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The Coffin Cure

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Author: Alan Nourse
Published: 1957
Language: English
Wordcount: 6,492 / 26 pg
Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease: 90.8
LoC Category: PS
Downloads: 2,912
Added to site: 2008.01.15 19708

ng wrong at all.

The bus ride was a nightmare. It was a damp, rainy day; the inside of the bus smelled like the men's locker room after a big game. A bleary-eyed man with three-days' stubble on his chin flopped down in the seat next to him, and Phillip reeled back with a jolt to the job he had held in his student days, cleaning vats in the brewery.

"It'sh a great morning," Bleary-eyes breathed at him, "huh, Doc?" Phillip blanched. To top it, the man had had a breakfast of salami. In the seat ahead, a fat man held a dead cigar clamped in his mouth like a rank growth. Phillip's stomach began rolling; he sank his face into his hand, trying unobtrusively to clamp his nostrils. With a groan of deliverance he lurched off the bus at the laboratory gate.

He met Jake Miles coming up the steps. Jake looked pale, too pale.

"Morning," Phillip said weakly. "Nice day. Looks like the sun might come through."

"Yeah," said Jake. "Nice day. You--uh--feel all right this morning?"


Reader Reviews

Average Rating of 4 from 3 reviews: ****
Paulo Respighi

Clever story. Researchers finally cure the common cold and discover it isn't a parasite, it's a symbiont.

The characterizations are good for a pulp story, and the predicament is funny. Good yarn.

Trisha Allison

Funniest story in the half dozen SF anthologies where I've read it.

Delighted to find some stories by Alan Nourse which i hadn't yet managed to source here at many books.

Another writer here whom I adore is F Anstey, although what I think his funniest story isn't included in the biblio here


Cute science fiction short story about Dr. Coffin's cure for the common cold. The cure ends up causing problems of it's own.



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Brian Blose
Brian Blose is a software developer and army veteran who enjoys reading and writing fiction that contains flawed heroes, unreliable narrators and moral dilemmas. His book, The Participants, is no exception and had readers glued to the story until the very last page. As our author of the day, Blose chats about the Heinsenberg uncertainty principle, how TV shows from the 90s inspired this book and gives us some behind-the-scenes insights in the creation of The Participants.
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