Looking for the title of an anthology of short stories I read as a youth.

The story I remember was an eerie one about an anthropologist called Richard Javelin who enters a department store called the Bonanza, looking for a water distilling outfit. He takes an elevator to I think the 13th floor which turns out later not to exist. I remember the store's catch line, "If the Bonanza doesn't have it, it isn't".

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    Given the answer, I find it hard to believe that you couldn't have found this by simply Googling the main keyphrase of your question: "thirteenth floor". – Lightness Races in Orbit Nov 4 '15 at 10:50
  • @LightnessRacesinOrbit - Strange, when I google "thirteenth floor", I get links to a film which is based on a novel by Daniel F. Galouye, with no mention of Richard Javelin :) – Joseph Nov 4 '15 at 12:27

The story is "The Thirteenth Floor" by Frank Gruber, which you can read online here, and a bibliography showing various magazines and anthologies it's been published in can be found here. The first line:

The motto of The Bonanza Store was: "If The Bonanza Hasn't Got It, It Isn't."

The story also features a character with the name "Richard Javelin". He is just referred to as "Javelin" in most of the story, but on p. 37 of the version I linked to, he asks to have an item sent to the Alonzo Apartments, and the salesgirl takes his name and address, which he gives as:

"Dick, I mean Richard Javelin. Alonzo Apartments, East Ohio Street."

  • Many thanks for your help,cheers! – Styre Nov 4 '15 at 13:48

I believe that Gruber's story is not the one Styre was looking for. I remember the story from a sci-fi anthology from the late 50's or early 60's. It was called "The Tenants," and I have been unable to locate it either. The anthology may have been one of the series of The Best of Fantasy Science Fiction or a similar publication.

Interesting to me that when one looks in major or minor book stores today, you will not often find anything like a 'sci-fi anthology'. Most of what is seen to be 'sci-fi' seems to be of the Star Wars variety, and the idea of an 'anthology' seems to be dying. You will have to scour the used-book store circuit instead.

  • While the previous answer wasn't accepted, note that the OP commented on it in such a way that leads one to believe it was correct - especially since so many of the specific details line up. What specifics do you recall form "The Tenants" that make it a better fit? – RDFozz Jan 26 '18 at 18:46
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    You must be thinking of "The Tenants" by William Tenn which is also a story about a 13th floor; you can read it for free at the Internet Archive. However, "The Tenants" does not have a character named Richard Javelin or a store called the Bonanza, so I'm sure Gruber's story is the one Styre was looking for. If you're looking for a different story, you should post a question, not an answer. – user14111 Jan 27 '18 at 0:28

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