Recursive Science Fiction

Return home A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z Graphics Drama Related

Kagan, Janet joint author with Mike Resnick, et al.

Kagan, Janet, "From the Dead Letter File"

Letters are sent out to members of the Splatter Writers' Action Guild, Science Fiction Writers' Alliance, and MWA in 2088. The problem is that Dr. Laurel Kerlin is going to send a team back in time to Victorian London to stop Jack the Ripper. This will cause 154,687 items of literature inspired by his acts over 200 years to vanish. The writers are urged to take legal action to prevent this.

Starshore 1:3 Winter (October) 1990 (p.47)

Kains, Josephine pseudonym of Ron Goulart

Kaminsky, Stuart, Murder on the Yellow Brick Road [Mystery]

About a year after the making of the film The Wizard of Oz, Judy Garland calls private investigator Toby Peters for assistance. An actor, dressed as a Munchkin, is found dead on the Yellow Brick Road with a knife in his chest. Why, and who is next.

St. Martin's Press, 1977

Kaplan, M. M. (as Barshofsky, Philip), "The Imperfect Guess"

Felix Ganese is an unsuccessful SF writer. Finally, he comes up with a great idea—funny-looking creatures from an unknown dimension try to conquer the Earth. When they fail, there is nothing for them but to work for various circuses. He submits "The Brainstorm from Beyond" to Eggsaturated Tales.  In the meanwhile, an alien named Pyx from an unknown dimension leaves a note on his typewriter ordering him to withdraw the story as the aliens regard it as libelous and detrimental to their dignity. He pulls the story, but begins another based upon the alien's purple glow at the typewriter.

Wonder Stories 7:8 March-April 1936 (pp.942-951,1001)

Katze, Rick, "Worldcon Blues"

When Winnipeg wins the 1994 Worldcon bid, Steve Francis, chairman of Louisville in 1994 won't accept it and decides to run Southern Pride—a picnic against it. Steve finally awakens and realizes that this was all a bad dream and that Louisville really did win.

Alternate Worldcons (edited by Resnick, Mike), Pulphouse Publishing 1-56146-448-1, September 1994 (pp.107-110)

Alternate Worldcons and Again, Alternate Worldcons (edited by Resnick, Mike), WC Books, September 1996 (pp.107-110)

Kaylan, Howard, "Hi, Bob"

First published story of sometime Turtles musician Kaylan, who tells in first person of a visit by sf author Tim Powers and his wife, and the ghost story they are all told by the local bartender. The presence of Kaylan and Powers is the only recursive element.

Phantoms of the Night (edited by Richard Gilliam and Martin H. Greenberg) DAW 0-88677-696-1, June 1996 (pp.12-23)

Kearney, Paul, The Way to Babylon

Following the death of his wife, fantasy writer Michael Riven visits a place on Skye important to them both. There he meets with a person from Minginish—a world he created for his novels. He must travel to that world to solve the problems caused by his wife's death.

Gollancz 0-575-05310-0 (tpb), 0-575-05309-7 (hc) July 1992,

Keith, William H. Jr. joint author with Peter Jurasik

Keller, David H., "The Plot Machine"

Colonel Horatio Bumble and his wife Ellen are writers. He realizes that plots are living creatures that enter the bodies of writers and put ideas into their brains. He confirms this by ultraviolet photography in his basement. Then he develops a machine to allow the plot to write the story without having to go through the human intermediary. He feeds them shredded genre magazines and attracts one interested in SF, Weird, and Fantasy fiction. It writes a series of novels steadily decreasing in morality until it dies. Horatio and his wife set up conditions to get new plots to live with them. They plan to cross-breed them.

Other Worlds Science Stories 3:4 March 1951 (pp.32-42)

Kelly, James Patrick, "10^16 to 1"

Ray Beaumont is a sixth grader in Westchester County who is a science fiction fan who watches TV, reads comic books, and his father's copies of Galaxy. While reading "The Ballad of Lost C'Mell" (Cordwainer Smith) he is discovered by a time traveler named Cross. Cross tells him that unless a small nuclear war emerges from the Cuban Missile Crisis a large one will wipe out humanity in 2009. Cross plans of traveling to New York to assassinate Adlai Stevenson but he is shot by Ray's mother. Cross persuades Ray to fulfill his mission. Ray goes to New York but falls asleep in the hotel lobby and cannot complete his mission. Looks like we'll all be wiped out in 2009. This story won the 2000 Hugo for Best Novelette.

Asimov's Science Fiction 23:6 June 1999 (pp.10-27)

The Best of the Best. 20 Years of the Year's Best Science Fiction (edited by Gardner Dozois) St. Martin's Press 0-312-33655-1, February 2005

Kerr, Katharine, Resurrection

Tiffany Owens, sometime pilot in the Air Service of the Republic of California, died when her F-47D flew through a nuclear explosion in Israel. Now she is being rehabilitated in San Francisco of our world. She tries to attribute these thoughts to her accident. She is trying to track down a science fiction book she bought in a PX in Greece, Albert Allonsby's novel Hunter's Night. All she can find is his Collected Stories (same cover, though) and a note by his posthumous editor saying he had left a few notes for a novel to be called Night of the Hunter.  She encounters Rabbi Akiba and the Devil who contend for her soul—the Devil wants her to return to her own universe; he detests disorder. She chooses to stay. As a wedding present, Rabbi Akiba sends her a copy of Hunter's Night so she can finish the story.

Axolotl Press (#25) 1-56146-121-0 (trade paperback), 151-2 (cloth), 181-4 (leather), June1992

Bantam 29834-8, September 1992

Kessel, John, "Buffalo"

This tells of the meeting between the author's father and H. G. Wells and the latter's misunderstanding of the former. Aside from the appearance of Wells there is no stfnal element in this story. Still, it does show the distance between two different types of dreamers and their inability to communicate on common issues.

The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction 80:1 January 1991 (pp.51-68)

Fires of the Past: Thirteen Contemporary Fantasies about Hometowns (edited by Anne Devereaux Jordan), St. Martin's 05433-5, March 1991

Kessel, John, "Invaders"

The Spanish conquest of the Incas is juxtaposed with aliens coming to Earth at the beginning of the 21st century for the purpose of kicks—buying art, cocaine, etc. The author hypothesizes that the reading of SF is a mind-altering drug akin to cocaine.

The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction 79:4 October 1990 (pp.6-27)

The Year's Best Science Fiction Eighth Annual Collection (edited by Gardner Dozois), St. Martin's SFBC 18551, 1991 (pp.232-252)

Kessel, John, "Of New Arrivals, Many Johns, and the Music of the Spheres"

Barry N. Malzberg arrives in Writer's Heaven. He is invited into Chuck's by Damon Runyon. However, the authors there disdain his work as hackery and throw him out. Runyon takes him down the street to Verne's which is full of SF writers. They disdain his work because it is metafiction and deals neither with hard science nor with elves. They throw him out into the street. There Barry opens his violin case and plays the most beautiful music Runyon has ever heard. Kessel has well summarized Malzberg's philosophy of SF. The writers are very thinly disguised.

the Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction 104:6 June 2003 (pp.9-22)

Kiernan, Caitlin, "Stoker's Mistress"

The story of the vampire who became Bram Stoker's mistress from his childhood and who—as his muse—inspired him to write Dracula. This book was written to put the story into the realm of fiction and to protect the vampires.

Dark Destiny III: Children of Dracula (edited by Edward E. Kramer), White Wolf Publishing 1-56504-813-X, October 1996 (pp.77-97)

Kilworth, Garry, "Fossils"

The protagonist is a science fiction writer whose neighbor has built a working time machine. Trips to the Jurassic are complicated by the writer's affair with the neighbor's wife. After some murders which are undone, the situation reverts to normal except for the false evidence that dinosaurs were tool users.

Interzone 69 March 1993 (pp.51-57)

King, Stephen, It

Terrible things happen in Derry, Maine every 27 years. At the last occurrence in 1958 seven children swore they would return to combat it in 1985. Six return; the seventh suicided rather than come back to Derry. One of these children is William Denbrough who has become a horror story writer whose second novel The Black Rapids was made into a film—Pit of the Black Demon. (His first novel was Joanna.) While in college he wrote mystery and SF stories owing much to H. P. Lovecraft, Richard Matheson, and Edgar Allen Poe. He also failed his creative writing course by being so crudely commercial. When one of the returnees, Benjamin Hanscom, checks a book out of the Derry Library he finds the previous readers were Charles N. Brown, David Hartwell, and Joseph Brennan. There is also a reference to an old man who paints funny pictures—Pickman. [As an aside, the writer in Misery is a gothic/romance writer; the writer in The Dark Half is a crime novelist.

Penguin Viking, 1986

Signet 14951-3, September 1987

Kingsbury, Donald, "The Moon Goddess and the Son"

The story of Diana Groves and how she got to the Moon. Some of the people in the story have read SF. In fact, Ling of Ling Enterprises once published 14 issues of a fanzine, Betelgeuse as a youth. He gave up trying to write and went into the restaurant business. One of his orbital restaurants is called Planet Stories.

Analog Science Fact-Science Fiction 99:12 December 1979 (pp.12-60)

The Endless Frontier, Volume 2 (edited by Jerry Pournelle & John F. Carr), Ace 0-441-20666-2, 1982 (pp18-81)

Klaw, Rick & Miles, Paul, "A Penny a Word"

Fun story told largely in form of testimony by a Mafioso to the Kefauver Commission, explaining that Weird Tales was not a real magazine but an elaborate mob-run hoax used to solicit money from aspiring authors. But even the mobsters became Robert E. Howard fans when his stories started appearing, which caused problems with the scam. This was the 2006 World Fantasy Convention book.—Dennis Lien

Cross Plains Universe: Texans Celebrate Robert E. Howard (edited by Scott A. Culp and Joe R. Landsdale), MonkeyBrain Books and Fandom Association of Central Texas, October 2006 1-932265-22-8

Knight, Damon, "A for Anything"

This is in the magazine version only; it is not in the book. Immediately after matter duplication is invented, SF fans think of it only as a mechanism for producing the perfect fanzine. This was written before the wide-spread use of xerographic copying machines, personal computers, and laser and ink-jet printers.

The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, November 1957 (§ IV, pp 29-31)

Knight, Damon, "A Likely Story"

This takes place at a December meeting of the Medusa Club, an organization of SF writers and editors based upon the actual Hydra Club of New York. The names of all the members of the Medusa club are anagrams and mild distortions of actual people. Damon Knight is the narrator; he has come to New York from his home in Pennsylvania. Strange events happen at the meeting; these events are based upon possible but very very improbable configurations of molecules occurring. All these turn out to have been caused by a fan in attendance who is bitter because the professionals would not pay attention to him. Using his device, he leaves for Mars. Knight remarks that attendance at Medusa Club meetings was off following these events.

Infinity Science Fiction 1:2 February 1956

The Best of Damon Knight, Nelson Doubleday 2474 G17, 1976 (pp.217-230)

Turning On, Doubleday, 1976

Kolaczyk, Anne & Ed, Captain Wonder [Romance]

While Sara Delaney, third grade school teacher from Kansas City, and her two eight-year-old twin daughters are vacationing in California, they meet Mike Taylor, TV's sci-fi hero Captain Wonder. As expected, true love triumphes over the false glitter of Hollywood.

Bantam 0-553-21694-5 (Loveswept 89), April 1985

Kooistra, Jeffery D., "The Return of the Golden Age"

Jimmy, an aging and soon-to-be-grounded SSTO [single stage to orbit] pilot steals one of the clipper ships (the Lunatic) and lands it on the Moon in Mare Imbrium. There he places a marker for Robert A. Heinlein in the same way that Delos D. Harriman was memorialized (see "Requiem", Astounding Science Fiction 24:5 January 1940). Years later, having triggered a new age of space, Jimmy is buried under the marker.

Analog Science Fiction and Fact 113:4 March 1993 (pp126-137)

Kornbluth, C. M. joint author with Frederik Pohl

Kornbluth, C.M., "MS. Found in a Chinese Fortune Cookie"

The writer, Cecil Corwin, has found The Answer to the problems of the world. He is found and spirited away to an insane asylum by a cabal who do not want it to be public. Corwin is working in the bakery as part of occupational therapy and is smuggling out the manuscripts. Cecil Corwin is one of the pseudonyms of C. M. Kornbluth.

The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, July 1957 (pp. 26-)

The Best from Fantasy & Science Fiction: Seventh Series, (edited by Anthony Boucher), Doubleday SFBC May 1958 (pp. 232-246) Ace F-162, 1962

The Marching Morons and Other Famous Science Fiction Stories, Ballantine 303K, 1959

Yet More Penguin Science Fiction (edited by Brian W. Aldiss), Penguin 2189, 1964

Thirteen O'Clock and Other Zero Hours (Cecil Corwin stories edited by Frederik Pohl), Dell, 1970

Penguin Science Fiction Omnibus (edited by Brian W. Aldiss), Penguin 003145-6, June 1973

Laughing Space, (edited by Isaac Asimov & Janet O. Jeppson), Houghton Mifflin 30519-5, March 1982 (pp.446-455)

Kube-McDowell, Michael P. joint author with Mike Resnick, et al.

Kuttner, Henry, "The Case of Herbert Thorp"

Herbert Thorp, editor of Fantastic Stories, is in the midst of rejecting author Beckett's latest, in which an ordinary businessman pisses off a magician or occultist and gets cursed. A magic door then opens in his office (in the hypothetical story), ghouls grab the businessman and initiate him into ghoulhood, then send him back to get someone to eat. Who happens to be handy but his brother, whom he delivers to the ghouls for lunch. Mr. Thorp finds this implausible. "You can have 'em in Zothique and Joiry, but not in Chicago. It just doesn't ring true." So after Beckett leaves Thorp's office, a magic door opens, the story is enacted with him as the guest of honor, he escapes and wakes up in his office, dismisses it as a dream, sees he's still wearing a ring from the ghoul world, and drops dead, clutching a rejection slip. [text provided by John Boston]

Weird Tales 30:5 November 1937

Kuttner, Henry, "Chameleon Man"

Tim Vanderhof is a meek man who suddenly acquires the powers of a human chameleon: he can instantly physically imitate anyone he's with. At first the power is automatic (and embarrassing, as when he finds himself a mixture of circus giant and circus midget in one body), but he later learns to control it, get revenge on his overbearing boss, and all the usual light fantasy stuff. The only recursive moment is one paragraph in which he relates his new powers to "stories he had read by such authors as H.G. Wells, Jules Verne, and Henry Kuttner." [info from John Boston and Dennis Lien]

Weird Tales 36:2 November 1941 (pp.83-99)

Kuttner, Henry, "Reader, I Hate You!"

Henry Kuttner and Virgil Finlay are having a drink in the Pen & Pencil in New York. They are approached by Mr. Upjohn who claims to be a superman. He insists that they write and illustrate a story aimed at the SF reader who stole his wife. His wife was then a chartreuse crystal; she comes from a subterranean land. He threatens to turn them into small piles of grey ash if they refuse. After a number of adventures they find Kuttner cannot write nor can Finlay draw anything but what will get Upjohn's wife back to him. [The cover of the magazine is by Virgil Finlay illustrating the story as ordered by Mr. Upjohn.]

Super Science Stories 4:4 May 1943 (pp.48-55)

Super Science Stories [Canadian edition] 1:10 February 1944 (pp.62-70)

Return home A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z Graphics Drama Related

For more information about NESFA, please write us at: NESFA, PO Box 809, Framingham, MA 01701
or email us at:

"Hugo Award", "Worldcon", and "NASFiC" are service marks of the World Science Fiction Society, an unincorporated literary association. "NESFA" and "Boskone" are service marks of the New England Science Fiction Association, Inc.