22 votes
Accepted

Dystopian short story read in US high school: boy and man travel through ancient ruins which are actually our modern-day civilisation

I am convinced that this is By the Waters of Babylon by Stephen Vincent Benet, a 1937 post-apocalyptic science fiction short story. The story involves a father and son ("My father is a priest; I ...
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13 votes

Two men traveling through desert with sheep, older one holds water in mouth to reduce thirst and blows tobacco on sheep to remove ticks

I am certain that this is "Old Ramon", a short novel from 1960 by Jack Schaefer, the author of Shane. It deals with the relationship between an old shepher, Ramon, and the son of his ...
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4 votes
Accepted

Short story where an older lady realizes that her new beau has been murdering his wives, but decides to go with it

This is Donald Westlake's short story "Never Shake a Family Tree", which appeared in his collection The Curious Facts Preceding my Execution and Other Stories (1968) and no doubt elsewhere. ...
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  • 246
4 votes

Why is there an earlier book just like The Vanishing Half with a different title and author?

This is a common scam on Amazon’s Kindle store. Scammers have been raiding the Kindle Unlimited pot using a well-worn trick. They usually pilfer the content first of all – often by stealing an author’...
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  • 2,410
3 votes
Accepted

A company goes bankrupt after adopting "socialist" policies

The book is Atlas Shrugged. The company in question is the 20th Century Motor Company. They implemented a policy in which everyone was expected to work according to his abilities, and everyone was ...
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3 votes
Accepted

Science fiction book in which a doctor treats a sociopathic child who killed her brother

I figured it out! After letting this stew in my brain and having vague recollections that it had something to do with robots or was inspired by Asimov in some way, a lot of Googling phrases like "...
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  • 341
3 votes
Accepted

Short story about chess

"Mate in Nineteen" by Vincent Fotre. Alekhine and Capablanca are mentioned in the story but do not appear as characters. The only characters are a cobbler (not a peasant) named Renoir, who ...
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  • 154
2 votes
Accepted

Old book: boy and girl co-dreaming serialised on BBC radio

Might it be one of the adaptations of Marianne Dreams by Catherine Storr? Marianne is a young girl who is bedridden with a long-term illness. She draws a picture to fill her time, and finds that she ...
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  • 7,890

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