The Little Black Bag and Other Stories

  • by C. M. Kornbluth
  • Narrated by William Coon
  • 4 hrs and 2 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Although C. M. Kornbluth died an untimely death at age 34, in his short career he managed to write dozens of short stories and a number of novels, often collaborating with other writers. The five stories in this collection are all his own, and show a writer at the height of his powers. In “The Little Black Bag” (1950), a disgraced physician finds salvation in a high-tech doctor’s bag that has inadvertently been transported from the future. “The Altar at Midnight” (1952) explores an unintended consequence of space flight, in which astronauts become physically deformed by their work in space, thus making them outcasts back on Earth. “MS Found in a Chinese Fortune Cookie” (1957) presents a humorous tale of a writer who finds enlightenment but ends up in an insane asylum. “The Adventurer” (1953) is a tale of political intrigue, in a future where our republic has become a dynasty for one ruling family. In “The Marching Morons” (1951), a follow-up to “The Little Black Bag”, a 20th-century man awakes in a distant future, where intelligence has been mostly bred out of humanity.

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What the Critics Say

"A writer who had no peer in science fiction for examining the human condition in a multitude of moods." (Booklist)
"A boundless talent." (Frederik Pohl)
"Witty, pointed, telling, honest, gutsy." (Timothy P. Szczesuil, editor of His Share of Glory: The Complete Short Science Fiction of C. M. Kornbluth)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Familiar favorites, well done.

If you are not familiar with C.M. Kornbluth, this is a great collection of his shorter fiction. If you are familiar with his Kornbluth's work, well, this collection holds few surprises.

C.M. Kornbluth was a brilliant writer whose output was cut short by his untimely death. Even casual sci-fi fans have probably heard of The Little Black Bag or The Marching Morons (the first and last stories in this collection), and with good reason---they are great stories based on a very clever (and disturbing) idea. The other stories are also all great, but familiar to sci-fi fans. (Of course, the reason a story like "The Adventurer" is familiar is because it is so good---and thus it got reprinted and included in collections like this one.)

For the most part, these are not swashbuckling space-opera kinds of stories...really, more about the ways ordinary humans face an extra-ordinary future (or present) world.

William Coon's narration was good and well-delivered.
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- Joel D Offenberg

Classic Science Fiction

What did you love best about The Little Black Bag and Other Stories?

It took me back to when I first read the collection when I was barely in my teens. Kornbluth was one of the reasons I fell in love with Science Fiction.


Who was your favorite character and why?

No favorites, really. The Marching Morons will always be my favorite of the collection because I see some of the same things happening in our societry now.


Any additional comments?

This is classic science fiction. Kornbluth died way before his time and I can only imagine the quality of work he could have accomplished.

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- Amazon Customer "I love a good story, regardless of the genre. Anything from 'Pride and Prejudice' to 'The Shining'."

Book Details

  • Release Date: 08-16-2011
  • Publisher: Eloquent Voice, LLC