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Old 07-11-2019, 08:39 AM
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cmkeller is offline
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A lot of Asimov votes here, but it looks like I'm the first to nominate "The Dead Past".
"Sherlock Holmes once said that once you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the answer. I, however, do not like to eliminate the impossible. The impossible often has a kind of integrity to it that the merely improbable lacks."
-- Douglas Adams's Dirk Gently, Holistic Detective
Old 07-11-2019, 10:08 AM
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CalMeacham is offline
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There are a lot of Fredric Brown stories that fit -- Brown was a master of the short-short, and had lots of stories with twists or puns at the end, in addition to a lot of more serious stuff.

His story "Knock" has the same line at the beginning and at the end, but the meaning are completely different.


"Great Lost Discoveries I: Invisibility"

"The Ring of Hans Carvel"


..and several others I can't recall the titles of.
Who is the Calypso Singer that rides Pegasus?
Harry Bellerophonte
Old 07-11-2019, 10:13 AM
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burpo the wonder mutt is offline
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I concede Stephen King horror stories aren't hardcore SF, but the last line of, "Pet Semetary," and the last line of, "Survivor Type," (short story) both gave me the willies.
Old 07-11-2019, 10:14 AM
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Originally Posted by CalMeacham View Post
There are a lot of Fredric Brown stories that fit -- Brown was a master of the short-short, and had lots of stories with twists or puns at the end, in addition to a lot of more serious stuff.
"Nightmare in Yellow"?
"If a person saying he was something was all there was to it, this country'd be full of rich men and good-looking women. Too bad it isn't that easy.... In short, when someone else says you're a writer, that's when you're a writer... not before."
Purveyor of fine science fiction since 1982.
Old 07-11-2019, 10:46 AM
Elendil's Heir is offline
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The short story "Summer's Lease" by Joe Haldeman - the last sentence totally changes your understanding about what just happened

Tool of the Trade by Joe Haldeman - a perfect concluding sentence, and a great setup for the sequel that he unfortunately never wrote

Tuf Voyaging by George R.R. Martin - echoes a sentence earlier in the book, and is chillingly ambiguous, under the circumstances
Old 07-17-2019, 05:04 AM
Melbourne is offline
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Posts: 5,207
The two I immediatly thought of have been mentioned above (A boy and his dog, The Nine Billion Names of God), but by chance I just watched "Predestination" (2014), which is based on "—All You Zombies—" by Robert A. Heinlein.

I could be wrong about the last line -- a movie has to be less dialog driven -- but I remember a last line, and that would be the third one.


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