Tag Archives: science fiction

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



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.”



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?




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.




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



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

Into the Darkest Valley

Valley of the Spiders   By H. G. Wells (1903)

Tuesday’s Tale of  Terror    January 27, 2015

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Into the darkest valley. Shadows go before them through the trails of the mountain path. Three men are on an adventure in the wilderness: a gaunt man with a scarred lip, a man riding a silver bridle, a dreamy little man on a white horse. They are pursuing a girl with a bleeding foot. They ride for four days, with a shortage of water, and finally come upon a wild dog. This is the first sign. Not long after, they come upon ragged floating globes, cobwebbey, that begin to descend across the valley.


imagesWhat do you do when you see a spider in your bathtub? Are you apt to kill it or scoop it up and send it to the outside world where it belongs? Next time you see a spider, wish on it and gently blow it away. They are cute little buggers, right? Not according to H.G Wells.



imgresWells’ descriptions of gigantic spiders have the makings of a real nightmare. There’s no scooping these guys away. Wells crafts a classic drama about cowardice and pride and the power of nature.  He is considered a visionary and the most prolific writer in science fiction–he wrote over fifty short stories. It is said that all were written quickly and virtually at a single sitting each. He said of his short stories “I found that taking almost anything as a starting-point and letting my thoughts play about it, there would presently come out of the darkness, in a manner quite inexplicable, some absurd or vivid little incident more or less relevant to that initial nucleus. Little men in canoes upon sunlit oceans would come floating out of nothingness, incubating the eggs of prehistoric monsters unaware; violent conflicts would break out amidst the flower-beds of suburban gardens; I would discover I was peering into remote and mysterious worlds ruled by an order logical indeed but other than our common sanity.”



Read Valley of the Spiders at Online-Literature

Listen to the audio version on YouTube.com



Next Month, February, is Women in Horror Month!


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.


Filed under fiction, horror, horror blogs, quiet horror, short stories, supernatural, tales of terror

Faces Thinned In Shadows

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

Tuesday’s Tale of Terror   May 6, 2014




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.



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.


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



Other Reading Web Sites to Visit


Horror Novel Reviews   Hell Horror    HorrorPalace


 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.





Filed under fiction, horror, paranormal, quiet horror, short stories

Mysteries of a Crystal Egg

The Crystal Egg by H.G. Wells  (1897)

Tuesday’s Tale of Terror, September 17, 2013

This week is H.G. Wells anniversary birth date (September 21), so featuring one of this grandmaster’s  science fiction short stories is a must for Tales of Terror.

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In The Crystal Egg, we meet a gentleman known as Mr. Cave. He owns a grimy dark little shop full of antiquities in town. Among the animal skulls, boxes of eyes, elephant tusks, and stuffed monkeys is a crystal egg. Mr. Cave acquired the egg from another dealer and as curiosity prevails—who doesn’t find crystals eye-catching?—he couldn’t resist the gleaming oval object and displayed it in his shop window.

Mr. Cave is a little old man, with pale face and peculiar watery blue eyes; his hair was a dirty grey, and he wore a shabby blue frock-coat, an ancient silk hat, and carpet slippers very much down at heel.

Sounds cute, huh? Cute if you keep in mind we are in the late 1890s. Mr. Cave is actually a charming character who endears you immediately. His wife, the corpulent Mrs. Cave, however, can reduce the poor man to quivering emotions and muddle his thoughts. And she does so when two men stroll into the shop and offer to buy the crystal egg. Mrs. Cave is quite anxious to sell the object, but Mr. Cave has some trouble parting with the crystal.

The fascinating thing about crystals is their mysterious refractions of light.  Sometimes you can see into them quite clearly and other times the view is a distorted image. Even colors change with every new angle. If you hold a rounded crystal in a ray of light, what do you think you’ll see?

Eggtales_of_tomorrow_9_the_crystal_egg_000720Mr. Cave does more than just look at the colors and angles of light. He sees a vivid vision within the crystal egg. No dreaming here, no illusions, no hallucinations. This is a definite impression of reality. What does he see exactly? I have a better question. What happens to Mr. Cave when he observes this vivid vision? Do you think the vision will look back and observe poor Mr. Cave?

This amazing little short story raises more questions than resolutions, especially if you believe in … well, I won’t say exactly.


Read it at ReadBook Online http://www.readbookonline.net/readOnLine/9395/

Listen to the narration by LibriVox Recording (46 minutes) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=840JrGZJMhg

Watch the 1951 vintage film by Tales of Tomorrow starring Thomas Mitchell  (23 minutes) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u6rPm5siOwk


Other Reading Web Sites to Visit



The Story Reading Ape Blog

Interesting Literature


Horror Novel Reviews

Hell Horror

Monster Librarian

Tales to Terrify

Rob Around Books  

Books on the Nightstand


For Authors/Writers: The Writer Unboxed

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Filed under classic horror stories, fiction, horror, quiet horror, Reading Fiction, short stories, tales of terror