At least thirty or forty years ago I read a short story in an anthology of science fiction. The story was about a man in a bazaar/market on some far-flung planet. He buys a rug/carpet. In the course of the story, the man lies on the rug and falls asleep. He finds himself in a deadly world/dimension. If I remember correctly, the grass in this world was either vampiric or acidic. Everything was deadly. He wakes up just in time to save himself from death. Does anyone recall the title and author of such a story? I believe that the protagonist portrayed by the author in other stories as well.

  • 11
    "Sure, it transported me to a far-flung planet where I almost died from vampire grass--but dang it, it really tied the room together!" Oct 1, 2015 at 20:36
  • What other things were deadly besides the grass?
    – Otis
    Oct 23, 2015 at 21:40
  • Your story has been identified. Please let us know if this is the story you were looking for. No need to post a comment, you can "accept" the answer by simply clicking on the check mark next to it.
    – user14111
    Aug 9, 2016 at 5:51
  • The book you read it in may have been one of these.
    – user14111
    Aug 9, 2016 at 5:53

1 Answer 1


This is "Scarlet Dream" by C. L. Moore, one of the Northwest Smith stories; available at the Internet Archive.

It's actually a shawl rather than a rug, but other than that the description is exact. The grass is indeed vampiric (pierces your skin and sucks blood if you stand still too long).

  • 1
    Yep. "Northwest Smith bought the shawl in the Lakkmanda Markets of Mars." I'm sure that's the right story. Hope the O.P. comes back for his answer.
    – user14111
    Aug 9, 2016 at 5:49

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

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