Frederic Brown – Keep Out

Daptine is the secret of it. Adaptine, they called it first; then it got shortened to daptine. It let us adapt. They explained it all to us when we were ten years old; I guess they thought we were too young to understand before then, although we knew a lot of it already. They told […]

Frederic Brown – Hall of Mirrors

FOR an instant you think it is temporary blindness, this sudden dark that comes in the middle of a bright afternoon. It must be blindness, you think; could the sun that was tanning you have gone out instantaneously, leaving you in utter blackness? Then the nerves of your body tell you that you are standing, […]

Frederic Brown – Earthmen Bearing Gifts

Dhar Ry sat alone in his room, meditating. From outside the door he caught a thought wave equivalent to a knock, and, glancing at the door, he willed it to slide open. It opened. “Enter, my friend,” he said. He could have projected the idea telepathically; but with only two persons present, speech was more […]

Frederic Brown – Arena

CARSON OPENED HIS EYES, and found himself looking upwards into a flickering blue dimness. It was hot, and he was lying on sand, and a rock embedded in the sand was hurting his back. He rolled over to his side, off the rock, and then pushed himself up to a sitting position. ‘I’m crazy,’ he […]

Frederic Bastiat – The Law

The law perverted! The law — and, in its wake, all the collective forces of the nation — the law, I say, not only diverted from its proper direction, but made to pursue one entirely contrary! The law become the tool of every kind of avarice, instead of being its check! The law guilty of […]

Frederic Arnold Kummer – The Ivory Snuff Box

The last thing that sounded in Richard Duvall’s ears as he left the office of Monsieur Lefevre, Prefect of Police of Paris, were the latter’s words, spoken in a voice of mingled confidence and alarm, “The fortunes of a nation may depend upon your faithfulness. Go, and God be with you.” He entered the automobile […]

Frederic Arnold Kummer – The Green God

The dull October afternoon was rapidly drawing to a close as I passed through the village of Pinhoe, and set my steps rather wearily toward Exeter. I had conceived the idea, some time before, of walking from London to Torquay, partly because I felt the need of the exercise and fresh air, and partly because […]

Frederic Arnold Kummer – The Film of Fear

Tuth Morton finished her cup of coffee, brushed a microscopic crumb from her embroidered silk kimono, pushed back her loosely arranged brown hair, and resumed the task of opening her mail. It was in truth a task, and one that consumed an inordinate amount of her valuable time. And her time was extremely valuable. Computed […]

Fred Merrick White – The Romance of the Secret Service Fund

GO TO DEATH; go to death; go to death; go to death. Your wife’s a bride; your wife’s a bride. Go to death; go to death; go to death; go to death. Your wife’s a bride; your wife’s a bride.” The mad refrain was hammered into Newton Moore’s brain by the clang and roar of […]

Fred Merrick White – The River of Death A Tale of London In Peril

THE sky was as brass from the glowing East upwards, a stifling heat radiated from stone and wood and iron—a close, reeking heat that drove one back from the very mention of food. The five million odd people that go to make up London, even in the cream of the holiday season, panted and gasped […]

Fred Merrick White – The Master Criminal

The history of famous detectives, imaginary and otherwise, has frequently been written, but the history of a famous criminal—never. This is a bold statement, but a true one all the same. The most notorious of rascals know that sooner or later they will be found out, and therefore they plan their lives accordingly. But they […]

Fred Merrick White – The Invisible Force

IT seemed as if London had solved one of her great problems at last. The communication difficulty was at an end. The first-class ticket-holders no longer struggled to and from business with fourteen fellow-sufferers in a third-class carriage. There were no longer any particularly favoured suburbs, nor were there isolated localities where it took as […]

Fred Merrick White – The Four White Days

THE editor of The Daily Chat wondered a little vaguely why he had come down to the office at all. Here was the thermometer down to 11° with every prospect of touching zero before daybreak, and you can’t fill a morning paper with weather reports. Besides, nothing was coming in from the North of the […]

Fred Merrick White – The Four Days Night

THE weather forecast for London and the Channel was “light airs, fine generally, milder.” Further down the fascinating column Hackness read that “the conditions over Europe generally favoured a continuance of the large anti-cyclonic area, the barometer steadily rising over Western Europe, sea smooth, readings being unusually high for this time of the year.” Martin […]

Fred Merrick White – The Dust of Death The Story of the Great Plague of the Twentieth Century

THE front door bell tinkled impatiently; evidently somebody was in a hurry. Alan Hubert answered the call, a thing that even a distinguished physician might do, seeing that it was on the stroke of midnight. The tall, graceful figure of a woman in evening dress stumbled into the hall. The diamonds in her hair shimmered […]

Fred Merrick White – A Bubble Burst

THE ERA of peace which seemed to be well-begun in 1906 was naturally marked by an extraordinary commercial and financial activity; an amount of world-wide speculations never equalled in intensity, even in the mad times of the South Sea Bubble, or when Hudson, the Railway King, flourished. The countless millions piled up in English banks […]

Franz Kafka – The Country Doctor

I was in great difficulty. An urgent journey was facing me. A seriously ill man was waiting for me in a village ten miles distant. A severe snowstorm filled the space between him and me. I had a carriage —a light one, with large wheels, entirely suitable for our country roads. Wrapped up in furs […]

Franz Kafka – In the Penal Colony

“It’s a peculiar apparatus,” said the Officer to the Traveler, gazing with a certain admiration at the device, with which he was, of course, thoroughly familiar. It appeared that the Traveler had responded to the invitation of the Commandant only out of politeness, when he had been invited to attend the execution of a soldier […]

Franz Kafka – A Hunger Artist

In the last decades interest in hunger artists has declined considerably. Whereas in earlier days there was good money to be earned putting on major productions of this sort under one’s own management, nowadays that is totally impossible. Those were different times. Back then the hunger artist captured the attention of the entire city. From […]

Franklin Abel – Freudian Slip

On the day the Earth vanished, Herman Raye was earnestly fishing for trout, hip-deep in a mountain stream in upstate New York. Herman was a tall, serious, sensitive, healthy, well-muscled young man with an outsize jaw and a brush of red-brown hair. He wore spectacles to correct a slight hyperopia, and they had heavy black […]

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