The story describes a world in which most of the human population has lost the ability to live on the surface of the Earth. Each individual now lives in isolation below ground in a standard room, with all bodily and spiritual needs met by the omnipotent, global Machine.
In ”The War Prayer,” Mark Twain tells the story of a community who is flush with excitement of their boys and men going off to fight in the war. Their passion to fight for the cause was palpable, and when they go to church, they pray a prayer of success and victory.
“2BR02B” begins by summarizing the state of the world: there are no prisons, slums, insane asylums, cripples, poverty, wars, or diseases. The population of the United States is set at forty million people. But since no one gets any older thanks to new drugs, an adult must volunteer to die if someone wishes to birth a new baby.
“The Colour Out of Space” is a science fiction/horror short story by American author H. P. Lovecraft. In the tale, an unnamed narrator pieces together the story of an area known by the locals as the “blasted heath” in the wild hills west of the fictional town of Arkham, Massachusetts.
‘The Star’ (originally published in the Christmas number of The Graphic in 1897) begins with astronomers observing a star approaching the solar system. They calculate it will pass close to the Earth – perhaps even collide with it.
In this charming fairy tale, a wizard desires a watch dog who will bark at anyone who comes close enough to disturb his work. He commissions a glassblower to make him a little pink dog which he then enchants to do the desired task. In exchange, the wizard gives him a phial containing a single drop of the most powerful medicine in the world, which can cure any illness.