplicates unless the dupe has an upvoted or accepted answer, which makes sense.

For story-identification, I believe the policy is that the asker must also confirm that the accepted answer is the same story they were looking for. Is this correct? I believe this question and its discussion is the current consensus policy: Closing Story-Ident questions as duplicates (where there's no acceptance)

In this case, however, the asker confirms in the question itself that they're looking for the same story another person is: Short story where time runs backwards. Does that fulfill the requirement in that consensus? The asker has admitted they're looking for the same story, but how can even they be sure of that when there's no answer?

  • I pinged the author of the original question in comments. If they incorporate the latter question's details into theirs, I think we can close the new one. Jan 27, 2017 at 10:02
  • 2
    In this instance, the policy on duplicates doesn't apply. The OP has posted it *Knowing (and acknowledging) that it's a duplicate.
    – Valorum
    Jan 27, 2017 at 10:35
  • 3
    @Valorum Believing (and claiming) that it's a duplicate is not the same as knowing (and acknowledging). Consider all the wrong answers to story-ID questions that get posted. If the poster had not been able to recall the title of his wrong answer, he might well say like this guy, "Hey, I'm looking for the same story."
    – user14111
    Jan 28, 2017 at 8:53
  • @user14111 - And while that's true, the OP has openly acknowledged that it's a dupe. If it turns out not to be, we have mechanisms to allow the question to be reopened.
    – Valorum
    Jan 28, 2017 at 9:03
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    The two questions look like they're asking for different stories. One's from the 1960s/70s, and pivots on a 'Big Bang' event, the other's from the 90s, starts with the main character's death, and only implies what caused the reversal. Are we sure this isn't just an English-as-second-language misunderstanding and when they said "I am looking for the same story", they meant "I am looking for a similar story"? A misunderstanding seems much more likely than deliberately asking a pointless question... Jan 30, 2017 at 10:35
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    In this case, the OP of the second question had originally posted it as an answer to the first (deleted; visible to 10k+ users). The standard close comment from review tells the user to ask a new question, which they did.
    – SQB
    Jan 30, 2017 at 12:19

3 Answers 3


Since the OP of the second question has openly acknowledged that it's a duplicate, I have no hesitation in closing it as such.

Per my comment;

Please don't intentionally create duplicates. If you know it's a dupe but have extra info to share, add it as a comment on the original question (or even as an answer, if you feel your information is meaty enough).

At this point we should work toward two main aims;

  • Keeping a tidy site (Ensuring that the dupe gets closed)

  • Making sure that any additional info in the dupe is added to the original question (presumably in the form of a comment that the original OP will see).

  • Sounds reasonable!
    – tobiasvl
    Jan 27, 2017 at 15:00
  • @tobiasvl - Reasonable is my middle name.
    – Valorum
    Jan 27, 2017 at 15:02
  • Richard Reasonable Valorum. Sounds like a Thomas Pynchon character.
    – tobiasvl
    Jan 27, 2017 at 15:09
  • @tobiasvl - Take that sort of joke to to Literature:SE where it belongs :-P
    – Valorum
    Jan 27, 2017 at 15:31
  • @Valorum: I was recently considering this... won't those additional details be unsearchable, as part of a comment?
    – FuzzyBoots
    Mar 1, 2017 at 19:13
  • @FuzzyBoots - Yes, but not if the OP of the original question adds it. If they don't add it, it was probably not helpful.
    – Valorum
    Mar 1, 2017 at 19:25
  • I feel like you also answered the question I had asked "relatively recently": scifi.meta.stackexchange.com/questions/13318/… But I doubt I'm going to write an answer. My intention initially was to ask a duplicate question which remembers much more details than the existing one, self-answer, then vote to close as duplicate of the original one (which I never did).
    – Clockwork
    Dec 23, 2023 at 14:40

The two caveats I'd say to the policy of closing this question are

  1. It might not actually be a duplicate in the end
  2. If you don't open your own question, there's no way for you to accept it

If we ever find an answer, this new guy can't confirm that it's an answer to the older question (since he's not them) and he can't accept the answer.

  • Yeah, #1 was what was my original reason for asking, but #2 is more interesting and didn't even occur to me. There are so many non-accepted but answered ID questions out there, too.
    – tobiasvl
    Jan 27, 2017 at 19:47
  • If we ever solve it on the original, the duper can always post a comment confirming that it's right or he can post a new question (or get his old question reopened) if it's wrong.
    – Valorum
    Jan 27, 2017 at 19:47

Don't close (usually)

The new question should link to the old question so that it can easily be found in the Linked Questions section. It's also often good to leave a link to the new question on the old question in case it triggers some more memories for that asker.

There are only a few situations where the new question should be closed as a duplicate instead:

  • The new question doesn't provide any new details.
  • OR when both questions probably were asked by the same person by mistake. (This happens with unregistered users who get locked out of their old account. Edit the new details into the old question.)

This is how things have worked in practice for a few years now, namely for the reasons outlined by FuzzyBoots.

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