Tag Archives: sci-fi

The Last Night of the World, A Ray Bradbury Story

Last Night of the World  by Ray Bradbury, published in Esquire, 1951

Tuesday’s Tale of Terror    August 23, 2016

 

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What would you do if you knew that this night was the last night of the world? Would you meet it with grace? Bravery? A last indulgence? Panic? Would you examine yourself for a good or bad life?

A married couple are sitting at the dinner table talking.

She asks …  “And when will it stop? The world, I mean.”

He replies … “Sometime during the night for us, and then, as the night goes on around the world, those advancing portions will go, too. It’ll take twenty-four hours for it all to go.”

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In this sci-fi story (I’m not a sci-fi fan but I really liked this story because it provoked deep thinking), people have the same dream on the same date in February about the end of the world. If you were the characters in this story, would you  believe the end was really coming? Or maybe, just maybe you might think it’s the beginning of a time loop … like in a parallel world?  Or maybe it was true that death will strike soon after closing your eyes this night.  What if?

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Reading time on this story is 5 minutes. Got 5 minutes and cup o’ joe? Wow, this is a compelling dive into everyone’s greatest fear of knowing you will be the last conscious beings when the world ends on a cold night on February 30. Yes, February 30!

 

Read the short story here at Esquire.com.

Listen to the audio drama at Behance.net.

Watch the Ray Bradbury Theater on You Tube

 

FOR THE WRITERS HERE: Lit Reactor.com has Five Ray Bradbury stories that will tell you everything you need to know about writing.

 

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Ray Bradbury, termed the “poet of the pulps,” said in an interview in the Paris Review, The Art of Fiction (2010) that he was “completely library educated. I’ve never been to college … I discovered me in the library.” He died in 2012 at the age of 91. 

Book Review: Zen and the Art of Writing, by Ray Bradbury.

 

 

 

Don’t forget to view the INDEX above of more free Tales of Terror. This is a compendium of over 170 short stories by over 100 master storytellers of mystery,  supernatural, horror, and ghost stories.

Follow my blog and join me in reading a short story every other week!

Comments are welcome.

 

Other Reading Web Sites to Visit

Slattery’s Art of Horror Magazine

Books & Such   Bibliophilica    Lovecraft Ezine   Parlor of Horror

 HorrorAddicts.net     Horror Novel Reviews    HorrorSociety.com     

Monster Librarian     HorrorNews.net     HorrorTalk.com 

 Rob Around Books      The Story Reading Ape Blog

For Authors/Writers:  The Writer Unboxed

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Filed under fiction, horror blogs, mysteries, pulp fiction, Reading Fiction, science fiction, short stories, short story blogs, suspense, tales of terror

Immortals on the Yendian Plane

The Island of Immortals by Ursula Le Guin

Tuesday’s Tale of Terror  May 24, 2016

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‘Somebody asked me if I’d heard that there were immortal people on the Yendian Plane, and somebody else told me that there were, so when I got there, I asked about them. The travel agent rather reluctantly showed me a place called the Island of the Immortals on her map. “You don’t want to go there,” she said.’

Hop on the ship sailing to the island of immortals. This story is different from my usual posts. We’re in sci-fi territory and in the  hands of award-winning writer Ursula Le Guin. Our narrator is dying to see what kind of people are immortals and she sails out to explore the island. There is danger. There are flies.

 

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Ursula Le Guin is an American writer, best known for her stories in science fiction and high fantasy. She is a winner of Hugo, Nebula, and World Fantasy Awards.

A famous quote: “We are volcanoes. When we women offer our experience as our truth, as human truth, all the maps change. There are new mountains.”

 

 

Read the short story The Immortals at LightspeedMagazine.com

 

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Steering the Craft, A 21st-Century Guide to Sailing the Sea of Story by Ursula K. Le Guin

 Click here to Read My Book Review and Commentary,  May 17, 2016.

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Don’t forget to view the INDEX above of more free Tales of Terror.

This is a compendium of over 170 short stories by over 100 master storytellers of mystery,  supernatural, horror, and ghost stories. Join me in reading one short story every other week!

Comments are welcome.

 

Other Reading Web Sites to Visit

Slattery’s Art of Horror Magazine

Books & Such   Bibliophilica    Lovecraft Ezine    

 HorrorAddicts.net     Horror Novel Reviews    HorrorSociety.com     

Monster Librarian     HorrorNews.net     HorrorTalk.com 

 Rob Around Books      The Story Reading Ape Blog

For Authors/Writers:  The Writer Unboxed

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Filed under dark fantasy, fiction, Fiction Writing, horror blogs, Reading Fiction, short stories, short story blogs, supernatural, tales of terror

Lizardmen and Venusian Crystals

In the Walls of Eryx  by H.P. Lovecraft and Kenneth Sterling (1939)

Tuesday’s Tale of Terror   July 14, 2015

Ready for a mysterious and glowing adventure on the planet Venus?

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Photo Credit: NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, NASA/SDO, solar dynamics.

Kenton Stanfield is a prospector on the planet Venus in the region of Eryx (Erycinian Highland), a jungle of heavy plant growth and carnivorous blossoms. Our narrator is in search of crystal orbs to be brought back to Terra Nova  and used as a power source for Earth. The crystals are guarded by skulking ‘man lizards,’ some of them eight feet tall—and of course they are primitive and prepared to attack any human with their glow torches.

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“When they drew nearer they seemed less truly reptilian — only the flat head and the green, slimy, frog-like skin carrying out the idea. They walked erect on their odd, thick stumps, and their suction-discs made curious noises in the mud. These were average specimens, about seven feet in height, and with four long, ropy pectoral tentacles.”

As if that isn’t enough, Stanfield comes across a human corpse, and in the man’s hand is a crystal.

“I recognized him as Dwight, a veteran whom I had never known, but who was pointed out to me at the post last year. The crystal he clutched was certainly a prize — the largest single specimen I had ever seen.”

The cause of death? The man lizards? Or suffocation?

“The corpse was a rather bad sight — wriggling with sificlighs, and with a cloud of farnoth-flies around it. Something had pushed the helmet away from the face, and it was better not to look at it.”

 

Stanfield now realizes he is trapped inside an invisible, yet solid, maze. Blocks of glassy walls, corridors, parallel doorways, and circular rooms gives way to a maddening search out of the crystal maze before the dark vapors set in, and the man lizards discover his location.

This story was published after Lovecraft’s death. It is Lovecraft’s sole interplanetary frontier story set in the future.

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/Read Lovecraft’s In the Walls of Eryx  at  HPLovecraft.com

Listen to the audio version of In the Walls of Eryx at You Tube.

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I’ve always found crystals to be mysterious with their scientific values of piezoelectric qualities (spiral growth patterns) and their spiritual values as an aide in physical, emotional and psychological healing. I became interested in the power of quartz crystals when writing my novel The Dazzling Darkness, which features a quartz crystal skull.  Here is a very short video on the power of quartz crystals,  a demonstration on how quartz melts ice compared to other substances. “Demonstration of Quartz Crystals Healing Energies:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2onEsj7MtPc

 

 

Other Reading Web Sites to Visit

Bibliophilica       Lovecraft Ezine     HorrorAddicts.net  

Horror Novel Reviews    Hell Horror    HorrorPalace

HorrorSociety.com        Sirens Call Publications

 Monster Librarian   Tales to Terrify       Spooky Reads

HorrorNews.net     HorrorTalk.com

 Rob Around Books     The Story Reading Ape Blog

For Authors/Writers:  The Writer Unboxed

Don’t forget to view the INDEX above of more free Tales of Terror classic authors.

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Filed under classic horror stories, fiction, horror, horror blogs, Lovecraft, Reading Fiction, short stories, short story blogs, tales of terror

All You Zombies

All You Zombies  by Robert Heinlein (1958)

Tuesday’s Tale of  Terror    May 5, 2015

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Times zones,  a hermaphrodite, a barkeep that is a temporal agent for the “bureau,” and a time machine. This sci-fi short story by Robert Heinlein is a mesmerizing one. The title “zombies” didn’t mean the same thing in 1958 that it does these days.  We are at Pop’s Place in 1970 and in walks  a man who identifies himself as a magazine writer of true confessions by the name of “unmarried mother.”  The barkeep is fascinated, but he clearly knows more than he’s willing to reveal about “unmarried mother.”

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Read this story once and you’ll have lots of questions. Read this story twice and you find it has layered mysteries.  The action loops (that is not to say it’s loopy although I  wanted to call it that during the second reading). A third reading,  and yeah some things began to fall into place. I am not an avid sci-fi reader but this one was amazing.

Here’s a line that really got me:  “The Snake That Eats Its Own Tail, Forever and Ever. I know where I came from – but where did all you zombies come from?

Try watching the film Predesination with Ethan Hawke.

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Robert Heinlein is said to be one of the best fiction writers of all time. He was awarded the first SFWA Grand Master Nebula Award in 1975.

 

 

 

Read the short story at Online PDF Books. Go to “Click Here” to access story:

http://onlinepdfbooks.blogspot.com/2013/12/all-you-zombies-by-robert-heinlein.html

 

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 Other Reading Web Sites to Visit

Bibliophilica       Lovecraft Ezine     HorrorAddicts.net  

Horror Novel Reviews    Hell Horror    HorrorPalace

HorrorSociety.com        Sirens Call Publications

 Monster Librarian   Tales to Terrify       Spooky Reads

HorrorNews.net     HorrorTalk.com

 Rob Around Books     The Story Reading Ape Blog

For Authors/Writers:  The Writer Unboxed

Don’t forget to view the INDEX above of more free Tales of Terror classic authors.

 

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Faces Thinned In Shadows

The Stolen Body   by H.G. Wells (1898)

Tuesday’s Tale of Terror   May 6, 2014

 

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Astral projection, apparitions, self-hypnosis, psychical research, thought transference, dreams, and the mysteries of the pineal eye. Do you believe in the science of the body? Time travel? These days we might think of laser lights, atomic particles, frame dragging, time loops. So, what about the science of the astral body? gyroscope2Do you think that the astral body can travel to other realms?

Our characters, scientific investigator Mr. Bessel and his associate Mr. Vincey engage in an exploration into the supernatural powers of the mind and the paranormal elements of outer realms.

Mr. Bessel is on a mission to project his own apparition to Mr. Vincey at a distant location. The first attempt fails. Well, or course, we expected that. But subsequent attempts prove worthy when Mr. Bessel goes missing. Scotland Yard is summoned. However, this fails as well.

 

When Mrs. Bullock, the medium, is summoned a séance is held.

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Let me just say one more thing …

Mr. Bessel finds himself trapped in a cloud of the evil spirit world that is void of all sound. He discovers faces in thinned shadows with frenzied clutching hands. Do you think Bessel’s exploration might be a success? Think again.

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H.G. Wells conjures an amazing story that has exceptional effects while listening to the audio format. HG-Wells-001

This story, or should I say “report” is perfect for a read-aloud. The narrative has a subtle clinical aspect, which make for chilling fiction.

Listen to the YouTube audio (wonderful!) at Chapter Vox

Read the full text at OnlineLiterature

 

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Other Reading Web Sites to Visit

Bibliophilica.com

Horror Novel Reviews   Hell Horror    HorrorPalace

HorrorSociety.com

 Monster Librarian  Tales to Terrify       Spooky Reads

 Lovecraft Ezine      Rob Around Books    The Story Reading Ape Blog

     The Gothic Wanderer   Sirens Call Publications  The Fussy Librarian

For Authors/Writers:  The Writer Unboxed

Don’t forget to view the INDEX above to search for more classic authors and their tales.

 

 

 

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