Hertzsprung-Russell rating: A103

Available in: The Fox Woman And Other Stories

An Artic explorer discovers an ancient subterranean city populated by intelligent but malicious globes of light which enslave him to do their bidding: washing their malicious laundry, mowing their malicious grass and some light malicious filing. Despite being sans ClapperTM  he escapes his luminescent bondage and dies wandering and insane in the forest. The ironic thing about going insane in a forest is that you’re among so many trees while simultaneously being out of yours (that joke kills with mentally-ill arbourists).

Hertzsprung-Russell rating: A106.5+

Available in: Fighting The Future War


From the creator of Buck Rogers comes the tale of a futuristic America at war with a global Mongolian empire that wants to wipe them out. To combat these retarded Mongoloid schemes, a few brave fugitive ‘Muricans take to the skies in airships to do battle. Belligerent Americans – real creative, Phil. In reality, the only time we need to fear the Mongolians is during the high jump event at the summer Olympics; they’ve had 3000 years to practice on that wall the Chinese built.

Hertzsprung-Russell rating: A10-2

Available in: Timeless Stories For Today And Tomorrow

The story of a pig possessed by a demon and two brave young priests who strive to save the impious porker’s soul from piggy Hell (which smells delicious, by the way). Demons started inhabiting pigs in Biblical times (Matthew 8:30 – 37) because they knew the Jews wouldn’t touch them, but just once I’d like to see Jesus call their bluff. Son Of God be all, like, “Fuck it! Cook ‘em up! Get thee inside me, Satan! And round up some possessed chickens and some evil toast, while you’re at it; we’re one demon away from an all-day breakfast! I’ll say Grace, too: ‘Dear Me – I thank Me for this food I am about to receive.’” Wow. What a fertile bit.

Hertzsprung-Russell rating: B106.5+

Available in: The Science Fiction Hall Of Fame Volume IIB

Rumour has it this story served as the inspiration for Marvel’s X-Men: a psychiatry professor (possibly bald; it’s not explicitly stated that he is, but we have no reason to assume he’s not) discovers a brilliant mutant child (possibly with the innate ability to shoot lasers from his eyes; it’s never alluded to, but we have no reason to assume it couldn’t happen) and encourages him to seek out and band together with other mutant children (possibly to fight Magneto; no such conflict is even hinted at, but we should just go ahead and imagine that’s what the authour intended).  Also, the word SNIKT! appears over 400 times in the story.

Hertzsprung-Russell rating: G/K106.5+

Available in: A Mile Beyond The Moon

C.M.K. doesn’t seem to have a bad writing bone in his body; not a punny tibia or hackneyed distal phalange to be found. ‘Shark Ship’ begins as a story about a future civilization living at sea, and ends up touring the abandoned slums of New York City. Like a Nazi slipping on a banana peel it’s all at once scary and hilarious, and proves that the Jew-run banana peel industry is still very much a threat.

Hertzsprung-Russell rating: G1

Available in: The Farthest Reaches

Spinrad spins a rad yarn about a vanished alien civilization that leaves behind a stately pleasuredome designed to lure humans into eternal paradise. I like this story because it uses the word ‘spacer’ to describe professional interstellar travelers. Such a sadly optimistic, fun, corny, word. ‘Spacer’. Say it with me now: ‘spacer’. Neat.

Hertzsprung-Russell rating: K/M102

Available in: Shatterday

Fuckin’ Harlan Ellison’s awesome. Not having intercourse with him, mind you; I mean, he’s a fuckin’ awesome writer. This is a chilling tale about the special hell that awaits people who waste their lives (by, say, writing and reading blogs about science fiction), all told with Ellison’s trademark blend of Beauty N’ HorrorTM. Plus, look at the cover of Shatterday. Doesn’t that just beg for a caption-writing contest?!? Here’s mine:‘Talk about a wrong number!’ Intercourse with Harlan Ellison is awesome.

Hertzsprung-Russell rating: G/K105

Available in: Prayers To Broken Stones

A guy who can see the entire electromagnetic spectrum discovers the true cause of cancer and sets out to destroy it, with horrific results. The problem with being able to see the entire electromagnetic spectrum is that, besides having to hear the music of Aerosmith, you’d have to fucking look at it, too, and I’m fairly certain every song they’ve ever written is shit brown. “Even ‘Pink’?” you ask, incredulous. “Especially ‘Pink’” I reply.

Hertzsprung-Russell rating: F106.5+

Available in: Everything’s Eventual

An in-between-Gunslinger-novels story starring King’s resident pistol-packin’ poppa, Roland Deschain. In it, the roving, revolving cowboy finds himself laid up sick in an abandoned town and cared for by a hoard of vampire nurses. Now, if you wound up on this page as the result of a misdirected search for the R-rated 1987 Ivan Reitman teen sex comedy Vampire Nurses, I have two bits of advice. Firstly, read this collection of stories, specifically ‘Room 1408’, which is truly horrifying in the Lovecraftian tradition. Secondly, stop using Bing.