Stories

The following list contains all of the stories that I have been able to collect any information on. I have listed the title, where the story first appeared and any subsequent printings. I have written a description of the story if I have read it. If you know of any short stories that I have not listed or see any mistakes please e-mail me with the information.

Philip José Farmer's comments appear in red.

Phil's first published story! You can read the story by clicking on the link above which is a picture of two laminated newsletter clippings. The larger is the front page and the smaller inset is Phil's first published story. While other children sent in letters of thanks for the work being done, Phil did what, apparently, came naturally to him.

The first story that Farmer ever sold. Not science fiction but I enjoyed the over the top story very much. American and Russian forces occupying a German town at the end of WWII argue over who has claim to a high ranking German they have captured. The way they decide to settle their argument is hilarious but the final outcome is even better.

Farmer's first science fiction story which won him the Hugo Award for most promising new writer in 1952. The first scifi story to deal with sexual relations between humans and aliens. Considered ground breaking and instantly put Farmer on the map.

A very early tongue in cheek sample of alternate history. What if the church had encouraged scientific discoveries? What if electricity was invented before Columbus? What if Columbus was wrong?

They say that a lot of the scifi from the 50s is actually cold war propaganda, just replace the evil aliens with the evil Russians. In this story I was able to see the allegory but Farmer did not just preach the virtues of the red, white and blue. You are the only person on Earth who knows how to give humans the tactical advantage over an alien race that has landed on Mars. So far the aliens are friendly and knowing Earth's bloody past you are hesitant to give humans the ability to conquer the aliens, as well as the rest of the galaxy. However you also have a very contagious disease and have been in isolation for two years. Would you trade your secret for some female companionship?

Rewritten without my permission; ruined: Title also changed

One of the things Farmer does well, and often, is create aliens and go into great detail about their anatomy. But getting back to the story at hand, the only case in history where man is able to go back to the womb.

The sequel to The Lovers. An underground organization is smuggling females in from Ozagen to help overthrow the repressive combination of church and state known as the sturch.

The first of the Father Carmody stories. Every now and then when I read one of Farmer's stories I think "Wait a minute, this is literature". When I say literature I mean the stuff I had to read in school and then discuss the theme and conflict and a bunch of other terms I don't recall. Look for this story to appear in your grand childrens text books now that The Lottery has been made into a tv movie.

A space ship captain and his daughter are infected by an organism that propigates by making its carriers have intercourse. Raspold is mentioned early in the story placing it in the same time frame as the Carmody stories.

Aliens are taking over earth in a slow subtle manner. A strange story that I think I did not get the point of.

The sequel to Mother. Even in the womb, man strives to improve the world around him.

A man is trapped inside an intelligent, but lonely submarine, can he figure out it's secret and escape?

This was the first of Farmer's stories that I read and thought "Literature". An interesting story where a man evolves into a god. Just in case you didn't get it, it is spelled out for you at the end of the story.

In The Lovers, Hal Yarrow discovers that a the French had landed on Ozagen several hundred years previous. In Moth and Rust the French are long gone from Earth but their language plays a key part in the story. This is the story of one of the French exployers who left Earth in the 22nd century and currupted a planet.

Rewritten without my permission; ruined

Wow, the lengths that a man of means will go to, to eliminate a rival. More double crosses than The Sting.

A rather curious way of looking at cupid.

What's your totem could replace what's your sign. Take these pills and the physical embodiment of the animal you really are, will appear and absorb your hangovers as well as perform some other useful functions.

The second of the Father Carmody Stories. Space travelers make an emergency landing on an unknown planet and things begin to get strange. One of Farmer's stories with a religious theme but I need to reread it to tell you anymore.

The third and most important of the Father Carmody stories. Besides inspiring Jimi Hendrix with the phrase Purple Haze, this is the first time that John Carmody plays a big role, both as the lead character of the story and as the Father to the Stars. After he survives the Night of Light on the planet Dantes Joy, Carmody is chosen to be the deciding vote in the fate of the universe.

A strange story. A throw back to the neanderthal who has the animal magnetism to overcome his homely features. More detail after I reread this.

What if the ancient Greek Gods were actually aliens just using the Greeks as extras in their movies and toying with them for their amusement.

Man goes to Mars and finds that he is not the only visitor. One of the stories where Farmer goes into detail about the anatomy of aliens. Farmer had some trouble getting this story published, It was supposed to be published in Satellite as The Strange Birth in 1959 but the magazine folded.

Murphy's Law squared. You ever have one of those days where the whole world is conspiring against you and everything that could go wrong, did, and then some. The final insult is when Brer John gets attacked by a rare bird and has an egg attached to his chest and he can't take it off until it hatches.

Conclusion to A Few Miles. Carmody has to live with the creatures whose rare egg he is carrying attached to his chest. He discovers that they are more intelligent than anyone new and must decide what wisdom to pass on to them and what wisdom they would be better off without.

You are on the moon and nuclear war breaks out on earth possibly killing everyone. Then people start shooting at you, let the fun begin!

Con men travel the old west promising to raise the dead. They make a fortune when people pay them not to ressurect their dearly departed. Many believe that this story was stolen by Rod Sterling and appeared as an episode of The Twilight Zone called "Mr. Garrity and the Graves".

A scientist believes he has invented a machine that can read thoughts, but what it reads is actually much more shocking.

The original un-edited version appeared in: PEARLS FROM PEORIA, Subterranean Press, 2006 hardcover

At the beginning of the story Raspold receives a message that John Carmody has surrendered, so he needs to come in for a new asignment. After that the story runs forever and seems to have no point, I need to reread it.

Rewritten without my permission; ruined

A story of religion, space exploration and discovering the last thing in the world you expect.

This is Farmer's shortest story. Future scientists are able to recreate extinct animals, but will they recreate the most dangerous one of all?

Complete riverworld short story number two (before To Your Scattered Bodies Go). This time Tom Mix is the main character.

A strange tale of a women's attempt to keep her legs closed. First she gets thrown off a yacht, while its at sea. Then she floats naked to an island full of monks who try to push her back into the sea. They blindfold themselves to row her to another island but can they all resist the temptation.

What if life after death was completly monotonous and everyone was exactly the same. How far would you go to make things interesting?

Farmer tried to sell this as a possible Star Trek episode (before the show ever aired I think). He later decided that it would not have worked. Just what is waiting for us at the edge of the universe?

Farmer won his second Hugo Award for this story of a future earth. The purple wage is what everyone receives just for being a citizen, if you also happen to work, even better. This story has several sub-stories and operates on several levels, if you have not read this, what are you waiting for?

Some of Farmer's short stories are a form of mental exercise. I imagine he started with the title and then wrote a funny story to fit it.

If William Burroughs instead of Edgar Rice Burroughs had written the Tarzan novels. Be glad that in this universe, Edgar wrote Tarzan.

Picture the scene from the movie Animal House where they are sitting in a bath tub, stoned, discussing the fact that our universe could be a single atom in the finger nail of a giant or vice versa. This is a little more involved but you get the idea.

Prequel to Riders of the Purple Wage. Discusses the politics involved in setting up the new society.

Farmer's displeasure with doctors continues into the future.

Farmer lived in Beverly Hills for a while but decided to move back to Illinois. I believe he wrote this story to show his disgust with California lifestyle.

Another story that started with the title and then farmer created a humorous story to fit it. Actually it started as "The Beautiful Scientist and her Mad Daughter".

The first seeds of the idea that later became DAYWORLD.

Someone causes the majority of people on earth to become sterile. Those few who can have children become the privledged elite. This is the second story where Farmer talks about a society that operates an ecomomy of abundance (Riders of the Purple Wage being the other).

A classic story of unrequited love in the hi-tech age.

I get the feeling that Farmer was not happy with his doctor when he wrote this story about the secret oath that all doctors take.

What lengths writers will go to just to make a deadline.

What if the Book of Revelations were true. For some reason I seem to enjoy all of Farmer's religous stories.

A story of future Earth where Mother Earth is awake and women are in charge.

This is one of my favorite stories. A space ship arrives in our solar system and time starts going backwards. People wake up thinking its Wednesday but it is really Sunday and they had no memory of the last four days. The next day is worse as the same thing happens and they lose four more days. This goes on and on as grown people start drooling like babies and are unable to take care of themselves. How do the world governments deal with the problem and what are the long term affects on society?

A strange little horror story about the ultimate regression.

What if King Kong were real? In the real world what a complicated mess he would have made.

This is an odd little horror story written for kids. Clark has been injured in a car accident that killed his friends and he is now without limbs or tongue connected to machines that keep him alive and in contact with a parallel universe. But what is on the other side of the "gate", and is it keeping Clark out or is Clark keeping it out?

The Paul Eyre series is one of Farmer's stranger collections. In this story Paul shoots a UFO which is a living creature rather than a machine. Paul is "infected" by his encounter and while comatose has the power to heal and kill.

The second story in the Fictional Author series. Jonathan Swift Somers III is the favorite author of Simon Wagstaff (the main character from Venus on the Half-Shell). Ok, so we have here a story by a fictional author from a story by another fictional author. The best part is that the story is about a German Shepard with a 200 IQ and deductive abilities rivaled only by Sherlock Holmes himself. The story begins similarly to A Study In Scarlet where the great detective meets his side-kick and chronicler. Full of puns, in both German and English, this story showed great promise as the beginning of an interesting detective series.

Installment number three in the Fictional Author Series. Sherlock Holmes fans may recognize the title. In the beginning of The Problem of Thor Bridge, Watson briefly mentions some details of three cases which Sherlock was not able to solve. Here another of Farmer's heroes, Raffles, the famous gentleman burgler, manages to solve all three mysteries in one neat little story.

The original idea for Weird Heroes was to recreate the pulp heroes of yesterday in a new serialized book. Farmer jumped at the chance and created a new character called Greatheart Silver. In this story, originally called "Showdown at Shootout" Farmer parodies every pulp hero you ever heard of, and bunch you probably haven't.

In this story Greatheart has been black balled by one of the wealtiest and most influencial men in the world. It's a great surprise when that same man hires Greatheart to rescue his kidnapped daughter. A fun action story.

The organism inside Paul Eyre can heal those who are friendly to him and kill anything that is a threat. Paul wakes from his coma but can he be set free with his new powers.

Paul begins to change and realizes his powers are much more than just being able to heal and kill. He also discovers that he is not alone.

Paul now has control of his life. He uses his power to cure all the sick people who can come to him. Eventually he decides to move on and leave this world, but what does he leave behind?

Story number four in the Fictional Author Series. Paul Chapin is a fictional author in the Nero Wolfe mystery novel THE LEAGUE OF FRIGHTENED MEN by Rex Stout. This story is a detective story about a volcano that suddenly appears in the Catskills.

The second story about Ralph von Wau Wau the German Shepard with the 200 IQ. In this story Ralph meets his new side-kick, Cordwainer Bird and tackles his toughest adversary to date, another genetically enhanced animal.

An age old ethical dilema. Technology exists that can turn garbage into energy. The whole world could benifit from this process but what if the people who will profit the most are the are the most corrupt. Do you decide to take the bad with the good?

Another of Farmer's stories where he thinks up a title and then writes a story to fit it. This is not a science fiction story but a story that shows that you're never too old.

Patrol was sent first to Larry Flint of Hustler who rejected it, saying his readers wouldn't understand it, since he didn't understand it.

My favorite Greatheart story, Murphy's Law gone beserk.

Maxwell Grant, author of The Shadow series, writes a story about Kenneth Robeson, author of Doc Savage and The Avengers. In this story Kenneth is a down and out pulp writer who has one adventure that gives him the ideas for his two great series. See The Grant-Robeson Papers in the articles section of the web page for more background on this.

The only fictional author story that was not published in The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction. Besides being a character in The Doge Whose Barque Was Worse Than His Bight, Cordwainer Bird is the name that Harlan Ellison lists in the credits, in place of his own, for tv and movie projects that don't live up to his standards. The story is about how fragile a writer's ego is, and just how important is a good review?

The final fictional author story, this one is by a character in a Richard Brautigan novel. A horror story about what might be waiting for you down in the sewers.

A nightmare inspired this story about a 60 year man who finds himself in a strange college.

Farmer's second short sexual tale to be printed in Playboy. In this story an uptight man has an interesting split personality.

Is it Armageddon or does it just look like it?

Once again Farmer starts with a title and writes a story to fit it. The title is an obvious play on words from Riders of the Purple Wage which itself was a play on words. The story itself is an adventure tale.

Imagine the logistics involved of making a film of the end of the earth. Well, with God as producer anything is possible.

What would you dream about if you slept for 100 years?

Similar story to THE ADVENTURE OF THE PEERLESS PEER but Mowgli takes the place of Tarzan in this rewrite.

In this story the invading aliens really know how to take control of Earth.

Yet another play on words. St. Francis is brought 700 years forward in time. What will he see in the brief time he is allowed before he is sent back.

Another scifi story about the possibly bleak socio-economics of the future.

The original Frankenstein story told from a totally new perspective. I enjoyed this story much more than Nobody's Perfect (The Ultimate Dracula).

I wonder what Dracula fans thought about this story? The premise is the kind of thing that Farmer would come up with but the story runs out of gas.

Farmer puts forth some interesting theories about werewolfs. Not everyone can become a werwolf, you have to have the recesive gene, then you have to come into contact with certain people or items to be affected. And just what toll would the transformation have on the body of the human?

Farmer has one last bit of fun as he traces his family tree and has his ancestors meet and interact on the riverworld.

A very short story about Dante, for him life is no better in riverworld than earth.

A continuation of Crossing the Dark River.

Man's existence on the riverworld is a giant theological debate, for some more than others.

This story was originally written in 1955 and was published for the first time in RG Magazine along side, A Feast Unexpected, an article by Roger Crombie about the 50th Anniversary Celebration of The Lovers held in Peoria August 10th, 2002. The feeling that the health of the nation reflected the health of the leader used to be taken quite literally.

This short story was written in 1953 and is based on an incident that happened to Phil while he was in college in 1941. It was not published until 2005 when the magazine Farmerphile was created expressly for this purpose: to publish this long lost gem and others. In this story Phil does a remarkable job of mixing the ancient Greeks of Homer with the "Greeks" of college fraternity life and telling a funny tale of "action."

An updated, more adult, version of THE WIZARD OF OZ told from the point of view of the scarecrow. Somewhere between an alternate history/parallel universe story, not unlike "Sail On! Sail On!"

In this very short funny story Phil uses the misunderstanding of a simple man to great effect. A gem of a story.

Written in 1941, this is perhaps the earliest of Phil's stories to be published. It is a grim story about anti-Semitism in pre-WWII America. Still in college when he wrote this story it makes a very strong statement.

This is the shortest of the short fiction by Phil to be printed in Farmerphile. Written in the mid 1950s this is another example of Phil trying to break into the mainstream. This story is mentioned and briefly described in Phil's autobiographical essay "Maps and Spasms."

This very funny story describing the aftermath of a car accident is a parody of J.G. Ballard's writing style.

Not science fiction, this is one of several stories written before Phil sold his first story. A psychological tale set in a small town involving a minor sex scandal.

This story was originally written for an anthology to be edited by Robert Bloch which fell through. The darkest story in PEARLS, The Rise Gotten is only comparable to Phil's erotic-horror novel IMAGE OF THE BEAST.

This is a screen treatment, written at director George Pal's request, to be the sequel to his movie, Doc Savage, The Man of Bronze. After the first movie bombed the planned sequel was never filmed.

A funhouse-mirror type "book review" about a science fiction writer on Mars named Erb of Anazrat who has written about Nazrat of Sepa and Noj Notrak. The review is about the latter, an ex-soldier who travels to Terra and has many adventures. The reviewer makes fun of many of Erb's scientific speculations, which of course are all true from our point of view. A very funny story/homage to ERB/poke at book reviewers all in one.

This was originally going to be the forward to a Fokker D-LXIX edition of THE LOVE SONG OF HIAWATHA. Surprisingly Phil finds many things about Longfellow's poem that are interest to Edgar Rice Burroughs fans.

At nearly 27,000 words this long lost story, written in 1953, is the longest piece in PEARLS FROM PEORIA. It is vivid picture of some of Sir Richard Francis Burton's adventures as well as an overview of his career. Phil, a fan of Burton's, speculates in several places "what could have been" if lesser men had not gotten in Burton's way.

This early story, full of vivid descriptions of working in a steel mill, is based on Phil's personal knowledge of these conditions. We may pressume the circumstances of this dark story are in fact not based on Phil's personal experiences while working in the steel mill.

The first science fiction short story by Philip José Farmer to appear in Farmerphile. Set in the not too distant future where the news media is far more prevelant than when the story was written in 1970, Phil anticipates twenty-four hour news channels, news "simulations" and other manipulations of electronic media.

A very funny story about a black Russian spy who finds nothing but trouble, and assorted venereal diseases, while in the United States.

Only the second science fiction short story by Phil to appear in Farmerphile, this was actually first written as a Star Trek screen treatment. The familiar space ship and crew find a derelict space ship floating abandoned and discover twelve passengers frozen in suspended animation. Once revived it is discovered they were kidnapped by aliens from earth during the American Civil War. Culture shock ensues.

This humorous story was written in early 1983 for submission to the Nelson Algren Award contest. It follows two hard luck brothers through the back streets of Peoria in search of...female companionship.

A short interesting story about the dawn of "progress."

While Phil has written stories that fit in many different genres, this is his first and only sci-fi-supernatural-fantasy-private-eye-mystery.

Written in the late 1960s and presumably unfinished, this story jumps around following Phil's thoughts, dreamlike, from Los Angeles to Ancient Greece.

A story told from the point of a woman married to a Bear-God and the problems this entails.

A very short story about unintended consequences.