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Can You Name This Story? (Part 5)

Dave N. is looking for the name of a story that eludes him. Here is his description:

I don’t remember the entire plot, but it involved the protagonist going to bed on what I believe was a Monday night & woke up very early in the morning. He found creatures, for lack of a better world, constructing all the things familiar to him, i.e. his house, the neighborhood, the town, etc., suggesting that the whole world was deconstructed during his sleep. He ended up somehow asking what day it was, or stating that today was Tuesday, and was told (I can’t remember if it was from another human or one of the “creatures”) that “Yesterday was Tuesday”. Thanks for your help!!

– Dave N.

Can you name this story?

About John DeNardo (13012 Articles)
John DeNardo is the Managing Editor at SF Signal and a columnist at Kirkus Reviews. He also likes bagels. So there.

7 Comments on Can You Name This Story? (Part 5)

  1. I saw something quite like this on TV long ago, maybe from the Eighties run of the Twilight Zone. In fact, for some reason, I was just thinking about this yesterday. These construction workers had to build reality for every moment of time. Somehow, somebody slips ahead a little bit and sees the future while it’s still under construction. I’m guessing the episode was based on that story. Anyone know the episode?

  2. Christopher Dodson // May 29, 2008 at 12:52 am //

    That’s “Yesterday Was Monday” by Theodore Sturgeon. I haven’t read the story, but I do remember the televised version quite well (it was indeed from the ’80s Twilight Zone.)

  3. Sounds also very similar to The Tunnel Under The World, by Frederick Pohl, where an entire town was rebuilt to test advertising.

    You’ll see similar themes in Alex Proyas’ Dark City.

  4. Definitely “Yesterday Was Monday” by Theodore Sturgeon. It’s one of many great stories that that make up The Best Time Travel Stories of the 20th Century, edited by Harry Turtledove and Martin H. Greenberg.

  5. Brett S. // May 29, 2008 at 4:50 pm //

    You can read the first couple of pages of the story on Amazon’s excerpt.

  6. There was also a children’s picture book called, I think, “The Caretakers of Wonder” about all the people who took care of the world while you slept. I remember the people pinning up the night sky like a giant sheet, then taking it down at dawn and storing it, folded up, under the front stairs.

  7. That would be “Yesterday was Monday” from the Time Travel stories collection by Harry Turtledove.

    And I know how it feels to know the plot of the story/novel, but to forget the name 😀

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