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July 20th, 2009, 06:28 AM
I'm looking for a book I read 10 or 15 years ago. There were several short stories that stood out for me:

-Firstly, a story where a man (who's family is dead) purchases a machine which forms any type of metal object that is keyed into it. The man wants to return the machine for some reason so figures he'll get it to make something impossible. He keys in a 'devil's pitchfork', which to his surprise it creates. He looks into the impossible space and see's his dead family. The story ends with him keying in a larger version so he can crawl through the space.

-The next one I recall is about a man who lives in a massive rubbish dump. There is no vegetation or life. He spends his time searching for soil to sustain a seed which he found. I think the story ends with the seed growing into a poisonous orange which he eats.

-I was pretty certain the collection included the story 'It's such a beautiful day' (Asimov) but i cannot find a collection which includes this and the other stories i remember. May be mixing things up a bit.

Any help appreciated.

September 5th, 2009, 02:09 PM
According to a list I found, 'it's such a beautiful day' appeared in:

Beyond Belief, ed. Richard J. Hurley, Scholastic Book Services 1966
Through a Glass, Clearly, Four Square Books 1967
Nightfall and Other Stories, Doubleday 1969
Eco-Fiction, ed. John Stadler, Washington Square 1971
Transformations, ed. Daniel Roselle, Fawcett Premier 1973
Universe Ahead, ed. Sylvia Engdahl & Rick Roberson, Atheneum 1975
You and Science Fiction, ed. Bernard C. Hollister, National Textbook Co. 1976
Space #3, ed. Richard Davis 1977

Looking up all the stories in each and their synopsis is more work than I'm willing to expend at the moment, but if you're really dying to find it, it's a start.

September 6th, 2009, 05:50 PM
Hi rdwillard,

I'd also found that list, but as you say it is time consuming and quite painful to try to hunt out blurbs on the other stories contained. It seems that most of them are a lot more obscure than 'It's such a beautiful day' and there's not that much information about them on the internet.

The hunt continues...