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Short stories

Where Love is, There God is Also by Lev Nikolayevich Tolstoy

Posted by donatien at August 7, 2016, 4:01 pm in Ebooks » Short Stories

SCREENSHOT

Written by one of the world's most famous and beloved storytellers, this attractively packaged book includes three tales: Where Love Is, There God Is Also, The Hermits, and What Men Live By.
Tolstoy is best known for his classic works, War and Peace and Anna Karenina.


EXCERPT


In the city lived the shoemaker, Martuin Avdyeitch. He lived in a basement, in a little room with one window. The window looked out on the street. Through the window he used to watch the people passing by; although only their feet could be seen, yet by the boots, Martuin Avdyeitch recognized the people. Martuin Avdyeitch had lived long in one place, and had many acquaintances. Few pairs of boots in his district had not been in his hands once and again. Some he would half-sole, some he would patch, some he would stitch around, and... read more

Think Yourself to Death by Stephen Marlowe

Posted by imarion at March 26, 2016, 7:12 pm in Ebooks » Science Fiction

SCREENSHOT

If you've never read a Johnny Mayhem story before, you are in for a treat. Johnny, who wears different bodies the way ordinary people wear clothes, is one of the most fascinating series characters in science fiction.

EXCERPT


When he reached Ophiuchus, Johnny Mayhem was wearing the body of an elderly Sirian gentleman.

Nothing could have been more incongruous. The Sirian wore a pince-nez, a dignified two-piece jumper in a charcoal color, sedate two-tone boots and a black string-tie.

The loiterers in the street near the Galactic Observer's building looked, and pointed, and laughed. Using the dignity of the dead Sirian, whose body he wore like other people wear clothing, Johnny Mayhem ignored them. They had a point, of course. It was hot and humid on Ophiuchus IX. The loiterers in the dusty, evil-smelling streets wore nothing but... read more

The Bee-Man of Orn and Other Fanciful Tales by Frank Richard Stockton

Posted by elliot at December 10, 2015, 7:59 pm in Ebooks » Short Stories

SCREENSHOT

A collection of nine enchanting short stories filled with curious beasts and unexpected endings. Included are The Bee-Man of Orn; The Griffin and the Minor Canon; Old Pipes and the Dryad; The Queen's Museum; Christmas Before Last: Or, The Fruit of the Fragile Palm; Prince Hassak's March; The Battle of the Third Cousins; The Banished King; and The Philopena (summary by Gryphon Perkins)... read more

Where the World is Quiet by Henry Kuttner

Posted by demian at November 12, 2015, 9:39 pm in Ebooks » Science Fiction

SCREENSHOT

The life of an anthropologist is no doubt filled much of the time with the monotonous routine of carefully assembling powdery relics of ancient races and civilizations. But White's lone Peruvian odyssey was most unusual. A story pseudonymously penned by one of the greats in the genre.


EXCERPT


Fra Rafael saw strange things, impossible things. Then there was the mystery of the seven young virginal girls of Huascan.



Fra Rafael drew the llama-wool blanket closer about his narrow shoulders, shivering in the cold wind that screamed down from Huascan. His face held great pain. I rose, walked to the door of the hut and peered through fog at the shadowy haunted lands that lifted toward the sky—the Cordilleras that make a rampart along Peru's eastern border.... read more

Genesis by H. Beam Piper

Posted by colibri at September 16, 2015, 8:28 pm in Ebooks » Short Stories

SCREENSHOT

EXCERPT

GENESIS
By
H. Beam Piper
FEATURE NOVELET
OF LOST WORLDS

Was this ill-fated expedition the end of a proud, old race—or the beginning of a new one?

There are strange gaps in our records of the past. We find traces of man-like things—but, suddenly, man appears, far too much developed to be the "next step" in a well-linked chain of evolutionary evidence. Perhaps something like the events of this story furnishes the answer to the riddle.

Aboard the ship, there was neither day nor night; the hours slipped gently by, as vistas of star-gemmed blackness slid across the visiscreens. For the crew, time had some meaning—one watch on duty and two off. But for the thousand-odd colonists, the men and women who were to be the spearhead of migration to a new and friendlier planet, it had none. They slept, and... read more

The Vampire Maid by Hume Nisbet

Posted by Courtney2 at August 9, 2015, 10:11 pm in Ebooks » Short Stories

SCREENSHOT

It was the exact kind of abode that I had been looking after forweeks, for I was in that condition of mind when absolute renunciation of society was a necessity. I had become diffident of myself, and wearied of my kind. A strange unrest was in my blood; a barren dearth
in my brains. Familiar objects and faces had grown distasteful to me.I wanted to be alone.

This is the mood which comes upon every sensitive and artistic mind when the possessor has been overworked or living too long in one groove. It is Nature's hint for him to seek pastures new; the signthat a retreat has become needful.

If he does not yield, he breaks down and becomes whimsical and hypochondriacal, as well as hypercritical. It is always a bad sign when a man becomes over-critical and censorious about his own or other people's work, for it means that he is losing the vital portions of work, freshness and enthusiasm.... read more

Tree, Spare that Woodman by Dave Dryfoos

Posted by demian at May 31, 2015, 9:49 pm in Ebooks » Short Stories

SCREENSHOT

The single thing to fear was
fear—ghastly, walking fear!

Stiff with shock, Naomi Heckscher stood just inside the door to Cappy's one-room cabin, where she'd happened to be when her husband discovered the old man's body.

Her nearest neighbor—old Cappy—dead. After all his wire-pulling to get into the First Group, and his slaving to make a farm on this alien planet, dead in bed!

Naomi's mind circled frantically, contrasting her happy anticipations with this shocking actuality. She'd come to call on a friend, she reminded herself, a beloved friend—round, white-haired, rosy-cheeked; lonely because he'd recently become a widower. To her little boy, Cappy was a combination Grandpa and Santa Claus; to herself, a sort of newly met Old Beau.

Her mouth had been set for a sip of his home brew, her eyes had pictured the delight he'd take in and give to her little boy.

She'd walked over with son and husband, expecting nothing more shocking than an ostentatiously stolen kiss. She'd found a corpse. And to have let Cappy die alone, in this strange world ...... read more

The Four Days' Night by Fred Merrick White

Posted by fredy at April 28, 2015, 6:41 pm in Ebooks » Short Stories

SCREENSHOT

Another in the "Doom of London" series, in which the author sounds a clarion call of potential disasters that may fall upon the great city. Here he relates a tale of air pollution.


Excerpt:


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 Hackness, B.Sc., London, thoughtfully read all this and more. The study of the meteorological reports was part of his religion almost. In the laboratory at the back of his sitting-room were all kinds of weird-looking instruments for measuring sunshine and wind pressure, the weight of atmosphere and the like. Hackness trusted before long to be able to foretell a London fog with absolute accuracy, which, when you come to think of it, would be an exceedingly useful matter. In his queer way Hackness described himself as a fog specialist. He hoped some day to prove himself a fog-disperser, which is another word for a great public benefactor.... read more

The Kreutzer Sonata and Other Stories by graf Leo Tolstoy

Posted by ayala at April 17, 2015, 7:47 pm in Ebooks » Short Stories

SCREENSHOT

The Kreutzer Sonata (Russian: Крейцерова соната, Kreitzerova Sonata) is a novella by Leo Tolstoy, named after Beethoven's Kreutzer Sonata. The novella was published in 1889 and promptly censored by the Russian authorities. The work is an argument for the ideal of sexual abstinence and an in-depth first-person description of jealous rage. The main character, Pozdnyshev, relates the events leading up to his killing his wife; in his analysis, the root cause for the deed were the "animal excesses" and "swinish connection" governing the relation between the sexes.


EXCERPT


Travellers left and entered our car at every stopping of the train. Three persons, however, remained, bound, like myself, for the farthest station: a lady neither young nor pretty, smoking cigarettes, with a thin face, a cap on her head, and wearing a semi-masculine outer garment; then her companion, a very loquacious gentleman of about forty years, with baggage entirely new and arranged in an orderly manner; then a gentleman who held himself entirely aloof, short in stature, very nervous, of uncertain age, with bright eyes, not pronounced in color, but extremely attractive,—eyes that darted with rapidity from one object to another.

This gentleman, during almost all the journey thus far, had entered into conversation with no fellow-traveller, as if he carefully avoided all acquaintance. When spoken to, he answered curtly and decisively, and... read more

The Power of Darkness by Edith Nesbit

Posted by aloisio at April 10, 2015, 10:49 pm in Ebooks » Short Stories

SCREENSHOT

The figure of my wife came in... it came straight towards the bed... its wide eyes were open and looked at me with love unspeakable' Edith Nesbit, best known as the author of The Railway ren and other ren's classics, was also the mistress of the ghost story and tales of terror. She was able to create genuinely chilling narratives in which the returning dead feature strongly. Sadly, these stories have been neglected for many years, but now, at last, they are back in print. In this wonderful collection of eerie, flesh-creeping yarns, we encounter love that transcends the grave, reanimated corpses, vampiric vines, vengeful ghosts and other dark delights to make you feel fearful. These vintage spooky stories, tinged with horror, are told in a bold, forthright manner that makes them seem as fresh and unsettling as today's headlines.


EXCERPT


It was an enthusiastic send-off. Half the students from her atelier were there, and twice as many more from other studios. She had been the belle of the Artists' Quarter in Montparnasse for three golden months. Now she was off to the Riviera to meet her people, and everyone she knew was at the Gare de Lyon to catch the last glimpse of her. And, as had been more than once said late of an evening, "to see her was to love her". She was one of those agitating blondes, with the naturally rippled hair, the rounded rose-leaf cheeks, the large violet-blue eyes, that looked all things and meant Heaven alone knew how little. She held her court like a queen, leaning out of the carriage window and receiving bouquets, books, journals, long last words, and last longing looks. All eyes were on her, and her eyes were for... read more

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