Stories for Sunday: "Knock" by Fredric Brown and "The Unreal Jesse James" by Chap O'Keefe

This week’s edition of Stories For Sunday is a double dose of sci-fi. First up is Fredric Brown’s “Knock,” originally published in Thrilling Wonder Stories (December 1948). When not penning surreal, nightmarish crime fiction masterpieces such as Here Comes a Candle, Brown was churning out science fiction novels and stories such as this one. (Nor is he the only pulp writer who was proficient in multiple genres - Harry Whittington, for instance, wrote both mystery and western fiction). "Knock" begins with the memorable line, “The last man on Earth sat alone in a room. There was a knock on the door…” Brown then cleverly backs up and analyses the two sentences for the reader: “The horror, of course, isn’t in the two sentences at all; it’s in the ellipsis…” From there, Brown continues the story by answering the question as to what is knocking on the door.

What a better way to start off Sunday than by laughing about the ending of the world? Read Fredric Brown’s “Knock” by clicking here.

Still not enough sci-fi? Didn’t think so. In that case, head over to Beat To a Pulp and read Chap O’Keefe’s “The Unreal Jesse James,” a clever genre-bender that re-imagines the legendary outlaw as being the human form of an alien from the future. And while you’re enjoying the story, get ready for Wild West Monday! Support Western literature by visiting your local independent bookstore and showing your love for the genre.


  1. I like Frederick Brown and I regert that I have not read more of his work. It is always devilishly good.

  2. Both stories are exceptional and that was the first time I read "Knock." Brown's writing is always razor sharp!

  3. I read 'knock' yesterday and thought it was amazing!

  4. brilliant story - i hope i can be just as imaginative in my own work.


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