I first read this collection of short stories in 1992. It includes a reprint of the 1983 story that appeared in the January 1984 issue of “Playboy.” It has twenty-two other stories. The majority are reprints from magazine articles. I nominate the short story of “The Toynbee Convector” for the best fantasy/science fiction story ever written. It is as good as Bradbury’s story from his 1951 book the “Illustrated Man – “The Veldt”. It is that good. Here is the story plot/summary. The story’s protagonist claims to have returned from the future. He has tapes and films of a miraculous technological wonderland. Humankind has solved all its major problems – no cancer, no world hunger, etc. This energizes the world with confidence. People believe that their dreams will come true. They proceed to build that future. They have no idea it is all a lie. The lie pictures a wondrous future. It describes this future in breath-taking detail. There is almost an action plan with hints as to how to get there. The world’s brain trust of scientists, economists, and politicians take the clues and make this future a reality. It comes the day when we are at the time and place where he is to appear from the past in the created future. A major deflection occurs. You have to read the story for the conclusion. It is worth reading. While the other stories in the collection are good and “worth the read,” none match the opening story.
Published by Jimmie Aaron Kepler, Ed.D.
Jimmie Aaron Kepler is a full-time novelist, poet, book reviewer, and award-winning short story writer. His work has appeared in Christian publications like Altarworks, Deacon Magazine, Church Leadership Magazine, Discipleship Training Magazine, and Sunday School Leader Magazine as well as secular publications like Bewildering Stories, Beyond Imagination, The Dead Mule School of Southern Literature, and Poetry & Prose Magazine. He is honorably discharged at the rank of Captain from the US Army. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in History with minors in English and Military Science from The University of Texas at Arlington, Master of Arts and Master of Religious Education degrees from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, as well as the Doctor of Education degree. He is both an ordained minister and ordained deacon. His books and collections are available on Amazon and all major on-line book sellers in eBook and print. He writes religious science fiction under the name Jimmie Aaron Kepler, nonfiction under the name Jim Kepler and writes historical fiction under an undisclosed pen name. View all posts by Jimmie Aaron Kepler, Ed.D.