Category: Short Stories

Winston K. Marks – Unbegotten Child

“T S hat,” she demanded, sitting bolt upright in the hospital bed, “has happened to the medical world? In Italy, they tell me I have an abdominal tumor. In Paris, it’s cancer. And now you fatheads are trying to tell me I’m pregnant!” I stuffed my stethoscope into my jacket pocket and tried to pat […]

Winston K. Marks – The Water Eater

I L just lost a weekend. I ain’t too anxious to find it. Instead, I sure wish I had gone fishing with McCarthy and the boys like I’d planned. I drive a beer truck for a living, but here it is almost noon Monday and I haven’t turned a wheel. Sure, I get beer wholesale, […]

Winston K. Marks – The Test Colony

It was the afternoon of our arrival. Our fellow members of the “test colony” were back in the clearing at the edge of the lake, getting their ground-legs and drinking in the sweet, clean air of Sirius XXII. I was strolling along the strip of sandy beach with Phillip Benson, leader of our group, sniffing […]

Winston K. Marks – The Mind Digger

It was really a pretty fair script, and it caught me at a moment when every playwright worth his salt was playing in France, prostituting in Hollywood or sulking in a slump. I needed a play badly, so I told Ellie to get this unknown up to my office and have a contract ready. When […]

Winston K. Marks – The Deadly Daughters

These gorgeous fanatics were equally at home with men, murder, or matrimony, and they used all three with amazing success. Dr. Hubert Long, 40, bachelor and assistant professor of political science at Mentioch University, thrust his rugged, unlovely face forward, sticking out his neck literally and figuratively. “The Humanist Party,” he shouted at the 800 […]

Winston K. Marks – Mate in Two Moves

Love came somewhat late to Dr. Sylvester Murt. In fact, it took the epidemic of 1961 to break down his resistance. A great many people fell in love that year—just about every other person you talked to —so no one thought much about Dr. Murt’s particular distress, except a fellow victim who was directly involved […]

Winston K. Marks – Forsytes Retreat

At last he was second in line. He squared his shoulders and pulled at the lower edges of his black double-breasted suitcoat to erase the travel wrinkles. The applicant ahead of him exploded the words, “Nuts! I’ll leave town first. I just came from the Phony-Plaza. You can take that squirrel-cage and—” “Next!” the employment […]

Winston K. Marks – Breeder Reaction

T he advertising game is not as cut and dried as many people think. Sometimes you spend a million dollars and get no results, and then some little low-budget campaign will catch the public’s fancy and walk away with merchandising honors of the year. Let me sound a warning, however. When this happens, watch out! […]

Winston K. Marks – Backlash

I still feel that the ingratiating little runts never intended any harm. They were eager to please, a cinch to transact business with, and constantly, everlastingly grateful to us for giving them asylum. Yes, we gave the genuflecting little devils asylum. And we were glad to have them around at first —especially when they presented […]

William W. Stuart – The Real Hard Sell

B T EN TILMAN sat down in the easiest of all easy chairs. He picked up a magazine, flipped pages; stood up, snapped fingers; walked to the view wall, walked back; sat down, picked up the magazine. He was waiting, near the end of the day, after hours, in the lush, plush waiting room—“The customer’s […]

William W. Stuart – Inside John Barth

TAKE a fellow, reasonably young, personable enough, health perfect. Suppose he has all the money he can reasonably, or even unreasonably, use. He is successful in a number of different fields of work in which he is interested. Certainly he has security. Women? Well, maybe not any woman in the world he might want. But […]

William P. Salton – Operation Lorelie

They came like monsters, rather than men, into the vast ruin of what had once been a great city. They walked carefully, side by side, speaking to each other by radio as though they were in deep space rather than upon solid ground. The winding way they followed through the ruins was marked by blurred […]

William P. McGivern – The Chameleon Man

I ‘ve got an office in the Daily Standard building and sometimes when things are slow in my line— theatrical bookings—I drift upstairs and talk to the guy who writes the column, The Soldier’s Friend, for the Standard. On this particular morning I walked into his office and found it empty so I sat down […]

William Olaf Stapledon – The Seed and the Flower

God sowed a seed, and there came a flower. Holy is God, and the world His flower. THERE was a poor man who had a field, wherein he laboured all day. He had a daughter, an only child, and he loved her. At sunset, after his work, he looked at the field; and twilight fell […]

William Olaf Stapledon – The Road to the Aide Post

In Belgium at two o’clock in the morning, an ambulance driver stepped out of his car and yawned. It had rained since the previous night and the world was very wet. But at last the west wind was victoriously pursuing the clouds, piling their disordered companies one upon another. Suddenly the moon shone. White ruined […]

William Olaf Stapledon – The Flames

DEAR THOS, My present address is bound to prejudice you against me, but do please reserve judgment until you have read this letter. No doubt most of us in this comfortable prison think we ought to be at large, and most are mistaken. But not all, so for God’s sake keep an open mind. I […]

William Olaf Stapledon – Darkness and the Light

IS IT credible that our world should have two futures? I have seen them. Two entirely distinct futures lie before mankind, one dark, one bright; one the defeat of all man’s hopes, the betrayal of all his ideals, the other their hard-won triumph. At some date within the age that we call modern, some date […]

William Olaf Stapledon – Arms Out of Hand

SIR JAMES TOOK UP HIS PEN FOR THE FATEFUL LETTER. He wrote the date and “Dear Councillor Saunderson.” Then his hand stayed motionless. The words that should have followed were ready in his mind, but his hand refused to move. The fingers slackened. The pen slipped from his grip, and rolled away. He tried to […]

William Olaf Stapledon – A World of Sound

THE ROOM WAS OVERCROWDED AND STUFFY. THE music seemed to have no intelligible form. It was a mere jungle of noise. Now one instrument and now another blared out half a tune, but every one of these abortive musical creatures was killed before it had found its legs. Some other and hostile beast fell upon […]

William Olaf Stapledon – A Modern Magician

THEY CONFRONTED EACH OTHER ACROSS A TEA TABLE in a cottage garden. Helen was leaning back coldly studying Jim’s face. It was an oddly childish, almost foetal face, with its big brow, snub nose, and pouting lips. Childish, yes; but in the round dark eyes there was a gleam of madness. She had to admit […]

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