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Best Work of Fiction of All Time

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    1
    The Hunt for Red October

    The Hunt for Red October

    • Part of fictional universes: Ryanverse
    The Hunt for Red October is a 1990 thriller film based on the novel of the same name by Tom Clancy. It was directed by John McTiernan and stars Sean Connery as Captain Marko Ramius and Alec Baldwin as Jack Ryan. The film received highly positive reviews from critics and was one of the top grossing films of the year, grossing $122 million in North America and $200 million worldwide. The film won the Academy Award for Best Sound Editing in 1991. The year is 1984. Captain First Rank Marko Ramius (Sean Connery), is the commanding officer of Red October, a new Soviet submarine whose caterpillar drive renders it undetectable to sonar. Ramius leaves port on orders to conduct exercises with the submarine V.K. Konovalov, commanded by his former student Captain Tupolev (Stellan Skarsgård). Once at sea, Ramius murders political officer Ivan Putin (Peter Firth), the only man aboard besides himself who knows the sub's true orders. Ramius then burns the orders, pulls out phonies and commands the crew to head toward America's east coast to conduct missile drills. The USS Dallas, an American submarine on patrol in the north Atlantic, briefly detects Red October but loses contact once Ramius
    6.44
    9 votes
    2
    The Adventure of Wisteria Lodge

    The Adventure of Wisteria Lodge

    "The Adventure of Wisteria Lodge" is one of the fifty-six Sherlock Holmes short stories written by British author Arthur Conan Doyle. One of eight stories in the cycle collected as His Last Bow, it is a lengthy, two-part story consisting of "The Singular Experience of Mr. John Scott Eccles" and "The Tiger of San Pedro", which on original publication in The Strand bore the collective title of "A Reminiscence of Mr. Sherlock Holmes". Holmes is visited by a perturbed proper English gentleman, John Scott Eccles, who wishes to discuss something “grotesque”. No sooner has he arrived at 221B Baker Street than Inspector Gregson also shows up, along with Inspector Baynes of the Surrey Constabulary. They wish a statement from Eccles about the murder near Esher last night. A note in the dead man’s pocket indicates that Eccles said that he would be at the victim’s house that night. Eccles is shocked to hear of Aloysius Garcia’s beating death. Yes, he spent the night at Wisteria Lodge, Garcia’s rented house, but when he woke up in the morning, he found that Garcia and his servants had all disappeared. He was alone in an empty house. He last remembers seeing Garcia at about one o’clock in the
    7.00
    8 votes
    3
    The Scarlet Citadel

    The Scarlet Citadel

    "The Scarlet Citadel" is one of the original short stories starring the fictional sword and sorcery hero Conan the Cimmerian, written by American author Robert E. Howard and first published in Weird Tales magazine circa January 1933. It is set in the pseudo-historical Hyborian Age and concerns a middle-aged Conan battling rival kingdoms, being captured through treachery and escaping from an eldritch dungeon via unexpected aid. The story includes Tsotha-lanti who is an evil wizard whose sorcerous arts help ensnare King Conan. The story was republished in the collections King Conan (Gnome Press, 1953) and Conan the Usurper (Lancer Books, 1967). It has more recently been published in the collections The Conan Chronicles Volume 2: The Hour of the Dragon (Gollancz, 2001) and Conan of Cimmeria: Volume One (1932-1933) (Del Rey, 2003). "The Scarlet Citadel" was the second Conan story to be printed by Weird Tales magazine and involves an older, wiser Conan as king of Aquilonia. King Conan receives a call for help from Amalrus, the ruler of neighbouring Ophir, who claims that Stradabonus, the king of Koth, is threatening his border. When Conan marches to the aid of Amalrus with five thousand
    7.14
    7 votes
    4
    The Vampyre

    The Vampyre

    "The Vampyre" is a short story or novella written in 1819 by John William Polidori which is a progenitor of the romantic vampire genre of fantasy fiction. The work is described by Christopher Frayling as "the first story successfully to fuse the disparate elements of vampirism into a coherent literary genre." "The Vampyre" was first published on 1 April 1819 by Henry Colburn in the New Monthly Magazine with the false attribution "A Tale by Lord Byron". The name of the work's protagonist, "Lord Ruthven", added to this assumption, for that name was originally used in Lady Caroline Lamb's novel Glenarvon (from the same publisher), in which a thinly-disguised Byron figure was also named Lord Ruthven. Despite repeated denials by Byron and Polidori, the authorship often went unclarified. The tale was first published in book form by Sherwood, Neely, and Jones in London, Paternoster-Row, in 1819 in octavo as The Vampyre; A Tale in 84 pages. The notation on the cover noted that it was: "Entered at Stationers' Hall, March 27, 1819". Initially, the author was given as Lord Byron. Later printings removed Byron's name and added Polidori's name to the title page. The story was an immediate
    7.00
    7 votes
    5
    Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi

    Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi

    • Setting: Tatooine
    • Part of fictional universes: Star Wars
    • Events: Battle of Endor
    Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi (also known as Return of the Jedi) is a 1983 American epic space opera film directed by Richard Marquand and written by George Lucas and Lawrence Kasdan, with Lucas as executive producer. It is chronologically the sixth and final film in the Star Wars franchise and the first film to use THX technology. The film is set approximately one year after The Empire Strikes Back. The evil Galactic Empire, under the direction of the ruthless Darth Vader, is building a second Death Star in order to crush the Rebel Alliance. Since Emperor Palpatine plans to personally oversee the final stages of its construction, the Rebel Fleet launches a full-scale attack on the Death Star in order to prevent its completion and kill Palpatine, effectively bringing an end to the Empire. Meanwhile, Luke Skywalker, a Rebel leader and Jedi Knight, struggles to bring Vader, who is his father and himself a fallen Jedi, back from the Dark Side of the Force. David Lynch and David Cronenberg were considered to direct the project before Marquand signed on as director. The production team relied on Lucas' storyboards during pre-production. While writing the shooting script,
    7.83
    6 votes
    6
    Jewels of Gwahlur

    Jewels of Gwahlur

    "Jewels of Gwahlur" is one of the original short stories starring the fictional sword and sorcery hero Conan the Cimmerian, written by American author Robert E. Howard. Set in the pseudo-historical Hyborian Age, it concerns several parties, including Conan, fighting over and hunting for the eponymous treasure in Hyborian Africa. The tale was first published in Weird Tales in 1935. Howard's original title for the story was "The Servants of Bit-Yakin". Robert E. Howard set the story in Hyborian Africa. The Teeth of Gwahlur are legendary jewels, kept in the abandoned city of Alkmeenon, in the country of Keshan "which in itself was considered mythical by many northern and western nations". Conan, following legends of this treasure, has travelled to Keshan and offered his services to train and lead Keshan's army against their neighbour, Punt. However, Thutmekri, a Stygian rogue with similar intentions, and his Shemitish partner, Zargheba, also arrive in the country with an offer of a military alliance with another of Punt's neighbours, Zembabwei, with some of the Teeth to seal their pact. The high priest of Keshan, Gorulga, announces that a decision on the matter can only be made after
    7.67
    6 votes
    7
    The Red-Headed League

    The Red-Headed League

    "The Adventure of the Red-Headed League" is one of the 56 Sherlock Holmes short stories written by Arthur Conan Doyle. It first appeared in The Strand Magazine in August 1891, with illustrations by Sidney Paget. Conan Doyle ranked "The Red-Headed League" second in his list of his twelve favorite Holmes stories. It is also the second of the twelve stories in The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, which was published in 1892. Jabez Wilson, a red-haired London pawnbroker, comes to consult Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Watson. He tells them that some weeks before his young assistant, Vincent Spaulding, urged him to respond to a newspaper want-ad offering work to only red-headed male applicants. The next morning, Wilson had waited in a long line of fellow red-headed men, was interviewed and was the only applicant hired, because none of the other applicants had hair to match Wilson's red locks. Wilson, whose business mainly operates in evenings, was well-paid, receiving four pounds a week for several weeks (equal to £330 today); the work was obviously useless clerical work in a bare office. Finally one morning, a sign on the locked office door inexplicably announced that "THE RED-HEADED LEAGUE
    7.67
    6 votes
    8
    The Vale of Lost Women

    The Vale of Lost Women

    "The Vale of Lost Women" is one of the original short stories about Conan the Cimmerian, written by American author Robert E. Howard, but not published during his lifetime. The story was first published in The Magazine of Horror for Spring, 1967, and republished in the collection Conan of Cimmeria (Lancer Books, 1967). It has most recently been republished in the collections The Conan Chronicles Volume 1: The People of the Black Circle (Gollancz, 2000) and Conan of Cimmeria: Volume One (1932-1933) (Del Rey, 2003). It is set in the pseudo-historical Hyborian Age and details Conan rescuing a female Ophirean captive from the Bamula tribe on the (apparent) condition that he will receive sexual favors in return for this generosity. The story has been criticized for its racialism, sexism and lesbian homophobia. "The Vale of Lost Women" is another short story which, although included in the official lore of Conan the Cimmerian, was not published until long after the death of Robert E. Howard. The story begins with Livia, a soft and civilized woman, as a prisoner of the Bakalah jungle tribe, who have captured her and have killed the brother she was traveling with excruciating savage
    6.71
    7 votes
    9
    Shrek

    Shrek

    • Part of fictional universes: Shrek Film Series
    Shrek is a 2001 American computer-animated fantasy comedy film directed by Andrew Adamson and Vicky Jenson, featuring the voices of Mike Myers, Eddie Murphy, Cameron Diaz, and John Lithgow. It is loosely based on William Steig's 1990 fairy tale picture book with the same name, and also somewhat serves as a children’s parody film, targeting other films adapted from various children’s fantasies (mainly Disney films). Shrek stars Mike Myers as a big, strong, solitude-loving, intimidating ogre named Shrek; Cameron Diaz as the beautiful, feisty, but very down-to-earth Princess Fiona; Eddie Murphy as the talkative Donkey; and John Lithgow as the villain Lord Farquaad. The film made notable use of popular music; the soundtrack includes music by Smash Mouth, Eels, Joan Jett, The Proclaimers, Jason Wade, The Baha Men, and Rufus Wainwright (covering Leonard Cohen). Shrek was the only film in the series to have Harry Gregson-Williams's musical score assistantly by John Powell. The rights to the books were originally bought by Steven Spielberg in 1991, before the founding of DreamWorks, when he thought about making a traditionally animated film based on the book. However, John H. Williams
    8.20
    5 votes
    10
    The Defenders

    The Defenders

    "The Defenders" is a 1953 science fiction short story by American author Philip K. Dick, and the basis for Dick's 1964 novel The Penultimate Truth. It is one of several of his short stories to be expanded into a novel. In 1956, the story was adapted for the radio program X Minus One by George Lefferts. The story deals with the Cold War era. It depicts a future history where nuclear war between the United States and the Soviet Union had occurred years ago and the American people are living in subterranean cities to avoid radiation. The Americans are told that the war is still continuing on the irradiated surface, fought on their behalf by soldier-like robots. The end of the story reveals that contrary to what Americans thought, the war has ended long ago and the robots have been maintaining a peace with the Soviets for many years. They had not informed the subterranean dwellers as they thought them too immature and belligerent to understand the futility of war. A team of American soldiers who had forced their way to the surface in order to observe a supposed Soviet attack discover the truth, and meet with a similar Soviet team brought by the robots to begin peace talks. The story
    9.00
    4 votes
    11
    By the Waters of Babylon

    By the Waters of Babylon

    "By the Waters of Babylon" is a post-apocalyptic short story by Stephen Vincent Benét first published July 31, 1937, in The Saturday Evening Post as "The Place of the Gods". It was republished in 1943 in The Pocket Book of Science Fiction, and was adapted in 1971 into a one-act play by Brainerd Duffield. Set in a future following the destruction of industrial civilization, the story is narrated by a young man who is the son of a priest. The priests of John’s people (the hill people) are inquisitive people associated with the divine. They are the only ones who can handle metal collected from the homes (called the "Dead Places") of long-dead people whom they believe to be gods. The plot follows John’s self-assigned mission to get to the Place of the Gods. His father allows him to go on a spiritual journey, but does not know he is going to this forbidden place. John journeys through the forest for eight days and crosses the river Ou-dis-sun. Once John gets to the Place of the Gods, he feels the energy and magic there. He sees a statue of a "god" — in point of fact, a human — that says "ASHING" on its base. He also sees a building marked "UBTREAS". After being chased by dogs and
    6.67
    6 votes
    12
    The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber

    The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber

    "The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber" is a short story by Ernest Hemingway. Set in Africa, it was published in the September 1936 issue of Cosmopolitan magazine concurrently with "The Snows of Kilimanjaro". The story was eventually adapted to the screen as the Zoltan Korda film The Macomber Affair (1947). Francis Macomber and his wife Margaret (usually referred to as "Margot"), are on a big-game safari in Africa, guided by professional hunter Robert Wilson. Earlier, Francis had panicked when a wounded lion charged him. Margot mocks Macomber for this act of cowardice, and it is implied that she sleeps with Wilson. The next day the party hunt buffalo. Macomber and Wilson hunt together where the pair shoot 3 buffalo. Two of the buffalo are killed, but the first buffalo was only wounded and has gone into the bush. Macomber now feels confident, and he and Wilson proceed to track the wounded animal, paralleling the circumstances of the previous day's lion hunt. When they find the buffalo, it charges Macomber. Although he stands his ground and fires at it, his shots are too high. Wilson fires at the beast as well, but it keeps charging. Macomber kills the buffalo at the last second.
    6.67
    6 votes
    13
    The Signal-Man

    The Signal-Man

    "The Signal-Man" is a short story by Charles Dickens, first published as part of the Mugby Junction collection in the 1866 Christmas edition of All the Year Round. The railway signal-man of the title tells the narrator of a ghost that has been haunting him. Each spectral appearance precedes a tragic event on the railway on which the signalman works. The signalman's work is at a signalbox in a deep cutting near a tunnel entrance on a lonely stretch of the railway line, and he controls the movements of passing trains. When there is danger, his fellow signalmen alert him by telegraph and alarms. Three times, he receives phantom warnings of danger when his bell rings in a fashion that only he can hear. Each warning is followed by the appearance of the spectre, and then by a terrible accident. The first accident involves a terrible collision between two trains in the tunnel. It is likely that Dickens based this incident on the Clayton Tunnel crash that occurred in 1861, five years before he wrote the story. Readers in 1866 would have been familiar with this major disaster. The second warning involves the mysterious death of a young woman on a passing train. The final warning is a
    6.67
    6 votes
    14
    The Garden of Forking Paths

    The Garden of Forking Paths

    "The Garden of Forking Paths" (original Spanish title: "El Jardín de senderos que se bifurcan") is a 1941 short story by Argentine writer and poet Jorge Luis Borges. It is the title story in the collection El jardín de senderos que se bifurcan (1941), which was republished in its entirety in Ficciones (Fictions) in 1944. It was the first of Borges's works to be translated into English when it appeared in Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine in August 1948. According to Noah Wardrip-Fruin and Nick Montfort, "The concept Borges described in 'The Garden of Forking Paths'—in several layers of the story, but most directly in the combination book and maze of Ts'ui Pên—is that of a novel that can be read in multiple ways, a hypertext novel. Borges described this in 1941, prior to the invention (or at least the public disclosure) of the electromagnetic digital computer. Not only did he arguably invent the hypertext novel—Borges went on to describe a theory of the universe based upon the structure of such a novel." Borges's vision of "forking paths" has been cited as inspiration by numerous new media scholars, in particular within the field of hypertext fiction. The story takes the form of a
    7.60
    5 votes
    15
    The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring

    The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring

    • Part of fictional universes: Middle-earth
    The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring is a 2001 epic fantasy film directed by Peter Jackson based on the first volume of J. R. R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings (1954–1955). It was followed by The Two Towers (2002) and The Return of the King (2003), based on the second and third volumes of The Lord of the Rings. Set in Middle-earth, the story tells of the Dark Lord Sauron, who is seeking the One Ring. The Ring has found its way to the young hobbit Frodo Baggins (Elijah Wood). The fate of Middle-earth hangs in the balance as Frodo and eight companions who form the Fellowship of the Ring begin their journey to Mount Doom in the land of Mordor, the only place where the Ring can be destroyed. Released on 10 December 2001, the film was highly acclaimed by critics and fans alike, especially as many of the latter judged it to be the most sufficiently faithful adaptation of the original story out of Jackson's film trilogy. It was a major box office success, earning over $870 million worldwide, and the second highest-grossing film of 2001 in the U.S. and worldwide (behind Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone) which made it the fifth highest-grossing film ever at the
    7.60
    5 votes
    16
    The Boscombe Valley Mystery

    The Boscombe Valley Mystery

    "The Boscombe Valley Mystery", one of the 56 short Sherlock Holmes stories written by British author, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, is the fourth of the twelve stories in The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes. It was first published in the Strand Magazine in 1891. Lestrade summons Holmes to a community in Herefordshire, where a local land owner has been murdered outdoors. The deceased's estranged son is strongly implicated. Holmes quickly determines that a mysterious third man may be responsible for the crime, unraveling a thread involving a secret criminal past, thwarted love, and blackmail. Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson take a train to Boscombe Valley, in Herefordshire. En route, Holmes reads the news and briefs Watson on their new case. Mr. John Turner, a widower and a major landowner who has a daughter named Alice, lives there with a fellow expatriate from Australia, Mr. Charles McCarthy, a widower who has a son named James. Charles has been found dead near Boscombe Pool. It was reported that he was there to meet someone. Two witnesses testify that they saw Charles walking into the woods followed by James, who was bearing a gun. Patience Moran, daughter of a lodge keeper, says she saw
    8.75
    4 votes
    17
    The Murders in the Rue Morgue

    The Murders in the Rue Morgue

    "The Murders in the Rue Morgue" is a short story by Edgar Allan Poe published in Graham's Magazine in 1841. It has been recognized as the first detective story; Poe referred to it as one of his "tales of ratiocination". Two works that share some similarities predate Poe's stories, including Das Fräulein von Scuderi (1819) by E.T.A. Hoffmann and Zadig (1748) by Voltaire. C. Auguste Dupin is a man in Paris who solves the mystery of the brutal murder of two women. Numerous witnesses heard a suspect, though no one agrees on what language was spoken. At the murder scene, Dupin finds a hair that does not appear to be human. As the first true detective in fiction, the Dupin character established many literary devices which would be used in future fictional detectives including Sherlock Holmes and Hercule Poirot. Many later characters, for example, follow Poe's model of the brilliant detective, his personal friend who serves as narrator, and the final revelation being presented before the reasoning that leads up to it. Dupin himself reappears in "The Mystery of Marie Rogêt" and "The Purloined Letter". The story surrounds the baffling double murder of Madame L'Espanaye and her daughter in
    6.50
    6 votes
    18
    Runaways

    Runaways

    • Part of fictional universes: Marvel Universe
    Runaways is a comic book series published by Marvel Comics. The series features a group of teenagers who discover that their parents are part of an evil crime group called the Pride. Created by Brian K. Vaughan and Adrian Alphona, the series debuted in July of 2003 as part of Marvel Comics' "Tsunami" imprint. The series had been canceled in September 2004 at issue eighteen, but due to high numbers of trade collection sales, Marvel revived the series in February 2005. Originally, the series featured a group of six kids whose parents routinely met every year for a charity event. One year, the kids spy on their parents and learn they are "the Pride", a criminal group of mob bosses, time-travelers, dark wizards, mad scientists, alien invaders and telepathic mutants. The kids steal weapons and resources from their parents, and learn they themselves inherited their parents' powers; Alex Wilder, a prodigy, leads the team while Nico Minoru learns she is a powerful witch, Karolina Dean discovers she is an alien, Gertrude Yorkes learns of her telepathic link to a dinosaur, Chase Stein steals his father's futuristic gloves, while young Molly Hayes learns she is a mutant with incredible
    7.40
    5 votes
    19
    The Book of One Thousand and One Nights

    The Book of One Thousand and One Nights

    • Setting: Arabian Peninsula
    The Three Apples is a story contained in the One Thousand and One Nights collection (also known as the "Arabian Nights"). It is a first level story, being told by Scheherazade herself, and contains one second level story, the Tale of Núr al-Dín Alí and his Son. It occurs early in the Arabian Nights narrative, being started during night 19, after the Tale of Portress. The Tale of Núr al-Dín Alí and his Son starts during night 20, and the cycle ends during night 25, when Scheherazade starts the Tale of the Hunchback. In this tale, a fisherman discovers a heavy locked chest along the Tigris river and he sells it to the Abbasid Caliph, Harun al-Rashid, who then has the chest broken open only to find inside it the dead body of a young woman who was cut into pieces. Harun orders his vizier, Ja'far ibn Yahya, to solve the crime and find the murderer within three days or else he will have him executed instead. Ja'far, however, fails to find the culprit before the deadline. Just when Harun is about to have Ja'far executed for his failure, a plot twist occurs when two men appear, one a handsome young man and the other an old man, both claiming to be the murderer. Both men argue and call each
    7.40
    5 votes
    20
    The Adventure of the Final Problem

    The Adventure of the Final Problem

    "The Final Problem" is a short story by Arthur Conan Doyle featuring his detective character Sherlock Holmes. It was first published in Strand Magazine in December 1893. It appears in book form as part of the collection The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes. Conan Doyle later ranked "The Final Problem" fourth on his personal list of the twelve best Holmes stories. This story, set in 1891, introduces Holmes's greatest opponent, the criminal mastermind Professor Moriarty. Holmes arrives at Dr. Watson's one evening in a somewhat agitated state and with grazed and bleeding knuckles. He has apparently escaped three murder attempts that day after a visit from Professor Moriarty, who warned Holmes to withdraw from his pursuit of justice against him to avoid any regrettable outcome. First, just as he was turning a street corner, a cab suddenly rushed towards him and Holmes just managed to leap out of the way in time. Second, while Holmes was walking along the street, a brick fell from the roof of a house, just missing the detective. He then called the police to search the whole area but could not prove that it was anything other than an accident. Finally, on his way to Watson's house, he was
    9.67
    3 votes
    21
    The Queen of Spades

    The Queen of Spades

    "The Queen of Spades" (Russian: Пиковая дама; translit. Pikovaya dama) is a short story by Alexander Pushkin about human avarice. Pushkin wrote the story in autumn 1833 in Boldino and it was first published in the literary magazine Biblioteka dlya chteniya in March 1834. The character of the Countess was inspired by Princess Natalya Petrovna Galitzine (Princesse Moustache). The story was the basis of the operas The Queen of Spades (1890) by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, La dame de pique (1850) by Fromental Halévy and Pique Dame (1865) by Franz von Suppé (the overture to the Suppé work is all that remains in today's repertoire). It has been filmed various times, the most notable version being a 1949 film by the same name directed by Thorold Dickinson. Hermann, an ethnic German, is an officer of the engineers in the Imperial Russian army. He constantly watches the other officers gamble, but never plays himself. One night, Tomsky tells a story about his grandmother, an elderly countess. Many years ago, in France, she lost a fortune at cards, and then won it back, with the secret of the three winning cards, which she learned from the notorious Count of St. Germain. Hermann becomes obsessed
    9.67
    3 votes
    22
    Baldur's Gate series

    Baldur's Gate series

    • Setting: Baldur's Gate
    • Part of fictional universes: Forgotten Realms
    Baldur's Gate is a franchise of role-playing video games set in the fictional Forgotten Realms Dungeons & Dragons campaign setting within the fictional continent of Faerûn. The game has spawned two series, known as the Bhaalspawn Saga and the Dark Alliance, both taking place mostly within the Western Heartlands, but the Bhaalspawn Saga extend to Amn and Tethyr. The Dark Alliance series was released exclusively to consoles and was critically and commercially successful. The Bhaalspawn Saga too was critically received using pausable realtime gameplay; it was credited for revitalizing the CRPG genre. While the Bhaalspawn Saga was originally developed exclusively by BioWare for the Personal Computer, in 2012 Atari revealed that Beamdog and Overhaul Games would remake the games in HD. The Dark Alliance series was originally set to be developed exclusively by Snowblind Studios, but ports were handled by Black Isle Studios, High Voltage Software and Magic Pockets with the second game being developed exclusively by Black Isle. Black Isle Studios had planned a third series to be set in the Dalelands and be a PC exclusive hack and slash game with pausable real-time gameplay. The game would
    7.20
    5 votes
    23
    The Adventure of the Engineer's Thumb

    The Adventure of the Engineer's Thumb

    "The Adventure of the Engineer's Thumb", one of the 56 short Sherlock Holmes stories written by British author Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, is the ninth of the twelve stories collected in The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes. The story was first published in Strand Magazine in March 1892. In his narration, Dr. Watson notes that this is one of only two cases which he personally brought to the attention of Sherlock Holmes. The story, set in 1889, mainly consists of a young London consultant hydraulic engineer, Mr. Victor Hatherley, recounting strange happenings of the night before, first to Dr. Watson, who dresses the stump where Mr. Hatherley's thumb has been cut off, and then to Sherlock Holmes himself. Hatherley had been visited in his office by a man who identified himself as Colonel Lysander Stark. He offered Hatherley a commission at a country house, to examine a hydraulic press used, as Stark explains, to compress fuller's earth into bricks. Stark warned Hatherley to keep the job confidential, offering him 50 guineas (£52 10s, an enormous sum at the time, worth over 4000 GBP today). Hatherley felt compelled to take this work, despite his misgivings, as his business was newly
    8.25
    4 votes
    24
    The Callistan Menace

    The Callistan Menace

    "The Callistan Menace" is a science fiction short story by Isaac Asimov. It first appeared in the April 1940 issue of Astonishing Stories and was reprinted in the 1972 collection The Early Asimov. It was the second story written by Asimov, and the oldest story of his still in existence. Asimov came up with the idea for the story, which he called "Stowaway", after his first meeting with John W. Campbell on 21 June 1938. When his first story, "Cosmic Corkscrew," was rejected by Campbell on the 23rd, Asimov started writing "Stowaway". He finished the first draft on the 28th, and the final draft on 10 July. He submitted "Stowaway" to Campbell in person during another visit on the 18th. Suspecting that Campbell would reject it, Asimov spent the subway ride home coming up with the plot for a third story, "Marooned Off Vesta". Campbell did indeed reject "Stowaway", based on the story's "general air of amateurishness, constraint, forcing". On 3 August Asimov submitted the story to Thrilling Wonder Stories. When Thrilling Wonder rejected it, Asimov mailed the story to the offices of Amazing Stories in Chicago, which also rejected it. In the summer of 1939, following the sale of some later
    8.25
    4 votes
    25
    Tidal Moon

    Tidal Moon

    "Tidal Moon" is a science fiction short story by Stanley G. Weinbaum and Helen Weinbaum that first appeared in the December 1938 issue of Thrilling Wonder Stories and was reprinted in the collection Interplanetary Odysseys (2006). Sam Moskowitz stated that Stanley G. Weinbaum completed only a page and a half of the story before his death, and that his sister Helen Weinbaum completed the story on her own. "Tidal Moon" is the only story by Weinbaum to take place on Ganymede. In Weinbaum's Solar System, Jupiter radiates enough heat to create Earthlike environments on the Galilean moons. Ganymede, the third Galilean satellite, has a subarctic climate, large bodies of water, and a six month rotation period. Due to Jupiter's tidal pull, every spot on Ganymede's surface is inundated with water every three months except a small area of the south pole where the human settlement of Hydropole is located. The Ganymedian natives, the Nympus, grow a mosslike plant called cree which is ordinarily red, but which turns blue when exposed to the ammonia in Ganymede's atmosphere. The blue moss is collected by human traders in the employ of Cree, Inc. who travel among the native villages on an aquatic
    8.25
    4 votes
    26
    The Adventure of the Speckled Band

    The Adventure of the Speckled Band

    "The Adventure of the Speckled Band" is one of the 56 short Sherlock Holmes stories written by Scottish author Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. It is the eighth of the twelve stories collected in The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes. It is one of four Sherlock Holmes stories that can be classified as a locked room mystery. The story was first published in Strand Magazine in February 1892, with illustrations by Sidney Paget. It was published under the different title "The Spotted Band" in New York World in August 1905. Doyle later revealed that he thought this was his best Holmes story. Doyle wrote and produced a play based on the story. It premiered at the Adelphi Theatre, London on 4 June 1910, with H. A. Saintsbury as Sherlock Holmes and Lyn Harding as Dr. Grimesby Roylott. The play, originally called The Stonor Case, differs from the story in several details, such as the names of some of the characters. A young woman named Helen Stoner consults the detective Sherlock Holmes about the suspicious death of her sister, Julia. One night, after conversing with her twin sister about her upcoming wedding day, Julia screamed and came to the hallway where Helen came out to see her, in Julia's dying
    5.43
    7 votes
    27
    Journey to the West

    Journey to the West

    • Setting: Mountain of Flowers and Fruit
    Journey to the West is one of the Four Great Classical Novels of Chinese literature. It was written in the 16th century during the Ming Dynasty and attributed to Wu Cheng'en. In English-speaking countries, the tale is widely known as Monkey, the title used for a popular and partial translation by Arthur Waley. The Waley translation has also been published as Adventures of the Monkey God, Monkey to the West, Monkey: [A] Folk Novel of China, and The Adventures of Monkey, and in a further abridged version for children, Dear Monkey. The novel is a fictionalized account of the legendary pilgrimage to India of the Buddhist monk Xuanzang, and loosely based its source from the historic text Great Tang Records on the Western Regions and traditional folk tales. The monk travelled to the "Western Regions" during the Tang Dynasty, to obtain sacred texts (sūtras). The bodhisattva Avalokiteśvara (Guanyin), on instruction from the Buddha, gives this task to the monk and his three protectors in the form of disciples — namely Sun Wukong, Zhu Bajie and Sha Wujing — together with a dragon prince who acts as Xuanzang's steed, a white horse. These four characters have agreed to help Xuanzang as an
    7.00
    5 votes
    28
    Arthur Jermyn

    Arthur Jermyn

    "Facts Concerning the Late Arthur Jermyn and His Family" is a short story by H. P. Lovecraft, written in 1920. The story was first published in the journal The Wolverine in March and June of 1921. To Lovecraft's distaste, the story was retitled "The White Ape" when it appeared in Weird Tales in 1924; subsequent reprintings titled it "Arthur Jermyn" until the corrected publishing in Dagon and Other Macabre Tales in 1986. In a letter, Lovecraft described the story's surprising impetus: Somebody had been harassing me into reading some work of the iconoclastic moderns — these young chaps who pry behind exteriors and unveil nasty hidden motives and secret stigmata — and I had nearly fallen asleep over the tame backstairs gossip of Anderson's Winesburg, Ohio. The sainted Sherwood, as you know, laid bare the dark area which many whited village lives concealed, and it occurred to me that I, in my weirder medium, could probably devise some secret behind a man's ancestry which would make the worst of Anderson's disclosures sound like the annual report of a Sabbath school. Hence Arthur Jermyn. Critic William Fulwiler suggests that the plot of "Arthur Jermyn" may have been inspired by Edgar
    8.00
    4 votes
    29
    Ligeia

    Ligeia

    "Ligeia" is an early short story by American writer Edgar Allan Poe, first published in 1838. The story follows an unnamed narrator and his wife Ligeia, a beautiful and intelligent raven-haired woman. She falls ill, composes "The Conqueror Worm", and quotes lines attributed to Joseph Glanvill (which suggest that life is sustainable only through willpower) shortly before dying. After her death, the narrator marries the Lady Rowena. Rowena becomes ill and she dies as well. The distraught narrator stays with her body overnight and watches as Rowena slowly comes back from the dead – though she has transformed into Ligeia. The story may be the narrator's opium-induced hallucination and there is debate whether the story was a satire. After the story's first publication in The American Museum, it was heavily revised and reprinted throughout Poe's life. The unnamed narrator describes the qualities of Ligeia, a beautiful, passionate and intellectual woman, raven-haired and dark-eyed, that he thinks he remembers meeting "in some large, old decaying city near the Rhine." He is unable to recall anything about the history of Ligeia, including her family's name, but remembers her beautiful
    8.00
    4 votes
    30
    Markheim

    Markheim

    "Markheim" is a short story by Robert Louis Stevenson, originally prepared for the Pall Mall Gazette in 1884, but published in 1885 in The Broken Shaft: Tales of Mid-Ocean as part of Unwin's Christmas Annual. The story was later published in Stevenson's collection The Merry Men and Other Tales and Fables (1887). The story opens in an antique store, with Markheim wishing to buy a Christmas present for a woman he will soon marry. The dealer presents him with a mirror but Markheim takes fright at his own reflection, claiming that no man wants to see what a mirror shows him. Markheim is strangely reluctant to end the transaction, but when the dealer insists that Markheim must buy or leave, Markheim consents to stop tarrying and review more goods. The dealer turns his back to replace the mirror, and Markheim pulls out a knife and stabs him to death. Markheim spends some minutes recovering his nerve, when he hears someone moving about upstairs, though he knows the servant has taken the day off and no one should be there. He reassures himself that the outer door is locked, then searches the dead body for keys and goes to the upper rooms where the dealer lived to look for money. As he
    8.00
    4 votes
    31
    The Adventure of the Empty House

    The Adventure of the Empty House

    "The Adventure of the Empty House", one of the 56 Sherlock Holmes short stories written by British author Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, is one of 13 stories in the cycle collected as The Return of Sherlock Holmes. Public pressure forced Conan Doyle to bring the sleuth back to life, and explain his apparently miraculous survival of a deadly struggle with Professor Moriarty. Doyle ranked "The Adventure of the Empty House" sixth in his list of his twelve favorite Holmes stories. The empty house across from Baker St flat has a clear view of a wax Holmes, which is bait for Colonel Sebastian Moran, a surviving lieutenant of Moriarty. In April 1894, Watson (now a widower) checks 427 Park Lane where a young gambler, the Honorable Ronald Adair, was shot in a closed room on the 30th of March. He bumps into a wizened old book collector, who follows him home to his Kensington practice study then drops his disguise - it is Holmes. Holmes apologizes for the deception needed to outwit his enemies, and describes his three years' exploits. He needed funds, so he confided in his brother Mycroft, who had preserved Sherlock Holmes' rooms. After a roundabout route, they wait two hours until around midnight
    8.00
    4 votes
    32
    The Overcoat

    The Overcoat

    "The Overcoat" (Russian: Шинель, translit. Shinel; sometimes translated as "The Cloak") is a short story by Ukrainian-born Russian author Nikolai Gogol, published in 1842. The story and its author have had great influence on Russian literature, as expressed in a quote attributed to Fyodor Dostoevsky: "We all come out from Gogol's 'Overcoat'." The story has been adapted into a variety of stage and film interpretations. The story centers on the life and death of Akaky Akakievich Bashmachkin (Акакий Акакиевич Башмачкин), an impoverished government clerk and copyist in the Russian capital of St. Petersburg. Akaky is dedicated to his job as a titular councillor, taking special relish in the hand-copying of documents, though little recognized in his department for his hard work. Instead, the younger clerks tease him and attempt to distract him whenever they can. His threadbare overcoat is often the butt of their jokes. Akaky decides it is necessary to have the coat repaired, so he takes it to his tailor, Petrovich, who declares the coat irreparable, telling Akaky he must buy a new overcoat. The cost of a new overcoat is beyond Akaky's meagre salary, so he forces himself to live within a
    8.00
    4 votes
    33
    The Adventure of the Crooked Man

    The Adventure of the Crooked Man

    "The Adventure of the Crooked Man", one of the 56 Sherlock Holmes short stories written by British author Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, is one of 12 stories in the cycle collected as The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes. Doyle ranked "The Adventure of the Crooked Man" fifteenth in a list of his nineteen favourite Sherlock Holmes stories. Holmes calls on Watson late one evening to tell him about a case that he has been working on, and also to invite him to be a witness to the final stage of the investigation. Colonel James Barclay, of The Royal Mallows based at Aldershot Camp, is dead, apparently by violence, and his wife Nancy is the prime suspect. The Colonel’s brother officers are quite perplexed at the Colonel’s fate. Most of them have always believed that he and Nancy were a happy couple. They have observed over the years, however, that the Colonel seemed rather more attached to his wife than she to him. It also hasn’t escaped their notice that the Colonel sometimes had bouts of deep depression and moodiness for no apparent reason. As a married officer, the Colonel and his wife lived in a villa outside the camp at Aldershot, and one evening, Nancy went out in the evening with her next-door
    6.00
    6 votes
    34
    Christmas on Ganymede

    Christmas on Ganymede

    "Christmas on Ganymede" is a science fiction short story by Isaac Asimov. It was written in December 1940, first published in the January 1942 issue of Startling Stories, and reprinted in the 1972 collection The Early Asimov and the anthology Christmas on Ganymede and Other Stories, edited by Martin H. Greenberg. It was the twenty-sixth story written by Asimov, and the nineteenth to be published. In his autobiography In Memory Yet Green, Asimov had this to say about Christmas on Ganymede: "I was trying to be funny, of course. I had this terrible urge to be funny, you see, and had already indulged in humor in more than one story. Writing humor, however, is harder than digging ditches. Something can be moderately well written, or moderately suspenseful, or moderately ingenious, and get by in every case. Nothing, however, can be moderately humorous. Something is either funny, or it is not funny at all. There is nothing in between." "Christmas on Ganymede" was later included in an early Foundation Series timeline that was published in Thrilling Wonder Stories along with the story "The Portable Star". As the title indicates, the story is set on the Jovian moon Ganymede, the first story
    6.80
    5 votes
    35
    Flight on Titan

    Flight on Titan

    Flight on Titan is a science fiction short story by Stanley G. Weinbaum that first appeared in the January 1935 issue of Astounding Stories. It was the third story published by Weinbaum, the first to appear in Astounding, and the only story by him set on Saturn's largest moon, Titan. In Weinbaum's Solar System, in accordance with the then-accepted near-collision hypothesis of planetary formation, the gas giants radiate enough heat to bring their inner satellites up to Earthlike temperatures. Being over 600,000 miles from Saturn, Titan receives only a third of its heat from its primary. Titan's temperature is comparable to Earth's Arctic regions, ranging from just above freezing during the day to eighty below zero Fahrenheit during the nine-hour-long nights. Due to Saturn's tidal pull, Titan is also subject to 100 mph winds, which blow from east to west during half of the moon's sixteen-day revolution around its primary, and west to east during the other half, only dying down for half an hour in between each shift in direction. Despite all this, Titan has a flourishing Arctic ecosystem, at the top of which is a seal-like native race of modest intelligence. The natives have developed
    7.75
    4 votes
    36
    Skinners Room

    Skinners Room

    Skinner's Room is a short story by William Gibson originally composed for Visionary San Francisco, a 1990 museum exhibition exploring the future of San Francisco. It features the first appearance in Gibson's fiction of "the Bridge", which Gibson revisited as the setting of his acclaimed Bridge trilogy of novels. In the story, the Bridge is overrun by squatters, among them Skinner, who occupies a shack atop a bridgetower. An altered version of the story was published in Omni magazine and subsequently anthologized. "Skinner's Room" was nominated for the 1992 Locus Award for Best Short Story. The story takes place in a near-future where the United States is in decline, having been negatively affected by some event referred to as the "devaluations." It is set in a decaying San Francisco in which the San Francisco – Oakland Bay Bridge is closed and taken over by the homeless. The wealthy denizens of the city have retreated to gated-access enclaves. The room mentioned in the title is a shack built on top one of the bridge's towers. Skinner has lived on the bridge, and in his room, for a long time, and is accompanied by a girl with an interest in the history of the bridge town and who
    7.75
    4 votes
    37
    Stargate

    Stargate

    • Part of fictional universes: Stargate
    Stargate (French: Stargate, la porte des étoiles) is a 1994 American French epic adventure-military science fiction film released through Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) and Carolco Pictures. Created by Dean Devlin and Roland Emmerich, the film is the first release in the Stargate franchise. Directed by Roland Emmerich, the film stars Kurt Russell, James Spader, Jaye Davidson, Carlos Lauchu, Djimon Hounsou, Erick Avari, Alexis Cruz, Mili Avital, John Diehl, French Stewart, and Viveca Lindfors. The plot centers around the premise of a "Stargate", an ancient ring-shaped device that creates a wormhole enabling travel to a similar device elsewhere in the universe. The film's central plot explores the theory of extraterrestrial beings having an influence upon human civilization. The film had a mixed initial critical reception, earning both praise and criticism for its atmosphere, story, characters, and graphic content. Nevertheless, Stargate gained a cult following and became a commercial success worldwide. Devlin and Emmerich gave the rights to the franchise to MGM when they were working on their 1996 film Independence Day (the rights to the Stargate film are currently owned by StudioCanal,
    7.75
    4 votes
    38
    The Tell-Tale Heart

    The Tell-Tale Heart

    "The Tell-Tale Heart" is a short story by Edgar Allan Poe first published in 1843. It is told by an unnamed narrator who endeavors to convince the reader of his sanity, while describing a murder he committed. (The victim was an old man with a blind "vulture eye", as the narrator calls it.) The murder is carefully calculated, and the murderer hides the body by dismembering it and hiding it under the floorboards. Ultimately the narrator's guilt manifests itself in an auditory hallucination: The narrator hears the man's heart still beating under the floorboards. It is unclear what relationship, if any, the old man and his murderer share. The narrator denies having any feelings of hatred or resentment for the man. He tells us: 'I loved the old man! He had never wronged me! He had never given me insult!'. He also denies the assumption that he killed for greed: 'Object there was none.', 'For his gold I had no desire.' It has been suggested that the old man is a father figure, the narrator's landlord, or that the narrator works for the old man as a servant, and that perhaps his "vulture eye" represents some sort of veiled secret, or power. The ambiguity and lack of details about the two
    7.75
    4 votes
    39
    Empire of the Ants

    Empire of the Ants

    "Empire of the Ants" is a 1905 short story by H. G. Wells, which inspired a film of the same title in 1977. The story involves an explorer who is dispatched to South America to investigate reports of intelligent ants destroying a colony. It was published in 1905 in The Strand Magazine.
    8.67
    3 votes
    40
    The Black Stranger

    The Black Stranger

    "The Black Stranger" is one of the stories by Robert E. Howard about Conan the Cimmerian, it was produced in the 1930s but not published in his lifetime. When the original Conan version of the story failed to find a publisher, Howard re-wrote "The Black Stranger" into a piratical Terence Vulmea story. The original version of the story was later rewritten by L. Sprague de Camp, into a different Conan story, and published in Fantasy Magazine for February 1953. It was retitled "The Treasure of Tranicos" for book publication later the same year. Its first hardbound publication was in King Conan, published by Gnome Press, and its first paperback publication was in Conan the Usurper, published by Lancer Books in 1967. It was republished together with an introduction and two non-fiction pieces on the story and on Howard by de Camp and illustrations by Esteban Maroto as The Treasure of Tranicos by Ace Books in 1980. Howard's original version of the story was first published in 1987 in Echoes of Valor and more recently in the collections The Conan Chronicles Volume 2: The Hour of the Dragon (Gollancz, 2001) and Conan of Cimmeria: Volume Three (1935-1936) (Del Rey Books, 2005). The story
    8.67
    3 votes
    41
    The Chronicles of Colonel Walter S Houghington III

    The Chronicles of Colonel Walter S Houghington III

    The Chronicles of Sir Colonel Walter S Houghington III is a series of comical stories assembled as the "memoirs" of a pulp-style adventurer known as Sir Colonel Walter S Houghington III. The Chronicles of Walter S Houghington III began as a staged, one man show and first appeared in print on a freewebs page. The story now continues as a serial novella on blogspot. Houghington serves as the stories' first person narrator. The novella is broken up into Entries as though it were written as a diary. Most entries end on a cliffhanger when the heroes find themselves out of the frying pan and into the fire. Houghington often uses bombastic language and makes frequent use of onomatopoeia and alliteration. The world that he creates is all encompassing in terms of early 1900's thought and technology, but no direct moments, places, or times are given. Houghington often interjects short lessons on how to become an adventurer such as himself. These may be by way of a one line quip such as "It is inadvisable to engage in any form of physical violence when more than five hundred feet off the ground," to more in-depth tutorials such as the C.L.A.S.S. System of Escape or The Three G's; Guard, Gun,
    8.67
    3 votes
    42
    Trends

    Trends

    "Trends" is a science fiction short story by Isaac Asimov. It was first published in the July 1939 issue of Astounding Science Fiction and was reprinted in The Early Asimov (1972). "Trends" was the tenth story written by Asimov, the third to be published, and the first to appear in Astounding, then the leading science fiction magazine. The story had its genesis in research Asimov was conducting on behalf of an academic writing a book on social resistance to technological change. Asimov was particularly struck by a series of articles by Simon Newcomb from the early 20th century arguing that heavier-than-air flight was physically impossible. If there had been resistance to earlier technological change, then Asimov reasoned that there might be social resistance to spaceflight, which was a notion he had never encountered before in a science fiction story. In December 1938, Asimov wrote a story, which he originally titled "Ad Astra", that included resistance to a proposed flight to the Moon, submitting it to Astounding editor John W. Campbell on 21 December 1938. On 29 December 1938 Asimov received a letter from Campbell asking for a story conference. At the conference, Campbell said
    8.67
    3 votes
    43
    Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace

    Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace

    • Setting: Jedi Temple
    • Part of fictional universes: Star Wars
    Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace is a 1999 American epic space opera film written and directed by George Lucas. It is the fourth film to be released in the Star Wars saga, as the first of a three-part prequel to the original Star Wars trilogy, as well as the first film in the saga in terms of story chronology. The Phantom Menace was also Lucas' first production as a film director after a 22-year hiatus following the original Star Wars film, and only his fourth overall. The film follows the Jedi Master Qui-Gon Jinn and his apprentice Obi-Wan Kenobi, who escort and protect Queen Amidala in traveling from the planet Naboo to the planet Coruscant in the hope of finding a peaceful end to a large-scale interplanetary trade dispute. The film also features a young Anakin Skywalker before he became a Jedi, introduced as a young slave boy who seems to be unusually strong with nascent powers of The Force, and must contend with the mysterious return of the Sith. Lucas began production of this motion picture after he had concluded that the science of movie special effects had advanced to the level of what he wanted for his fourth film in the saga. Its filming took place during 1997
    10.00
    2 votes
    44
    The Adventure of the Greek Interpreter

    The Adventure of the Greek Interpreter

    "The Adventure of the Greek Interpreter", one of the 56 Sherlock Holmes short stories written by British author Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, is one of 12 stories in the cycle collected as The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes. The story was originally serialised in Strand Magazine in 1893. This story introduces Holmes's elder brother Mycroft. Doyle ranked "The Greek Interpreter" seventeenth in a list of his nineteen favourite Sherlock Holmes stories. On a summer evening, while engaged in in an aimless conversation that has come round to the topic of hereditary attributes, Doctor Watson learns that Sherlock Holmes, far from being a one-off in terms of his powers of observation and deductive reasoning, in fact has an elder brother whose skills, or so Holmes claims, outstrip even his own. As a consequence of this, Watson becomes acquainted with the Diogenes Club and his friend's brother, Mycroft. Mycroft, as Watson learns, does not have the energy of his younger brother and as a consequence is incapable of using his great skills for detective work: In spite of his inertia however, the elder Holmes has often delivered the correct answer to a problem that Sherlock has brought to him. On this
    6.40
    5 votes
    45
    The Hound of the Baskervilles

    The Hound of the Baskervilles

    • Part of fictional universes: Sherlock Holmes Universe
    The Hound of the Baskervilles is the third of four crime novels by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle featuring the detective Sherlock Holmes. Originally serialised in The Strand Magazine from August 1901 to April 1902, it is set largely on Dartmoor in Devon in England's West Country and tells the story of an attempted murder inspired by the legend of a fearsome, diabolical hound. Sir Charles Baskerville is found lying dead on the grounds of his country house, Baskerville Hall. The cause is ascribed to a heart attack. Fearing for the safety of Sir Charles's nephew and only known heir, Sir Henry Baskerville, coming from America to claim his inheritance, Dr James Mortimer travels to London and asks Sherlock Holmes for help. Mortimer explains that the Baskerville family is afflicted by a curse. According to an old account, over two centuries ago Hugo Baskerville was infatuated with a farmer's daughter. He kidnapped her and imprisoned her in his bedroom. She escaped and the furious Baskerville offered his soul to the devil if he could recapture her. Aided by friends, he pursued the girl onto the desolate moor. Baskerville and his victim were found dead. She had died from fright, but a giant
    6.40
    5 votes
    46
    The Winter Market

    The Winter Market

    "The Winter Market" is a science fiction short story written by William Gibson and published as part of his Burning Chrome short story collection. The story was commissioned in 1985 by Vancouver Magazine, who stipulated that Gibson – who at the time was "unquestionably the leading Vancouver author on the international literary scene" – set it in the city (thereby making it unique among the author's works). The market of the title was modelled on that of Granville Island, though in a state of bohemian decay. As the author commented in a 2007 blog post: "Vancouver's Granville Island, centered around Granville Island Market (produce and food fair) is a very successful (and pleasant) retrofit of an under-bridge urban island that previously was heavily industrial. When the story was written, the retrofit was recent, and I dirtied it up for requisite punky near-future effect." The story primarily concerns human relationships and their tenuous and problematic qualities by deploying the concept of technological immortality, in which one's consciousness is separated from the body and "uploaded" into a supercomputer, where it continues to think and function on its own. Characters in the
    6.40
    5 votes
    47
    Alien

    Alien

    • Part of fictional universes: Alien Quadrilogy
    Alien is a 1979 science fiction horror film directed by Ridley Scott and starring Tom Skerritt, Sigourney Weaver, Veronica Cartwright, Harry Dean Stanton, John Hurt, Ian Holm and Yaphet Kotto. The film's title refers to its primary antagonist: a highly aggressive extraterrestrial creature that stalks and kills the crew of a spaceship. Dan O'Bannon wrote the screenplay from a story by him and Ronald Shusett, drawing influence from previous works of science fiction and horror. The film was produced through Brandywine Productions and distributed by 20th Century Fox, with producers David Giler and Walter Hill making significant revisions and additions to the script. The titular Alien and its accompanying elements were designed by Swiss surrealist artist H. R. Giger, while concept artists Ron Cobb and Chris Foss designed the human aspects of the film. Alien garnered both critical acclaim and box office success, receiving an Academy Award for Best Visual Effects, Saturn Awards for Best Science Fiction Film, Best Direction for Scott, and Best Supporting Actress for Cartwright, and a Hugo Award for Best Dramatic Presentation, along with numerous other award nominations. It has remained
    7.25
    4 votes
    48
    Frasier

    Frasier

    • Setting: Seattle
    Frasier is an American sitcom that was broadcast on NBC for eleven seasons from September 16, 1993, to May 13, 2004. The program was created and produced by David Angell, Peter Casey, and David Lee (as Grub Street Productions) in association with Grammnet (2004) and Paramount Network Television. A spin-off of Cheers, Frasier stars Kelsey Grammer, David Hyde Pierce, John Mahoney, Jane Leeves, Peri Gilpin, and Moose. It was one of the most successful spin-off series in television history, as well as one of the most critically acclaimed comedy series. Psychiatrist Dr. Frasier Crane (Grammer) returns to his hometown of Seattle, Washington, following the end of his marriage and his life in Boston (as seen in Cheers). His plans for a new life as a bachelor are complicated when he is obliged to take in his father, a retired detective from the Seattle Police Department, Martin (Mahoney), who is unable to live by himself after being shot in the line of duty during a robbery. Frasier and Martin are joined by Daphne Moon (Leeves), Martin's English, live-in physical therapist and caretaker, and Martin's dog Eddie (Moose). Frasier's younger brother Niles (Pierce), a fellow psychiatrist,
    7.25
    4 votes
    49
    Licence to Kill

    Licence to Kill

    • Part of fictional universes: James Bond
    Licence to Kill, released in 1989, is the sixteenth entry in the James Bond film series by Eon Productions, and the first one not to use the title of an Ian Fleming story. It is the fifth in a row and last to be directed by John Glen. It also marks Timothy Dalton's second and final performance in the role of James Bond. The story has elements of two Ian Fleming short stories and a novel, interwoven with aspects from Japanese Rōnin tales. The film sees Bond being suspended from MI6 as he pursues drugs lord Franz Sanchez, who has attacked his CIA friend Felix Leiter and murdered Felix's wife during their honeymoon. Originally titled Licence Revoked in line with the plot, the name was changed during post-production. Budgetary reasons made Licence to Kill the first Bond not to be shot in the United Kingdom, with locations in both Florida and Mexico. The film earned over $156 million worldwide, and enjoyed a generally positive critical reception, with much praise for the stunts, but some criticism on Dalton's interpretation of Bond and the fact that the film was significantly darker and more violent than its predecessors. After the release of Licence to Kill, legal wrangling over
    7.25
    4 votes
    50
    The Man of the Crowd

    The Man of the Crowd

    "The Man of the Crowd" is a short story written by Edgar Allan Poe about a nameless narrator following a man through a crowded London, first published in 1840. The story is introduced with the epigraph, "Ce grand malheur, de ne pouvoir être seul"—a quote taken from The Characters of Man by Jean de la Bruyère. It translates to Such a great misfortune, not to be able to be alone. This same quote is used in Poe's earliest tale, "Metzengerstein". After an unnamed illness, the unnamed narrator sits in an unnamed coffee shop in London. Fascinated by the crowd outside the window, he considers how isolated people think they are, despite "the very denseness of the company around". He takes time to categorize the different types of people he sees. As evening falls, the narrator focuses on "a decrepit old man, some sixty-five or seventy years of age," whose face has a peculiar idiosyncrasy, and whose body "was short in stature, very thin, and apparently very feeble" wearing filthy, ragged clothes of a "beautiful texture". The narrator dashes out of the coffee shop to follow the man from afar. The man leads the narrator through bazaars and shops, buying nothing, and into a poorer part of the
    7.25
    4 votes
    51
    A Witch Shall be Born

    A Witch Shall be Born

    "A Witch Shall Be Born" is one of the original stories by Robert E. Howard about Conan the Cimmerian. It was written in only a few days in spring of 1934 and first published in Weird Tales in 1934. The story concerns a witch replacing her twin sister as queen of a city state, which brings her into conflict with Conan who had been the captain of the queen's guard. Themes of paranoia, and the duality of the twin sisters, are paramount in this story but it also includes elements of the conflict between barbarism and civilization that is common to the entire Conan series. The novella as a whole is considered an average example of the series but one scene stands out. Conan's crucifixion early in the story in the second chapter ("The Tree of Death") is considered one of the most memorable scene in the entire series. A variation of this scene was included in the 1982 film Conan the Barbarian with Arnold Schwarzenegger. Queen Taramis of Khauran awakens one day to find an identical twin sister, Salome, staring her in the face. As a child, Salome was deemed a witch due to a crescent birthmark on her chest. This birthmark was believed to be a sign of evil, so she was left in the desert to
    8.33
    3 votes
    52
    Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

    Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

    • Setting: Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry
    • Part of fictional universes: Harry Potter
    Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix is a 2007 fantasy film directed by David Yates and based on the novel of the same name by J. K. Rowling. It is the fifth instalment in the Harry Potter film series, written by Michael Goldenberg and produced by David Heyman and David Barron. The story follows Harry Potter's fifth year at Hogwarts as the Ministry of Magic refuses to believe the return of the evil Lord Voldemort. The film stars Daniel Radcliffe as Harry Potter, alongside Rupert Grint and Emma Watson as Harry's best friends Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger. It is the sequel to Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire and is followed by Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. Live-action filming took place in England and Scotland for exterior locations and Leavesden Film Studios in Watford for interior locations from February to November 2006, with a one-month break in June. Post-production on the film continued for several months afterwards to add in visual effects. The film's budget was reportedly between £75 and 100 million ($150–200 million). Warner Bros., the distributor of the film, released it in the UK on 12 July 2007, and in North America on 11 July, both in conventional
    8.33
    3 votes
    53
    Red Nails

    Red Nails

    "Red Nails" is the last of the stories about Conan the Cimmerian written by American author Robert E. Howard. A novella, it was originally serialized in Weird Tales magazine from July to October 1936. It is set in the pseudo-historical Hyborian Age and concerns Conan encountering a lost city in which the degenerate inhabitants are proactively resigned to their own destruction. Due to its grim themes of decay and death, the story is considered a classic of Conan lore and is often cited by Howard scholars as one of his best tales. The story was republished in the collections The Sword of Conan (Gnome Press, 1952) and Conan the Warrior (Lancer Books, 1967). It was first published by itself in book form by Donald M. Grant, Publisher, Inc. in 1975 as volume IV of their deluxe Conan set. It has most recently been republished in the collections The Conan Chronicles Volume 2: The Hour of the Dragon (Gollancz,2001) and The Conquering Sword of Conan (Del Rey, 2005) (published in the United Kingdom by Wandering Star as Conan of Cimmeria: Volume Three (1935-1936)), as well as The Best of Robert E. Howard, Volume 2: Grim Lands ( Del Rey, 2007). "Red Nails" begins in the jungles far to the south
    8.33
    3 votes
    54
    The Man That Was Used Up

    The Man That Was Used Up

    "The Man That Was Used Up," sometimes subtitled "A Tale of the Late Bugaboo and Kickapoo Campaign," is a short story and satire by Edgar Allan Poe. It was first published in 1839 in Burton's Gentleman's Magazine. The story follows an unnamed narrator who seeks out the famous war hero John A. B. C. Smith. He becomes suspicious that Smith has some deep secret when others refuse to describe him, instead remarking only on the latest advancements in technology. When he finally meets Smith, the man must first be assembled piece by piece. It is likely that in this satire Poe is actually referring to General Winfield Scott, veteran of the War of 1812, the Mexican–American War, and the American Civil War. Additionally, Poe is questioning the strong male identity as well as how humanity falls as machines become more advanced. An unnamed narrator meets the famous Brevet Brigadier General John A. B. C. Smith, "one of the most remarkable men of the age." Smith is an impressive physical specimen at six feet tall with flowing black hair, "large and lustrous" eyes, powerful-looking shoulders, and other essentially perfect attributes. He is also known for his great speaking ability, often boasting
    8.33
    3 votes
    55
    K-9 and Company

    K-9 and Company

    • Part of fictional universes: Whoniverse
    K-9 and Company is a proposed television spin-off of the original programme run of Doctor Who (1963–1989). It was to feature former series regulars Sarah Jane Smith, an investigative journalist played by Elisabeth Sladen, and K-9, a robotic dog. Both characters had been companions of the Fourth Doctor, but they had not appeared together before. A single episode, "A Girl's Best Friend", was produced as a pilot for a proposed programme, but was not taken up. "A Girl's Best Friend" was broadcast by BBC1 as a Christmas special on 28 December 1981. The story was released on DVD on 16 June 2008 as a double pack with K-9's first Doctor Who story "The Invisible Enemy". Although a full series of K-9 and Company was not produced, the two characters did re-appear two years later in The Five Doctors, an episode of Doctor Who broadcast in 1983 celebrating the show's twentieth anniversary. Following the successful revival of Doctor Who in 2005, Sarah Jane Smith and K-9 would be re-introduced to the show in the second series episode "School Reunion", which aired in 2006. In addition to subsequent appearances by both characters in the main programme, this became the basis for another series
    6.20
    5 votes
    56
    Die Another Day

    Die Another Day

    • Part of fictional universes: James Bond
    Die Another Day (2002) is the twentieth spy film in the James Bond series, and the fourth and last film to star Pierce Brosnan as the fictional MI6 agent James Bond; it is also the last Bond film of the original timeline before the series was rebooted in 2006 with Casino Royale. In the pre-title sequence, Bond leads a mission to North Korea, during which he is betrayed and, after seemingly killing a rogue North Korean colonel, he is captured and imprisoned. More than a year later Bond is released as part of a prisoner exchange. Surmising that someone within the British government betrayed him, he tries to earn redemption by finding his betrayer and by killing a North Korean agent he believes was involved in his torture. Die Another Day, produced by Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli, and directed by Lee Tamahori, marks the franchise's 40th anniversary. The series began in 1962 with Sean Connery starring as Bond in Dr. No. Die Another Day includes references to each of the preceding films and also alludes to several Bond novels. The 2002 film received mixed reviews. Some critics praised Lee Tamahori's work on the film, while others claimed the plot was damaged by excessive use
    9.50
    2 votes
    57
    The Devil and Daniel Webster

    The Devil and Daniel Webster

    "The Devil and Daniel Webster" is a short story by Stephen Vincent Benét. This retelling of the classic German Faust tale is based on the short story "The Devil and Tom Walker", written by Washington Irving. Benet's version of the story centers on a New Hampshire farmer who sells his soul to the Devil and is defended by Daniel Webster, a fictional version of the famous lawyer and orator. The story was published in 1937 by Farrar & Rinehart. In 1938, it appeared in The Saturday Evening Post and won an O. Henry Award that same year. The author would adapt it in 1938 into a folk opera with music by Douglas Stuart Moore, a fellow alumnus of Yale University, member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and winner of a Pulitzer Prize. Benét also worked on the screenplay adaptation for the 1941 RKO Pictures film. A local farmer, Jabez Stone, is plagued with unending bad luck, causing him to finally swear that "it's enough to make a man want to sell his soul to the devil!" Stone is visited the next day by a stranger, who later identifies himself as "Mr. Scratch" and makes such an offer (in exchange for seven years of prosperity), to which Stone agrees. After the seven years, Stone
    9.50
    2 votes
    58
    The Five Orange Pips

    The Five Orange Pips

    "The Five Orange Pips", one of the 56 short Sherlock Holmes stories written by British author Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, is the fifth of the twelve stories in The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes. The story was first published in The Strand magazine in November 1891. Conan Doyle later ranked the story seventh in a list of his twelve favourite Sherlock Holmes stories. A young Sussex gentleman named John Openshaw has a strange story: in 1869 his uncle Elias Openshaw had suddenly come back to England to settle on an estate at Horsham, West Sussex after living for years in the United States as a planter in Florida and serving as a Colonel in the Confederate Army. Not being married, Elias had allowed his nephew to stay at his estate. Strange incidents have occurred; one is that although John could go anywhere in the house he could never enter a locked room containing his uncle's trunks. Another peculiarity was that in March 1883 a letter postmarked from Pondicherry, India arrived for the Colonel inscribed only "K.K.K." with five orange pips enclosed. More strange things happened: Papers from the locked room were burnt and a will was drawn up leaving the estate to John Openshaw. The Colonel's
    9.50
    2 votes
    59
    The Planet of Doubt

    The Planet of Doubt

    "The Planet of Doubt" is a science fiction short story by Stanley G. Weinbaum that was first published in the October 1935 issue of Astounding Stories. It is Weinbaum's third story featuring Hamilton Hammond and Patricia Burlingame, a sequel to "Parasite Planet" and "The Lotus Eaters". Following his expedition to the night side of Venus, the Smithsonian Institution appoints Hamilton "Ham" Hammond to head an expedition to Uranus. In Weinbaum's version of the Solar System, all of the gas giants generate significant amounts of infrared radiation, enough to produce Earthlike environments on the inner moons of Jupiter and Saturn and on the surface of Uranus itself. At the time "The Planet of Doubt" takes place at the turn of the 22nd century, the limited range of the spaceships ensures that Uranus can only be reached from the American base on Titan when Saturn reaches conjunction with Uranus, an event that occurs once every forty years. The Young expedition explored the planet's south pole in 2060; now Hammond takes his ship, the Gaea, to the north pole. Finding an ocean at the north pole, Hammond sends the Gaea spiraling southeast until they reach land. They find the surface of Uranus
    9.50
    2 votes
    60
    The Spectacles

    The Spectacles

    "The Spectacles" is a short story by Edgar Allan Poe, published in 1844. It is one of Poe's comedy tales. The narrator, 22-year old Napoleon Buonaparte, changes his last name from "Froissart" to "Simpson" as a requirement to inherit a large sum from a distant cousin, Adolphus Simpson. At the opera he sees a beautiful woman in the audience and falls in love instantly. He describes her beauty at length, despite not being able to see her well; he requires spectacles but, in his vanity, "resolutely refused to employ them." His companion Talbot identifies the woman as Madame Eugenie Lalande, a wealthy widow, and promises to introduce the two. He courts her and proposes marriage; she makes him promise that, on their wedding night, he will wear his spectacles. When he puts on the spectacles, he sees that she is a toothless old woman. He expresses horror at her appearance, and even more so when he learns she is 82 years old. She begins a rant about a very foolish descendant of hers, one Napoleon Bonaparte Froissart. He realizes that she is his great-great-grandmother. Madame Lalande, who is also Mrs. Simpson, had come to America to meet her husband's heir. She was accompanied by a much
    9.50
    2 votes
    61
    The Adventure of the Norwood Builder

    The Adventure of the Norwood Builder

    "The Adventure of the Norwood Builder", one of the 56 short Sherlock Holmes stories written by British author Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, is the second tale from The Return of Sherlock Holmes. The story was first published in Strand Magazine in 1903 with original illustrations by Sidney Paget. Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson are visited by "the unhappy John Hector McFarlane", a young lawyer from Blackheath who has been accused of murdering one of his clients, a builder called Jonas Oldacre. McFarlane explains to Holmes that Oldacre had come to his office only the day before and asked him to draw up his will in legally appropriate terms. McFarlane saw to his surprise that Oldacre was making him the sole beneficiary, and heir to a considerable bequest at that. McFarlane could not imagine why, although Oldacre claimed that it was due to a prior relationship with McFarlane's mother, which gaving him reliable knowledge that McFarlane could be trusted, and a lack of any biological relatives for him to leave his assets to. This business took McFarlane to Oldacre's house in Norwood where some documents had to be examined for legal purposes. These were kept in the safe where the murder allegedly
    7.00
    4 votes
    62
    The Minister's Black Veil

    The Minister's Black Veil

    "The Minister's Black Veil" is a short story written by Nathaniel Hawthorne. It was first published in the 1836 edition of The Token and Atlantic Souvenir, edited by Samuel Goodrich. It later appeared in Twice-Told Tales, a collection of short stories by Hawthorne published in 1837. The story begins with the sexton standing in front of the meeting-house, ringing the bell. He is to stop ringing the bell when the Reverend Mr. Hooper comes into sight. However, the congregation is met with an unusual sight: Mr. Hooper is wearing a black semi-transparent veil that obscures all of his face but his mouth and chin from view. This creates a stir among the townspeople, who begin to speculate about his veil and its significance. As he takes the pulpit, Mr. Hooper's sermon is on secret sin and is "tinged, rather more darkly than usual, with the gentle gloom of Mr. Hooper's temperament". This topic concerns the congregation who fear for their own secret sins as well as their minister's new appearance. After the sermon, a funeral is held for a young lady of the town who has died. Mr. Hooper stays for the funeral and continues to wear his now more appropriate veil. It is said that if the veil
    7.00
    4 votes
    63
    Blade Runner

    Blade Runner

    • Setting: Los Angeles
    • Part of fictional universes: Blade Runner Universe
    Blade Runner is a 1982 American science fiction film directed by Ridley Scott and starring Harrison Ford, Rutger Hauer, and Sean Young. The screenplay, written by Hampton Fancher and David Peoples, is loosely based on the novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip K. Dick. The film depicts a dystopian Los Angeles in November 2019 in which genetically engineered organic robots called replicants—visually indistinguishable from adult humans—are manufactured by the powerful Tyrell Corporation as well as by other "mega–manufacturers" around the world. Their use on Earth is banned and replicants are exclusively used for dangerous, menial or leisure work on off-world colonies. Replicants who defy the ban and return to Earth are hunted down and "retired" by police special operatives known as "Blade Runners". The plot focuses on a brutal and cunning group of recently escaped replicants hiding in Los Angeles and the burnt out expert Blade Runner, Rick Deckard (Harrison Ford), who reluctantly agrees to take on one more assignment to hunt them down. Blade Runner initially polarized critics: some were displeased with the pacing, while others enjoyed its thematic complexity. The film
    8.00
    3 votes
    64
    The Golden Compass

    The Golden Compass

    • Setting: Jordan College, Oxford
    • Part of fictional universes: His Dark Materials
    The Golden Compass is a 2007 fantasy-adventure film based on Northern Lights (published as The Golden Compass in the U.S.), the first novel in Philip Pullman's trilogy His Dark Materials. The film was released on December 7, 2007 by New Line Cinema. Directed by Chris Weitz, it stars Dakota Blue Richards, Nicole Kidman, Daniel Craig, Eva Green, Sam Elliot, Ian McKellen, Ben Walker, Freddie Highmore and Magda Szubanski. The project was announced in February 2002, following the success of recent adaptations of other fantasy epics, but troubles over the script and the selection of a director caused significant delays. At US$180 million, it was one of New Line's most expensive projects ever, and its middling success in the US contributed to New Line's February 2008 restructuring. The story depicts the adventures of Lyra Belacqua, an orphan living in a parallel universe on a world that looks much like our own. In Lyra's world, a dogmatic ruling power called the Magisterium is conspiring to end tolerance and free inquiry. Poor, orphan and Gyptian children are disappearing at the hands of a group the kids call the Gobblers. Lyra discovers that Mrs. Coulter is running the Gobblers. Rescued
    8.00
    3 votes
    65
    Beyond Lies the Wub

    Beyond Lies the Wub

    "Beyond Lies the Wub" is a science fiction short story by Philip K. Dick. It was his first published story, originally appearing in Planet Stories in July, 1952. Peterson, a crew member of a spaceship visiting Mars buys an enormous pig-like creature known as a "wub" from a native just before departure. Franco, his captain, is worried about the extra weight, but seems more concerned about its taste. However, after takeoff, the crew realizes that the wub is a very intelligent creature, capable of telepathy and maybe even mind control. Peterson and the wub spend time discussing mythological figures and the travels of Odysseus. Captain Franco, paranoid after an earlier confrontation with the Wub which left him paralyzed, bursts in and insists on killing and eating the wub. The crew becomes very much opposed to killing the sensitive creature after it makes a plea for understanding, but Franco still makes a meal out of him. At the dinner table, Captain Franco apologises for the "interruption" and resumes the earlier conversation Peterson had been having with the Wub - which has possessed the Captain's body. The theme of the Wub and immortality was revisited by Dick in his later short
    6.75
    4 votes
    66
    Psych

    Psych

    • Part of fictional universes: Psych
    Psych is an American detective comedy-drama television series created by Steve Franks and broadcast on USA Network. It stars James Roday as Shawn Spencer, a young crime consultant for the Santa Barbara Police Department whose "heightened observational skills" and impressive detective instincts allow him to convince people that he solves cases with psychic abilities. The program also stars Dulé Hill as Shawn's best friend and reluctant partner Burton "Gus" Guster, as well as Corbin Bernsen as Shawn's captious father, Henry. The series airs new episodes in the U.S. on Wednesdays at 10PM ET/PT, 9PM CST on USA Network. During the second season, an animated segment was added to the series titled "The Big Adventures of Little Shawn and Gus". Psych debuted on Friday, July 7, 2006, immediately following the fifth season premiere of Monk, and continued to be paired with the series until Monk's conclusion on December 4, 2009. It was the highest-rated U.S. basic cable television premiere of 2006. The sixth season ended on April 11, 2012. It is currently USA Network's longest-running original series on air. On January 10, 2012, USA renewed the series for a seventh season, to include 16
    6.75
    4 votes
    67
    Alien³

    Alien³

    • Setting: Fiorina 'Fury' 161
    • Part of fictional universes: Alien Quadrilogy
    Alien 3 (stylized as ALIEN³) is a 1992 science fiction horror film, the third installment in the Alien franchise, and the debut of director David Fincher. It is a sequel to James Cameron's Aliens, itself a sequel to Ridley Scott's Alien. The story begins with an ejected pod from the Colonial Marine spaceship Sulaco in Aliens crash-landing on a prison-run refinery planet, killing everyone aboard except Lieutenant Ellen Ripley (Sigourney Weaver). Unknown to Ripley, an Alien egg was aboard the ship. It is born in the prison and begins a killing spree. Alien 3 had a difficult production, with various screenwriters and directors getting involved in the project, and shooting began without a finished script. The film was the big-budget debut of a young David Fincher, who was brought into the project after a proposed version with Vincent Ward at the helm was cancelled well into pre-production. Fincher had little time to prepare, and the experience of making the film proved agonizing for him. Besides the need to shoot and rewrite the script simultaneously while fitting in sets that had already been built, filming was also plagued by incessant creative interference from studio executives,
    9.00
    2 votes
    68
    Caprica

    Caprica

    • Part of fictional universes: Battlestar Galactica 2003
    Caprica is a science fiction drama television series. It is a spin-off prequel of the re-imagined Battlestar Galactica, taking place about 58 years prior to the events of Battlestar Galactica. Caprica shows how humanity first created the robotic Cylons who would later plot to destroy humans in retaliation for their enslavement. Among Caprica's main characters are the father and uncle of Commander William Adama from the re-imagined Battlestar Galactica. An extended version of the pilot premiered exclusively on DVD and digital download on April 21, 2009. The first season debuted on January 22, 2010 on Syfy in the U.S., Space in Canada, and Sky1 in the U.K., running nine episodes, including the two hour pilot, before going on a mid-season hiatus. The second half of the first season (Season 1.5) began airing on October 5, 2010 on Syfy and Space. On October 27, 2010, Syfy canceled the show, citing low ratings, and pulled the remaining five episodes of the series from its broadcast schedule. The series continued to air as scheduled on Space, finishing with the series finale on November 30, 2010. The remaining episodes were released on DVD in the U.S. on December 21, 2010 and aired on
    9.00
    2 votes
    69
    Alien: Resurrection

    Alien: Resurrection

    • Part of fictional universes: Alien Quadrilogy
    Alien Resurrection is a science fiction film released in 1997 by 20th Century Fox, and the fourth installment in the Alien franchise. The film was directed by French filmmaker Jean-Pierre Jeunet, with a screenplay by Joss Whedon. Alien Resurrection was the first film in the Alien series to be filmed outside of England, at Fox studios in Los Angeles, California. In the film, which is set 200 years after the preceding installment Alien 3, Ellen Ripley (Sigourney Weaver) is cloned and an Alien queen is surgically removed from her body. The United Systems Military hopes to breed Aliens to study and research on the spaceship USM Auriga, using human hosts kidnapped and delivered to them by a group of mercenaries. The Aliens escape their enclosures, while Ripley and the mercenaries attempt to escape and destroy the Auriga before it reaches its destination, Earth. Alien Resurrection was released on November 26, 1997 and received mixed reviews from film critics. Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times felt "there is not a single shot in the movie to fill one with wonder", while Desson Thomson of The Washington Post said the film "satisfactorily recycles the great surprises that made the first
    5.80
    5 votes
    70
    La Vénus d'Ille

    La Vénus d'Ille

    La Vénus d'Ille is a short story by Prosper Mérimée. It was written in 1835 and published in 1837. It tells the story of a statue of Venus that comes to life and kills the son of its owner, whom it believes to be its husband. The narrator, an archeologist, is visiting the town of Ille in the Languedoc-Roussillon region of France. A friend of his recommended him to M. de Peyrehorade, who is familiar with the Roman ruins in the area. When he arrives, he discovers that M. de Peyrehorade's son, Alphonse, is to be married to a certain Mademoiselle de Puygarrig, and the narrator is invited to the wedding. Meanwhile, M. de Peyrehorade shows the narrator his new discovery: a bronze statue of Venus Pudica. The narrator judges the statue to be very old and deciphers the inscription. Both men marvel at her fierce gaze; she is as frightening as she is beautiful. She also seems to be cursed: the man who found her had his leg broken, and another man who threw a stone at her was injured by the stone rebounding and striking him. Before the wedding, the groom decides to play a game of Paume, and he slips the wedding ring intended for his fiancée onto a finger of the statue. He wins the game, but
    7.67
    3 votes
    71
    Shades

    Shades

    "Shades" (Polish: "Cienie") is one of Bolesław Prus' shortest micro-stories. Written in 1885, it comes from a several years' period of pessimism in the author's life caused partly by the 1883 failure of Nowiny (News), a Warsaw daily that he had been editing less than a year. Prus, the "lamplighter" who had striven to dispel darkness and its attendant "fear, error and crime," had failed to sufficiently interest the public in his "observatory of societal facts," Nowiny. "Shades" is one of several micro-stories by Bolesław Prus that were inspired partly by 19th-century French prose poetry. Prus scholar Zygmunt Szweykowski writes: Prus' micro-story "Shades" comprises two successive parts. The first half evokes the above-described atmosphere of dread, via Prus' description of an eternal contest between light and darkness. The second half of the micro-story pictures the efforts of one of a number of nameless lamplighters to dispel the darkness, for as long as his limited lifespan permits.
    7.67
    3 votes
    72
    Shrek 4-D

    Shrek 4-D

    • Part of fictional universes: Shrek Film Series
    Shrek 4-D (also known as Shrek 3-D for the DVD release, Shrek 4D Adventure, Shrek's Never Before Seen Adventure, and The Ghost of Lord Farquaad) is a 4-D film at various theme parks around the world. Universal Parks & Resorts owns the main rights to the film which is currently shown at their parks in Hollywood, Florida, Japan and Singapore. It is expected that Shrek 4-D will be included in their South Korea park currently under construction. Outside of the Universal parks, the movie is shown at Movie Park Germany in Germany from May 2004 until July 2012. Shrek 4D Adventure was shown at Warner Bros. Movie World in Australia from September 2005 until August 2010. A spin-off attraction titled Donkey's Photo Finish is located at the Florida venue while Meet Shrek and Donkey is located at the Hollywood venue. In Universal Studios Japan, the attraction is shown in the same theater as Sesame Street 4-D Movie Magic, with the Shrek 4-D film shown for the first half of the day, and the Sesame Street film shown for the second half of the day. Universal Parks & Resorts have implemented the movie into four of their amusement parks with plans to integrate it into a fifth. The first park to show
    7.67
    3 votes
    73
    The Adventure of the Musgrave Ritual

    The Adventure of the Musgrave Ritual

    "The Adventure of the Musgrave Ritual" is a short story by Arthur Conan Doyle, featuring his fictional detective Sherlock Holmes. The story was originally published in Strand Magazine in 1893, and was collected later in The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes. Unlike the majority of Holmes stories, the main narrator is not Doctor Watson, but Sherlock Holmes himself. With Watson providing an introduction, the story-within-a-story is a classic example of a frame tale. It is one of the earliest recorded cases investigated by Holmes, and establishes his problem solving skills. "The Adventure of the Musgrave Ritual" shares elements with two Edgar Allan Poe tales: "The Gold Bug" and "The Cask of Amontillado". In 1927, Conan Doyle ranked the story at 11th place on his top 12 Holmes stories list. The story did better in a 1959 chart produced by the Baker Street Journal, ranking 6th out of 10. In the story, Holmes recounts to Watson the events arising after a visit from a university acquaintance, Reginald Musgrave. Musgrave visits Holmes after the disappearance of two of his domestic staff, Rachel Howells, a maid, and Richard Brunton, the longtime butler. The pair vanished after Musgrave had
    7.67
    3 votes
    74
    The Cask of Amontillado

    The Cask of Amontillado

    • Setting: Italy
    "The Cask of Amontillado" (sometimes spelled "The Casque of Amontillado") is a short story by Edgar Allan Poe, first published in the November 1846 issue of Godey's Lady's Book. The story is set in a nameless Italian city in an unspecified year (possibly in the 18th century) and is about the narrator's deadly revenge on a friend whom he believes has insulted him. Like several of Poe's stories, and in keeping with the 19th-century fascination with the subject, the narrative revolves around a person being buried alive—in this case, by immurement. As in "The Black Cat" ,and "The Tell-Tale Heart", Poe conveys the story through the murderer's perspective. Montresor tells the story of the day that he took his revenge on Fortunato, a fellow nobleman, to an unspecified person who knows him very well. Angry over some unspecified insult, he plots to murder his friend during Carnival when the man is drunk, dizzy, and wearing a jester's motley. He baits Fortunato by telling him he has obtained what he believes to be a pipe (about 130 gallons, 492 litres) of a rare vintage of Amontillado. He claims he wants his friend's expert opinion on the subject. Fortunato goes with Montresor to the wine
    7.67
    3 votes
    75
    The Happy Hypocrite

    The Happy Hypocrite

    The Happy Hypocrite: A Fairy Tale for Tired Men is a short story with moral implications, first published in a separate volume by Max Beerbohm in 1897. His earliest short story, The Happy Hypocrite first appeared in Volume XI of The Yellow Book in October, 1896. Beerbohm's tale is a lighter, more humorous version of Oscar Wilde's classic tale of moral degeneration, The Picture of Dorian Gray. The Happy Hypocrite tells the story of a man who deceives a woman with a mask in order to marry her. The book was published by John Lane at The Bodley Head, in New York and in London in 1897. In 1900 the story was produced as a stage show at the Royalty Theatre in London starring Frank Mills and Mrs Patrick Campbell. In 1936 the play was revived at His Majesty's Theatre starring Ivor Novello, Vivien Leigh, Isabel Jeans and Marius Goring. An edition with twelve illustrations by George Sheringham was published by John Lane in 1915. The protagonist is named Lord George Hell. A worldly man, he is a dandy, fond of gambling, drinking, womanizing, and the like. He is enjoying lavish outdoor entertainment in London with his lover, La Gambogi, when a young and innocent dancer named Jenny Mere performs
    7.67
    3 votes
    76
    The Martian Way

    The Martian Way

    "The Martian Way" is a science fiction novella by Isaac Asimov. It was first published in the November 1952 issue of Galaxy Science Fiction and reprinted in the collections The Martian Way and Other Stories (1955), The Best of Isaac Asimov (1973), and Robot Dreams (1986). It was also included in The Science Fiction Hall of Fame, Volume Two (1973) after being voted one of the best novellas up to 1965. Mario Esteban Rioz and Ted Long are both Scavengers, Mars-born humans who scour space for the spent lower stages of spacecraft. Rioz has been doing the work his whole life, but his partner for his current six-month trip puzzles him—a former mining engineer who gave up a comfortable, well-paying desk job in the Martian iron mines for the hardscrabble life of a Scavenger. He doesn't understand Long's philosophical musings on what he calls "the Martian way". Rioz is tense because the trip has been unprofitable. He chews Long out for wasting power listening to some Grounder (Earth-born) politician named John Hilder making a speech. As Rioz listens to the speech, he realizes that Hilder is saying that Earth's settlements on Mars, Venus, and the Moon are useless drains on Earth's economy,
    7.67
    3 votes
    77
    The People of the Black Circle

    The People of the Black Circle

    "The People of the Black Circle" is one of the original novellas about Conan the Cimmerian, written by American author Robert E. Howard and first published in Weird Tales magazine in three parts over the September, October and November 1934 issues. Howard earned $250 for the publication of this story. It is set in the pseudo-historical Hyborian Age and concerns Conan kidnapping a regal princess of Vendhya (pre-historical India) and foiling a nefarious plot of world domination by the Black Seers of Yimsha. Due to its epic scope and atypical Hindustan flavor, the story is considered an undisputed classic of Conan lore and is often cited by Howard scholars as one of his best tales. It is also one of the few Howard stories where the reader is treated a deeper insight on magic and magicians beyond the stereotypical Hyborian depiction as demon conjurer-illusionist-priests. This Conan story is set in mythical Hyborian versions of India-Pakistan (then united) and Afghanistan (Vendhya and Ghulistan respectively). The death of Bunda Chand, King of Vendhya, via a curse channelled to his soul through a lock of his hair leads to the ascension of his sister, Devi Yasmina, who vows to get revenge
    7.67
    3 votes
    78
    The Wizard of Oz

    The Wizard of Oz

    • Part of fictional universes: Oz Universe
    The Wizard of Oz is a 1939 American musical fantasy film produced by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. Based on the 1900 children's novel, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum, the film stars Judy Garland, Ray Bolger, Jack Haley, Bert Lahr, and Frank Morgan, with Billie Burke, Margaret Hamilton, Charley Grapewin, Clara Blandick and the Singer Midgets as the Munchkins. Notable for its use of special effects, Technicolor, fantasy storytelling and unusual characters, it has become, over the years, one of the best known of all films and part of American popular culture. The film is mostly in Technicolor, but its opening and closing sequences are in sepia-tinted black-and-white, including all of the film's credits. It was directed primarily by Victor Fleming. Noel Langley, Florence Ryerson and Edgar Allan Woolf received credit for the screenplay, but there were uncredited contributions by others. The lyrics for the songs were written by E.Y. Harburg, the music by Harold Arlen. Incidental music, based largely on the songs, was by Herbert Stothart, with borrowings from classical composers. Although the film received largely positive reviews, it was not a huge box office success on its initial
    7.67
    3 votes
    79
    The Wonderful Wizard of Oz

    The Wonderful Wizard of Oz

    • Part of fictional universes: Oz Universe
    The Wonderful Wizard of Oz is a children's novel written by L. Frank Baum and illustrated by W. W. Denslow. Originally published by the George M. Hill Company in Chicago on May 17, 1900, it has since been reprinted numerous times, most often under the name The Wizard of Oz, which is the name of both the 1902 stage play and the well-known adaptation 1939 film version, starring Judy Garland. The story chronicles the adventures of a young girl named Dorothy Gale in the Land of Oz, after being swept away from her Kansas farm home in a tornado. Thanks in part to the 1939 MGM movie, it is one of the best-known stories in American popular culture and has been widely translated. Its initial success, and the success of the popular 1902 Broadway musical which Baum adapted from his original story, led to Baum's writing thirteen more Oz books. The original book has been in the public domain in the US since 1956. Baum dedicated the book "to my good friend & comrade, My Wife", Maud Gage Baum. In January 1901, George M. Hill Company, the publisher, completed printing the first edition, which probably totaled around 35,000 copies. Records indicate that 21,000 copies were sold through 1900.
    7.67
    3 votes
    80
    Battlestar Galactica

    Battlestar Galactica

    • Setting: Caprica
    • Part of fictional universes: Battlestar Galactica 2003
    Battlestar Galactica (BSG) is an American military science fiction television series, and part of the Battlestar Galactica franchise. The show was developed by Ronald D. Moore as a re-imagining of the 1978 Battlestar Galactica television series created by Glen A. Larson. The series first aired as a three-hour miniseries (comprising four broadcast hours) in December 2003 on the Sci-Fi Channel, and ran for four seasons thereafter, ending its run on March 20, 2009. The series features Edward James Olmos and Mary McDonnell, and garnered a wide range of critical acclaim, which included a Peabody Award, the Television Critics Association's Program of the Year Award, a placement inside Time's 100 Best TV Shows of All-TIME, and Emmy nominations for its writing, directing, costume design, visual effects, sound mixing, and sound editing, with Emmy wins for both visual effects and sound editing. The story arc of Battlestar Galactica is set in a distant star system, where a civilization of humans live on a group of planets known as the Twelve Colonies. In the past, the Colonies had been at war with a cybernetic race of their own creation, known as the Cylons. With the unwitting help of a human
    10.00
    1 votes
    81
    Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone

    Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone

    • Setting: Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry
    • Part of fictional universes: Harry Potter
    Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, released in the United States, India and Pakistan as Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, is a 2001 fantasy film directed by Chris Columbus and based on the novel of the same name by J. K. Rowling. The film is the first instalment in the Harry Potter film series, written by Steve Kloves and produced by David Heyman. The story follows Harry Potter's first year at Hogwarts as he discovers that he is a famous wizard and begins his magical education. The film stars Daniel Radcliffe as Harry Potter, with Rupert Grint and Emma Watson as Harry's best friends Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger. It is followed by seven sequels with the first being Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. Warner Bros. bought the film rights to the book in 1999 for a reported £1 million. Production began in the UK in 2000, with Columbus being chosen to create the film from a short list of directors that included Steven Spielberg and Rob Reiner. J. K. Rowling insisted that the entire cast be British or Irish, in keeping with the cultural integrity of the book and the film. She also approved the screenplay, written by Steve Kloves. The film was shot at Leavesden Film
    10.00
    1 votes
    82
    Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope

    Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope

    • Setting: Mos Eisley
    • Part of fictional universes: Star Wars
    • Events: Battle of Yavin
    Star Wars, now known as Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope, is a 1977 American epic space opera film written and directed by George Lucas. It is the first of six films released in the Star Wars saga: two subsequent films complete the original trilogy, while a prequel trilogy completes the six-film saga. It is the fourth film in terms of the series' internal chronology. Groundbreaking in its use of special effects, unconventional editing, and science fiction/fantasy storytelling, the original Star Wars is one of the most successful and influential films of all time. Set "a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away", the film follows a group of freedom fighters known as the Rebel Alliance as they plot to destroy the powerful Death Star space station, a devastating weapon created by the evil Galactic Empire. This conflict disrupts the isolated life of farmboy Luke Skywalker when he inadvertently acquires the droids carrying the stolen plans to the Death Star. After the Empire begins a cruel and destructive search for the droids, Skywalker decides to accompany Jedi Knight Obi-Wan Kenobi on a daring mission to rescue the owner of the droids, rebel leader Princess Leia, and save the galaxy.
    10.00
    1 votes
    83
    The Adventure of the Dancing Men

    The Adventure of the Dancing Men

    "The Adventure of the Dancing Men", one of the 56 Sherlock Holmes short stories written by British author Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, is one of 13 stories in the cycle collected as The Return of Sherlock Holmes. Doyle ranked "The Adventure of the Dancing Men" third in his list of his twelve favorite Holmes stories. Mr. Hilton Cubitt of Ridling Thorpe Manor in Norfolk visits Sherlock Holmes and gives him a piece of paper with this mysterious sequence of stick figures. The little dancing men are at the heart of a mystery which seems to be driving his young wife Elsie to distraction. He married her about a year ago, and until recently, everything was well. She is American, and before the wedding, she asked her husband-to-be to promise her never to ask about her past, as she had had some “very disagreeable associations” in her life, although she said that there was nothing that she was personally ashamed of. Mr. Cubitt swore the promise and, being an honourable English gentleman, insists on living by it, which is one of the things causing difficulty at Ridling Thorpe Manor. The trouble began when Elsie received a letter from the United States, which evidently disturbed her, and she threw
    10.00
    1 votes
    84
    The Eternal Adam

    The Eternal Adam

    The Eternal Adam (French: L'Éternel Adam) is a short novelette by Jules Verne recounting the progressive fall of a group of survivors into barbarism following an apocalypse. Although the story was drafted by Verne in the last years of his life, it was greatly expanded by his son, Michel Verne. The story is set in a far future in which an archaeologist deciphers the preserved journal of a survivor to total destruction of civilisation. The discovery comes in the midst of philosophical controversies on the origin of humankind, between those that believe in the existence of a unique ancestor and those that do not. The journal describes the struggle for survival of a small group and the futility of the accumulated knowledge in the group. The conclusion of the novel implies that the unique ancestor is the survivor whose journal was discovered, and that civilisation is doomed to eternal fall and rebirth. The Eternal Adam Summary page for publications of this title at the Internet Speculative Fiction Database
    10.00
    1 votes
    85
    The Fall of the House of Usher

    The Fall of the House of Usher

    "The Fall of the House of Usher" is a short story by Edgar Allan Poe. The legend opens with the unnamed narrator arriving at the house of his friend, Roderick Usher, having received a letter from him in a distant part of the country complaining of an illness and asking for his help. Although Poe wrote this short story before the invention of modern psychological science, Roderick's pathagens can be described according to its terminology. They include a form of sensory overload known as hyperesthesia (hypersensitivity to light, sounds, smells, and tastes), hypochondria (an excessive preoccupation or worry about having a serious illness), and acute anxiety. It is revealed that Roderick's twin sister, Madeline, is also ill and falls into cataleptic, deathlike trances. The narrator is impressed with Roderick's paintings, and attempts to cheer him by reading with him and listening to his improvised musical compositions on the guitar. Roderick sings "The Haunted Palace", then tells the narrator that he believes the house he lives in to be [sentience|sentient], and that this sentience arises from the arrangement of the masonry and vegetation surrounding it. Roderick later informs the
    10.00
    1 votes
    86
    The Purloined Letter

    The Purloined Letter

    "The Purloined Letter" is a short story by American author Edgar Allan Poe. It is the third of his three detective stories featuring the fictional C. Auguste Dupin, the other two being "The Murders in the Rue Morgue" and "The Mystery of Marie Rogêt". These stories are considered to be important early forerunners of the modern detective story. It first appeared in the literary annual The Gift for 1845 (1844) and was soon reprinted in numerous journals and newspapers. The unnamed narrator is discussing with the famous Parisian amateur detective C. Auguste Dupin some of his most celebrated cases when they are joined by the Prefect of the Police, a man known as G—. The Prefect has a case he would like to discuss with Dupin. A letter has been stolen from the boudoir of an unnamed female by the unscrupulous Minister D—. It is said to contain compromising information. D— was in the room, saw the letter, and switched it for a letter of no importance. He has been blackmailing his victim. The Prefect makes two deductions with which Dupin does not disagree: The Prefect says that he and his police detectives have searched the Ministerial hotel where D— stays and have found nothing. They
    10.00
    1 votes
    87
    The Adventure of the Beryl Coronet

    The Adventure of the Beryl Coronet

    "The Adventure of the Beryl Coronet", one of the 56 short Sherlock Holmes stories written by British author Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, is the eleventh of the twelve stories collected in The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes. The story was first published in Strand Magazine in May 1892. A banker, Mr. Alexander Holder of Streatham makes a loan of £50,000 to a socially prominent client, who leaves the Beryl Coronet — one of the most valuable public possessions in existence — as collateral. Holder feels that he must not leave this rare and precious piece of jewellery in his personal safe at the bank, and so he takes it home with him to lock it up there. He is awakened in the night by a noise, enters his dressing room, and is horrified to see his son Arthur with the coronet in his hands, apparently trying to bend it. Holder's niece Mary comes at the sound of all the shouting and, seeing the damaged coronet, faints dead away. Three beryls are missing from it. In a panic, Mr. Holder travels to see Holmes, who agrees to take the case. The case against Arthur seems rather damning, yet Holmes is not convinced of his guilt. Why has Arthur clammed up? Why is he refusing to give a statement of any
    6.50
    4 votes
    88
    The Adventure of the Illustrious Client

    The Adventure of the Illustrious Client

    "The Adventure of the Illustrious Client", one of the 56 Sherlock Holmes short stories written by British author Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, is one of 12 stories in the cycle collected as The Case Book of Sherlock Holmes. Sir James Damery comes to see Holmes and Watson about his illustrious client's problem (the client's identity is never revealed to the reader, although Watson finds out at the end of the story). It would seem that old General de Merville's young daughter Violet has fallen madly in love with the roguish and sadistic Austrian Baron Adelbert Gruner, whom both Damery and Holmes are convinced is a murderer. The victim was his last wife, of whose murder he was acquitted owing to a legal technicality and a witness's untimely death. She met her end in the Splügen Pass. Violet has a very strong will, and will not hear a word spoken against the Baron. He has even told her about his chequered past, but always spinning the tales to make himself appear the hapless victim. Holmes also finds out from Damery that the Baron has expensive tastes, is a collector, and a recognised authority on Chinese pottery. This will prove to be useful information later. Holmes's first step is to go
    8.50
    2 votes
    89
    The Adventures of Baron Munchausen

    The Adventures of Baron Munchausen

    • Setting: Moon
    The Adventures of Baron Munchausen is a 1988 British adventure fantasy comedy film written and directed by Terry Gilliam, starring John Neville, Sarah Polley, Eric Idle, Jonathan Pryce, Oliver Reed, Uma Thurman and Robin Williams (credited as Ray D. Tutto). Based on the outrageous tall tales that the 18th-century German nobleman Baron Münchhausen was alleged to have told about his wartime exploits against the Ottoman Empire, the film was well received by critics but was nonetheless a box office bomb. The film begins in an unnamed war-torn European city in the late 18th century (dubbed "The Age of Reason" in an opening caption), where, amidst explosions and gunfire from a large Turkish army outside the city gates, a fanciful touring stage production of Baron Münchhausen's life and adventures is taking place. Backstage, city official "The Right Ordinary Horatio Jackson" reinforces the city's commitment to reason (here meaning uniformity and unexceptionality) by ordering the execution of a soldier (Sting in a cameo) who had just accomplished a near-superhuman feat of bravery, claiming that his bravery is demoralizing to other soldiers. Not far into the play, an elderly man claiming to
    8.50
    2 votes
    90
    The Masque of the Red Death

    The Masque of the Red Death

    "The Masque of the Red Death", originally published as "The Mask of the Red Death" (1842), is a short story by Edgar Allan Poe. The story follows Prince Prospero's attempts to avoid a dangerous plague known as the Red Death by hiding in his abbey. He, along with many other wealthy nobles, has a masquerade ball within seven rooms of his abbey, each decorated with a different color. In the midst of their revelry, a mysterious figure disguised as a Red Death victim enters and makes his way through each of the rooms. Prospero dies after confronting this stranger, whose "costume" proves to have nothing tangible inside it; the guests also die in turn. The story follows many traditions of Gothic fiction and is often analyzed as an allegory about the inevitability of death, though some critics advise against an allegorical reading. Many different interpretations have been presented, as well as attempts to identify the true nature of the titular disease. The story was first published in May 1842 in Graham's Magazine. It has since been adapted in many different forms, including the 1964 film starring Vincent Price. It has been alluded to by other works in many types of media. The story takes
    8.50
    2 votes
    91
    The Simpsons

    The Simpsons

    • Setting: Capital City
    The Simpsons is an American animated sitcom created by Matt Groening for the Fox Broadcasting Company. The series is a satirical parody of a middle class American lifestyle epitomized by its family of the same name, which consists of Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa and Maggie. The show is set in the fictional town of Springfield and parodies American culture, society, television and many aspects of the human condition. The family was conceived by Groening shortly before a pitch for a series of animated shorts with the producer James L. Brooks. Groening created a dysfunctional family and named the characters after members of his own family, substituting Bart for his own name. The shorts became a part of The Tracey Ullman Show on April 19, 1987. After a three-season run, the sketch was developed into a half-hour prime time show and was an early hit for Fox, becoming the network's first series to land in the Top 30 ratings in a season (1989–1990). Since its debut on December 17, 1989, the show has broadcast 510 episodes and the twenty-fourth season started airing on September 30, 2012. The Simpsons is the longest-running American sitcom, the longest-running American animated program, and in
    8.50
    2 votes
    92
    Black Colossus

    Black Colossus

    "Black Colossus" is one of the original short stories starring the fictional sword and sorcery hero Conan the Cimmerian, written by American author Robert E. Howard and first published in Weird Tales magazine, June 1933. Howard earned $130 for the sale of this story. It is set in the pseudo-historical Hyborian Age and concerns Conan leading the demoralized army of Khoraja against an evil sorcerer named Natokk, "the Veiled One." This story formed part of the basis for the later Conan novel, The Hour of the Dragon. A powerful wizard named Thugra Khotan is awoken from his three-thousand year sleep by an audacious yet unlucky Zamoran thief named Shevatas (he does not survive the experience). Thugra wakes with dreams of world domination. He assumes the name Natohk, the Veiled One, gathers an army of desert tribes and sets out to conquer the Hyborian nations. However, the tiny kingdom of Khoraja stands in his way, a country presently ruled by the lithesome Yasmela, sister of the king, who is himself a captive of neighbouring Ophir. In dread of Natohk's pending invasion, Yasmela turns for advice to the nigh-forgotten god of her ancestors, Mitra, and is told to venture into the streets and
    7.33
    3 votes
    93
    Tales of the City

    Tales of the City

    • Setting: San Francisco
    Tales of the City refers to a series of eight novels written by American author Armistead Maupin. The stories from Tales were originally serialized prior to their novelization, with the first four titles appearing as regular installments in the San Francisco Chronicle, while the fifth appeared in the San Francisco Examiner. The last three titles were never serialized, but were instead originally written as novels. Tales of the City has been compared to similar serial novels that ran in other city newspapers, such as Tangled Lives (Boston), Bagtime (Chicago), and Federal Triangle (Washington, DC). Characters from the Tales of the City series have appeared in supporting roles in Maupin's later novels Maybe the Moon and The Night Listener. The series opens with the arrival of Mary Ann Singleton, a naive young woman from Cleveland, Ohio, who went on vacation to San Francisco and impulsively decides to stay. She finds an apartment at 28 Barbary Lane, the domain of the eccentric marijuana-growing landlady Anna Madrigal. Mary Ann becomes friends with other tenants of the building: the hippyish bisexual Mona Ramsey; heterosexual lothario Brian Hawkins; the sinister and cagey roof tenant
    7.33
    3 votes
    94
    The Adventure of the Golden Pince-Nez

    The Adventure of the Golden Pince-Nez

    "The Adventure of the Golden Pince-Nez", one of the 56 Sherlock Holmes short stories written by British author Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, is one of 13 stories in the cycle collected as The Return of Sherlock Holmes. One wretched November night, Inspector Stanley Hopkins comes to see Holmes at 221B Baker Street to tell him of a murder that defies solution. The dead man is Willoughby Smith, secretary to Professor Coram, an old invalid. The murder happened at Yoxley Old Place near Chatham, Kent. The most perplexing thing about the case to Hopkins is that it is apparently motiveless. Willoughby Smith seems to have nothing untoward in his background, and not an enemy in the world. He was the third secretary to the professor, the former ones not having worked out. The murder weapon was a sealing-wax knife belonging to the professor. The maid found Smith, and the last words that he uttered as he lay dying were “The professor–it was she.” The professor, however, is a man. This same maid told Hopkins while he was at Yoxley that she had heard Smith leave his room and walk down to the study. She had been hanging curtains and did not actually see him, only recognizing his brisk step. The
    7.33
    3 votes
    95
    The Land Ironclads

    The Land Ironclads

    Written by H. G. Wells, "The Land Ironclads" is a short story that originally appeared in the December 1903 issue of the Strand Magazine and set in a war similar to the First World War. The Ironclads are 100-foot-long (30 m) machines with remote controlled guns and accommodation for 42 soldiers, including 7 officers. The story is one of those responsible for Wells' reputation as a "prophet of the future", as the eponymous machines seem to anticipate the tanks of World War I. His rather sketchy battle between countrymen and townsmen also carries echoes of the Boer War and his 1898 novel The War of the Worlds, which also features a struggle between technologically uneven protagonists. The story opens with a war correspondent and a young lieutenant surveying the calm of the battlefield and reflecting upon the war. The two opposing sides are dug into trenches, each waiting for the other to attack, and the men on the war correspondent's side are confident in their coming victory. They believe that they will win because they are all strong outdoor-types - men who know how to use a rifle and fight - while their enemies are towns people ... "a crowd of devitalized townsmen ... They're
    7.33
    3 votes
    96
    The Unparalleled Adventure of One Hans Pfaall

    The Unparalleled Adventure of One Hans Pfaall

    "The Unparalleled Adventure of One Hans Pfaall" (1835) is a short story by Edgar Allan Poe published in the June 1835 issue of the monthly magazine Southern Literary Messenger, and intended by Poe to be a hoax. Poe planned to continue the hoax in further installments, but was upstaged by the famous Great Moon Hoax which started in the August 25, 1835 issue of the New York Sun daily newspaper. Poe later wrote that the flippant tone of the story made it easy for educated readers to see through the supposed hoax. The story opens with the delivery to a crowd gathered in Rotterdam of a manuscript detailing the journey of a man named Hans Pfaall. The manuscript, which comprises the majority of the story, sets out in detail how Pfaall contrived to reach the moon by benefit of a revolutionary new balloon and a device which compresses the vacuum of space into breathable air. The journey takes him nineteen days, and the narrative includes descriptions of the Earth from space as well as the descent to its fiery, volcanic satellite. Pfaall withholds most of the information regarding the surface of the moon and its inhabitants in order to negotiate a pardon from the Burgomaster for several
    7.33
    3 votes
    97
    Iron Shadows in the Moon

    Iron Shadows in the Moon

    "Shadows in the Moonlight" is one of the original short stories starring the fictional sword and sorcery hero Conan the Cimmerian, written by American author Robert E. Howard and first published in Weird Tales magazine in April 1934. Howard originally named his story "Iron Shadows in the Moon". It is set in the pseudo-historical Hyborian Age and concerns Conan escaping to a remote island in the Vilayet Sea where he encounters the Red Brotherhood, a skulking creature, and mysterious iron statues. The story was republished in the collections Conan the Barbarian (Gnome Press, 1954) and Conan the Freebooter (Lancer Books, 1968). It has more recently been published in the collections The Conan Chronicles Volume 1: The People of the Black Circle (Gollancz, 2000) and Conan of Cimmeria: Volume One (1932-1933) (Del Rey, 2003). "Shadows in the Moonlight" (Howard's original title was "Iron Shadows in the Moon") is a moody story, and one of the better Conan novellettes. It begins a little unusually when a female lovely named Olivia, having fled captivity from the city of Akif, is chased down and cornered in a marsh, on the edge of the Vilayet Sea. Her pursuer and former master is a sadistic
    7.00
    3 votes
    98
    Parasite Planet

    Parasite Planet

    "Parasite Planet" is a science fiction short story by Stanley G. Weinbaum originally published in the February 1935 issue of Astounding Stories. It was Weinbaum's fourth published story, and the first to be set on Venus. He quickly followed it up with a sequel called "The Lotus Eaters". In the story, tidal locking keeps one side of Venus perpetually facing the Sun. This side of the planet is a barren desert. Towards the planet's twilight region the temperature drops below the boiling point of water and the Hotlands begin: an area of the planet inhabited by native life forms, all of them parasitic to a greater or lesser degree. "A thousand different species, but all the same in one respect; each of them was all appetite. In common with most Venusian beings, they had a multiplicity of both legs and mouths; in fact, some of them were little more than blobs of skin split into dozens of hungry mouths, crawling on a hundred spidery legs." The air of the Hotlands is hazy with spores which instantly infest any life-form unfortunate enough to have its skin pierced, and at the top of the Venusian food chain is the doughpot, a mass of fast-moving undifferentiated protoplasm that absorbs every
    7.00
    3 votes
    99
    The Man Who Planted Trees

    The Man Who Planted Trees

    The Man Who Planted Trees (French title L'homme qui plantait des arbres), also known as The Story of Elzéard Bouffier, The Most Extraordinary Character I Ever Met, and The Man Who Planted Hope and Reaped Happiness, is an allegorical tale by French author Jean Giono, published in 1953. It tells the story of one shepherd's long and successful singlehanded effort to re-forest a desolate valley in the foothills of the Alps in Provence throughout the first half of the 20th century. The tale is quite short—only about 4000 words long. It was composed in French, but first published in English. The story begins in the year 1910, when this young man is undertaking a lone hiking trip through Provence, France, and into the Alps, enjoying the relatively unspoiled wilderness. The narrator runs out of water in a treeless, desolate valley where only wild lavender grows and there is no trace of civilization except old, empty crumbling buildings. The narrator finds only a dried up well, but is saved by a middle-aged shepherd who takes him to a spring he knows of. Curious about this man and why he has chosen such a lonely life, the narrator stays with him for a time. The shepherd, after being
    7.00
    3 votes
    100
    Upon the Dull Earth

    Upon the Dull Earth

    "Upon the Dull Earth" is a science fiction short story by Philip K. Dick, first published in November 1954 in Beyond Fantasy Fiction. By offering up the blood of a lamb, Silvia, the protagonist of Upon the Dull Earth, is able to summon creatures she identifies as angels. She thinks that the creatures are her ancestors and she is sure that one day she will join them. At the same time, though, it is not clear whether the creatures are really good, as Silvia thinks, or wicked. Their behavior and their relation with Silvia scare the girl's relatives and Rick, her boyfriend. Rick thinks that Silvia's behavior is very dangerous, as "the white-winged giants ... can sear [her] to ash". During a quarrel with Rick, the girl accidentally cuts herself. Independently from her will, Silvia's blood summons the creatures. Unable to control their power, the angel-like giants burn Silvia's body and leave only "a brittle burned-out husk". Unable to accept his lover's death, Rick tries to bring Silvia back, but in doing so he causes the degeneration and destruction of the world he lives in. The story also develops one of Dick's favorite themes, namely the definition of what is real. The reality we
    7.00
    3 votes
    101
    William Wilson

    William Wilson

    "William Wilson" is a short story by Edgar Allan Poe, first published in 1839, with a setting inspired by Poe's formative years outside of London. The tale follows the theme of the doppelgänger and is written in a style based on rationality. It also appeared in the 1840 collection Tales of the Grotesque and Arabesque, and has been adapted several times. The story follows a man of "a noble descent" who calls himself William Wilson because, although denouncing his profligate past, he does not accept blamefor his actions, saying that "man was never thus [...] tempted before". After several paragraphs, the narration then segues into a description of Wilson's boyhood, which was spent in a school "in a misty-looking village of England". William meets another boy in his school who shared the same name, who had roughly the same appearance, and who was even born on exactly the same date — January 19 (which was also Poe's birthday). William's name (he asserts that his actual name is only similar to "William Wilson") embarrasses him because it sounds "plebeian" or common, and he is irked that he must hear the name twice as much on account of the other William. The boy also dresses like
    7.00
    3 votes
    102
    The Return of the King

    The Return of the King

    • Part of fictional universes: Middle-earth
    The Return of the King is the third and final volume of J. R. R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings, following The Fellowship of the Ring and The Two Towers. Tolkien conceived of The Lord of the Rings as a single volume comprising six "books" plus extensive appendices. The original publisher split the work into three, publishing the fifth and sixth books with the appendices under the title The Return of the King. Tolkien felt the chosen title revealed too much of the story, and indicated he preferred The War of the Ring as a title. The proposed title for Book V was The War of the Ring. Book VI was to be The End of the Third Age. These titles were used in the Millennium edition. The Return of the King was in the end published as the third and final part of The Lord of the Rings, on October 20, 1955. Gandalf and Pippin arrive at Minas Tirith in the kingdom of Gondor, delivering the news to Denethor, the Lord and Steward of Gondor, that a devastating attack on his city by Sauron, the Dark Lord of Mordor is imminent. Pippin then enters the service of the Steward as repayment of a debt he owes to Boromir, Denethor's dead son and preferred heir. Now clad in the uniform of the tower guard,
    5.20
    5 votes
    103
    Cinderella

    Cinderella

    "Cinderella", or "The Little Glass Slipper", (French: Cendrillon, ou La petite Pantoufle de Verre, Italian: Cenerentola, German: Aschenputtel, Dutch: Assepoester) is a folk tale embodying a myth-element of unjust oppression/triumphant reward. Thousands of variants are known throughout the world. The title character is a young woman living in unfortunate circumstances that are suddenly changed to remarkable fortune. The story was first published by Charles Perrault in Histoires ou contes du temps passé in 1697. Although both the story's title and the character's name change in different languages, in English-language folklore "Cinderella" is the archetypal name. The word "cinderella" has, by analogy, come to mean one whose attributes were unrecognized, or one who unexpectedly achieves recognition or success after a period of obscurity and neglect. The still-popular story of "Cinderella" continues to influence popular culture internationally, lending plot elements, allusions, and tropes to a wide variety of media. The Cinderella theme may well have originated in classical antiquity. The Ancient Greek historian Strabo (Geographica Book 17, 1.33) recorded in the 1st century BC the tale
    6.00
    4 votes
    104
    Star Trek: First Contact

    Star Trek: First Contact

    • Setting: USS Enterprise - E
    • Part of fictional universes: Star Trek
    • Events: Battle of Sector 001
    Star Trek: First Contact is a 1996 American science fiction film released by Paramount Pictures. It is the eighth feature film in the Star Trek science fiction franchise and the first film to feature no cast members from the original Star Trek television series of the 1960s. The primary cast for First Contact is from the Star Trek: The Next Generation television series, to which the film's producers added Alice Krige, Neal McDonough, James Cromwell and Alfre Woodard. In the film's plot, the crew of the USS Enterprise-E travel from the 24th to 21st century to save their future after the cybernetic Borg conquered Earth by changing the timeline. After the release of the seventh film, Star Trek Generations, in 1994, Paramount tasked writers Brannon Braga and Ronald D. Moore with developing a sequel. Braga and Moore wanted to feature the Borg in the plot, while producer Rick Berman wanted a story involving time travel. The writers combined the two ideas; they initially set the film during the European Renaissance, but changed the time period the Borg corrupted to the mid-21st century after fearing the Renaissance idea would be too kitschy. After two better known directors turned down
    6.00
    4 votes
    105
    The Adventure of the Cardboard Box

    The Adventure of the Cardboard Box

    "The Adventure of the Cardboard Box" is one of the 56 short Sherlock Holmes stories written by British author Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. It is the second of the twelve Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes in most British editions of the canon, and second of the eight stories from His Last Bow in most American versions. The story was first published in the Strand Magazine in 1892. The tale begins when Miss Susan Cushing of Croydon receives a parcel in the post which contains two severed human ears packed in coarse salt. Inspector Lestrade of Scotland Yard suspects a prank by three medical students whom Miss Cushing was forced to evict because of their unruly behaviour. The parcel was sent from Belfast which is where one of the former boarders was from. Holmes, however, upon examining the parcel himself, is convinced that they are dealing with a serious crime. He reasons that a medical student with access to a dissection laboratory would likely use something other than plain salt to preserve human remains and would be able to make a neater incision than the rough hack used on these ears. Also, the address on the package itself, roughly written and with a spelling correction, suggests to Holmes a
    6.00
    4 votes
    106
    2001: A Space Odyssey

    2001: A Space Odyssey

    • Setting: Jupiter
    • Part of fictional universes: The Space Odyssey
    2001: A Space Odyssey is a 1968 science fiction film produced and directed by Stanley Kubrick. The screenplay was co-written by Kubrick and Arthur C. Clarke, and was partially inspired by Clarke's short story "The Sentinel". Clarke concurrently wrote the novel of the same name which was published soon after the film was released. The story deals with a series of encounters between humans and mysterious black monoliths that are apparently affecting human evolution, and a space voyage to Jupiter tracing a signal emitted by one such monolith found on the moon. Keir Dullea and Gary Lockwood star as the two astronauts on this voyage, with Douglas Rain as the voice of the sentient computer HAL 9000 who has full control over their spaceship. The film is frequently described as an "epic film", both for its length and scope, and for its affinity with classical epics. Financed and produced by the American studio Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, the film was made almost entirely in England, using both the studio facilities of MGM's subsidiary "MGM British" (among the last movies to be shot there before its closure in 1970) and those of Shepperton Studios, mostly because of the availability of much larger
    8.00
    2 votes
    107
    A Trip to the Moon

    A Trip to the Moon

    • Setting: Moon
    A Trip to the Moon or Voyage to the Moon (French: Le Voyage dans la lune) is a 1902 French black-and-white silent science fiction film. It is based loosely on two popular novels of the time: Jules Verne's From the Earth to the Moon and H. G. Wells' The First Men in the Moon. The film was written and directed by Georges Méliès, assisted by his brother Gaston. The film runs 14 minutes if projected at 16 frames per second, which was the standard frame rate at the time the film was produced. It was extremely popular at the time of its release, and is the best-known of the hundreds of fantasy films made by Méliès. A Trip to the Moon is the first known science fiction film, and uses innovative animation and special effects, including the well-known image of the spaceship landing in the Moon's eye. It was named one of the 100 greatest films of the 20th century by The Village Voice, ranking at #84. At a meeting of astronomers, their president proposes a trip to the Moon. After addressing some dissent, six brave astronomers agree to the plan. They build a space capsule in the shape of a bullet, and a huge cannon to shoot it into space. The astronomers embark and their capsule is fired from
    8.00
    2 votes
    108
    Mold of the Earth

    Mold of the Earth

    "Mold of the Earth" (Polish: "Pleśń świata") is one of the shortest micro-stories by the Polish writer Bolesław Prus. The story was published on 1 January 1884 in the News Year's Day issue of the Warsaw Courier (Kurier Warszawski). The story comes from a several years' period of pessimism in the author's life. That pessimism had been caused by the situation of Poland (which nine decades earlier, upon the completion of the Partitions of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, had ceased to exist as an independent country) and by the 1883 failure of Nowiny (News), a Warsaw daily that Prus had been editing for less than a year. The story is set adjacent to the Temple of the Sibyl on the grounds of the old Czartoryski estate in Puławy. The Temple had been erected in the late 18th century by Princess Izabela Czartoryska as a museum and patriotic memorial to the late Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. Next to the Temple is a boulder, overgrown with molds, which at a certain moment magically transforms into a globe. In his one-and-a-half-page micro-story, Prus identifies human societies with colonies of molds that contest the surface of the globe. He thus provides a metaphor for the competitive
    8.00
    2 votes
    109
    Queen of the Black Coast

    Queen of the Black Coast

    "Queen of the Black Coast" is one of the original short stories about Conan the Cimmerian, written by American author Robert E. Howard and first published in Weird Tales magazine circa May 1934. It is set in the pseudo-historical Hyborian Age and concerns Conan becoming a notorious pirate and plundering the coastal villages of Kush alongside Bêlit, a head-strong femme fatale. Due to its epic scope and atypical romance, the story is considered an undisputed classic of Conan lore and is often cited by Howard scholars as one of his most famous tales. Howard earned $115 for the sale of this story to Weird Tales and it is now in the public domain. The story begins in an Argos port where Conan forcefully demands passage aboard a sail barge, the Argus, which is casting off for southern waters to trade beads, silks, sugar and brass-hilted swords to the black kings of Kush. The captain of the barge reluctantly agrees to Conan's request for passage only after several threats of violence. The captain is soon informed that Conan is fleeing the civil authorities of Argos due to a court dispute in which Conan refused to betray the whereabouts of a casual friend to a fascistic magistrate
    8.00
    2 votes
    110
    The Adventure of the Noble Bachelor

    The Adventure of the Noble Bachelor

    "The Adventure of the Noble Bachelor", one of the 56 short Sherlock Holmes stories written by British author Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, is the tenth of the twelve stories collected in The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes. The story was first published in Strand Magazine in April 1892. The story served as the very loose basis for the made-for-television film The Eligible Bachelor starring Jeremy Brett as Holmes, Edward Hardwicke as Watson and Simon Williams as Lord Robert St Simon, the screenplay of which turned St Simon into a villainous "Bluebeard" character who had married and disposed of a series of wealthy women before marrying Hatty Doran. The story entails the bride of the fictional Lord Robert St. Simon disappearing on the day of their marriage. She attends (and participates in) the wedding, but disappears from the reception. The events of the wedding day are most perplexing to Lord Robert as it seemed to him that his bride, Miss Hatty Doran of San Francisco, was full of enthusiasm about their impending marriage. St. Simon tells Holmes that he noticed a change in the young lady's mood just after the wedding ceremony. She was uncharacteristically sharp with him. The only obvious
    8.00
    2 votes
    111
    The Pit and the Pendulum

    The Pit and the Pendulum

    • Setting: Toledo
    "The Pit and the Pendulum" is a short story written by Edgar Allan Poe and first published in 1842 in the literary annual The Gift: A Christmas and New Year's Present for 1843. The story is about the torments endured by a prisoner of the Spanish Inquisition, though Poe skews historical facts. The narrator of the story describes his experience of being tortured. The story is especially effective at inspiring fear in the reader because of its heavy focus on the senses, such as sound, emphasizing its reality, unlike many of Poe's stories which are aided by the supernatural. The traditional elements established in popular horror tales at the time are followed, but critical reception has been mixed. The tale has been adapted to film several times. The story takes place during the Spanish Inquisition. At the beginning of the story an unnamed narrator is brought to trial before various sinister judges. Poe provides no explanation of why he is there or for what he has been arrested. Before him are seven tall white candles on a table, and, as they melt, his hopes of survival also diminish. He is condemned to death and finds himself in a pitch black compartment. At first the prisoner thinks
    8.00
    2 votes
    112
    A Scandal in Bohemia

    A Scandal in Bohemia

    "A Scandal in Bohemia" was the first of Arthur Conan Doyle's 56 Sherlock Holmes short stories to be published in The Strand Magazine and the first Sherlock Holmes story illustrated by Sidney Paget. (Two of the four Sherlock Holmes novels – A Study in Scarlet and The Sign of the Four – preceded the short story cycle). Doyle ranked "A Scandal in Bohemia" fifth in his list of his twelve favourite Holmes stories.The story itself is basically a rewrite of Allan Poe's short story The Purloined Letter. While the currently married Dr. Watson is paying Holmes a visit, Holmes is called upon by a masked gentleman introducing himself as Count Von Kramm, an agent for a wealthy client. However, Holmes quickly deduces that he is in fact Wilhelm Gottsreich Sigismond von Ormstein, Grand Duke of Cassel-Felstein and the hereditary King of Bohemia. The King admits this, tearing off his mask. It transpires that the King is to become engaged to Clotilde Lothman von Saxe-Meiningen, a young Scandinavian princess, but the King's in-laws-to-be would not allow the marriage should any evidence of his former liaison with an American opera singer, Irene Adler, be revealed to them. Adler herself is threatening
    9.00
    1 votes
    113
    Amores perros

    Amores perros

    • Setting: Mexico City
    Amores perros or Love's a Bitch is a 2000 Mexican thriller film, directed by Alejandro González Iñárritu. Amores Perros is the first movie in Iñárritu's trilogy of death, and was followed by 21 Grams and Babel. It is a triptych; an anthology film, sometimes referred to as the "Mexican Pulp Fiction", containing three distinct stories which are connected by a car accident in Mexico City. Each of the three tales is also a reflection on the cruelty of humans toward animals and each other, showing how they may live dark or even hideous lives. Amores Perros was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film in 2000 and won the Ariel Award for Best Picture from the Mexican Academy of Film. But the film's theme is loyalty, as symbolized by the dog, "man's best friend". Dogs are important to the main characters in each of the three stories, and in each story various forms of human loyalty or disloyalty are shown; disloyalty to a brother by trying to seduce the brother's girlfriend, disloyalty to a wife by keeping a mistress with subsequent disloyalty to the mistress when she is injured and loses her beauty, loss of loyalty to youthful idealism and rediscovered loyalty to a
    9.00
    1 votes
    114
    Diary of a Madman

    Diary of a Madman

    Diary of a Madman (1835; Russian: Записки сумасшедшего, Zapiski sumasshedshego) is a farcical short story by Nikolai Gogol. Along with The Overcoat and The Nose, Diary of a Madman is considered to be one of Gogol's greatest short stories. The tale centers on the life of a minor civil servant during the repressive era of Nicholas I. Following the format of a diary, the story shows the descent of the protagonist, Poprishchin, into insanity. Diary of a Madman, the only one of Gogol's works written in first person, follows diary-entry format. Diary of a Madman centers on the life of Poprishchin, a low-ranking civil servant and titular counsellor who yearns to be noticed by a beautiful woman, the daughter of a senior official, with whom he has fallen in love. His diary records his gradual slide into insanity. As his madness deepens, he begins to suspect two dogs of having a love affair and believes he has discovered letters sent between them. Finally, he begins to believe himself to be the heir to the throne of Spain. When he is hauled off and maltreated in the asylum, the madman believes he is taking part in a strange coronation to the Spanish throne. Only in his madness does the lowly
    9.00
    1 votes
    115
    Patriot Games

    Patriot Games

    • Part of fictional universes: Ryanverse
    Patriot Games is a 1992 action-suspense film directed by Phillip Noyce and based on Tom Clancy's novel of the same name. It is a sequel to the 1990 film The Hunt for Red October. It stars Harrison Ford as Jack Ryan, Anne Archer as Jack's surgeon-wife Dr. Caroline Catherine "Cathy" Ryan and Sean Bean as the vengeful Irish Republican volunteer Sean Miller. Jack Ryan (Ford) is on a "working vacation" in London with his family. He has retired from the CIA and is a professor at the United States Naval Academy. They witness an attack on Lord William Holmes (James Fox), British Secretary of State for Northern Ireland and a distant cousin of the Queen Mother. Ryan intervenes and kills one of the attackers, Patrick Miller, while his older brother Sean (Bean) looks on. Ryan is badly wounded. The remaining attackers flee and leave Miller to be apprehended by the police. While recovering, Ryan is called to testify in court against Miller, who is part of a fictional breakaway group of the Provisional Irish Republican Army. Ryan is awarded a knighthood and eventually returns to the United States. While being transferred to Albany Prison on the Isle of Wight, Miller's escort convoy is ambushed by
    9.00
    1 votes
    116
    The Adventure of the Lion's Mane

    The Adventure of the Lion's Mane

    "The Adventure of the Lion's Mane", one of the 56 Sherlock Holmes short stories written by British author Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, is one of 12 stories in the cycle collected as The Case Book of Sherlock Holmes. It is notable for being narrated by Holmes himself, instead of by Dr. Watson (who does not appear in the story). Holmes is enjoying his retirement in Sussex when one day at the beach, he meets his friend Harold Stackhurst, the headmaster of a nearby preparatory school called The Gables. No sooner have they met than Stackhurst's science master, Fitzroy McPherson, staggers up to them, obviously in agony and wearing only an overcoat and trousers. He collapses, manages to say something about a "lion's mane", and then dies. He is observed to have red welts all over his back, administered by a flexible weapon of some kind, for the marks curve over his shoulder and round his ribs. Moments later, Ian Murdoch, a mathematics teacher, comes up behind them. He has not seen the attack, and has only just arrived at the beach from the school. Holmes sees a couple of people far up the beach, but thinks they are much too far away to have had anything to do with McPherson's death. Likewise,
    9.00
    1 votes
    117
    The Knight's Tale

    The Knight's Tale

    "The Knight's Tale" (Middle English: The Knightes Tale) is the first tale from Geoffrey Chaucer's The Canterbury Tales. The story introduces many typical aspects of knighthood such as courtly love and ethical dilemmas. The story is written in iambic pentameter end-rhymed couplets. Cousins Arcita and Palamon, who are nephews of King Creon of Thebes, have a close brotherly bond. They are captured and imprisoned by Theseus, duke of Athens following his intervention against Creon. Their cell is in the tower of Theseus's castle which overlooks his palace garden. In prison Palamon wakes early one morning in May, to see Emily (Emelia) in the courtyard; his moan is heard by Arcita, who then too wakes to see Emily, and falls in love with her as well. The competition brought about by this love causes them to hate each other. After some years, Arcita is released from prison through the good offices of Theseus's friend Pirithoos, and then returns to Athens in disguise and enters service in Emily's household. Palamon eventually escapes by drugging the jailer and while hiding in a grove overhears Arcita singing about love and fortune. They begin to duel with each other over who should get Emily,
    9.00
    1 votes
    118
    The Sandman: Dream Country

    The Sandman: Dream Country

    • Setting: Vertigo
    • Part of fictional universes: Vertigo
    Dream Country is the third trade paperback collection of the comic book series The Sandman, published by DC Comics. It collects issues #17-20. It is written by Neil Gaiman, illustrated by Kelley Jones, Charles Vess, Colleen Doran and Malcolm Jones III, coloured by Robbie Busch and Steve Oliff, and lettered by Todd Klein. It was first issued in paperback in 1991, and later in hardback in 1995. This volume contains four independent stories. The first story, "Calliope," contains the first reference to Dream's son Orpheus, who will play an important role later in the series. The second story, "A Dream of a Thousand Cats," is one of the most enduringly popular issues of the entire series. Sandman #19, "A Midsummer Night's Dream," introduces Morpheus' creative partnership with William Shakespeare, and was the first and only comic book to win a World Fantasy Award. Lastly, this volume has the first story in which Dream does not appear, "Façade." The collected edition also includes Gaiman's script for "Calliope." It is preceded by The Doll's House and followed by Season of Mists. Like the sixth collection, Fables and Reflections, and the eighth, Worlds' End, Dream Country consists of short
    9.00
    1 votes
    119
    The Thing on the Doorstep

    The Thing on the Doorstep

    • Part of fictional universes: Cthulhu Mythos
    "The Thing on the Doorstep" is a short story written by H. P. Lovecraft, part of the Cthulhu Mythos universe of horror fiction. It was written in August 1933, and first published in the January 1937 issue of Weird Tales. Two novels suggested as inspirations for "The Thing on the Doorstep" are Barry Pain's An Exchange of Souls (1911), about a scientist's invention that allows him to switch personalities with his wife, and H. B. Drake's The Remedy (1925; published in the U.S. as The Shadowy Thing), in which a character with the power of mind-transference comes back from the dead by possessing the body of an injured friend. The story is divided into 7 chapters: Daniel Upton, the story's narrator, begins by telling that he has killed his best friend, Edward Derby, and that he hopes his account will prove that he is not a murderer. He begins by describing Derby's life and career. He then tells of Asenath Waite, and how Derby and she wed. A few years later, people start to notice a change in Derby's abilities. He confides in Upton, telling him strange stories of Asenath, and how he believes her father, Ephraim Waite, may not actually be dead. Upton is called to pick up Derby who has been
    9.00
    1 votes
    120
    A Legend of Old Egypt

    A Legend of Old Egypt

    "A Legend of Old Egypt" (Polish: "Z legend dawnego Egiptu") is a short story by Bolesław Prus, originally published January 1, 1888, in New Year's supplements to the Warsaw Kurier Codzienny (Daily Courier) and Tygodnik Ilustrowany (Illustrated Weekly). It was his first piece of historical fiction and later served as a preliminary sketch for his only historical novel, Pharaoh (1895), which would be serialized in the Illustrated Weekly. "A Legend of Old Egypt" and Pharaoh show unmistakable kinships in setting, theme and denouement. The centenarian pharaoh Ramses is breathing his last, "his chest... invested by a stifling incubus [that drains] the blood from his heart, the strength from his arm, and at times even the consciousness from his brain." He commands the wisest physician at the Temple of Karnak to prepare him a medicine that kills or cures at once. After Ramses drinks the potion, he summons an astrologer and asks what the stars show. The astrologer replies that heavenly alignments portend the death of a member of the dynasty; Ramses should not have taken the medicine today. Ramses then asks the physician how soon he will die; the physician replies that before sunrise either
    6.67
    3 votes
    121
    A Martian Odyssey

    A Martian Odyssey

    "A Martian Odyssey" is a science fiction short story by Stanley G. Weinbaum originally published in the July 1934 issue of Wonder Stories. It was Weinbaum's first published story, and remains his best known. It was followed four months later by a sequel, "Valley of Dreams". These are the only stories by Weinbaum set on Mars. Early in the 21st century, nearly twenty years after the invention of atomic power and ten years after the first lunar landing, the four-man crew of the Ares has landed on Mars in the Mare Cimmerium. A week after the landing, Dick Jarvis, the ship's American chemist, sets out south in an auxiliary rocket to photograph the landscape. Eight hundred miles out, the engine on Jarvis' rocket gives out, and he crash-lands into one of the Thyle regions. Rather than sit and wait for rescue, Jarvis decides to walk back north to the Ares. Just after crossing into the Mare Chronium, Jarvis comes across a tentacled Martian creature attacking a large birdlike creature. He notices that the birdlike Martian is carrying a bag around its neck, and figuring it for an intelligent being, saves it from the tentacled monstrosity. The rescued creature refers to itself as Tweel. Tweel
    6.67
    3 votes
    122
    The Adventure of the Abbey Grange

    The Adventure of the Abbey Grange

    "The Adventure of the Abbey Grange", one of the 56 Sherlock Holmes short stories written by British author Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, is one of 13 stories in the cycle collected as The Return of Sherlock Holmes. Holmes wakes Doctor Watson up early one morning to rush to a murder scene at the Abbey Grange near Chislehurst. Sir Eustace Brackenstall has been killed, apparently by burglars. Inspector Stanley Hopkins believes that it was the infamous Randall gang, a father and two sons. Upon arrival at Abbey Grange, Lady Brackenstall is found resting with a purple swelling over one eye, the result of a blow during the previous night's incident. There are also two red spots on her arm. Her maid, Theresa Wright, who has been with her mistress since she was a girl, later tells Holmes that Sir Eustace inflicted those with a hatpin. Lady Brackenstall tells Holmes that her marriage was not happy. Sir Eustace Brackenstall was a violent, abusive alcoholic. Moreover, Lady Brackenstall found it hard to adjust to life in England after the freedom that she enjoyed in her native Australia, which she left 18 months before. She had been married for about a year. About 11 o'clock, Lady Brackenstall walked
    6.67
    3 votes
    123
    The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

    The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

    • Setting: Magrathea
    • Part of fictional universes: The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
    The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy is a 2005 British-American comic science fiction film based on the book of the same name by Douglas Adams. It stars Martin Freeman, Sam Rockwell, Mos Def, Zooey Deschanel and the voices of Stephen Fry (the guide book) and Alan Rickman (Marvin, the Paranoid Android). Shooting was completed in August 2004 and the movie was released on April 28, 2005 in Europe, Australia and New Zealand, and on the following day in Canada and the United States. The screenplay is by Adams (who died in 2001) and Karey Kirkpatrick; the film is dedicated "For Douglas". One Thursday, lunchtime, Arthur Dent discovers that his house is to be immediately demolished in order to make way for a bypass. He tries delaying the bulldozers by lying down in front of them. Ford Prefect, a friend of Arthur's, convinces him to go to the pub with him. Over a pint of beer (as "muscle relaxant"), Ford explains that he is an alien from a planet in the vicinity of Betelgeuse, and a journalist working on the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, a universal guide book, and that the Earth is to be demolished later that day by a race called Vogons, in order to make way for a hyperspace bypass.
    6.67
    3 votes
    124
    The Premature Burial

    The Premature Burial

    "The Premature Burial" is a horror short story on the theme of being buried alive, written by Edgar Allan Poe and published in 1844 in The Philadelphia Dollar Newspaper. Fear of being buried alive was common in this period and Poe was taking advantage of the public interest. The story has been adapted to film. In "The Premature Burial", the first-person unnamed narrator describes his struggle with "attacks of the singular disorder which physicians have agreed to term catalepsy," a condition where he randomly falls into a death-like trance. This leads to his fear of being buried alive ("The true wretchedness," he says, is "to be buried while alive."). He emphasizes his fear by mentioning several people who have been buried alive. In the first case, the tragic accident was only discovered much later, when the victim's crypt was reopened. In others, victims revived and were able to draw attention to themselves in time to be freed from their ghastly prisons. The narrator reviews these examples in order to provide context for his nearly crippling phobia of being buried alive. As he explains, his condition made him prone to slipping into a trance state of unconsciousness, a disease that
    6.67
    3 votes
    125
    The Dancing Girl of Izu

    The Dancing Girl of Izu

    "The Dancing Girl of Izu" or "The Izu Dancer" (伊豆の踊子, Izu no odoriko) is a 1926 short story by the Japanese writer and Nobel Prize winner Yasunari Kawabata. The short story was first translated into English by Edward Seidensticker and published in an abridged form as "The Izu Dancer" in The Atlantic Monthly in 1955. A complete English translation of the story appeared in 1998. Kawabata's "The Izu Dancer" represent a lyric and elegiac memory of early love. The story is well known in Japan, and, today, part of the story's name, odoriko (which means "dancing girl") is used as the name of express trains to the Izu area. "The Dancing Girl of Izu" tells of the story between a young male student who is touring the Izu Peninsula and a family of traveling dancers he meets there, including their youngest girl on the onset of puberty. The student finds the naïve girl attractive even though he eventually have to part with the family after spending memorable time together. The story has been dramatized several times in Japan. Unless noted otherwise, all are talkies and in color. For each pair of stars, the female lead is named first.
    5.75
    4 votes
    126
    A Nightmare on Elm Street

    A Nightmare on Elm Street

    • Setting: Springwood, Ohio
    A Nightmare on Elm Street is a 1984 American horror film written and directed by Wes Craven, and the first film of the Nightmare on Elm Street franchise. The film stars Heather Langenkamp, John Saxon, Ronee Blakley, Amanda Wyss, Jsu Garcia, Robert Englund, and Johnny Depp in his feature film debut. Set in the fictional Midwestern town of Springwood, Ohio, the plot revolves around several teenagers who are stalked and killed in their dreams by Freddy Krueger. The teenagers are unaware of the cause of this strange phenomenon, but their parents hold a dark secret from long ago. Craven produced A Nightmare on Elm Street on an estimated budget of just $1.8 million, a sum the film earned back during its first week. An instant commercial success, the film's total United States box office gross is $25.5 million. A Nightmare on Elm Street was met with rave critical reviews and went on to make a very significant impact on the horror genre, spawning a franchise consisting of a line of sequels, a television series, a crossover with Friday the 13th, beyond various other works of imitation, a remake of the same name was released ​​in 2010 . The film is credited with carrying on many tropes found
    7.50
    2 votes
    127
    Dexter

    Dexter

    • Part of fictional universes: Dexter Universe
    Dexter is an American television drama series that debuted on Showtime on October 1, 2006. The series centers on Dexter Morgan (Michael C. Hall), a blood spatter pattern analyst for the fictional Miami Metro Police Department (based on the real life Miami-Dade Police Department) who moonlights as a serial killer. Set in Miami, the show's first season was largely based on the novel Darkly Dreaming Dexter by Jeff Lindsay, the first of his Dexter series novels. Subsequent seasons have evolved independently of Lindsay's works. It was adapted for television by screenwriter James Manos, Jr., who wrote the first episode. In February 2008, syndicated reruns (edited down to a TV-14 rating) began to air on CBS, although the reruns on CBS ended after one run of the first season. The series has enjoyed wide critical acclaim and popularity. Season 4 aired its season finale on December 13, 2009 to a record-breaking audience of 2.6 million viewers, making it the most-watched original series episode ever on Showtime. Michael C. Hall has received several awards and nominations for his portrayal of Dexter, including a Golden Globe. On November 18, 2011, it was announced that Dexter had been renewed
    7.50
    2 votes
    128
    Silver Blaze

    Silver Blaze

    "Silver Blaze", one of the 56 Sherlock Holmes short stories written by British author Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, is one of 12 in the cycle collected as The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes. Doyle ranked "Silver Blaze" 13th in a list of his 19 favourite Sherlock Holmes stories. One of the most popular Sherlock Holmes short stories, "Silver Blaze" focuses on the disappearance of the titular race horse (a famous winner) on the eve of an important race and on the apparent murder of its trainer. The tale is distinguished by its atmospheric Dartmoor setting and late-Victorian sporting milieu. It also features some of Conan Doyle's most effective plotting, hinging on the "curious incident of the dog in the night-time:" Sherlock Holmes and his friend Dr. Watson travel by train to Dartmoor, summoned to investigate a crime that has convulsed the newspapers: the disappearance of the great race horse Silver Blaze and the murder of the horse's trainer, John Straker. Inspector Gregory has already arrested a man in connection with John Straker's murder by the time Holmes and Watson arrive at King's Pyland, the Dartmoor stable owned by Colonel Ross, from which Silver Blaze is missing. The suspect is
    7.50
    2 votes
    129
    Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home

    Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home

    • Setting: San Francisco
    • Part of fictional universes: Star Trek
    Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home is a 1986 American science fiction film released by Paramount Pictures. It is the fourth feature film based on the Star Trek science fiction television series and completes the story arc begun in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan and continued in Star Trek III: The Search for Spock. Intent on returning home to Earth to face trial for their crimes, the former crew of the USS Enterprise finds the planet in grave danger from an alien probe attempting to contact now-extinct humpback whales. The crew travel to Earth's past to find whales who can answer the probe's call. After directing The Search for Spock, cast member Leonard Nimoy was asked to direct the next feature, and given greater freedom regarding the film's content. Nimoy and producer Harve Bennett conceived a story with an environmental message and no clear-cut villain. Dissatisfied with the first screenplay produced by Steve Meerson and Peter Krikes, Paramount hired The Wrath of Khan writer and director Nicholas Meyer. Meyer and Bennett divided the story between them and wrote different parts of the script, requiring approval from Nimoy, lead actor William Shatner and Paramount. Principal
    7.50
    2 votes
    130
    The Adventure of the Copper Beeches

    The Adventure of the Copper Beeches

    "The Adventure of the Copper Beeches", one of the 56 short Sherlock Holmes stories written by British author Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, is the last of the twelve collected in The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes. It was first published in Strand Magazine in June 1892. Violet Hunter visits Holmes, asking whether she should accept a job as governess; a job with very strange conditions. She is enticed by the phenomenal salary which, as originally offered, is £100 a year, later increased to £120 when Miss Hunter baulks at having to cut her long hair short (Her previous position paid £48 per year). This is only one of many peculiar provisos to which she must agree. The employer, Jephro Rucastle, seems pleasant enough, yet Miss Hunter obviously has her suspicions. She announces to Holmes, after the raised salary offer, that she will take the job, and Holmes suggests that if he is needed, a telegram will bring him to Hampshire, where Mr Rucastle's country estate, the Copper Beeches, is situated. After a fortnight, Holmes receives such a message, beseeching him to come and see her in Winchester. Miss Hunter tells them one of the most singular stories that they have ever heard. Mr Rucastle would
    7.50
    2 votes
    131
    The Adventure of the Gloria Scott

    The Adventure of the Gloria Scott

    "The Adventure of the 'Gloria Scott,'" one of the 56 Sherlock Holmes short stories written by British author Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, is one of 12 stories in the cycle collected as The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes. This story is related mainly by Holmes rather than Watson, and is the first case to which Holmes applied his powers of deduction, having treated it as a mere hobby until this time. In his college days, Holmes spent a month with his friend, Victor Trevor, at his father's estate in Norfolk. While there, Holmes amazed his host, Victor's father, who was a Justice of the Peace and a landowner besides. He had made his fortune in the goldfields in Australia. One of Holmes's deductions was that the elder Mr. Trevor was once connected with someone with the initials J. A. whom he wanted to forget. His host then passed out on the table. Holmes had touched a sore spot, and possibly did not believe the old man's explanation once he had come back to himself that J. A. had been an old lover. Holmes perceived that he was making his host uncomfortable and decided to take his leave. The evening before he did this, another old man suddenly appeared at the house causing the elder Mr. Trevor to
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    132
    The Adventure of the Naval Treaty

    The Adventure of the Naval Treaty

    "The Adventure of the Naval Treaty", one of the 56 Sherlock Holmes short stories written by British author Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, is one of 12 stories in the cycle collected as The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes. Doyle ranked "The Adventure of the Naval Treaty" nineteenth in a list of his nineteen favourite Sherlock Holmes stories. Dr. Watson receives a letter, which he then refers to Holmes, from an old schoolmate, now a Foreign Office employee from Woking who has had an important naval treaty stolen from his office. It disappeared while Mr. Percy Phelps had stepped out of his office momentarily late in the evening to see about some coffee that he had ordered. His office has two entrances, each joined by a stairway to a single landing. The commissionaire kept watch at the main entrance. There was no-one watching at the side entrance. Phelps also knew that his fiancée's brother was in town and that he might drop by. Phelps was alone in the office. Phelps pulled the bell cord in his office to summon the commissionaire, and to his surprise the commissionaire's wife came up instead. He worked at copying the treaty that he had been given while he waited. At last, he went to see the
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    133
    The God in the Bowl

    The God in the Bowl

    "The God in the Bowl" is one of the original short stories featuring the sword and sorcery hero Conan the Cimmerian, written by American author Robert E. Howard but not published during his lifetime. It is set in the pseudo-historical Hyborian Age and concerns Conan robbing a temple museum only to be ensnared in bizarre events and be deemed the prime suspect in a murder mystery. The story first saw publication in September 1952 in Space Science Fiction and has been reprinted many times since. One night in the Nemedian municipality of Numalia, the second largest Nemedian city, Conan enters a fantastic establishment: a great museum and antique house which laymen call the Temple of Kallian Publico. In the midst of robbing this temple museum, Conan finds himself embroiled in a murder investigation when the strangled corpse of the temple's owner and curator, Kallian Publico, is found by a night watchman. Though the Cimmerian is the prime suspect, the investigating magistrate, Demetrio, and the prefect of police, Dionus, show remarkable forbearance, allowing Conan not only to remain free, but also to keep his unsheathed sword while their nervous men search the shadowy premises. It was a
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    134
    Young Goodman Brown

    Young Goodman Brown

    "Young Goodman Brown" (1835) is a short story by American writer Nathaniel Hawthorne. The story takes place in 17th century Puritan New England, a common setting for Hawthorne's works, and addresses the Calvinist/Puritan belief that humanity exists in a state of depravity, exempting those who are born in a state of grace. Hawthorne frequently attempts to expose the hypocrisy of Puritan culture in his literature. In a symbolic fashion, the story follows Young Goodman Brown's journey into self-scrutiny which results in his loss of faith. The story begins at dusk in Salem, Massachusetts, as young Goodman Brown leaves Faith, his wife of three months, for an unknown errand in the forest. Faith pleads with her husband to stay with her but he insists the journey into the forest must be completed that night. In the forest he meets a man, dressed in a similar manner to himself and bearing a resemblance to himself. The man carries a black serpent-shaped staff. The two encounter Mistress Cloyse in the woods who complains about the need to walk and, evidently friendly with the stranger, accepts his snake staff and flies away to her destination. Other townspeople inhabit the woods that night,
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    135
    A Marvel Comics Super Special: Blade Runner

    A Marvel Comics Super Special: Blade Runner

    • Part of fictional universes: Blade Runner Universe
    Marvel Comics Super Special: Blade Runner is the comic book adaptation of the film Blade Runner, published by Marvel Comics in 1982. It was written by Archie Goodwin with art by Al Williamson, Carlos Garzon with Dan Green and Ralph Reese. The Jim Steranko cover leads into a 45-page adaptation which includes one possible explanation of the title's significance in story context: the narrative line, "Blade runner. You're always movin' on the edge." This was issue 22 of the Marvel Comics Super Special series of titles which by this time only printed Marvel's movie adaptations. It was reprinted in a two issue mini series but without the feature content contained in the special.In some printings,several pages of the comic were published out of order.Other printing set these pages in the correct order. In the UK it was reprinted as the Blade Runner Annual published by Grandreams. Again, the feature content of the original special was not reprinted.
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    3 votes
    136
    Delenda Est

    Delenda Est

    "Delenda Est" is a short story written by Poul Anderson, part of his Time Patrol (1960) series. The title alludes to the Latin phrase Carthago delenda est ("Carthage must be destroyed") from the Third Punic War. Renegade time travelers meddle in the outcome of the Second Punic War, bringing about the premature deaths of Publius Cornelius Scipio and Scipio Africanus at the Battle of Ticinus in 218 BC, and thus creating a new timeline in which Hannibal destroys Rome in 210 BC. This meant that western European civilization came to be based on a Celtic-Carthaginian cultural synthesis (rather than Greco-Roman, as in actual history). This civilization discovered the western hemisphere, and created certain inventions (such as the steam engine) long before the corresponding events happened in actual history (partly since there was nothing corresponding to the fall of the Roman Empire), but overall technological progress has been slow, since most developments are arrived at through ad hoc tinkering (there is no scientific methodology of empirically testing rigorous theories). At the time of the story, Britain (Brittys), Ireland, France (Gallia) and Spain (Celtan) are under Celtic control,
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    3 votes
    137
    Man on Fire

    Man on Fire

    • Setting: Mexico City
    Man on Fire is a 2004 American thriller film, and the second adaptation of A. J. Quinnell's 1980 novel of the same name; the first film based on the novel was released in 1987. The 2004 film adaptation was directed by Tony Scott, from a screenplay written by Brian Helgeland. Man on Fire stars Denzel Washington as John Creasy, a doomed despondent former CIA operative turned bodyguard, who goes on a revenge rampage after his charge, nine-year-old Pita Ramos (Dakota Fanning), is abducted in Mexico. The supporting cast includes Christopher Walken, Radha Mitchell, Giancarlo Giannini, Marc Anthony, Rachel Ticotin and Mickey Rourke. Because of the extremely high rate of kidnappings in Mexico City for ransom money, businessman Samuel Ramos (Marc Anthony) hires former Marine Force Recon officer and CIA operative John Creasy (Denzel Washington) to guard his nine-year-old daughter "Pita" (Dakota Fanning). At first Creasy distances himself socially from Pita, but the two develop a friendship. After a piano lesson, Pita is abducted in public and Creasy is shot multiple times. The Ramoses agree to deliver a dead drop ransom of US$10 million per the instructions of "The Voice" (Roberto Sosa), the
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    3 votes
    138
    The Frost Giant's Daughter

    The Frost Giant's Daughter

    "The Frost-Giant's Daughter" is one of the original short stories about Conan the Cimmerian, written by American author Robert E. Howard, but not published in his lifetime. It is set in the pseudo-historical Hyborian Age and details Conan pursuing a spectral nymph across the frozen snows of Nordheim. Rejected as a Conan story by Weird Tales magazine editor Farnsworth Wright, Howard changed the main character's name to "Amra of Akbitana" and retitled the piece as The Gods of the North. "The Frost-Giant's Daughter" is, arguably, the earliest chronological story by Robert E. Howard in terms of Conan's life. The brief tale is set somewhere in frozen Nordheim, geographically situated north of Conan's homeland, Cimmeria. Conan is depicted by Howard as a youthful Cimmerian mercenary traveling among the golden-haired Aesir in a war party. Shortly before the story begins, a hand-to-hand battle has occurred on an icy plain. Eighty men ("four score") have perished in bloody combat, and Conan alone survives the battlefield where Wulfhere's Aesir "reavers" fought the Vanir "wolves" of Bragi, a Vanir chieftain. Thus, the story opens. Following this fierce battle against the red-haired Vanir,
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    3 votes
    139
    Bram Stoker's Dracula

    Bram Stoker's Dracula

    • Part of fictional universes: Dracula (traditional)
    Bram Stoker's Dracula (also released as Dracula) is a 1992 American Gothic horror vampire romantic film directed and produced by Francis Ford Coppola, based on the novel Dracula by Bram Stoker. It stars Gary Oldman as Count Dracula, Winona Ryder as Mina Harker, Anthony Hopkins as Professor Abraham Van Helsing, and Keanu Reeves as Jonathan Harker Dracula was greeted by a generally positive critical reception and was a box office hit. The film's score was composed by Wojciech Kilar and featured "Love Song for a Vampire" by Annie Lennox, which became an international hit, as the closing credits theme. In 1462, Vlad Dracula, a member of the Order of the Dragon, returns from a victory against the Turks to find his wife, Elisabeta, has committed suicide after receiving a false report of his death. Enraged that his wife is now damned for committing suicide, Dracula desecrates his chapel and renounces God, declaring that he will rise from the grave to avenge Elisabeta with all the powers of darkness. In a fit of rage, he stabs the cross with his sword and drinks the blood which is pouring out of the cross. In 1897, newly-qualified solicitor Jonathan Harker takes the Transylvanian Count
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    1 votes
    140
    Enoch Soames

    Enoch Soames

    Enoch Soames is a short story by the British writer Max Beerbohm. It appeared in the collection Seven Men (1919) and was originally published in the May 1916 edition of The Century Magazine. It is well known for its clever and humorous use of the ideas of time travel and pacts with the Devil. The story is also memorable for its complex combination of fact and fiction; though the hero Soames is a fictional character, the story is narrated by Beerbohm himself, and contains a written portrait of the real-life artist William Rothenstein, as well as countless references to contemporary events and places. As narrator, Beerbohm presents himself as a moderately successful young English essayist and writer in London during the 1890s. He purports to relate the fate of a friend of his named Enoch Soames, an utterly obscure, forgettable, miserable and unsuccessful English writer. Obsessed with the idea that he was a great author of literature and poetry and keenly curious about his sure future fame, Soames one day in 1897 makes a contract with the devil to be able to spend one afternoon (from 2:10 to 7 PM) in the Round Reading Room of the British Museum library exactly one hundred years in the
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    141
    Escape from Monkey Island

    Escape from Monkey Island

    • Setting: Monkey Island
    • Part of fictional universes: Monkey Island
    Escape from Monkey Island is a computer adventure game developed and released by LucasArts in 2000. It is the fourth game in the Monkey Island series. The game centers on the pirate Guybrush Threepwood, who returns home with his wife Elaine Marley after their honeymoon, to find her erroneously declared dead, and her office of governor up for election. Guybrush must find a way to restore Elaine to office, while uncovering a plot to turn the Caribbean into a tourist trap, headed by his archnemesis LeChuck and Australian conspirator Ozzie Mandrill. Escape was the last of LucasArts' adventure games to be released. It was also the second and last game to use the GrimE engine, which was upgraded from its first use in Grim Fandango. Escape from Monkey Island is an adventure game that consists of dialogue with characters and solving puzzles. The game is controlled entirely with the keyboard or alternatively with a joystick. A new feature of the game are action-lines: Guybrush will glance at any items that can be interacted with; the player can use 'Page Up' or 'Page Down' to select the item that he wants Guybrush to look at. One of the hallmark aspects of the Monkey Island games, the
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    142
    House

    House

    • Setting: Princeton-Plainsboro Teaching Hospital
    House (also known as House, M.D.) is an American television medical drama that originally ran on the Fox network for eight seasons from November 16, 2004, to May 21, 2012. The show's central character is Dr. Gregory House (Hugh Laurie), a drug-addicted unconventional, misanthropic medical genius who leads a team of diagnosticians at the fictional Princeton–Plainsboro Teaching Hospital (PPTH) in New Jersey. The show′s premise originated with Paul Attanasio, while David Shore, who is credited as creator, was primarily responsible for the conception of the title character. The show′s executive producers include Shore, Attanasio, Attanasio′s business partner Katie Jacobs, and film director Bryan Singer. It was largely filmed in Century City. House often clashes with his fellow physicians, including his own diagnostic team, because many of his hypotheses about patients′ illnesses are based on subtle or controversial insights. His flouting of hospital rules and procedures frequently leads him into conflict with his boss, hospital administrator and Dean of Medicine Dr. Lisa Cuddy (Lisa Edelstein). House′s only true friend is Dr. James Wilson (Robert Sean Leonard), head of the Department
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    143
    Le Chef-d'œuvre inconnu

    Le Chef-d'œuvre inconnu

    Le Chef-d’œuvre inconnu (English "The Unknown Masterpiece") is a short story by Honoré de Balzac. It was first published in the newspaper L'Artiste with the title "Maître Frenhofer" (English: "Master Frenhofer") in August 1831. It appeared again later in the same year under the title "Catherine Lescault, conte fantastique." It was published in Balzac's Études philosophiques in 1837 and was integrated into the La Comédie humaine in 1846. At the most fundamental level, "Le Chef-d’œuvre inconnu" is a reflection on art. Young Nicolas Poussin, as yet unknown, visits the painter Porbus in his workshop. He is accompanied by the old master Frenhofer who comments expertly on the large tableau that Porbus has just finished. The painting is of Mary of Egypt, and while Frenhofer sings her praises, he hints that the work seems unfinished. With some slight touches of the paintbrush, Frenhofer transforms Porbus' painting such that Mary the Egyptian appears to come alive before their very eyes. Although Frenhofer has mastered his technique, he admits that he has been unable to find a suitable model for his own masterpiece, La Belle noiseuse, on which he has been working for ten years. This future
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    144
    The Adventure of the Priory School

    The Adventure of the Priory School

    "The Adventure of the Priory School", one of the 56 Sherlock Holmes short stories written by British author Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, is one of 13 stories in the cycle collected as The Return of Sherlock Holmes. Doyle ranked "The Adventure of the Priory School" tenth in his list of his twelve favorite Holmes stories. Holmes receives a visit from Dr. Thorneycroft Huxtable, the founder and principal of a preparatory school called Priory School in Northern England. He beseeches Holmes to come back to Mackleton with him to look into the kidnapping of one of his pupils. The boy's father, the Duke of Holdernesse, has offered a reward of £5000 to anyone who can tell him where his son, the ten-year-old Lord Saltire, is, and a further £1000 to anyone who can tell him who his kidnappers are. James Wilder, the Duke's personal secretary, has also been indiscreet enough to mention something to Huxtable about the young Lord's unhappy home life. His parents no longer live together, his mother having moved to Southern France. Wilder has said that Lord Saltire's sympathies were with his mother in these matters. Upon arrival at the school, though, Lord Saltire seemed to be quite happy, and in his
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    1 votes
    145
    The Adventure of the Reigate Squire

    The Adventure of the Reigate Squire

    "The Adventure of the Reigate Squire", also known as "The Adventure of the Reigate Squires" and "The Adventure of the Reigate Puzzle", was one of the 56 Sherlock Holmes short stories written by British author Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. It is one of 12 stories in the cycle collected as The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes. Doyle ranked "The Adventure of the Reigate Squire" twelfth in his list of his twelve favorite Holmes stories. Watson takes Holmes to a friend's estate near Reigate in Surrey to rest after a rather strenuous case in France. Holmes finds that his services are needed here, but he also finds that his recent illness serves him well. His host is Colonel Hayter. There has recently been a burglary at the nearby Acton estate in which the thieves stole a motley assortment of things, even a ball of twine, but nothing terribly valuable. Then one morning, the Colonel's butler tells news of a murder at another nearby estate, the Cunninghams'. The victim is William Kirwan, the coachman. Inspector Forrester has taken charge of the investigation, and there is one physical clue: a torn piece of paper found in William's hand with a few words written on it. Holmes takes an instant interest in
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    146
    The Adventure of the Six Napoleons

    The Adventure of the Six Napoleons

    "The Adventure of the Six Napoleons", one of the 56 Sherlock Holmes short stories written by British author Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, is one of 13 stories in the cycle collected as The Return of Sherlock Holmes. Inspector Lestrade of Scotland Yard brings Holmes a seemingly trivial problem about a man who shatters plaster busts of Napoleon. One was shattered in Morse Hudson’s shop, and two others, sold by Hudson to a Dr. Barnicot, were smashed after the doctor’s house and branch office had been burgled. Nothing else was taken. In the former case, the bust was taken outside before being broken. Holmes knows that Lestrade’s theory about a Napoleon-hating lunatic must be wrong. The busts in question all came from the same mould. Why is he breaking them? The next day, Lestrade calls Holmes to a house where there has been yet another bust-shattering, but there has also been a murder. Mr. Horace Harker found the dead man on his doorstep after investigating a noise. His Napoleon bust was also taken by a burglar entering through a window. It, too, was from the same mould. Also, a photograph of a rather apish-looking man is found in the dead man’s pocket. The fragments of Harker's bust are in
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    147
    The Chronic Argonauts

    The Chronic Argonauts

    "The Chronic Argonauts" is a short story written by H. G. Wells. First published by the Royal College of Science in 1888, it is the first well-developed use of a machine constructed to travel through time (a "time machine") in science fiction, as it predates Wells's more famous time traveling novel, The Time Machine, by 7 years. This brief story begins with a third-person account of the arrival of a mysterious inventor to the peaceful Welsh town of Llyddwdd. Dr. Moses Nebogipfel takes up residence in a house sorely neglected after the deaths of its former inhabitants. The main bulk of the story concerns the apprehension of the simple rural folk who eventually storm the inventor's "devilish" workshop in an effort to repay supposed witchery. Nebogipfel escapes with one other person—the sympathetic Reverend Elijah Ulysses Cook—in what is later revealed to be a time machine. The next part picks up with an unnamed "Author" character discovering the dazed Reverend Cook returned from unbelievable exploits after having been missing for three weeks. The remainder of the story is the Reverend's short retelling (again in the third-person) of the events that took place that night and the
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    148
    The Devil in Iron

    The Devil in Iron

    "The Devil in Iron" is one of the original stories by Robert E. Howard about Conan the Cimmerian, first published in Weird Tales in August 1934. Howard earned $115 for the publication of this story. The plot concerns the resurrection of a mythical demon due to the theft of a sacred dagger, and an unrelated trap that lures Conan to the island fortress roamed by the demon. Due to its plot loopholes and borrowed elements from "Iron Shadows in the Moon", some Howard scholars claim this story is the weakest of the early Conan tales. In "The Devil in Iron," an ancient demon, Khosatral Khel, is awakened on the remote island of Xapur due to the meddling of a greedy fisherman. Upon reawakening, Khel resurrects the ancient fortress which once dominated the island, including its cyclopean walls, gigantic pythons, and long-dead citizens. Meanwhile, Conan — a leader of the Vilayet kozaks — is tricked by the villainous Jehungir Agha into pursuing the lovely Octavia to the island of Xapur. Jehungir Agha plans for Conan to fall into a prepared trap on the island. The unforeseen resurrection of the island demon and its ancient fortress, however, interrupts these plans. When Conan arrives on Xapur,
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    149
    The Diamond as Big as the Ritz

    The Diamond as Big as the Ritz

    The Diamond as Big as the Ritz is a novella by novelist F. Scott Fitzgerald. It was first published in the June 1922 issue of The Smart Set magazine, and was included in Fitzgerald's 1922 short story collection Tales of the Jazz Age. Much of the story is set in Montana, a setting that may have been inspired by the summer that Fitzgerald spent near White Sulphur Springs, Montana in 1915. Orson Welles adapted the story into a radio play in 1945 and another version was presented three times on the program Escape between 1947 and 1949. A teleplay version was broadcast on Kraft Theatre in 1955. The story's sisters, Kismine and Jasmine, were portrayed by Lee Remick and Elizabeth Montgomery, who were unknowns of 20 and 22 at the time. Mickey Mouse no. 47 (Apr./May 1956) contains a retelling of Fitzgerald's story under the title The Mystery of Diamond Mountain, scripted by William F. Nolan and Charles Beaumont and illustrated by Paul Murry. John T. Unger, a teenager from the Mississippi River town of Hades, is sent to a private boarding school near Boston. During the summer he visits the homes of his classmates, the majority of whom are from wealthy families. In the middle of his sophomore
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    150
    The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King

    The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King

    • Part of fictional universes: Middle-earth
    The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King is a 2003 epic fantasy-drama film directed by Peter Jackson based on the second and third volumes of J. R. R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings. It is the concluding film in The Lord of the Rings film trilogy, following The Fellowship of the Ring (2001) and The Two Towers (2002). As Sauron launches the final stages of his conquest of Middle-earth, Gandalf the Wizard, and Théoden King of Rohan rally their forces to help defend Gondor's capital Minas Tirith from the looming threat. Aragorn finally claims the throne of Gondor and summons an army of ghosts to help him defeat Sauron. Ultimately, even with full strength of arms, they realise they cannot win; so it comes down to the Hobbits, Frodo and Sam, to bear the burden of the Ring and deal with the treachery of Gollum. After a long journey they finally arrive in the dangerous lands of Mordor, seeking to destroy the One Ring in the place it was created, the volcanic fires of Mount Doom. Released on 17 December 2003, The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King received rave reviews and became one of the greatest critical and box-office successes of all time, being only the second film to
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    151
    Tlön, Uqbar, Orbis Tertius

    Tlön, Uqbar, Orbis Tertius

    "Tlön, Uqbar, Orbis Tertius" is a short story by the 20th century Argentine writer Jorge Luis Borges. The story was first published in the Argentine journal Sur, May 1940. The "postscript" dated 1947 is intended to be anachronistic, set seven years in the future. The first English-language translation of the story was published in 1961. In the story, an encyclopedia article about a mysterious country called Uqbar is the first indication of a massive conspiracy of intellectuals to imagine (and thereby create) a world known as Tlön. Relatively long for Borges (approximately 5,600 words), the story is a work of speculative fiction. One of the major themes of "Tlön, Uqbar, Orbis Tertius" is that ideas ultimately manifest themselves in the physical world and the story is generally viewed as a parabolic discussion of Berkeleian idealism — and to some degree as a protest against totalitarianism. "Tlön, Uqbar, Orbis Tertius" has the structure of a detective fiction set in a world going mad. Although the story is quite short, it makes allusions to many leading intellectual figures both in Argentina and in the world at large, and takes up a number of themes more typical of a novel of ideas.
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    152
    13 Going on 30

    13 Going on 30

    • Setting: New York City
    13 Going on 30 (known as Suddenly 30 in Australia as well as in Brazil - but in Portuguese: De Repente, 30 - and Sugar and Spice in some markets) is a 2004 American romantic comedy fantasy film starring Jennifer Garner and Mark Ruffalo. It has a similar premise to the classic short story Rip Van Winkle, in which a young person falls asleep and wakes up many years later as an older person. It also bears some similarity to films like Big and 14 Going on 30, in which boys are physically transformed into adult men, but in those films everyone else remains the same age. The situation of the main character, a person with the personality of a child in an adult's body, is similar to the situation of one of the main characters in many body switching films such as Freaky Friday and Vice Versa. It was produced by Revolution Studios for Columbia Pictures. As the story opens, Jenna Rink (Christa B. Allen) is an unpopular girl celebrating her 13th birthday on May 26, 1987, who wishes to be 30 in hopes that it would help her overcome her unpopularity at school. Jenna especially wants to join the "Six Chicks", a school clique led by Lucy "Tom-Tom" Wyman (Alexandra Kyle), who takes advantage of
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    153
    Redemption Cairn

    Redemption Cairn

    Redemption Cairn is a science fiction short story by Stanley G. Weinbaum that first appeared in the March 1936 issue of Astounding Stories. "Redemption Cairn" is the only Weinbaum story set on Europa. In Weinbaum's Solar System, in keeping with the then-current "near-collision" hypothesis of planetary formation, Jupiter radiates enough heat to create Earth-like environments on the Galilean moons. Europa is airless except for a depression on the Jupiter-facing side of the tidally locked moon, which holds a thin, but breathable atmosphere. This region is divided into a number of small valleys separated from each other by ridges rising above the atmosphere. The most widespread Europan species is the bladder bird, which carries its own air supply with it in an air sac, allowing it to cross over the airless peaks. Jack Sands, the story's narrator, is a spaceship pilot down on his luck. In September 2111, he is about to be evicted from a flophouse when he is recruited by his old friend Captain Harris Henshaw to co-pilot an expedition to Europa. Sands is one of only two survivors of a previous visit to the Jovian moon. The other was his drug-addled co-pilot Kratska, who crashed the
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    154
    Serenity

    Serenity

    • Part of fictional universes: Firefly
    Serenity is a 2005 space western film written and directed by Joss Whedon. It is a continuation of the short-lived 2002 Fox science fiction television series Firefly, taking place after the events of the final episode. Set in 2517, Serenity is the story of the captain and crew of Serenity, a "Firefly-class" spaceship. The captain and first mate are veterans of the Unification War, having fought on the losing side. Their lives of petty crime are interrupted by a psychic passenger who harbors a dangerous secret. The film was released in North America on September 30, 2005 by Universal Pictures. It received generally positive reviews and was number two during its opening weekend but it did not make back its budget until its release on DVD. Serenity won numerous awards, including the 2006 Hugo Award for Best Dramatic Presentation. In the 26th century, humanity has left an overpopulated Earth and moved to a new solar system, colonizing many planets and moons. The Alliance has won a war with the less established planets of outer star systems. A young girl named River Tam is the most promising of a number of young people being mentally and physically conditioned by Alliance scientists.
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    155
    Star Trek: Enterprise

    Star Trek: Enterprise

    • Part of fictional universes: Star Trek: Enterprise
    Star Trek: Enterprise (originally titled simply Enterprise for the first two seasons) is a science fiction television series. The show is set in the Milky Way galaxy, roughly during the 2150s—ten years before the United Federation of Planets shown in previous Star Trek series was formed. It follows the adventures of humanity's first warp 5 starship Enterprise. Enterprise premiered on September 26, 2001. The pilot episode, "Broken Bow", takes place in the year 2151, halfway between the 21st-century events shown in the movie Star Trek: First Contact and the original Star Trek television series. Low ratings prompted UPN to cancel Star Trek: Enterprise on February 2, 2005, but the network allowed the series to complete its fourth season. The final episode aired on May 13, 2005. After a run of four seasons and 98 episodes, it was the first Star Trek series since the original Star Trek to have been canceled by its network rather than finished by its producers. It is also the last series in an 18-year run of back-to-back new Star Trek shows beginning with Star Trek: The Next Generation in 1987. In May 2000, Rick Berman, executive producer of Star Trek: Voyager, revealed that a new series
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    156
    Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith

    Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith

    • Setting: Kashyyyk
    • Part of fictional universes: Star Wars
    • Events: Clone Wars
    Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith is a 2005 American epic space opera film written and directed by George Lucas. It is the sixth and final film released in the Star Wars saga and the third in terms of the series' internal chronology. The film takes place three years after the onset of the Clone Wars. The Jedi Knights are spread out across the galaxy leading a massive clone army in the war against the Separatists. The Jedi Council dispatches Jedi Master Obi-Wan Kenobi to eliminate the evil General Grievous, leader of the Separatist Army. Meanwhile, Jedi Knight Anakin Skywalker, separated from Kenobi, his former master, grows close to Palpatine, the Chancellor of the Galactic Republic and, unbeknownst to the public, a Sith Lord. Their deepening friendship proves dangerous for the Jedi Order, The Republic, and Anakin himself who inevitably succumbs to the Dark Side of the Force and becomes Darth Vader, changing the fate of the galaxy forever. Lucas began writing the script before production of Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones began. Filming took place in Australia with additional locations in Thailand and Italy, and lasted over three months. The film was released in
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    157
    The Gernsback Continuum

    The Gernsback Continuum

    "The Gernsback Continuum" is a short story by William Gibson about a photographer who has been given the assignment of photographing old, futuristic architecture. This architecture, although largely forgotten at the time of the story, embodied for the generation that built it their concept of the future. The titular "Gernsback" alludes to Hugo Gernsback, a Pulp magazine science fiction publisher during the early 20th century. By using this title Gibson contrasts the future envisaged during Gernsback's style of science fiction and the present, "cyberpunk" era that Gibson was establishing. The story was published in Gibson's Burning Chrome anthology. During his assignment to photograph 1930s era futuristic architecture, Parker begins to realize a "continuum," an alternative reality containing the possible future of the world represented by the architecture he is photographing – a future that could have been, but was not, thereby contrasting modernism to postmodern reality. Parker's glimpses of this fantastical utopian future, characterised by massive multi-lane highways, giant zeppelins and Aryan inhabitants become increasingly frequent and disturbing until, on the advice of a
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    2 votes
    158
    The Pirate

    The Pirate

    "The Pirate" is a science fiction short story by Poul Anderson that first appeared in the October 1968 issue of Analog. "The Pirate" was a prequel to the earlier Psychotechnic League novel Star Ways (later retitled The Peregrine), and was the last story in the Psychotechnic series to be published. The story was included in the 1975 collection Homeward and Beyond and the 1982 collection Starship, and the timeline from the latter collection places the story in the year 3115. Trevelyan Micah, an agent of the Stellar Union's Coordination Service, is alerted to some suspicious activity on the part of Murdoch Juan, a Trader with whom Trevelyan has crossed paths before. Murdoch claims to be recruiting settlers for a newly-discovered planet he calls Good Luck. However, the cost of building housing and infrastructure for the settlers would make the settlement uneconomical for Murdoch, and the equipment he is loading aboard his ship, the Campesino, seems mismatched for the planet he describes. When the Campesino sets out, Trevelyan and his alien partner Smokesmith pursue in a smaller, faster ship called the Genji. They follow Campesino to an Earthlike world a hundred light years from the
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    2 votes
    159
    Bernice Bobs Her Hair

    Bernice Bobs Her Hair

    "Bernice Bobs Her Hair" is a short story by F. Scott Fitzgerald, written in 1920 and first published in the Saturday Evening Post in May of that year. It appeared shortly thereafter in the collection Flappers and Philosophers. The story was based on letters Fitzgerald sent to his younger sister, Annabel, advising her on how to be more attractive to young men. The original text was much longer, but Fitzgerald cut nearly 3000 words and changed the ending to make the story more attractive to publishers. The story concerns Bernice, a wealthy girl from Eau Claire, Wisconsin, who goes to visit her cousin Marjorie for the month of August. Marjorie feels that Bernice is a drag on her social life, and none of the boys want to dance with Bernice. Bernice overhears a conversation between Marjorie and Marjorie's mother where the younger girl complains that Bernice is socially hopeless. The next day, Bernice threatens to leave town, but when Marjorie is unfazed, Bernice relents and agrees to let Marjorie turn her into a society girl. Marjorie teaches Bernice how to hold interesting conversations, how to flirt with even unattractive or uninteresting boys to make herself seem more desirable, and
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    3 votes
    160
    Firefly

    Firefly

    • Setting: Serenity
    • Part of fictional universes: Firefly
    Firefly is an American space western television series created by writer and director Joss Whedon, under his Mutant Enemy Productions label. Whedon served as an executive producer, along with Tim Minear. The series is set in the year 2517, after the arrival of humans in a new star system, and follows the adventures of the renegade crew of Serenity, a "Firefly-class" spaceship. The ensemble cast portrays the nine characters who live on Serenity. Whedon pitched the show as "nine people looking into the blackness of space and seeing nine different things". The show explores the lives of some people who fought on the losing side of a civil war and others who now make a living on the outskirts of society, as part of the pioneer culture that exists on the fringes of their star system. In addition, it is a future where the only two surviving superpowers, the United States and China, fused to form the central federal government, called the Alliance, resulting in the fusion of the two cultures. According to Whedon's vision, "nothing will change in the future: technology will advance, but we will still have the same political, moral, and ethical problems as today". Firefly premiered in the
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    3 votes
    161
    Marooned Off Vesta

    Marooned Off Vesta

    "Marooned Off Vesta" is a science fiction short story by Isaac Asimov. It was the third story written by Asimov, and the first to be published. Written in July 1938 when Asimov was 18, it was rejected by Astounding Science Fiction in August, then accepted in October by Amazing Stories, appearing in the March 1939 issue. Asimov first included it in his 1968 story collection Asimov's Mysteries, and subsequently in the 1973 collection The Best of Isaac Asimov. Marooned Off Vesta tells the story of three men who survive the wreck of the spaceship Silver Queen in the asteroid belt and find themselves trapped in orbit around the asteroid Vesta. They have at their disposal three airtight rooms, one spacesuit, three days' worth of air, a week's supply of food, and a year's supply of water. With typically Asimovian courage and ingenuity, the trapped men manage to use the limited resources at their disposal to rescue themselves. The description of their rescue is heavy with accurate portrayals of the physics and experiences involved with being in space, a theme that often re-emerges in Asimov's later works. In 1958, to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the story's appearance, Asimov wrote
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    3 votes
    162
    The Adventure of the Missing Three-Quarter

    The Adventure of the Missing Three-Quarter

    "The Adventure of the Missing Three-Quarter", one of the 56 Sherlock Holmes short stories written by British author Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, is one of 13 stories in the cycle collected as The Return of Sherlock Holmes. It was originally published in Strand Magazine in 1904 with illustrations by Sidney Paget. Mr. Cyril Overton of Trinity College, Cambridge wants to find Godfrey Staunton, key rugby team player needed for match tomorrow against Oxford. Pale and bothered earlier, Staunton left his hotel about half past ten in the evening with a bearded man who came with a devastating note, toward Strand, and vanished. Overton wired to Cambridge and his friend's wealthy miserly uncle and nearest kin Lord Mount-Jameserly 80ish, without success. Holmes questions the porter, who overheard one word, "time". At six o’clock, the porter brought Staunton a telegram, saw him write a reply, but was told Staunton would send reply himself. On the blotter, Holmes finds a partial impression "Stand by us for God’s sake”, revealing danger and more people involved. He puts other papers in his pocket. Lord Mount-James visits, aghast at possibility of kidnapping for extortion. At the telegraph office,
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    3 votes
    163
    The Adventure of the Three Students

    The Adventure of the Three Students

    "The Adventure of the Three Students", one of the 56 Sherlock Holmes short stories written by British author Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, is one of 13 stories in the cycle collected as The Return of Sherlock Holmes. Sherlock Holmes finds himself in a famous university town (probably either Oxford or Cambridge) when a tutor and lecturer of St Luke's College, Mr. Hilton Soames, brings him an interesting problem. Someone got into Soames’s office and had a look at the galley proofs of an exam he was going to give. Soames had gone to a friend’s for tea and locked his office. When he came back an hour later, he found a key in the lock. His servant, Bannister, forgot his key after he found Soames was gone for tea. Nevertheless, the proofs were found out of place, with one near the window, another on the floor, and the last still on the desk. Bannister swears that he did not touch the papers. Interestingly, Holmes can tell Soames which of the papers was in which place. Soames’s desire is to uncover the cheater and prevent him from taking the exam, since it is for a sizeable scholarship. Fortunately there are only three students who will take the exam, all of which live above him in the same
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    3 votes
    164
    The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County

    The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County

    "The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County" is an 1865 short story by Mark Twain, his first great success as a writer, bringing him national attention. The story has also been published as "Jim Smiley and His Jumping Frog" (its original title) and "The Notorious Jumping Frog of Calaveras County". In it, the narrator retells a story he heard from a bartender, Simon Wheeler, at the Angels Hotel in Angels Camp, California, about the gambler Jim Smiley. Twain describes him: "If he even seen a straddle bug start to go anywheres, he is bet you how long it would take him to get to—to wherever he going to, and if you took him up, he would foller that straddle bug to Mexico but what he would find out where he was bound for and how long he was on the road." "The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County" is also the title story of an 1867 collection of short stories by Mark Twain. Twain's first book, it collected 27 stories that were previously published in magazines and newspapers. Twain first wrote the title short story at the request of his friend Artemus Ward, for inclusion in an upcoming book. Twain worked on two versions but neither was satisfactory to him—neither got around to
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    3 votes
    165
    The Death of Ivan Ilyich

    The Death of Ivan Ilyich

    The Death of Ivan Ilyich (Russian: Смерть Ивана Ильича, Smert' Ivana Ilyicha), first published in 1886, is a novella by Leo Tolstoy, one of the masterpieces of his late fiction, written shortly after his religious conversion of the late 1870s. The novel tells the story of the death, at age 45, of a high-court judge in 19th-century Russia. Living what seems to be a good life, his dreadful relationship with his wife notwithstanding, Ivan Ilyich Golovin injures his side while hanging up curtains in a new apartment intended to reflect his family's superior status in society. Within weeks, he has developed a strange taste in his mouth and a pain that will not go away. Several expensive doctors are consulted, but beyond muttering about blind gut and floating kidneys, they can neither explain nor treat his condition, and it soon becomes clear that Ivan Ilyich is dying. The second half of the novel records his terror as he battles with the idea of his own death. "I have been here. Now I am going there. Where? ... No, I won't have it!" Oppressed by the length of the process, his wife, daughter, colleagues, and even the physicians, decide in the end not to speak of it, but advise him to stay
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    3 votes
    166
    Shadows in Zamboula

    Shadows in Zamboula

    "Shadows in Zamboula" is one of the original stories by Robert E. Howard about Conan the Cimmerian, first published in Weird Tales in 1935. Its original title was "The Man-Eaters of Zamboula". The story takes place over a night in Zamboula, with political intrigue amidst streets filled with roaming cannibals. It features the character Baal-pteor, one of the few humans in the Conan stories to be a physical challenge for the main Cimmerian character himself. Despite a warning received in the Suq by an elderly desert nomad, Conan stays the night in a cheap tavern in Zamboula, run by Aram Baksh. As night falls, a black Darfarian cannibal enters to drag him away to be eaten. All of the Darfar slaves in the city are cannibals who roam the streets at night. As they only prey on travellers, the people of the city tolerate this and stay locked securely in their homes, while nomads and beggars make sure to spend the night at a comfortable distance from its walls. This night, however, Conan finds a naked woman chasing through the streets after her deranged lover; Conan rescues them from an attack by the cannibals. She tells him that she tried to secure her lover's unending affection via a
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    3 votes
    167
    Star Trek: Deep Space Nine

    Star Trek: Deep Space Nine

    • Part of fictional universes: Star Trek Expanded Universe
    Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (sometimes abbreviated to ST: DS9 or DS9) is a science fiction television series set in the Star Trek universe. The show is set in the Milky Way galaxy, approximately during the 2370s. Unlike the other Star Trek TV shows, it took place on a space station instead of a starship, so as not to have two series with starships at the same time (the starship USS Defiant was introduced in season 3, but the station remained the primary setting for the show). This made continuing story arcs and the appearance of recurring characters much more feasible. The show is noted for its well-developed characters and its original, complex plots. The series depended on darker themes, less physical exploration of space, and (in later seasons) an emphasis on many aspects of war. DS9 premiered in 1993 and ran for seven seasons, ending in 1999. Rooted in Gene Roddenberry’s Star Trek universe, it was the first Trek spin-off created without direct involvement from Roddenberry, although he did give his blessing to the concept shortly before his death in 1991. The series was created by Rick Berman and Michael Piller, at the request of Brandon Tartikoff, and produced by Paramount
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    3 votes
    168
    Surf's Up

    Surf's Up

    • Part of fictional universes: Surf's Up Universe
    Surf's Up is a 2007 American computer-animated mockumentary family comedy film directed by Ash Brannon and Chris Buck. It stars the voices of Shia LaBeouf, Jeff Bridges, Zooey Deschanel, James Woods and Jon Heder among others. In production since 2002 at Sony Pictures Animation, it was the studio's second theatrical feature. The film premiered in the United States on June 8, 2007, and was distributed by Columbia Pictures. It is a parody of surfing documentaries, such as The Endless Summer and Riding Giants, with parts of the plot parodying North Shore. Real-life surfers Kelly Slater and Rob Machado have vignettes as their penguin surfer counterparts. To obtain the desired hand-held documentary feel, the film's animation team motion-captured a physical camera operator's moves. A documentary crew follows the events of Cody Maverick (Shia LaBeouf), a teenage rockhopper penguin who has wanted to be a professional surfer ever since a visit from surf legend Zeke "Big Z" Topanga several years ago. When a talent scout shorebird named Mikey (Mario Cantone) arrives to find entrants for the "Big Z Memorial" surfing contest, Cody jumps at the chance despite lackluster support from his family.
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    3 votes
    169
    The Necklace

    The Necklace

    "The Necklace" or "The Diamond Necklace" (French: La Parure) is a short story by Guy de Maupassant, first published in 1884 in the French newspaper Le Gaulois. The story has become one of Maupassant's popular works and is well known for its ending. It is also the inspiration for Henry James's short story, "Paste". It has been dramatised as a musical by the Irish composer Conor Mitchell; it was first produced professionally by Thomas Hopkins and Andrew Jenkins for Surefire Theatrical Ltd at the Edinburgh Festival in 2007. "The Necklace" tells the story of Madame Mathilde Loisel and her husband Charles. Mathilde always imagined herself in a high social position with wonderful jewels. However she has nothing and marries a low paid clerk who tries his best to make her happy. Through lots of begging at work Charles is able to get two invitations to the Ministry of the Public Instruction party. Mathilde then refuses to go, for she has nothing to wear. Her husband is upset to see her displeasure and, using money that he was saving to buy a rifle, gives Mathilde 400 francs and lets his wife buy a dress that suits her. Mathilde goes out and buys a dress, but even with the dress Mathilde is
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    3 votes
    170
    Doctor Who

    Doctor Who

    • Part of fictional universes: Whoniverse
    Doctor Who is a British science fiction television programme produced by the BBC. The programme depicts the adventures of a Time Lord—a time travelling, humanoid alien known as the Doctor. He explores the universe in his 'TARDIS', a sentient, telepathic time-and-space-travel machine that flies through the time vortex. Its exterior appears as a blue British police box, a common sight in Britain in 1963, when the series first aired. Along with a succession of companions, the Doctor faces a variety of foes while working to save civilisations, help ordinary people, and right wrongs. The show has received recognition from critics and the public as one of the finest British television programmes, including the 2006 British Academy Television Award for Best Drama Series and five consecutive (2005–10) wins at the National Television Awards under Russell T Davies' reign as Executive Producer. In 2011, Matt Smith became the first Doctor to be nominated for a BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role. The programme is listed in the Guinness World Records as the longest-running science fiction television show in the world and as the "most successful" science fiction series of all time—based
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    2 votes
    171
    Mugby Junction

    Mugby Junction

    Mugby Junction was a set of short stories by Charles Dickens written in 1866. It was first published in a Christmas edition of the magazine All The Year Round. It includes the famous ghost story The Signalman concerning a spectre seen beside a tunnel entrance. The signal-man of the title tells the narrator of a ghost that has been haunting him. Each spectral appearance precedes, and is a harbinger of, a tragic event on the railway on which the signalman works. The signalman's work is at a signalbox in a deep cutting near a tunnel entrance on a lonely stretch of the line, and he controls the movements of passing trains. When there is danger, his fellow signalmen alert him via telegraph and alarms. Three times, he receives phantom warnings of danger when his bell rings in a fashion that only he can hear. Each warning is followed by the appearance of the spectre, and then by a terrible accident. The first accident involves a terrible collision between two trains in the tunnel. It is likely that Dickens based this incident on the Clayton Tunnel rail crash that occurred in 1861, five years before he wrote the story. Readers in 1866 would have been familiar with this major disaster. The
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    2 votes
    172
    Story of Your Life

    Story of Your Life

    Story of Your Life is a science fiction short story by Ted Chiang. It was the winner of the 2000 Nebula Award for Best Novella as well as the 1999 Sturgeon award. The major themes explored by this tale are determinism, language, and an interesting take on the Sapir–Whorf hypothesis. Dr. Louise Banks is enlisted by the military to communicate with a race of radially-symmetrical aliens who initiated first contact with humanity. Woven through the story are remembrances of her daughter. The heptapods have two distinct forms of language. Heptapod A is their spoken language, which is described as having free word order and many levels of center-embedded clauses. Understanding Heptapod B, the written language of the aliens, is central to the plot. Unlike its spoken counterpart, Heptapod B has such complex structure that a single semagram cannot be excluded without changing the entire meaning of a sentence. When writing in Heptapod B, the writer knows how the sentence will end. The phenomenon of Heptapod B is explained by the alien's understanding of mathematics and Fermat's Theory of Least Time. Dr. Banks's understanding of the heptapods' writing system affects the way she perceives time
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    2 votes
    173
    The Colour Out of Space

    The Colour Out of Space

    "The Colour Out of Space" is a short story written by American horror author H. P. Lovecraft in March 1927. 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 Arkham, Massachusetts. Listening to the experiences of an old man by the name of Ammi Pierce, the narrator discovers that many years ago a meteorite crashed into lands then-owned by a farmer by the name of Nahum Gardner. Scientists were unable to determine its origins and the rock eventually shrank into nothingness, leaving something that is described "only by analogy", as a "colour". This "colour" infects the farmstead and drains the life force from anything living nearby; vegetation grows large, but tasteless, animals are driven mad and deformed into grotesque shapes, and the Gardner family members go insane or die one by one. After two weeks of no contact from the family, Pierce visits the site to find that the horror has destroyed the family and the house. Returning with six men to investigate the remains, Pierce witnesses the "colour" pour out of the well and blight everything that it touches before returning to the sky that spawned
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    2 votes
    174
    The Merchant and the Alchemist's Gate

    The Merchant and the Alchemist's Gate

    • Setting: Cairo
    The Merchant and the Alchemist's Gate is a fantasy novelette by Ted Chiang originally published in 2007 by Subterranean Press and reprinted in the September 2007 issue of Fantasy & Science Fiction. It won the 2008 Hugo Award for Best Novelette and the 2008 Nebula Award for Best Novelette. The story follows Fuwaad ibn Abbas, a fabric merchant in the ancient city of Baghdad. It begins when he is searching for a gift to give a business associate and happens to discover a new shop in the marketplace. The shop owner, who makes and sells a variety of very interesting items, invites Fuwaad into the back workshop to see a mysterious black stone arch which serves as a gateway into the future, which the shop owner has made by the use of alchemy. Fuwaad is intrigued, and the shop owner tells him three stories of others who have traveled through the gate to meet and have conversation with their future selves. When Fuwaad learns that the shop keeper has another gate in Cairo that will allow people to travel even into the past, he makes the journey there to try to rectify a mistake he made twenty years earlier.
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    2 votes
    175
    The Nose

    The Nose

    "The Nose" (Russian: Нос) is a satirical short story by Nikolai Gogol. Written between 1835 and 1836, it tells of a St. Petersburg official whose nose leaves his face and develops a life of its own. The story is in three parts: On the 25th of March, a barber, Ivan Yakovlevich, finds a nose in his bread during breakfast. With horror he recognizes this nose as that of one of his regular customers, Collegiate Assessor Kovalyov (known as 'Major Kovalyov'). He tries to get rid of it by throwing it in the Neva River, but he is caught by a police officer. At the onset of “The Nose,” Major Kovalyov awakens to discover that his nose is missing, leaving a smooth, flat patch of skin in its place. His nose is already pretending to be a human. He finds and confronts it in the Kazan Cathedral, but from its clothing it is apparent that the nose has acquired a higher rank in the civil service than he and refuses to return to his face. Kovalyov visits the newspaper office to place an ad about the loss of his nose, but is refused. Kovalyov returns to his flat, where the police officer who caught Ivan finds him and returns the nose (which he caught at a coach station, trying to flee the city).
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    2 votes
    176
    Valley of Dreams

    Valley of Dreams

    Valley of Dreams is a science fiction short story by Stanley G. Weinbaum originally published in the November 1934 issue of Wonder Stories. "Valley of Dreams" was Weinbaum's second published story, and is a sequel to his first story, "A Martian Odyssey". Two weeks before the Ares is scheduled to leave Mars, Captain Harrison sends American chemist Dick Jarvis and French biologist "Frenchy" Leroy to retrieve the film Jarvis took before his auxiliary rocket crashed into the Thyle highlands the week before. Along the way, the Earthmen stop at the city of the cart creatures and the site of the pyramid building creature for Leroy to take some samples. After picking up the film canisters from the crashed rocket at Thyle II, the two men fly east to Thyle I to look for signs of the birdlike Martian, Tweel. Near a canal the men find a strange, deserted city thousands of years old. The buildings are inhabited by birdlike Martians of Tweel's species, including Tweel himself, and Jarvis and the Martian enjoy a happy reunion. Jarvis persuades Tweel to guide them through the city. In one building they come across a ratlike being hunched over a Martian book. Tweel angrily chases the rat-thing away
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    2 votes
    177
    Rogues in the House

    Rogues in the House

    "Rogues in the House" is one of the original short stories starring the fictional sword and sorcery hero Conan the Cimmerian, written by American author Robert E. Howard and first published in Weird Tales magazine circa January 1934. It is set in the pseudo-historical Hyborian Age and concerns Conan inadvertently becoming involved in the power play between two powerful men fighting for control of a city. It was the seventh Conan story Howard had published. The story takes place in an unnamed city-state between Zamora and Corinthia during an apparent power struggle between two powerful leaders: Murilo, an aristocrat, and Nabonidus, the "Red Priest," a clergyman with a strong power base.After he is delivered a subtle threat by Nabonidus, Murilo learns of Conan's reputation as a mercenary and turns to him for help. Prior to the story's beginning, Conan killed a corrupt priest of Anu who was both a fence and a police informer, but was caught after he became intoxicated and a prostitute turned him in. Languishing in a jail and awaiting execution, Conan receives Murilo's visit and is proposed a bargain: in exchange for setting him free and getting him out of Corinthia with a bag of gold,
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    1 votes
    178
    Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones

    Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones

    • Setting: Jedi Temple
    • Events: Clone Wars
    Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones is a 2002 American epic space opera film directed by George Lucas and written by Lucas and Jonathan Hales. It is the fifth film to be released in the Star Wars saga and the second in terms of the series's internal chronology. At 142 minutes, it is the longest film in the series. The film is set 10 years after the events in Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace, when the galaxy is on the brink of civil war. Under the leadership of a renegade Jedi named Count Dooku, thousands of planetary systems threaten to secede from the Galactic Republic. When an assassination attempt is made on Senator Padmé Amidala, the former Queen of Naboo, Jedi apprentice Anakin Skywalker is assigned to protect her, while his mentor Obi-Wan Kenobi is assigned to investigate the assassination attempt. Soon, Anakin, Padmé, and Obi-Wan are drawn into the heart of the Separatist territories and the beginning of a new threat to the galaxy, the Clone Wars. Released on May 16, 2002, Attack of the Clones was one of the first motion pictures to be shot completely on a high definition digital 24-frame system. Like its predecessor, it garnered mixed reviews from critics and
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    1 votes
    179
    Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines

    Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines

    • Part of fictional universes: Terminator series
    Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines (commonly abbreviated as T3) is a 2003 science fiction action film directed by Jonathan Mostow and starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, Nick Stahl, Claire Danes and Kristanna Loken. It is the second sequel to The Terminator (1984). After Skynet fails to kill Sarah Connor before her son is born and to kill John himself as a child, it sends back another Terminator, the T-X, in an attempt to wipe out as many Resistance officers as possible, since Connor himself cannot be traced. This includes John's future wife, but not John himself as his whereabouts are unknown to Skynet. John's life is placed in danger when the T-X accidentally finds him. Following the events of Terminator 2: Judgment Day, John Connor (Nick Stahl) has been living off-the-grid in Los Angeles. Although Judgment Day did not occur on August 29, 1997, the date given by the Terminator in the previous film, John does not believe that the prophesied war between humans and Skynet has been averted. Unable to locate John, Skynet sends a new model of Terminator, the T-X (Kristanna Loken), back in time to July 24, 2004 to kill his future lieutenants in the human Resistance. A more advanced model
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    1 votes
    180
    The Adventure of the Resident Patient

    The Adventure of the Resident Patient

    "The Adventure of the Resident Patient", one of the 56 Sherlock Holmes short stories written by British author Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, is one of 12 stories in the cycle collected as The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes. Doyle ranked "The Adventure of the Resident Patient" eighteenth in a list of his nineteen favourite Sherlock Holmes stories. Doctor Percy Trevelyan brings Holmes an unusual problem. Having been a brilliant student but a poor man, Dr. Trevelyan has found himself a participant in an unusual business arrangement. A man named Blessington, claiming to have some money to invest, has set Dr. Trevelyan up in premises with a prestigious address and paid all his expenses. In return, he demands three-fourths of all the money that the doctor’s practice earns, which he collects every evening, going over the books thoroughly and leaving the doctor five shillings and threepence (5/3d) of every guinea (21 shillings or 1 pound/1 shilling in pre-decimalized currency) from the day’s takings. Blessington is himself infirm, it turns out, and likes this arrangement because he can always have a doctor nearby. Everything has gone fairly well for the doctor since the arrangement began. Now,
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    1 votes
    181
    The Green Leopard Plague

    The Green Leopard Plague

    The Green Leopard Plague is a 2004 novella by Walter Jon Williams that won the Nebula Award, and was nominated for the Hugo Award. It is based on the idea of a genetically engineered virus that allows people to photosynthesize food, leading the world to an agalmic society, where there are no more food shortages. It begins in the far future with a mermaid who makes her living by searching old archives. She is approached by a customer who wants her to find information on the man who founded the theoretical background on which their civilization is based, John Terzian. It is eventually revealed that he was involved in the release of the photosynthesis virus. The story then veers back and forward between his story and the mermaid's.
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    1 votes
    182
    The Pool of the Black One

    The Pool of the Black One

    "The Pool of the Black One" is one of the original short stories starring the sword and sorcery hero Conan the Cimmerian, written by American author Robert E. Howard. It is set in the pseudo-historical Hyborian Age and concerns Conan becoming the captain of a pirate vessel and encountering a remote island with a mysterious pool that has powers of transmutation. First published in Weird Tales in 1933, the story was republished in the collections The Sword of Conan (Gnome Press, 1952) and Conan the Adventurer (Lancer Books, 1966). It has more recently been published in the collections The Conan Chronicles Volume 1: The People of the Black Circle (2000) and Conan of Cimmeria: Volume One (1932-1933) (Del Rey, 2003). "The Pool of the Black One," which appeared in Weird Tales magazine the month after "The Slithering Shadow," is a piratical adventure story and occurs in the Western Sea of the Hyborian Age. The story begins with Conan the Cimmerian, adrift at sea near the Barachan Isles, clambering aboard a pirate ship christened The Wastrel. After a terse conversation with the captain and a brawl with a Zingaran bully, Conan is begrudgingly accepted as a lowly member of the crew and is
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    1 votes
    183
    The Adventure of the Second Stain

    The Adventure of the Second Stain

    "The Adventure of the Second Stain", one of the 56 Sherlock Holmes short stories written by British author Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, is one of 13 stories in the cycle collected as The Return of Sherlock Holmes. Doyle ranked "The Adventure of the Second Stain" eighth in his list of his twelve favorite Holmes stories. Lord Bellinger, the Prime Minister, and Trelawney Hope, the Secretary of State for European Affairs, come to Holmes in the matter of a document stolen from Hope's dispatch box, which he kept at home in Whitehall Terrace when not at work. If divulged, this document could bring about very dire consequences for all Europe, even war. They are loath to tell Holmes at first the exact nature of the document's contents, but when Holmes declines to take on their case, they tell him that it was a rather injudicious letter from a foreign potentate. It disappeared from the dispatch box one evening when Hope was out for four hours. No-one in the house knew about the document, not even the Secretary's wife, with whom he will not discuss his work. None of the servants could have guessed what was in the box. Holmes decides to begin with some spies known to him, and is then astonished to
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    3 votes
    184
    The Mad Moon

    The Mad Moon

    The Mad Moon is a science fiction short story by Stanley G. Weinbaum that first appeared in the December 1935 issue of Astounding Stories. As was the case with his earlier stories "A Martian Odyssey" and "Parasite Planet", "The Mad Moon" showcases Weinbaum's talent for creating alien ecologies. "The Mad Moon" was the only Weinbaum story set on Io. In Weinbaum's Solar System, Jupiter radiates enough heat to create Earthlike environments on the Galilean moons. Io, the innermost Galilean satellite, has a tropical climate, so that the two human settlements are located at the poles, Junopolis in the north and Herapolis in the south. Extending partway around the equator are the Idiots' Hills, whose peaks extend beyond Io's dense but shallow atmosphere. (Weinbaum apparently didn't realize that Io is tidally locked, since he has Jupiter rise and set during the course of the story.) There are two intelligent races native to Io: first are the loonies, a humanoid race of only moderate intelligence with large balloonlike heads at the end of long, slim necks; second are the slinkers, small and ratlike with nasty tempers. (Members of the Harrison Expedition to Mars ran across a slinker in the
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    185
    The Matrix

    The Matrix

    • Setting: Mega City
    The Matrix is a 1999 American science fiction action film written and directed by Larry and Andy Wachowski. The film stars Keanu Reeves, Laurence Fishburne, Carrie-Anne Moss, Joe Pantoliano, and Hugo Weaving, and was first released in the United States on March 31, 1999. The success of the film led to the release of two feature film sequels, and the Matrix franchise was further expanded through the production of comic books, video games, and animated short films. The film depicts a future in which reality as perceived by most humans is actually a simulated reality or cyberspace created by sentient machines to pacify and subdue the human population, while their bodies' heat and electrical activity are used as an energy source. Upon learning this, computer programmer "Neo" is drawn into a rebellion against the machines, involving other people who have been freed from the "dream world" and into reality. The film contains many references to the cyberpunk and hacker subcultures; philosophical and religious ideas such as René Descartes' evil genius, the Allegory of the Cave, Jean Baudrillard's Simulacra and Simulation, the brain-in-a-vat thought experiment; and homages to Alice's
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    3 votes
    186
    The Mystery of Marie Roget

    The Mystery of Marie Roget

    "The Mystery of Marie Rogêt", often subtitled A Sequel to "The Murders in the Rue Morgue", is a short story by Edgar Allan Poe written in 1842. This is the first murder mystery based on the details of a real crime. It first appeared in Snowden's Ladies' Companion in three installments, November and December 1842 and February 1843. Poe's detective character C. Auguste Dupin and his sidekick the unnamed narrator undertake the unsolved murder of Marie Rogêt in Paris. The body of Rogêt, a perfume shop employee, is found in the Seine River and the media take a keen interest in the mystery. Dupin remarks that the newspapers "create a sensation... [rather] than to further the cause of truth." Even so, he uses the newspaper reports to get into the mind of the murderer. Dupin uses his skills of ratiocination to determine that a single murderer was involved who dragged her by the cloth belt around her waist before dumping her body off a boat into the river. Finding the boat, Dupin suggests, will lead the police to the murderer. The narrative is based upon the actual murder of Mary Cecilia Rogers. Rogers was presumably born in Lyme, Connecticut in 1820, though her birth records have not
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    3 votes
    187
    A Descent into the Maelstrom

    A Descent into the Maelstrom

    "A Descent into the Maelström" is a short story by Edgar Allan Poe. In the tale, a man recounts how he survived a shipwreck and a whirlpool. It has been grouped with Poe's tales of ratiocination and also labeled an early form of science fiction. Inspired by the Moskstraumen, it is couched as a story within a story, a tale told at the summit of a mountain climb in Lofoten, Norway. The story is told by an old man who reveals that he only appears old—"You suppose me a very old man," he says, "but I am not. It took less than a single day to change these hairs from a jetty black to white, to weaken my limbs, and to unstring my nerves." The narrator, convinced by the power of the whirlpools he sees in the ocean beyond, is then told of the "old" man's fishing trip with his two brothers a few years ago. Driven by "the most terrible hurricane that ever came out of the heavens", their ship was caught in the vortex. One brother was pulled into the waves; the other was driven mad by the horror of the spectacle, and drowned as the ship was pulled under. At first the narrator only saw hideous terror in the spectacle. In a moment of revelation, he saw that the Maelström is a beautiful and awesome
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    2 votes
    188
    Averroes's Search

    Averroes's Search

    "Averroës's Search" (original Spanish title: "La Busca de Averroes") is a 1947 short story by the Argentine writer Jorge Luis Borges. Originally published in the magazine Sur, it was later included in his second anthology of short stories, El Aleph. The story imagines the difficulty of Averroës, the famed Islamic philosopher and translator, in translating Aristotle's Poetics because (in the story) he didn't understand what a play was, owing to the absence of live theatrical performances from Averroës' cultural milieu, in contrast to that of ancient Greece. Ironically, in the story, Averroës casually observes some children play-acting, then later hears a traveler ineptly describe an actual theatrical performance he once saw in a distant land, but still fails to understand that the tragedies and comedies of which Aristotle writes are a kind of performance art, rather than merely literature. The process of writing the story is meant to parallel the events in the story itself; Borges writes in an afterword to the story that his attempt to understand Averroës was as doomed as Averroës's attempt to understand drama. "I felt that the work mocked me, foiled me, thwarted me. I felt that
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    2 votes
    189
    J. Habakuk Jephson's Statement

    J. Habakuk Jephson's Statement

    "J. Habakuk Jephson's Statement" is an 1884 short story by a then-young Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, loosely based on the real mystery of the abandonment of the Mary Celeste, published anonymously in the January 1884 issue of the respected Cornhill Magazine. One reviewer sought to attribute the story to Robert Louis Stevenson, while critics compared it to Edgar Allan Poe. Doyle changed the spelling of the ship from Mary to Marie Celeste. In 1887 it was included in the second volume, "Strange Stories of Coincidence and Ghostly Adventure," of the George Redway anthology, Dreamland and Ghostland. In 1890 it was published in The Captain of the Polestar and other tales. In 1922 it was included in the collection Tales of Pirates and Blue Water It was presented as an eye-witness account of the end met by those on the mysterious "ghost ship." Much to Doyle's astonishment, some, including the Boston Herald, took the story as a true account. Doyle's fictional story drew heavily on the original incident. Much of this story's fictional content, and the incorrect name, have come to dominate popular accounts of the incident.
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    2 votes
    190
    Jack and the Beanstalk

    Jack and the Beanstalk

    Jack and the Beanstalk is an English folktale. The tale is closely associated with the tale of Jack the Giant-killer, and is known under a number of versions. Benjamin Tabart's moralized version of 1807 is the first appearance in print, but "Felix Summerly" (Henry Cole) popularized it in The Home Treasury (1842), and Joseph Jacobs rewrote it in English Fairy Tales (1890). Jacobs's version is most commonly reprinted today and is believed to more closely adhere to the oral versions than Tabart's, because it lacks the moralizing of that version. In the Jacobs version of the story Jack is a young lad living with his widowed mother. Their only means of income is a cow. When this cow stops giving milk one morning, Jack is sent to the market to sell it. On the way to the market he meets an old man who offers to give him "magic" beans in exchange for the cow. Jack takes the beans but when he arrives home without money, his mother becomes furious and throws the beans out the window and sends Jack to bed without supper. As Jack sleeps, the beans grow into a gigantic beanstalk. Jack climbs the beanstalk and arrives in a land high up in the sky where he follows a road to a house, which is the
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    2 votes
    191
    The Adventure of the Stockbroker's Clerk

    The Adventure of the Stockbroker's Clerk

    "The Adventure of the Stockbroker's Clerk" is one of the 56 short Sherlock Holmes stories written by British author Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. It is the fourth of the twelve collected in The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes in most British editions of the canon, and third of eleven in most American ones (owing to the omission of the "scandalous" "Adventure of the Cardboard Box"). The story was first published in Strand Magazine in March 1893 and featured seven illustrations by Sidney Paget. A young clerk, Hall Pycroft, consults Holmes with his suspicions concerning a company that has offered him a very well-paid job. Holmes, Watson and Pycroft travel by train to Birmingham, where the job is initially to be based, and Pycroft explains that he was recently made redundant from a stockbroking house. He eventually secured a new post with another stockbrokers, Mawson and Williams, in Lombard Street in the City. Before taking up the job, he was approached by Arthur Pinner, who offered him a managership with a newly-established hardware distribution company, to be based in France. Pycroft is sent to Birmingham to meet Pinner's brother and company co-founder, Harry Pinner. He is offered a very
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    192
    The Adventure of the Veiled Lodger

    The Adventure of the Veiled Lodger

    "The Adventure of the Veiled Lodger", one of the 56 Sherlock Holmes short stories written by British author Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, is one of 12 stories in the cycle collected as The Case Book of Sherlock Holmes. Holmes is visited by Mrs. Merrilow, a landlady from South Brixton who has an unusual lodger who never shows her face. She saw it once accidentally and it was hideously mutilated. This woman, formerly very quiet, has recently taken to cursing in the night, shouting “Murder, murder!” and “You cruel beast! You monster!” Also, her health has taken a turn for the worse, and she is wasting away. Mrs. Merrilow has brought this case to Holmes’s attention as her tenant, Mrs. Ronder, will not involve the clergy or the police in something that she would like to say. She has told her landlady to mention Abbas Parva, knowing that Holmes would understand the reference. Indeed he does. It was a most tragic case in which a circus lion somehow got loose and savaged two people, one of whom was killed, and the other badly disfigured. The latter is apparently this lodger. The former was her husband. Holmes could make little of the case at the time, but perhaps if someone had actually hired
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    2 votes
    193
    Chasm City

    Chasm City

    • Part of fictional universes: Revelation Space universe
    Chasm City is a 2001 science fiction novel by author Alastair Reynolds, set in the Revelation Space universe. It deals with themes of identity, memory, and immortality, and many of its scenes are concerned primarily with describing the unusual societal and physical structure of the titular city, a major nexus of Reynolds's universe. It won the 2002 British Science Fiction Association award. Chasm City is framed and largely written in the voice of Tanner Mirabel, a security expert who has come to Chasm City to avenge the death of his former client's wife at the hands of a "postmortal" noble named Argent Reivich. Tanner arrives to find that Yellowstone, the most advanced civilization in human history, has descended into squalor; an alien nanotech virus known as the Melding Plague has wreaked havoc throughout the system. Chasm City, a dense forest of mile-high shapeshifting skyscrapers, has melted into a slum. The Glitter Band, a sparkling diorama of ten thousand orbital habitats, has been reduced to a "Rust Belt" of a few hundred survivors, mostly primitive and pre-nanotech antiques. In this chaos of plague and desolation, Tanner seeks his prey, only to discover that Reivich is more
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    2 votes
    194
    Dracula

    Dracula

    • Part of fictional universes: Dracula (traditional)
    Dracula is an 1897 Gothic horror novel by Irish author Bram Stoker. Famous for introducing the character of the vampire Count Dracula, the novel tells the story of Dracula's attempt to relocate from Transylvania to England, and the battle between Dracula and a small group of men and women led by Professor Abraham Van Helsing. Dracula has been assigned to many literary genres including vampire literature, horror fiction, the gothic novel and invasion literature. The novel touches on themes such as the role of women in Victorian culture, sexual conventions, immigration, colonialism, and post-colonialism. Although Stoker did not invent the vampire, he defined its modern form, and the novel has spawned numerous theatrical, film and television interpretations. The novel is told in epistolary format, as a series of letters, diary entries, ships' log entries, and so forth. The main writers of these items are also the novel's protagonists. The story is occasionally supplemented with newspaper clippings that relate events not directly witnessed by the story's characters. The tale begins with Jonathan Harker, a newly qualified English solicitor, journeying by train and carriage from England
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    195
    Herbert West--Reanimator

    Herbert West--Reanimator

    "Herbert West—Reanimator" is a short story by American horror fiction writer H. P. Lovecraft. It was written between October 1921 and June 1922. It was first serialized in February through July 1922 in the amateur publication Home Brew. The story was the basis of the 1985 horror film Re-Animator and its sequels, in addition to numerous other adaptations in various media. The story is the first to mention Lovecraft's fictional Miskatonic University. It is also notable as one of the first depictions of zombies as scientifically reanimated corpses, with animalistic and uncontrollable temperament. According to his letters, Lovecraft wrote the story as a parody of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein. He drops in numerous Frankenstein references (even hinting at the poetry of Samuel Taylor Coleridge, as Shelley did). Lovecraft claimed to be unhappy with the work, writing it only because he was being paid five dollars for each installment. Moreover, he disliked the requirement that each installment end with a cliffhanger, which was unlike his normal style. He also had to begin each installment with a recap of the previous episode. Lovecraft scholar S. T. Joshi claims that "Herbert
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    2 votes
    196
    The Green Snake and the Beautiful Lily

    The Green Snake and the Beautiful Lily

    "The Green Snake and the Beautiful Lily" (German title: "Das Märchen") is a fairy tale by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe published in 1795 in Friedrich Schiller's German magazine Die Horen (The Horae). It portrays in imaginative form Goethe's impressions of Schiller's On the Aesthetic Education of Man in a series of Letters. The story revolves around the crossing and bridging of a river, which represents the divide between the outer life of the senses and the ideal aspirations of the human being. The tale begins with two will-o'-the-wisps who wake a ferryman and ask to be taken across a river. The ferryman does so, and for payment, they shake gold from themselves into the boat. This alarms the ferryman, for if the gold had gone into the river, it would overflow. He demands as payment: three artichokes, three cabbages, and three onions, and the will-o'-the-wisps may depart only after promising to bring him such. The ferryman takes the gold up to a high place, and deposits it into a rocky cleft, where it is discovered by a green snake who eats the gold, and finds itself luminous. This gives the snake opportunity to study an underground temple where we meet an old man with a lamp which
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    2 votes
    197
    Citizen Kane

    Citizen Kane

    • Setting: Xanadu
    Citizen Kane is a 1941 American drama film, directed by and starring Orson Welles. It was released by RKO Pictures, and was Welles's first feature film. The film was nominated for Academy Awards in nine categories; it won an Academy Award for Best Writing (Original Screenplay) by Herman Mankiewicz and Welles. Citizen Kane was voted the greatest film of all time in five consecutive Sight & Sound's polls of critics, until it was displaced by Vertigo in the 2012 poll. Citizen Kane is particularly praised for its innovative cinematography, music, and narrative structure. The story is a film à clef that examines the life and legacy of Charles Foster Kane, played by Welles, a character based in part upon the American newspaper magnate William Randolph Hearst, Chicago tycoons Samuel Insull and Harold McCormick, and aspects of Welles's own life. Upon its release, Hearst prohibited mention of the film in any of his newspapers. Kane's career in the publishing world is born of idealistic social service, but gradually evolves into a ruthless pursuit of power. Narrated principally through flashbacks, the story is revealed through the research of a newsreel reporter seeking to solve the mystery
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    198
    Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

    Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

    • Setting: Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry
    • Part of fictional universes: Harry Potter
    Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince is a 2009 fantasy film directed by David Yates and based on the novel of the same name by J. K. Rowling. It is the sixth instalment in the Harry Potter film series, written by Steve Kloves and produced by David Heyman and David Barron. The story follows Harry Potter's sixth year at Hogwarts as he becomes obsessed with a mysterious textbook, falls in love, and attempts to retrieve a memory that holds the key to Lord Voldemort's downfall. The film stars Daniel Radcliffe as Harry Potter, alongside Rupert Grint and Emma Watson as Harry's best friends Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger. It is the sequel to Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix and is followed by Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1. Filming began on 24 September 2007, culminating with the film's worldwide cinematic release on 15 July 2009, one day short of the fourth anniversary of the corresponding novel's release. In everywhere but the United States, the sixth film was simultaneously released in regular cinemas and IMAX 3D in all countries. Due to North American theatres having a several-week commitment to Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, the IMAX 3D release of the
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    199
    The Tower of the Elephant

    The Tower of the Elephant

    "The Tower of the Elephant" is one of the original short stories starring the fictional sword and sorcery hero Conan the Cimmerian, written by American author Robert E. Howard. It is set in the pseudo-historical Hyborian Age and concerns Conan infiltrating a perilous tower in order to steal a fabled gem from an evil sorcerer named Yara. Due to its unique insights into the Hyborian world and atypical science fiction elements, the story is considered a classic of Conan lore and is often cited by Howard scholars as one of his best tales. In the Zamorian "thief city", called by some Arenjun, or the City of Thieves, a young Conan is drinking in a rowdy tavern when he overhears a fat Kothic rogue describing a fabulous jewel called the "Heart of the Elephant." The jewel is kept in an eponymous tower by an evil sorcerer named Yara. When Conan presses the rogue for more information, insults are traded and a fight ensues. As they begin to fight, a candle is knocked over by bewildered onlookers plunging the tavern into darkness. In the resulting confusion, Conan slays the Kothian and escapes into the nighted streets of the city. After this tavern brawl, the Cimmerian sets out to steal the
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    200
    The Tree

    The Tree

    "The Tree" is a short story by American horror fiction writer H. P. Lovecraft, written in 1920 and first published in the October 1921. This story came early in Lovecraft's writing career, and is generally considered to be within his "Macabre" phase. Lovecraft's inspiration for the story likely came in part from the book The Great God Pan by Arthur Machen, published in 1890. Of particular note is Machen's depiction of Pan as a power of nature. "The Tree" was first published in The Tryout, 7, No. 7 (October 1921), [3-10]. "The Tree" is told in past tense, in third person objective. The location of the story is Mount Maenalus, in Arcadia, Greece, a mountain which was a "chosen haunt" for the Greek God Pan. The story opens with a vivid description of the olive grove, and a fearful, human-like olive tree within it. The story then introspectively turns several years back, recalling the famous sculptors Kalos and Musides, whose works were praised throughout the known world. One day, the Tyrant of Syracuse invited Kalos and Musides to compete in the creation of "a wonder of nations and a goal of travelers". While working on their sculptures, Kalos fell ill, much to the dismay of Musides.
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    1 votes
    201
    The Adventure of Charles Augustus Milverton

    The Adventure of Charles Augustus Milverton

    "The Adventure of Charles Augustus Milverton" is one of the 56 Sherlock Holmes short stories written by British author Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. It is one of 13 stories in the cycle collected as The Return of Sherlock Holmes and was published in 1904. According to William S. Baring-Gould's timeline of the Sherlock Holmes canon, the events of Milverton occurred in 1899. This was nine years after the strange death of Charles Augustus Howell, the real-life inspiration for the character of Milverton (see below). Holmes is hired by the débutante Lady Eva Blackwell to retrieve compromising letters from a blackmailer: Milverton, who causes Holmes more revulsion than any of the 50-odd murderers in his career. Milverton is "the king of blackmailers" and he makes his living out of blackmail. He demands £7,000 (about $700,000 in 2010) for the letters, which would cause a scandal that would break off Lady Eva's engagement. Holmes offers £2,000, all Lady Eva can pay, but Milverton insists on £7,000. It is worth £2,000 to him to make an example of Lady Eva. Holmes resolves to recover the letters by whatever means necessary, as Milverton has placed himself outside the bounds of morality. Holmes
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    3 votes
    202
    Berenice

    Berenice

    "Berenice" is a short horror story by Edgar Allan Poe, first published in the Southern Literary Messenger in 1835. The story follows a man named Egaeus who is preparing to marry his cousin Berenice. He has a tendency to fall into periods of intense focus during which he seems to separate himself from the outside world. Berenice begins to deteriorate from an unnamed disease until the only part of her remaining healthy is her teeth, which Egaeus begins to obsess over. Berenice is buried, and Egaeus continues to contemplate her teeth. One day Egaeus wakes up from a period of focus with an uneasy feeling, and the sound of screams in his ears. A servant startles him by telling him Berenice's grave has been disturbed, and she is still alive; but beside Egaeus is a box containing 32 blood-stained teeth and a poem about "visiting the grave of my beloved." Contemporary readers were horrified by the story's violence and complained to the editor of the Messenger. Though Poe later published a self-censored version of the work he believed he should be judged solely by how many copies were sold. The narrator, Egaeus, is a studious young man who grows up in a large gloomy mansion with his cousin
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    203
    Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season Eight

    Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season Eight

    • Part of fictional universes: Buffyverse
    Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season Eight is a comic book series published by Dark Horse Comics from 2007 to 2011. The series serves as a canonical continuation of the television series Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and follows the events of that show's final televised season. It is produced by Joss Whedon, who wrote or co-wrote three of the series arcs and several one-shot stories. The series was followed by Season Nine in 2011. The series was originally supposed to consist of about 25 issues, but eventually expanded to a 40-issue run. The series also spawned a handful of spin-off titles, including a Tales of the Vampires follow-up and one-shots featuring Willow and Riley. The success of the series prompted IDW Publishing and Joss Whedon to publish a concurrent continuation of the Angel television series, titled Angel: After the Fall, and a Spike comic book series, which bridges some aspects of continuity between After the Fall and Season Eight. A motion comic version of the series debuted in 2010. A year after the end of the television series, Buffy and Xander now lead command-central, which is situated at a citadel in Scotland. At their disposal are a wide array of psychics, seers,
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    204
    The Belonging Kind

    The Belonging Kind

    The Belonging Kind is a science fiction short story; a collaboration between noted cyberpunk authors William Gibson and John Shirley. It was first published in the horror anthology Shadows 4 in 1981, later to be included along with several other stories in Gibson's collection Burning Chrome. It is a departure from the Sprawl universe in which several of Gibson's novels and stories are set, taking place in a setting much more like contemporary American life. The main character is Coretti, a dull, scholarly man who studies and teaches linguistics and social interaction theory. He sometimes visits bars to help dull the tedium, only choosing bars which have a low chance of putting him in social interaction. Coretti meets a woman in a bar who seems to fit perfectly there. He follows her to various other bars and clubs, watching as she constantly drinks and talks with a companion of hers, her appearance and clothing shifting to let her fit in wherever she goes. His performance at work suffers and his appetite decreases as he devotes all his time and resources to tracking the duo. Coretti spots the man secreting money from some kind of pocket, and realizes that he's discovered a new kind
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    2 votes
    205
    The Black Cat

    The Black Cat

    "The Black Cat" is a short story by Edgar Allan Poe. It was first published in the August 19, 1843, edition of The Saturday Evening Post. It is a study of the psychology of guilt, often paired in analysis with Poe's "The Tell-Tale Heart". In both, a murderer carefully conceals his crime and believes himself unassailable, but eventually breaks down and reveals himself, impelled by a nagging reminder of his guilt. The story is presented as a first-person narrative using an unreliable narrator. He is a condemned man at the outset of the story. The narrator tells us that from an early age he has loved animals. He and his wife have many pets, including a large black cat named Pluto. This cat is especially fond of the narrator and vice versa. Their mutual friendship lasts for several years, until the narrator becomes an alcoholic. One night, after coming home intoxicated, he believes the cat is avoiding him. When he tries to seize it, the panicked cat bites the narrator, and in a fit of rage, he seizes the animal, pulls a pen-knife from his pocket, and deliberately gouges out the cat's eye. From that moment onward, the cat flees in terror at his master's approach. At first, the narrator
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    206
    The Dead

    The Dead

    "The Dead" is the final short story in the 1914 collection Dubliners by James Joyce. It is the longest story in the collection and is often considered the best of Joyce's shorter works. At 15,672 words it has also been considered a novella. It was made into a film also entitled The Dead in 1987, directed by John Huston. In 1999 it was adapted into a musical by Richard Nelson and Shaun Davey. Christopher Walken starred in the original production. Gabriel Conroy, Gretta Conroy, Kate and Julia Morkan, and Bartell d'Arcy are all alluded to in James Joyce's later work, Ulysses, though no character from "The Dead" makes a direct appearance in the novel. The story centres on Gabriel Conroy on the night of the Morkan sisters' annual dance and dinner in the first week of January 1904, perhaps the Feast of the Epiphany (January 6). Typical of the stories in Dubliners, "The Dead" develops toward a moment of painful self-awareness; Joyce described this as an epiphany. The narrative generally concentrates on Gabriel's insecurities, his social awkwardness, and the defensive way he copes with his discomfort. The story culminates at the point when Gabriel discovers that, through years of marriage,
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    207
    The Man with the Twisted Lip

    The Man with the Twisted Lip

    "The Man with the Twisted Lip", one of the 56 short Sherlock Holmes stories written by British author Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, is the sixth of the twelve stories in The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes. The story was first published in the Strand Magazine in December 1891. Doyle ranked "The Man with the Twisted Lip" sixteenth in a list of his nineteen favourite Sherlock Holmes stories. Dr. Watson is called upon late at night by a female friend of his wife. Her husband has been absent for several days and, as he is an opium addict, she is sure he has been indulging in a lengthy drug binge in a dangerous East End opium den. Frantic with worry, she seeks Dr. Watson's help in fetching him home. Watson does this, but he also finds his friend Sherlock Holmes in the den, disguised as an old man, trying to extract information about a new case from the addicts in the den. Mr. Neville St. Clair, a respectable and punctual country businessman, has disappeared. Making the matter even more mysterious is that Mrs. St. Clair is quite sure that she saw her husband at a second-floor window of the opium den, in Upper Swandam Lane, a rather rough part of town near the docks. He withdrew into the window
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    208
    The Metamorphosis

    The Metamorphosis

    "The Metamorphosis" (German: Die Verwandlung, also sometimes termed "The Transformation") is a novella by Franz Kafka, first published in 1915. It is often cited as one of the seminal works of fiction of the 20th century and is widely studied in colleges and universities across the western world. The story begins with a traveling salesman, Gregor Samsa, waking to find himself transformed into a monstrous vermin. It is never explained in the story why Samsa transforms, nor did Kafka ever give an explanation. One day Gregor Samsa, a traveling salesman, wakes up to find himself transformed into a "ungeheuren Ungeziefer", literally "monstrous vermin", often interpreted as a giant bug or insect. Confused, he looks around his room which appears normal. He decides to fall asleep again and forget what happened in the hope that everything will revert to normal. He tries to roll over to his right but discovers that he cannot due to his new body - he is stuck on his hard, convex back.Instead of two legs he now possesses numerous little ones on both sides.He feels an itch on his stomach and tries to touch the area with his leg. He retracts immediately as the area is highly sensitive. He
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    209
    The Miller's Prologue and Tale

    The Miller's Prologue and Tale

    • Setting: Oxford
    "The Miller's Tale" (Middle English: The Milleres Tale) is the second of Geoffrey Chaucer's Canterbury Tales (1380s-1390s), told by the drunken miller Robyn to "quite" (requite) "The Knight's Tale". The Miller's Prologue is the first "quite" that occurs in the tales (to "quite" someone is to make repayment for a service, the service here being the telling of stories). The general prologue to The Canterbury Tales describes the Miller, Robyn, as a stout and gracious churl fond of wrestling. In the Miller's Prologue, the pilgrims have just heard and enjoyed "The Knight's Tale", a classical story of courtly love, and the host asks the Monk to "quite" ("follow" or "repay") with a tale of his own. However, the Miller insists on going next. He claims that his tale is "noble", but reminds the other pilgrims that he is quite drunk and cannot be held accountable for what he says. He explains that his story is about a carpenter and his wife, and how a clerk "hath set the wrightes cappe" (that is, fooled the carpenter). Osewold the Reeve, who had originally been a carpenter himself, protests that the tale will insult carpenters and wives, but the Miller carries on anyway. "The Miller's Tale"
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    210
    Dagon

    Dagon

    • Part of fictional universes: Cthulhu Mythos
    "Dagon" is a short story by H. P. Lovecraft, written in July 1917, one of the first stories he wrote as an adult. It was first published in the November 1919 edition of The Vagrant (issue #11). After reading Lovecraft's juvenilia in 1917, W. Paul Cook, editor of the amateur press journal The Vagrant, encouraged Lovecraft to resume writing fiction. That summer, Lovecraft wrote two stories: "The Tomb" and "Dagon". The story was inspired in part by a dream he had. "I dreamed that whole hideous crawl, and can yet feel the ooze sucking me down!" he later wrote. Critic William Fulwiler indicates that Lovecraft may have been influenced by Irvin S. Cobb's "Fishhead", a story about a strange fish-like human. Fulwiler has also suggested that Lovecraft took the story's theme of "an ancient prehuman race that will someday rise to conquer humanity" from Edgar Rice Burroughs' At the Earth's Core (1914). The story mentions Piltdown Man, which had not been exposed by the scientific community as a fraud and hoax at the time of writing. The story is the testament of a tortured, morphine-addicted man who plans to commit suicide over an incident that occurred early on in World War I when he was a
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    211
    Frogs and Scientists

    Frogs and Scientists

    "Frogs and Scientists" is a short short story by science fiction author Frank Herbert. It appeared in the August-September 1979 edition of the anthology Destinies: The Paperback Magazine of Science Fiction and Speculative Fact edited by Jim Baen and later in Herbert’s 1985 short story collection Eye. Two frogs are counting minnows in a hydroponics pond when a human female comes to take a bath. The two frogs begin discussing the woman, and the frog Lapat tries to explain what is going on to the other frog, Lavu. Lapat tells Lavu about the use of clothing, his theory about the purpose of breasts, and the belief that the woman is there trying to attract a mate. When Lavu asks Lapat why he knows so much about humans, Lapat says "I pattern my life after the most admirable of all humans, the scientist." After Lapat explains what a scientist is, the frogs go back to counting minnows. When this short story was originally published in Destinies it was accompanied by two drawings by Alicia Austin. The drawings were not reprinted in Eye.
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    212
    Jabberwocky

    Jabberwocky

    • Part of fictional universes: Jabberwocky
    "Jabberwocky" is a nonsense verse poem written by Lewis Carroll in his 1871 novel Through the Looking-Glass, and What Alice Found There, a sequel to Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. The book tells of Alice's adventures within the back-to-front world of a looking glass. In a scene in which she is in conversation with the chess pieces White King and White Queen, Alice finds a book written in a seemingly unintelligible language. Realising that she is travelling through an inverted world, she recognises that the verse on the pages are written in mirror-writing. She holds a mirror to one of the poems, and reads the reflected verse of "Jabberwocky". She finds the nonsense verse as puzzling as the odd land she has walked into, later revealed as a dreamscape. "Jabberwocky" is considered one of the greatest nonsense poems written in English. Its playful, whimsical language has given us nonsense words and neologisms such as "galumphing" and "chortle". A decade before the publication of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and the sequel Through the Looking Glass, Carroll wrote the first stanza to what would become "Jabberwocky" while in Croft on Tees, close to nearby Darlington, where he lived
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    213
    The Adventure of Black Peter

    The Adventure of Black Peter

    "The Adventure of Black Peter" is a Sherlock Holmes story by Arthur Conan Doyle. This tale is in the collection The Return of Sherlock Holmes, but was published originally in 1904 in the Strand Magazine and Collier's. Forest Row in the Weald is the scene of a gruesome harpoon murder, and a young police inspector, Stanley Hopkins, asks Holmes, whom he admires, for help. Holmes has already determined that it would take a great deal of strength and skill to run a man through with a harpoon and embed it in the wall behind him. Peter Carey, the 50-year-old victim and former master of the Sea Unicorn of Dundee, was a most unpleasant man, especially when he was drunk. He had a reputation for being violent, even having been prosecuted once for assaulting the local vicar. His daughter is actually glad that he is dead. She and her mother have endured years of abuse from the old whaler and sealer, who moreover had some remarkably peculiar habits. He did not sleep in the family house, but in an outhouse that he built some distance from the house, and which he decorated to look like a sailor’s cabin on a ship. This is where he was found harpooned. Hopkins could find no footprints or other
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    214
    Shrek the Third

    Shrek the Third

    • Part of fictional universes: Shrek Film Series
    Shrek the Third (also known as Shrek 3) is a 2007 American computer-animated fantasy comedy film, and the third installment in the Shrek series. It was produced by Jeffrey Katzenberg for DreamWorks Animation, and is the first in the series to be distributed by Paramount Pictures who acquired DreamWorks Pictures in 2006 (the former parent of DWA). It was released in U.S. theaters on May 18, 2007 (exactly six years after the first film). Although the film received mixed reviews from critics, it grossed $798 million, making it a commercial success. It was produced with the working title of Shrek 3, the name being changed to avoid potential confusion with Shrek 4-D. Like the first two Shrek films, the film is based on fairy tale themes. It was nominated for Best Animated Movie at the 2008 Kids' Choice Awards and was also nominated for the BAFTA Award for Best Animated Film at the 61st British Academy Film Awards. This film also pairs former Monty Python members Eric Idle & John Cleese for the first time since 1993's Splitting Heirs (Idle plays Merlin, Cleese plays King Harold). Prince Charming now performs inside a stage in a bar, vowing that he'll become King of Far, Far Away.
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    215
    Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles

    Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles

    • Part of fictional universes: Terminator series
    Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles (sometimes abbreviated as Terminator: TSCC or simply TSCC) is an American science fiction television series that aired on Fox. The show was produced by 20th Century Fox Television, Warner Bros. Television and C2 Pictures (C2 Pictures was replaced by The Halcyon Company in season two). It is a spin-off from the Terminator series of films. It revolves around the lives of the fictional characters Sarah and John Connor, following the events of Terminator 2: Judgment Day. The series premiered on Sunday, January 13, 2008, on the U.S. television network Fox. Production for the series was provided by Terminator 2 and Terminator 3 producers and C2 Pictures Sony Pictures Entertainment (International) co-presidents, Mario Kassar and Andrew G. Vajna, C2 Senior Vice President James Middleton, David Nutter, and Josh Friedman, who not only served as Executive Producer but also wrote the script for the first two episodes. The show opened mid-season with a shortened run of nine episodes, January through March 2008. It was the highest-rated new scripted series of the 2007–08 television season and was renewed for a second season, which began on September 8,
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    216
    The Hobbit

    The Hobbit

    • Setting: Mirkwood
    • Part of fictional universes: Middle-earth
    • Events: Battle of Five Armies
    The Hobbit, or There and Back Again, better known by its abbreviated title The Hobbit, is a fantasy novel and children's book by J. R. R. Tolkien. It was published on 21 September 1937 to wide critical acclaim, being nominated for the Carnegie Medal and awarded a prize from the New York Herald Tribune for best juvenile fiction. The book remains popular and is recognized as a classic in children's literature. Set in a time "Between the Dawn of Færie and the Dominion of Men", The Hobbit follows the quest of home-loving hobbit Bilbo Baggins to win a share of the treasure guarded by the dragon, Smaug. Bilbo's journey takes him from light-hearted, rural surroundings into more sinister territory. The story is told in the form of an episodic quest, and most chapters introduce a specific creature, or type of creature, of Tolkien's Wilderland. By accepting the disreputable, romantic, fey and adventurous side of his nature and applying his wits and common sense, Bilbo gains a new level of maturity, competence and wisdom. The story reaches its climax in the Battle of Five Armies, where many of the characters and creatures from earlier chapters re-emerge to engage in conflict. Personal growth
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    217
    Chaucer's Tale of Sir Topas

    Chaucer's Tale of Sir Topas

    Sir Thopas is a story in Chaucer's The Canterbury Tales published in 1387. In Canterbury Tales, there is a character named Geoffrey Chaucer. Chaucer's portrait of himself is unflattering and humble. He presents himself as a reticent, maladroit figure who can barely summon a tale to mind. In comparison to the other travelers in the group, Chaucer the character is reluctant to speak, but when he does tell a tale, it is a rather frivolous burlesque very different from what went before. Sir Thopas is the story in tail rhyme of a child knight who goes on a quest to find his elf-queen but is waylaid by the giant Sir Oliphant (elephant). He runs back to his merry men for a feast of sweets and to ready for a battle with his giant foe. The tale is interrupted by the Host, though, for its tail rhyme format and is never finished. The tale is a parody of romances, with their knights and fairies and absurdities, and Chaucer the author satirizes not only the grandiose, Gallic romances, but also the readership of such tales. The tale is a hodgepodge of many of the popular stories of the time which even apes their simple rhymes, a style Chaucer uses nowhere else. Elements of deliberate anticlimax
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    218
    A Predicament

    A Predicament

    "A Predicament" is a humorous short story by Edgar Allan Poe, usually combined with its companion piece "How to Write a Blackwood Article." It was originally titled "The Scythe of Time". The bizarre story follows a female narrator, Signora Psyche Zenobia. This is unusual for Poe, whose only other female voice is in the poem "Bridal Ballad". While walking through the city with her 5-inch-tall (130 mm) poodle Diana and 3-foot-tall (0.91 m) black servant Pompey, she is drawn to a large Gothic cathedral. As she makes her way into the steeple, she ponders life and the metaphor of surmounting stairs: At the steeple, Zenobia sees a small opening that she wishes to look through. Standing on Pompey's shoulders, she pushes her head through the opening and realizes she is in the face of a giant clock. As she gazes out at the city beyond, she soon finds that the sharp minute hand has begun to dig into her neck. Slowly, the minute hand decapitates her, which it will do for the remainder of the story. At one point, pressure against her neck causes her eye to fall and roll down into the gutter and then into the streets below. She is annoyed not so much that she has lost her eye but at "the
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    219
    Aliens

    Aliens

    • Setting: LV-426
    • Part of fictional universes: Alien Quadrilogy
    Aliens is a 1986 science fiction action film directed by James Cameron and starring Sigourney Weaver, Carrie Henn, Michael Biehn, Lance Henriksen, William Hope, and Bill Paxton. A sequel to the 1979 film Alien, Aliens follows Weaver's character Ellen Ripley as she returns to the planet where her crew encountered the hostile Alien creature, this time accompanied by a unit of Colonial Marines. Aliens' action-adventure tone was in contrast to the horror motifs of the original Alien. Following the success of The Terminator (1984), which helped establish Cameron as a major action director, 20th Century Fox greenlit Aliens with a budget of approximately $18 million. It was filmed in England at Pinewood Studios and at a decommissioned power plant. Aliens grossed $86 million at the US box office during its 1986 theatrical release and $131 million worldwide. The movie was nominated for seven Academy Awards, including a Best Actress nomination for Sigourney Weaver. It won in the categories of Sound Effects Editing and Visual Effects. It won eight Saturn Awards, including Best Science Fiction Film, Best Actress for Weaver and Best Direction for Cameron. Ellen Ripley (Sigourney Weaver), the
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    220
    Description of a Struggle

    Description of a Struggle

    "Description of a Struggle" (German: "Beschreibung eines Kampfes") is a short story by Franz Kafka. It contains the dialogues "Conversation with the Supplicant" ("Gespräch mit dem Beter") and "Conversation with the Drunk" ("Gespräch mit dem Betrunkenen") "Description of a Struggle" is one of Kafka's earliest stories that was not destroyed and is usually the earliest included in collections of his work. (His oldest surviving work of fiction is "Shamefaced Lanky and Impure in Heart," which he wrote a few years earlier and which only survived because it was included in a letter to his friend Oskar Pollak.) Kafka began the story in 1904 at the age of 20 and worked on it on and off until 1909. It is also notable for being the story that Kafka first showed to his friend Max Brod and which convinced Brod that Kafka should further pursue his writing. Brod liked the story so much that he mentioned Kafka as an example of "the high level reached by [today's] German literature" in a theatre review of his, this before Kafka had even been published. Brod eventually convinced Kafka to submit his work to Franz Blei's literary journal Hyperion, which published a short fragment of the story in its
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    221
    Portal

    Portal

    • Setting: Aperture Laboratories
    • Part of fictional universes: Half-Life
    Portal is a 2007 single-player first-person puzzle-platform video game developed by Valve Corporation. The game was released in a bundle package called The Orange Box for Microsoft Windows and Xbox 360 on October 9, 2007, and for the PlayStation 3 on December 11, 2007. The Windows version of the game is available for download separately through Valve's content delivery system Steam and was released as a standalone retail product on April 9, 2008. A standalone version called Portal: Still Alive was released on the Xbox Live Arcade service on October 22, 2008; this version includes an additional 14 puzzles. A Mac OS X version was released as part of the Mac-compatible Steam platform on May 12, 2010. The game primarily comprises a series of puzzles that must be solved by teleporting the player's character and simple objects using "the handheld portal device", a device that can create inter-spatial portals between two flat planes. The player-character, Chell, is challenged by an artificial intelligence named GLaDOS (Genetic Lifeform and Disk Operating System) to complete each puzzle in the Aperture Science Enrichment Center using the portal gun with the promise of receiving cake when
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    222
    Superman

    Superman

    Superman (also known as Superman: The Movie) is a 1978 superhero film based on the DC Comics character of the same name. Richard Donner directed the film, which stars Christopher Reeve as Superman, as well as Marlon Brando, Gene Hackman, Margot Kidder, Glenn Ford, Phyllis Thaxter, Jackie Cooper, Marc McClure, Valerie Perrine and Ned Beatty. The film depicts the origin of Superman, including his infancy as Kal-El of Krypton and his youthful years in the rural town of Smallville. Disguised as reporter Clark Kent, he adopts a mild-mannered disposition in Metropolis and develops a romance with Lois Lane, while battling the villainous Lex Luthor. This version was conceived in 1973 by Ilya Salkind. Several directors, most notably Guy Hamilton, and screenwriters (Mario Puzo, David and Leslie Newman and Robert Benton) were associated with the project before Donner was hired to direct. Donner brought Tom Mankiewicz to rewrite the script, feeling it was too campy. Mankiewicz was credited as creative consultant. It was decided to film both Superman and Superman II simultaneously. Principal photography started in March 1977 and ended in October 1978. Tensions rose between Donner and the
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    223
    The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers

    The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers

    • Part of fictional universes: Middle-earth
    The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers is a 2002 epic fantasy film directed by Peter Jackson based on the second volume of J. R. R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings. It is the second film in The Lord of the Rings film trilogy, preceded by The Fellowship of the Ring (2001) and concluding with The Return of the King (2003). Continuing the plot of The Fellowship of the Ring, the film intercuts three storylines. Frodo and Sam continue their journey towards Mordor to destroy the One Ring, meeting and joined by Gollum, the ring's former owner. Aragorn, Legolas, and Gimli come to the war-torn nation of Rohan and are reunited with the resurrected Gandalf, before fighting at the Battle of Helm's Deep. Merry and Pippin escape capture, meet Treebeard the Ent, and help to plan an attack on Isengard. Meeting high critical acclaim, the film was an enormous box-office success, earning over $900 million worldwide and is currently the 19th highest-grossing film of all time (inflation-adjusted, it is the 60th most successful film in North America). The film won two Academy Awards. Gandalf the Grey gives his life in battle against the Balrog, giving the Fellowship of the Ring time to escape from the
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    224
    The Lotus Eaters

    The Lotus Eaters

    "The Lotus Eaters" is a science fiction short story by Stanley G. Weinbaum originally published in the April 1935 issue of Astounding Stories. "The Lotus Eaters" was Weinbaum's fifth published story, and is a sequel to "Parasite Planet". A month after the events in "Parasite Planet", Hamilton "Ham" Hammond and Patricia Burlingame are married, and thanks to Burlingame's connections, the two have been commissioned by the Royal Society and the Smithsonian Institution to explore the night side of Venus. There they find a species of warm-blooded mobile plants with a communal intelligence that Burlingame nicknames Oscar. Oscar is very intelligent, quickly picking up English from Hammond and Burlingame. The humans learn that the Oscar beings reproduce by releasing clear bubbles full of gaseous spores. When the bubbles burst, the spores come to rest on another Oscar being, eventually grow into another individual, and bud off. In “Parasite Planet”, the vicious, night-dwelling Triops noctivivans used these bubbles to attack Hammond and Burlingame, since the spores have a soporific effect on humans. The humans are horrified to learn that, being plants, the Oscar beings have no survival
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    225
    The Phoenix on the Sword

    The Phoenix on the Sword

    "The Phoenix on the Sword" is one of the original short stories about Conan the Cimmerian, written by American author Robert E. Howard and first published in Weird Tales magazine December 1932. The tale was a rewrite of the unpublished Kull story, "By This Axe I Rule!" with long passages being identical. The Conan version of the story was republished in the collections King Conan (Gnome Press, 1953) and Conan the Usurper (Lancer Books, 1967). It has most recently been republished in the collections The Conan Chronicles Volume 2: The Hour of the Dragon (Gollancz, 2001) and Conan of Cimmeria: Volume One (1932-1933) (Del Rey, 2003). It is set in the pseudo-historical Hyborian Age and details Conan foiling a nefarious plot to unseat him as king of Aquilonia. "The Phoenix on the Sword" begins with a middle-aged Conan of Cimmeria attempting to govern the turbulent kingdom of Aquilonia. Conan has recently seized the bloody crown of Aquilonia from King Numedides whom he strangled upon his throne; however, things have not gone well, as Conan is more suited to swinging a broadsword than to signing official documents with a stylus. The people of Aquilonia, who originally welcomed Conan as
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    226
    Torchwood

    Torchwood

    • Setting: Cardiff
    • Part of fictional universes: Whoniverse
    Torchwood is a British science fiction television programme created by Russell T Davies. The series is a spin-off from the 2005 revival of the long-running science fiction programme Doctor Who. The show has shifted its broadcast channel each series to reflect its growing audience, moving from BBC Three to BBC Two to BBC One, and acquiring U.S. financing in its fourth series when it became a co-production of BBC One and Starz. In contrast to Doctor Who, whose target audience includes both adults and children, Torchwood is aimed at an older audience. Torchwood follows the exploits of a small team of alien-hunters, who make up the Cardiff, Wales branch of the fictional Torchwood Institute, which deals mainly with incidents involving extraterrestrials. Its central character is Captain Jack Harkness (John Barrowman), an immortal former con-man from the distant future; Jack originally appeared in the 2005 series of Doctor Who. Other than Barrowman, the initial main cast of the series consisted of Eve Myles, Burn Gorman, Naoko Mori and Gareth David-Lloyd. Their characters are specialists for the Torchwood team, often tracking down aliens and defending the planet from alien and nefarious
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    227
    "—And He Built a Crooked House—"

    "—And He Built a Crooked House—"

    ""—And He Built a Crooked House—"" is a science fiction short story by Robert A. Heinlein first published in Astounding Science Fiction in February 1941. It was reprinted in the anthology Fantasia Mathematica (Clifton Fadiman, ed.) in 1958 and in the Heinlein collection The Unpleasant Profession of Jonathan Hoag in 1959. The story is about a mathematically inclined architect named Quintus Teal who has what he thinks is a brilliant idea to save on real estate costs by building a house shaped like the unfolded net of a tesseract. The title is a paraphrase of the nursery rhyme "There Was a Crooked Man". Quintus Teal, "Graduate Architect", while drinking with his friend Homer Bailey, bemoans the conservatism of American architecture. He wants architects to be inspired by topology and the Picard-Vessiot theory. The conversation turns to four-dimensional objects and he shows Bailey three-dimensional models made of toothpicks and clay, representing projections of a four-dimensional tesseract, the equivalent of a cube. Bailey is baffled, but when Teal constructs an "unfolded tesseract", a three-dimensional object, Bailey suggests building a house to that pattern. Teal, ever hungry for a
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    228
    A Case of Identity

    A Case of Identity

    "A Case of Identity" is one of the 56 short Sherlock Holmes stories written by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and is the third story in The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes. Set in 1887, the story revolves around the case of Miss Mary Sutherland, a woman with a substantial income from the interest on a fund set up for her. She is engaged to a quiet Londoner who has recently disappeared. Sherlock Holmes's detective powers are barely challenged as this turns out to be quite an elementary case for him, much as it puzzles Watson. The fiancé, Mr. Hosmer Angel, is a peculiar character, rather quiet, and rather secretive about his life. Miss Sutherland only knows that he works in an office in Leadenhall Street, but nothing more specific than that. All his letters to her are typewritten, even the signature, and he insists that she write back to him through the local Post Office. The climax of the sad liaison comes when Mr. Angel abandons Miss Sutherland at the altar on their wedding day. Holmes, noting all these things, Hosmer Angel's description, and the fact that he only seems to meet with Miss Sutherland while her disapproving youngish stepfather, James Windibank, is out of the country on
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    229
    Bon-Bon

    Bon-Bon

    "Bon-Bon" is a comedic short story by Edgar Allan Poe, first published in December 1832 in the Philadelphia Saturday Courier. Originally called "The Bargain Lost", the story follows a man named Pierre Bon-Bon, who believes himself a profound philosopher, and his encounter with the devil. The humor of the story is based on the verbal interchange between the two, which satirizes classical philosophers including Plato and Aristotle. The devil reveals he has eaten the souls of many of these philosophers, intriguing Bon-Bon. The story, which received moderate praise, was originally submitted by Poe as "The Bargain Lost", and was his entry to a writing contest. Though none of the five stories he submitted won the prize, the Courier printed them all, possibly without paying Poe for them. This early version of the story has many differences from later versions, which Poe first published as "Bon-Bon" in 1835. Pierre Bon-Bon is a well-known French restaurant owner and chef, known both for his omelettes and for his metaphysical philosophies. The narrator describes him as profound and a man of genius, as even the man's cat knew. Bon-Bon, who has "an inclination for the bottle", is drinking on
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    230
    Carmen

    Carmen

    Carmen is a novella by Prosper Mérimée, written and first published in 1845. It has been adapted into a number of dramatic works, including the famous opera by Georges Bizet. According to a letter Mérimée wrote to the Countess of Montijo, Carmen was inspired by a story she told him on his visit to Spain in 1830. He said, "It was about that ruffian from Málaga who had killed his mistress, who consecrated herself exclusively to the public. [...] As I have been studying the Gypsies for some time, I have made my heroine a Gypsy." An important source for the material on the Romani people (Gypsies) was George Borrow's book The Zincali (1841). Another source may have been the narrative poem The Gypsies (1824) by Alexander Pushkin. The novella comprises four parts. Only the first three appeared in the original publication in the October 1, 1845 issue of the Revue des Deux Mondes (Robinson 1992); the fourth first appeared in the book publication in 1846. Mérimée tells the story as if it had really happened to him on his trip to Spain in 1830. Part I. While searching for the site of the Battle of Munda in a lonely spot in Andalusia, Mérimée meets a man who his guide hints is a dangerous
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    231
    Going Postal

    Going Postal

    • Part of fictional universes: Discworld
    Going Postal is Terry Pratchett's 33rd Discworld novel, released in the United Kingdom on September 25, 2004. Unlike most of Pratchett's Discworld novels, Going Postal is divided into chapters, a feature previously seen only in Pratchett's children's books and the Science of Discworld series. These chapters begin with a synopsis of philosophical themes, in a similar manner to some Victorian novels and, notably, to Jules Verne stories. The title refers to both the contents of the novel, as well as to the term 'going postal'. The book was on the shortlist for both the Nebula and Locus Awards for Best (Fantasy) Novel. It would also have been shortlisted for the Hugo Award for Best Novel, except that Pratchett withdrew it, as he felt stress over the award would mar his enjoyment of the Worldcon. This was the first time Pratchett had been shortlisted for either award. As with many of the Discworld novels, the story takes place in Ankh-Morpork, a powerful city-state based on the historical and modern settings of various metropolises like London or New York City. The protagonist of the story is Moist von Lipwig, a skilled con artist who was to be hanged for his crimes, but saved at the
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    232
    Gulliver's Travels

    Gulliver's Travels

    • Setting: Lilliput and Blefuscu
    Travels into Several Remote Nations of the World, in Four Parts. By Lemuel Gulliver, First a Surgeon, and then a Captain of Several Ships, better known simply as Gulliver's Travels (1726, amended 1735), is a novel by Irish writer and clergyman Jonathan Swift (also known as Dean Swift) that is both a satire on human nature and a parody of the "travellers' tales" literary sub-genre. It is Swift's best known full-length work, and a classic of English literature. The book became popular as soon as it was published (John Gay wrote in a 1726 letter to Swift that "It is universally read, from the cabinet council to the nursery"); since then, it has never been out of print. The book begins with a short preamble in which Lemuel Gulliver, in the style of books of the time, gives a brief outline of his life and history before his voyages. He enjoys travelling, although it is that love of travel that is his downfall. During his first voyage, Gulliver is washed ashore after a shipwreck and finds himself a prisoner of a race of tiny people, less than 6 inches tall, who are inhabitants of the island country of Lilliput. After giving assurances of his good behaviour, he is given a residence in
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    233
    Law & Order: Special Victims Unit

    Law & Order: Special Victims Unit

    • Part of fictional universes: Law & Order: Special Victims Unit
    Law & Order: Special Victims Unit (often abbreviated to Law & Order: SVU or just SVU) is an American police procedural crime drama television series set in New York City, where it is also primarily produced. In the style of the original Law & Order, episodes are often "ripped from the headlines" or loosely based on real crimes that have received media attention. Created and produced by Dick Wolf, the series premiered on NBC on September 20, 1999 as the first spin-off of Wolf's successful crime drama, Law & Order. The show started its 14th season on September 26, 2012 and has aired 298 original episodes to date. Law & Order: Special Victims Unit originally centered almost exclusively around the detectives of the Special Victims Unit in a fictional version of the 16th Precinct of the New York City Police Department. As the series progressed, additional supporting characters were added as allies of the detectives in the Manhattan District Attorney's office and the Medical Examiner's office. Typical episodes follow the detectives and their colleagues as they investigate and prosecute sexually based offenses. The show starred Christopher Meloni as Detective Elliot Stabler and Mariska
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    234
    Metzengerstein

    Metzengerstein

    "Metzengerstein", also called "Metzengerstein: A Tale In Imitation of the German", was the first short story by American writer and poet Edgar Allan Poe to see print. It was first published in the pages of Philadelphia's Saturday Courier magazine, in 1832. The story follows the young Frederick, the last of the Metzengerstein family who carries on a long-standing feud with the Berlifitzing family. Suspected of causing a fire that kills the Berlifitzing family patriarch, Frederick becomes intrigued with a previously-unnoticed and untamed horse. Metzengerstein is punished for his cruelty when his own home catches fire and the horse carries him into the flame. "Metzengerstein" follows many conventions of Gothic fiction and, to some, exaggerates those conventions. Because of this, critics and scholars debate if Poe intended the story to be taken seriously or as a satire of Gothic stories. Regardless, many elements introduced in "Metzengerstein" would become common in Poe's future writing, including the gloomy castle and the power of evil. Because the story follows an orphan raised in an aristocratic household, some critics suggest an autobiographical connection with its author. The
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    235
    MS. Found in a Bottle

    MS. Found in a Bottle

    "MS. Found in a Bottle" is an 1833 short story by American writer Edgar Allan Poe. The plot follows an unnamed narrator at sea who finds himself in a series of harrowing circumstances. As he nears his own disastrous death while his ship drives ever southward, he writes an "MS.", or manuscript telling of his adventures which he casts into the sea. Some critics believe the story was meant as a satire of typical sea tales. Poe submitted "MS. Found in a Bottle" as one of many entries to a writing contest offered by the weekly Baltimore Saturday Visiter. Each of the stories was well liked by the judges but they unanimously chose "MS. Found in a Bottle" as the contest's winner, earning Poe a $50 prize. The story was then published in the October 19, 1833, issue of the Visiter. An unnamed narrator, estranged from his family and country, sets sail as a passenger aboard a cargo ship from Batavia (now known as Jakarta, Indonesia). Some days into the voyage, the ship is first becalmed then hit by a Simoon (a combination of a sand storm and hurricane) that capsizes the ship and sends everyone except the narrator and an old Swede overboard. Driven southward by the magical Simoon towards the
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    236
    New Rose Hotel

    New Rose Hotel

    • Part of fictional universes: The Sprawl
    "New Rose Hotel" is a short story by William Gibson, first published in 1984 in Omni and later included in his 1986 collection Burning Chrome. Set in the near future, the story provides the reader with a glimpse into the niche criminal market of corporate defections. Huge megacorporations control and dominate entire economies. Their wealth and competitive advantage reside in the human capital of their employees and the intellectual property they produce. Corporations jealously guard their most valuable employees and go to great expense to keep them safe and happily productive. There is little point in traditional corporate espionage as new products are developed at a lightning pace. There is no time to capitalize on the intelligence acquired from a rival firm. Here is where the protagonists of the story come into play, setting themselves up as shady middle-men in the world of corporate defections. Key scientists are cajoled, lured, bribed, and blackmailed into leaving their firms. The story follows two corporate extraction agents, the narrator and Fox, who are quickly betrayed after a successful operation. After they are betrayed by a partner, they are hunted by their former
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    237
    Paladin of the Lost Hour

    Paladin of the Lost Hour

    "Paladin of the Lost Hour" is the second segment of the seventh episode from the first season (1985–1986) of the television series The New Twilight Zone, as well as a novelette by script-writer Harlan Ellison. An old man standing at a grave, apparently grieving, is suddenly attacked by a couple of muggers. The man screams that someone must protect him. One of the muggers takes the only thing the man had—a pocket watch that starts to glow and burns the hand of the mugger. It floats through the air back to the old man, while another man visiting the grounds helps him. The old man, who reveals his name is Gaspar, wants to talk to Billy, the man who helped him. They go to Billy's apartment and talk about what happened at the cemetery. He goes there to visit his "girl" and Billy was visiting a friend's grave. Billy must go to work and lets Gaspar stay so Gaspar can rest. Billy gets home to find Gaspar still in the apartment and cooking dinner. Billy discovers that Gaspar is homeless and dying. He offers to let Gaspar stay, and Gaspar discovers that Billy was visiting the grave of a man he fought with in the Vietnam War. They watch the news to discover how close a nuclear war could be,
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    238
    Red Star, Winter Orbit

    Red Star, Winter Orbit

    "Red Star, Winter Orbit" is a short story written by William Gibson and Bruce Sterling in the 1980s. It was first published in Omni in July 1983, and later collected in Burning Chrome, a 1986 anthology of Gibson's early short fiction, and in Sterling's 1986 cyberpunk anthology Mirrorshades. The story is set in an alternate future where the Soviet Union controls most of the Earth's resources, especially oil. As a result of this the United States is no longer a dominant economic power on earth and the Soviets have won the space race. Science fiction critic Takayuki Tatsumi regards the story as a descriptive account of "the failure of the dream of space exploration", reminiscent of Ballard's "inner space/outer space" motif. Gibson scholar Tatiani Rapatzikou commented that the motif of the space station was used by the authors as a "symbol of the tension and uneasiness the characters or readers experience every time they deal with the artificiality of their technological world". The story takes place on the Soviet space station Kosmograd ("Cosmic City"), which consists of a number of Salyuts linked together. The station has both civilian and military roles; the military portion is a
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    239
    The Adventure of the Blue Carbuncle

    The Adventure of the Blue Carbuncle

    "The Adventure of the Blue Carbuncle", one of the 56 short Sherlock Holmes stories written by British author Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, is the seventh story of twelve in The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes. The story was first published in Strand Magazine in January 1892. Watson visits his friend Holmes at Christmas time and finds him contemplating a battered old hat, brought to him by the commissionaire Peterson after it and a Christmas goose had been dropped by a man in a scuffle with some street ruffians. Peterson takes the goose home to eat it, but comes back later with a carbuncle. His wife has found it in the bird's crop (throat). Holmes makes some interesting deductions concerning the owner of the hat from simple observations of its condition, conclusions amply confirmed when an advertisement for the owner produces the man himself: Henry Baker. Holmes cannot resist such an intriguing mystery, and he and Watson set out across the city to determine exactly how the jewel, stolen from the Countess of Morcar during her stay at a hotel, wound up in a goose's crop. The man who dropped the goose, Mr. Henry Baker, clearly has no knowledge of the crime, but he gives Holmes valuable
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    240
    The Adventure of the Bruce-Partington Plans

    The Adventure of the Bruce-Partington Plans

    "The Adventure of the Bruce-Partington Plans" is one of the 56 Sherlock Holmes short stories written by British author Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. It is one of eight stories in the cycle collected as His Last Bow, and is the second and final appearance of Mycroft Holmes. Doyle ranked "The Adventure of the Bruce-Partington Plans" fourteenth in a list of his nineteen favourite Sherlock Holmes stories. The monotony of thick smog-shrouded London is broken by a sudden visit from Holmes’s brother Mycroft. He has come about some missing, secret submarine plans. Seven of the ten pages — three are still missing — were found with Arthur Cadogan West’s body. He was a young clerk in a government office at Royal Arsenal, Woolwich, whose body was found next to the Underground tracks near the Aldgate tube station, his head crushed. He had little money with him (although there appears to have been no robbery), theatre tickets, and curiously, no Underground ticket. The three missing pages by themselves could enable one of Britain’s enemies to build a Bruce-Partington submarine. It seems clear that Cadogan West fell from a train and that he stole the plans meaning to sell them, but the mystery is truly
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    241
    The Adventure of the Dying Detective

    The Adventure of the Dying Detective

    "The Adventure of the Dying Detective", in some editions simply titled "The Dying Detective", is one of the 56 Sherlock Holmes short stories written by British author Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Together with seven other stories, it is collected as His Last Bow. Dr. Watson is called to 221B Baker Street to tend Holmes, who is apparently dying of a rare Asian disease contracted while he was on a case at Rotherhithe. Watson is shocked, having heard nothing about his friend’s illness. Mrs. Hudson says that he has neither eaten nor drunk anything in three days. Upon arriving, Watson finds Holmes in his bed looking very ill and gaunt indeed, and Holmes proceeds to make several odd demands of Watson. He is not to come near Holmes, for the illness is highly contagious. He will seek no help save from the man whom Holmes names. He will wait until six o’clock before Holmes names him. When Watson objects and tries to leave for help, Holmes musters enough strength to leap out of bed, and lock the door, taking the key. So, Watson is forced to wait. Holmes seems delirious at times. Watson examines several objects in Holmes’s room while he waits. Holmes has a fit when Watson touches one item, a
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    242
    The Adventure of the Solitary Cyclist

    The Adventure of the Solitary Cyclist

    "The Adventure of the Solitary Cyclist", one of the 56 Sherlock Holmes short stories written by British author Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, is one of 13 stories in the cycle collected as The Return of Sherlock Holmes. Holmes is contacted by Miss Violet Smith of Farnham, Surrey about an unusual turn in her and her mother’s lives. Violet’s father has recently died, and left his wife and daughter rather poor. However, a notice appeared in the newspaper not much later inquiring as to their whereabouts. Answering it, they met Mr. Carruthers and Mr. Woodley, the former a pleasant enough man, but the latter a churl and a bully. They had come from South Africa where they had known Violet’s uncle Ralph Smith, who had now also died in poverty and apparently wanted to see that his relatives were provided for. This struck Violet as odd, since she and her family had not heard a word from Uncle Ralph since he went to South Africa 25 years ago. Carruthers and Woodley explained that before dying, Ralph had heard of his brother’s death and felt responsible for his survivors’ welfare. Carruthers began by offering Violet a job as a live-in music teacher for his ten-year-old daughter at £100 a year, about
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    243
    The Adventure of the Yellow Face

    The Adventure of the Yellow Face

    "The Adventure of the Yellow Face", one of the 56 short Sherlock Holmes stories written by British author Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, is the third tale from The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes. It was first published in Strand Magazine in 1893 with original illustrations by Sidney Paget. One of Doyle's sentimental pieces, the story is remarkable in that Holmes' deduction during the course of it proves incorrect. (Nevertheless, the truth still comes out.) According to Dr. Watson: "...where he failed it happened too often that no one else succeeded... Now and again, however, it chanced that even when he erred the truth was still discovered." It has been remarked Doyle's sympathetic treatment of interracial marriage could be considered extraordinarily liberal because, at that time, anti-miscegenation laws were in effect in several countries. The story is written and set in the United Kingdom, a country with no anti-miscegenation laws, though not without racial prejudice. As is evident from the story, in British society of the time, having contracted an interracial marriage and having a mixed race child was not in any way illegal — but still was treated as a shameful secret to be kept closely
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    244
    The Call of Cthulhu

    The Call of Cthulhu

    "The Call of Cthulhu" is a short story by American writer H. P. Lovecraft. Written in the summer of 1926, it was first published in the pulp magazine Weird Tales, in February 1928. Cthulhu Mythos scholar Robert M. Price claims the irregular sonnet "The Kraken", written in 1830 by Alfred Tennyson, is a major inspiration for H.P. Lovecraft's story, as both reference a huge aquatic creature sleeping for an eternity at the bottom of the ocean and destined to emerge from his slumber in an apocalyptic age. S. T. Joshi and David E. Schultz cited other literary inspirations: Guy de Maupassant's "The Horla" (1887), which Lovecraft described in "Supernatural Horror in Literature" as concerning "an invisible being who...sways the minds of others, and seems to be the vanguard of a horde of extraterrestrial organisms arrived on earth to subjugate and overwhelm mankind"; and Arthur Machen's "The Novel of the Black Seal" (1895), which uses the same method of piecing together of disassociated knowledge (including a random newspaper clipping) to reveal the survival of a horrific ancient being. Price also notes that Lovecraft admired the work of Lord Dunsany, who wrote The Gods of Pegana (1905),
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    245
    The Crows of Pearblossom

    The Crows of Pearblossom

    The Crows of Pearblossom is a children's book written by Aldous Huxley, the famous English novelist, essayist and critic. The story was originally published by Random House (1967) and illustrated by Barbara Cooney. A more recent picture book version (2011) was illustrated by Sophie Blackall and published by Abrams Books for Young Readers. This story, written Christmas of 1944, tells the story of Mr. and Mrs. Crow, who live in a cotton-wood tree at Pearblossom. Due to the Rattlesnake living at the bottom of the tree, Mrs. Crow's eggs are never able to hatch. After catching the snake eating her 297th egg that year (she does not work on Sundays), Mrs. Crow requests that Mr. Crow go into the hole and kill the snake. Thinking better of it, Mr. Crow confers with his wise friend, Mr. Owl. Mr. Owl bakes mud into two stone eggs and paints them to resemble Mrs. Crows eggs. These dummy eggs are left in the nest to trick the Rattlesnake, who unknowingly eats them the next day. When the eggs get to his stomach, they cause the Rattlesnake such pain, that he thrashes about, tying himself in knots around the branches. Mrs. Crow goes on to hatch "four families of seventeen children each" and "uses
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    246
    The Facts in the Case of M. Valdemar

    The Facts in the Case of M. Valdemar

    "The Facts in the Case of M. Valdemar" is a short story by American author Edgar Allan Poe about a mesmerist who puts a man in a suspended hypnotic state at the moment of death. An example of a tale of suspense and horror, it is also, to a certain degree, a hoax as it was published without claiming to be fictional, and many at the time of publication (1845) took it to be a factual account. Poe toyed with this for a while before admitting it was a work of pure fiction in his "Marginalia". The narrator presents the facts of the extraordinary case of Valdemar which have incited public discussion. He is interested in Mesmerism, a pseudoscience involving bringing a patient into a hypnagogic state by the influence of magnetism, a process which later developed into hypnotism. He points out that, as far as he knows, no one has ever been mesmerized at the point of death, and he is curious to see what effects mesmerism would have on a dying person. He considers experimenting on his friend Ernest Valdemar, an author whom he had previously mesmerized, and who has recently been diagnosed with phthisis (tuberculosis). Valdemar consents to the experiment and informs the narrator by letter that he
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    247
    Unleashing Janus

    Unleashing Janus

    • Setting: San Francisco
    Unleashing Janus is a science fiction by San Francisco writer Ted David Harris.

    Plot blurb from the back of the book:

    As Josh argues with his eccentric co-worker Travis about the prospects of artificial intelligence, he never dreams he will soon get drawn into a battle between a secret society of hackers and a covert government organization for the control of a conscious machine, code-named Janus, that can dominate mankind. He enters into this struggle with the help of Travis’ mysterious ex-girlfriend Alex, and quickly finds himself falling for her as they are chased through a hidden world of rebellious programmers determined to change the world for the better. Unknown to them, their moves are meticulously orchestrated by Travis, who is bent on dominating their future and the future of all mankind, forcing Alex to make a choice between her new love and dreams of a new world. Unleashing Janus is a modern tale of mankind’s struggle to bring hope back into existence.
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    248
    Xuthal of the Dusk

    Xuthal of the Dusk

    "The Slithering Shadow" is one of the original short stories starring the fictional sword and sorcery hero Conan the Cimmerian, written by American author Robert E. Howard and first published in the September 1933 issue of Weird Tales magazine. The story's original title was "Xuthal of the Dusk". It is set in the pseudo-historical Hyborian Age and concerns Conan finding a lost city in a remote desert and encountering therein a Lovecraftian-esque demon known as Thog. The story was republished in the collections The Sword of Conan (Gnome Press, 1952) and Conan the Adventurer (Lancer Books, 1966). It has more recently been published in the collections The Conan Chronicles Volume 1: The People of the Black Circle (Gollancz, 2000) as "The Slithering Shadow" and in Conan of Cimmeria: Volume One (1932-1933) (Del Rey, 2003) under its original title, "Xuthal of the Dusk." Conan the Cimmerian and Natala the Brythunian are the sole survivors of Prince Almuric's army which swept through the Lands of Shem and the outlands of Stygia. With a Stygian host on its heels, the prince's army had cut its way through the kingdom of Kush, only to be annihilated on the edge of the southern desert. From
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    249
    Y tu mamá también

    Y tu mamá también

    • Setting: Mexico City
    Y Tu Mamá También (English: And Your Mother Too) is a 2001 Mexican drama film directed by Alfonso Cuarón, and co-written by Cuarón and his brother Carlos. The film is a coming-of-age story about two teenage boys taking a road trip with a woman in her late 20s; it stars Mexican actors Diego Luna and Gael García Bernal and Spanish actress Maribel Verdú in the leading roles. The film, a road movie, is set in 1999, against the backdrop of the political and economic realities of present-day Mexico, specifically at the end of the uninterrupted 71-year line of Mexican presidents from the Institutional Revolutionary Party, and the rise of the opposition headed by Vicente Fox. The film is known for its controversial, unabashed depiction of sexuality, which caused complications in the film's rating certificate in various countries. The film was released in English-speaking markets under its original Spanish title, rather than the literal translation to English, and opened in a limited release in the United States in 2002. In Mexico, the film took in $2.2 million in its first weekend in June 2001, making it the highest box office opening in Mexican cinema history. In the United States, the
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    250
    —All You Zombies—

    —All You Zombies—

    ""—All You Zombies—"" is a science fiction short story by Robert A. Heinlein. It was written in one day, July 11, 1958, and first published in the March 1959 issue of Fantasy and Science Fiction magazine after being rejected by Playboy. The story involves a number of paradoxes caused by time travel. In 1980, it was nominated for the Balrog Award for short fiction. ""—All You Zombies—"" further develops themes explored by the author in a previous work: "By His Bootstraps", published some 18 years earlier. Some of the same elements also appear later in The Cat Who Walks Through Walls (1988), including the Circle of Ouroboros and the Temporal Corps. "'—All You Zombies—'" chronicles a young man (later revealed to be intersex) taken back in time and tricked into impregnating his younger, female self (before he underwent a sex change); he thus turns out to be the offspring of that union, with the paradoxical result that he is his own mother and father. As the story unfolds, all the major characters are revealed to be the same person, at different stages of her/his life. The story involves an intricate series of time-travel journeys. It begins with a young man speaking to the narrator,
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