View Full Version : Help! Name of Short Story or Author: Last person on earth; phone rings as he jumps
November 3rd, 2003, 01:43 PM
I hope someone can help me find a story I read a very long time ago. I beleive it was in a science fiction story collection book and I have been searching for it for years.
The story is about a peron (I beleive it was a man) who survived some kind of earth-wide disaster. He found things like reading books to keep him busy. He began to get lonely, so he started calling all the numbers in the phone book, hoping to get in touch with other survivors. He began to get depressed and decided to jump off a building and kill himself. Just before he hits the ground, he hears a telephone ring...
Any help would be very much appreciated :)
November 3rd, 2003, 03:59 PM
My memory may be a little foggy, but the supposed last man on the planet, and the ringing numbers in the phone book sounds like a Ray Bradbury story. I can't remember the title - I'd have to consult my copy which I don't have, but I think it's in The Martian Chronicles. Being such a famous collection, if I'm correct someone should be able to back me up with more detail.
November 3rd, 2003, 04:10 PM
Emohawk is right, it's definitely a story from Bradbury's "Martian chronicles": it's the one dated december 2005 and titled "The silent cities".
November 3rd, 2003, 04:31 PM
It's right up until the 'jumping off the roof and hurtling toward the ground' bit - which, as far as I can remember, isn't in TMC.
Possibly a different story.
Also - isn't it The Silent Towns?
November 4th, 2003, 12:46 AM
I remember a Bradbury story in I Sing the Body Electric! caled Night Call, Collect.
Having the book in my hands right now, I can see that it's about a eighty years old man named Barton that has been alone on Mars for fifty years waiting for a phone call from earth to let him know that a rocket was coming to bring him back. The phone rings but the caller is himself when he was 26 years old. Barton had made thousands of robots phone recording of himself to have someone calling him when he gets older. The phone keeps ringing everwhere he goes on Mars with always a younger version of himself nagging him about how wonderfull it is to be young.
***** STORY SPOILERS *******
In the end and old Barton has become so obcesed by this young himself that keeps calling him that he dies while trying to destroy all the phones on Mars.
****** END OF SPOLIERS ******
I'm not sure if this is the story your looking for because I don't see Barton jumping of a building.
November 4th, 2003, 05:15 AM
Originally posted by Mugwump
Also - isn't it The Silent Towns?
Probabily (it means "surely") it is: I just translated it "spanometrically" from the italian translation. :D
November 4th, 2003, 09:08 PM
Thank you all for your posts.
I remember the story took place on Earth, and I think the man jumped from a building in some city. Also, I think the story was from a collection of various authors.
It may have been Ray Bradbury, because during this time I was reading a lot of Bradbury, Shirley Jackson, and Isaac Asimov.
I'm going to do some research on the "The Silent Towns" story.
November 4th, 2003, 09:16 PM
"The Silent Towns" is not the story I was looking for, but I rediscovered one of my favorite stories from "the Martian Chronicles"; "There Will Come Soft Rains".
Anyone have any other ideas about what my story might be?
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