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Can You Name These Stories? (Part 18)

John Ottinger III writes in, not one, but two story descriptions looking for a title.

Do any of our readers out there know the title of these stories?

Story #1: This story takes the “Twelve Days of Christmas” song and posits what would happen if a person were actually sent everything listed in the song. Diana Wynne Jones has done this recently in the STORIES anthology by Neil Gaiman and Al Sarrantonio, but I am trying to find another version I know I have read in the past, but cannot remember either title, author, or where it appeared.

Story #2: This story has a protagonist living in an overpopulated world. As such, people are forced to share apartments, living whole families to a bedroom or even closet. The protagonist happens to find an empty room off of his apartment space and for a time lives it up in the empty room, filling it with furniture and toys and friends. Over time though, the protagonist lets more and more people in on the secret, until finally as the illegal room is as cramped as his/her former abode. And the protagonist finds that they like it what way by the end of the story

Can you name these stories?

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.

4 Comments on Can You Name These Stories? (Part 18)

  1. Paul McAuley // June 24, 2010 at 2:47 am //

    Story 2 is JG Ballard’s ‘Billennium’ (1961).  A nice early example of the Ballardardian theme of characters learning to embrace catastrophe and weird situations.

  2. Billenium sounds very cool… Off to find. šŸ™‚ Thanks!

  3. Billenium is a very good Ballard story, and even before I saw Paul’s answer, I knew it was Story #2.  

  4. Mark Watson // June 24, 2010 at 8:45 am //

    The first one might be the short parody by the English historian John Julius Norwich, which I think was originally published in either Punch or the Spectator, and which can be found all over the web as “author unknown” in various forms of plagiarisation (and which he published as a book with illustrations by Quentin Blake): e.g.

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