Take the 2-minute tour ×
Science Fiction & Fantasy Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for science fiction and fantasy enthusiasts. It's 100% free, no registration required.

It was probably part of a compilation of short stories. I don't remember the title or the author's name, but remembered the idea of a man that literally turns into an angel/demon according to his behavior and must remember it.

N.B. - I think (based on the theme) it was a fantasy story, but I'm only 99% positive of that. Hopefully someone here will recognize it even if it's not; the subject matter is similar to SF-lovers' tastes.

Edit: it's foggy, but I seem to recall it was told from a first-person POV...

Thanks!

share|improve this question
    
There is an old short story, nominally SF but actually fantasy, about a person who serves as a temporary substitute, first for God, and then the devil. I can't locate it at the moment, but if this sounds like what you're looking for, perhaps it can help someone else find it. –  Chris Sunami Aug 20 at 14:48

1 Answer 1

up vote 8 down vote accepted

The story is most likely the short novel Mr Pye by Mervyn Peake.

Mr. Pye travels to the Channel Island of Sark to awaken a love of God in all the islanders. His landlady on the island, Miss Dredger, quickly becomes a devout follower of his teachings. and even agrees to allow the person she hates the most, Miss George, to stay in her house. As Pye does good works he gradually feels a stinging feeling on his back. On further investigation he discovers that he has started to grow angel's wings, and after consulting with a Harley Street doctor, he concludes the best thing to do is to stop doing good deeds, and instead does bad deeds.

He engages in some deliberately malicious acts, and after a time this results in him growing horns on his forehead. He is unable to decide what to do, but eventually decides to reveal his horned condition to the islanders, who chase him to the edge of a cliff, which Pye flies off using his wings.

share|improve this answer
    
having read the wikipedia article in your link (thanks!) it sounds nearly identical plot-wise, but I've no recollection of reading the (288 pg) novel, and rather have a more concise short-story version in mind... was it ever abridged or based on a short story later adapted to the novel? found no indication on-line... will mark as answer if no other is forthcoming... –  SDH Aug 20 at 10:51
    
There is an ebook that might help you decide from the selected pages it shows books.google.co.uk/books?id=jqO5EnaoN_oC –  Dreamwalker Aug 20 at 12:09
    
It's indeed "Mr. Pye". It was also made into a mini-series, which I remeber seeing in the late 80s. The scene where Pye peddle as mad on is bike - with an angry mob behind him - and then takes flight just as he reaches the cliffs is great. imdb.com/title/tt0307781/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1 –  Baard Kopperud Aug 20 at 12:56
    
since the plot is identical to what I recall, this must indeed be the story. many thanks @35RC! (and all those who replied/edited) –  SDH Aug 20 at 21:39

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.