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the genre's premiere review magazine for short SF & Fantasy since 1993

X Minus One -- "Knock" by Fredric Brown

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X Minus One aired "Knock" by Fredric Brown (1906-1972) on May 22, 1955. It saw print originally in the December 1948 issue of Thrilling Wonder Stories. Familiar to almost all science fiction fans, it begins with the famous two opening sentences, making these lines the shortest SF story ever told: "The last man on Earth sat alone in a room. There was a knock at the door..."  Brown then proceeds to tell us just who or what was knocking on the door. Known for his satire and humor, Brown tells what appears to be a truly horrific tale replete with aliens, death, and torture, only to have the last line bring us around to humor. "Knock" was X Minus One's 5th episode.

Also appearing in the December 1948 issue of Thrilling Wonder Stories (TWS) were: Murray Leinster's novella "The Ghost Planet," L. Ron Hubbard's novelette "240,000 Miles Straight Up," Noel Loomis's short story "Schizophrenic," Charles L. Harness's novelette "Fruits of the Agathon," Noel Loomis's short story (as by Benjamin Miller) "A Horse on Me," Ray Bradbury's short story "The Off Season," George O. Smith's novelette "The Mobius Trail," George D. MacDonald's short story "A Child is Crying," and Frank Belknap Long's short story "Fuzzy Head." Not a bad lineup.

Play Time: 28:16