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Science Fiction Books/Short Story from about 1975


I read a short story in a collection of the years best ... in my memory, it turns out I had two stories mixed together.  The story I'm trying to remember is about this strange device that could (sorry I'm very fuzzy on what it did) either create whatever you wished or imagined - or maybe it created a duplicate of something you had - It was something that was simply magic.  And in my memory they tried to take it apart to see how it worked and a mini-black hole fell out and killed the guy standing underneath it and the black hole would eventually eat up the whole planet.  

NOW ... I've realized that the black hole bit is from the Niven story "The Hole Man" ... but the device in "The Hole Man" is the the magic device from the story I'm trying to remember.  So I'm thinking both stories were in the same collection --- and based on that wild guess I'm dating it around 1975ish.

Can you think of any story like I'm describing?  I do feel like in the end they broke the device trying to figure it out or trying to something with it they shouldn't have done ... and the device was very small, you could hold it in your hands.  Wish I could remember more about the plot.

Thanks in advance!

I have no idea as regards your 2nd story. However, IF that story did indeed appear in the same anthology as Larry Niven's story "The Hole Man", then I suggest you have a look at the marvellous Contento Index to Science Fiction Anthologies. Indeed, here is a link which shows which anthologies Niven's "The Hole Man" appeared in:-

Clicking on each link below "The Hole Man" at the top will lead you to a different page which will list all the stories that appeared in that same anthology. Then googling/memory  etc. should reveal which story is the one you are looking for.


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I have read most of the short stories and books produced by the Top 80-100 authors in the SF field, as well as more obscure authors such as Robert Sheckley, and can answer any queries regarding author, title or theme of a science fiction short story(or novel). I can also answer questions on the history and influence of Science Fiction past to present, as well as on specific SF genres such as Cyberpunk,Golden Age SF, H G Wells-style scientific romances etc. I do not answer questions about books/stories set in the Fantasy genre.


Am currently doing a writing course for writing Science Fiction Books, with the Writer's Bureau in the UK.<

Am considering becoming an amateur writer of Science Fiction. Other than that, no academic credentials, I simply have read a multitude of SF books and stories, with an emphasis on stories from H G Wells to the 1980s.

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