Short Stories

Reviewed date: 2017 Aug 16

The Edge of the Knife
by H. Beam Piper
Dr. Edward Chalmers is remembering future events. He can't keep straight what is the past and what is future, which causes him problems as he is a history professor at Blanley College.

The Tunnel Under the World
by Frederik Pohl
Burckhardt wakes up on June 15th in Tylerton. The next day, Burckhardt wakes up on June 15th in Tylerton. It's always June 15th in Tylerton, and when Burckhardt realizes it, he investigates to find out why.

It was an odd sort of day, he thought, and one he didn't much like. Things weren't going right.

Riding home on the next bus, he brooded about it. It wasn't anything terrible or disastrous; it was something out of his experience entirely. You live your life, like any man, and you form a network of impressions and reactions. You expect things. When you open your medicine chest, your razor is expected to be on the second shelf; when you lock your front door, you expect to have to give it a slight extra tug to make it latch.

It isn't the things that are right and perfect in your life that make it familiar. It is the things that are just a little bit wrong--the sticking latch, the light switch at the head of the stairs that needs an extra push because the spring is old and weak, the rug that unfailingly skids underfoot.

It wasn't just that things were wrong with the pattern of Burckhardt's life; it was that the wrong things were wrong.

The Skull
by Philip K. Dick
Conger travels back to 1960 to kill the Founder, a pacifist who started an anti-war religion, who was killed and supposedly rose from the dead.

The Gun
by Philip K. Dick
An automatic gun guards a dead race's treasures on a world destroyed by nuclear war. Surprise! The world is Earth!

The Answer
by H. Beam Piper
Long after the nuclear apocalypse, Lee Richardson and Alexis Pitov still wonder who launched that first bomb: Lee knows it wasn't the Americans, and Pitov swears it wasn't the Russians. It was a negamatter meteorite from outer space, not a bomb at all!

A Slave is a Slave
H. Beam Piper
When the Galactic Empire annexes the planet Aditya, they realize that Adityan society has been based around slavery for generations, to the point that eliminating slavery (as required by Imperial law) will require completely destroying and then rebuilding Adityan society.

The Adventure of the Sussex Vampire
by Arthur Conan Doyle
Sherlock Holmes solves the case of the Peruvian bride who is suspected of vampirism.

by Robert A. Heinlein
Using piano notes to find a blind girl shipwrecked on the moon.

by Charles Dye
After the nuclear apocalypse, survivors worship an idol which they call Thor; it turns out to be an atomic powered dishwasher.

Fifty Per Cent Prophet
by Gordon Randall Garrett
The US government's ESP espionage department finds a quack fortune teller who is accurately predicting certain man-made disasters.

Let 'Em Breathe Space!
by Lester Del Rey
On a chartered voyage to Saturn, someone has poisoned the oxygen plants.

Shipwreck in the Sky
by Eando Binder
Astronaut stranded on a tiny moon simply jumps off it to safety.

Spacewrecked on Venus
by Neil R. Jons
Sabotage leads to shipwreck on Venus, the wrong man is accused, and later we learn the narrator is the guilty man.

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