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Another story ID

(12 posts)
  • Started 1 year ago by Gordon Van Gelder
  • Latest reply from Gordon Van Gelder

  1. Gordon Van Gelder
    Editor/Publisher

    I can't find the old thread for posting story ID questions, so I'll start a new one.

    We got this query from a subscriber---does anyone here recognize this story?

    When I was in high school back in the early
    sixties I read a science-fiction I believe
    short story, about a cop in a gun battle in an
    LA who through an injury was transported back
    to a parallel era where our Capitol never left
    Philadelphia, which was kept uncomfortable and
    original, and after doing its business
    Congress just went back home. I can't seem to
    find anybody that remembers that story.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  2. C.C. Finlay
    Charles Coleman Finlay

    It sounds like it might be one of H. Beam Piper's Paratime stories, although I don't recognize the exact description. The subscriber may want to look through the stories at http://uchronia.net/ -- they have a robust and searchable database of alternate history stories.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  3. David the Evil Overlord
    Member

    It's not The Probability Broach, is it?

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Probability_Broach

    The other possibility is Gunpowder God?

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lord_Kalvan_of_Otherwhen

    Posted 1 year ago #
  4. BevanEvansMcdougie
    Member

    ...I recall a story around 1987/88 (or later , given what is referred to) in which a teenage?? reunaway , in Sattle?? , imagines DC Comics superheroes being his friend - Batman is referred to as " Dark Knight " .
    For a less explicit DC Comics reference , I recall a this-century story in which , an a cross-country Greyhound bus trip (Um...I guess things like these are inherently " spoiler " situations ! :-)) someone commits a murder and sets it up so a young rider will be arrsted and committed for it...and there's a reference to a futuristic young super-heroes group , clearly referencing DC's The Legion Of Super-Heroes , though the phrase was not used .

    Posted 1 year ago #
  5. C.C. Finlay
    Charles Coleman Finlay

    Tim Pratt, at Locus Magazine, was asking for help identifying this story. Does anyone recognize it:

    "I've been trying to track down a half-remembered story for the past 25 years or so. Maybe one of you will recognize it. Google always fails me, either because it's an obscure story with no digital footprint, or because I'm misremembering salient details. I was reading some rooming house stories by Theodore Sturgeon today, and it reminded me.

    "The story is set in a boarding house, full of peculiar characters, many of whom have supernatural powers. There's one man who travels the world and fixes tears in reality; I think he's described as having "lightning in his hands." There's an old woman who sees angels, or maybe just one angel, I think named Toby. There's a man with magical mechanical aptitude; I think he fixes up an old car, and takes a left turn, and the car disappears, taking him with it. There's someone who can make things you desire appear, maybe -- they make the angel the old woman sees visible to everyone, at one point; that's one of the hazier details. I don't remember the plot at all. I probably read it in an anthology or SF magazine that was available at the Wayne Country library in Goldsboro North Carolina in the early '90s, but it could be from any year before that.

    "Ring any bells? It's entirely possible I'm misremembering or even conflating. It was a long time ago, but the story made a big impression on my fledgling writer brain, and I'd love to find it again."

    Posted 6 months ago #
  6. JohnWThiel
    Member

    It sounds like it's in fact by Sturgeon, as it seems to have a gestalt group of people in it, as did his novel MORE THAN HUMAN; it may be by someone else working with his theme, but he worked with it further himself in several stories I read. If it's got a lot of humor in it, it could be a jape on Sturgeon's topic. If the story uses the term "synergy" or "syzygy" or "gestalt", it's right in there with what Sturgeon wrote.

    Posted 6 months ago #
  7. Gordon Van Gelder
    Editor/Publisher

    Does anyone here recognize this story?

    A ship comes in to port; the ship is more or less hell, all the condemned shoveling coal into the engines or whatever, and one guy gets off; for some reason he has been granted one day off from eternal damnation to spend with his best girl. The story follows them on their day in the city as they figure out how to game the system and get yet another day together at some point in the future. At the end they return to their separate states of punishment until the next timeā€¦

    It might have run in F&SF in the late 1970s or early 1980s and might have the word "black" in the title.

    ---Gordon V.G.

    Posted 4 months ago #
  8. Mark Pontin
    Member

    It sounds like 'Down In the Black Gang' by Philip Jose Farmer, as my half-century-old memory of that story frames it.
    http://www.isfdb.org/cgi-bin/title.cgi?54315

    If so, then that story originally appeared in IF, March, 1969, (the issue had a chunk of Roger Zelazny's CREATURES OF LIGHT AND DARKNESS as a cover story), then was reprinted a couple of years later as the title story of a Farmer short story collection.

    Posted 4 months ago #
  9. Dr. Caligari
    Member

    I remember that story, but not it's title. It was definitely in F&SF, and it was during the time I first subscribed to the magazine (ca. 1977-1983).

    Posted 4 months ago #
  10. schatzfam
    Member

    I believe I have found it. It was "Die and Follow Me" by Gary Jennings in July 1982. The blurb describes it as "a most unusual shore leave in Manhattan" and it does concern a couple who determine a way to be forever for eternity during their one day together.

    Posted 4 months ago #
  11. schatzfam
    Member

    Sorry - it was late at night when I wrote the previous post. The last sentence should have read:

    The blurb describes it as "a most unusual shore leave in Manhattan" and it does concern a couple who determine a way to be together for eternity during the one day that was originally allotted to them.

    Posted 4 months ago #
  12. Gordon Van Gelder
    Editor/Publisher

    Thanks, Schatzfam. The person who was looking for the story thinks you've nailed it.

    Posted 4 months ago #

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