Many years ago, likely in the 1970's or possibly late 60's, I read a story in a science fiction magazine ( "IF" or the "Magazine of Science Fiction and Fantasy" ??) that I would love to track down. It was about a man who somehow slipped into some kind of alternate reality, I think in the Arabian desert. Had genii, Rocs (giant birds) in it as I recall. The story was possibly the one in the magazine that inspired the cover art for the issue it was in. I know it is really unlikely anyone will know this, or that I will find the story in print, but appreciate any help.

marked as duplicate by Otis, Jason Baker, Rand al'Thor Oct 15 '16 at 0:14

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  • All issues of IF have been made available at the Internet Archive, so if you remember the cover image you could be able to find it. Don't forget to write an answer should you find the story you are looking for! – lfurini Apr 24 '16 at 20:28
  • A story with genii and rocs? Might be more than one of those. Please add any more details you can think of. – user14111 Apr 24 '16 at 20:54
  • scifi.stackexchange.com/a/106201/4318 maybe? – Kenster Apr 24 '16 at 21:19
  • @Kenster - Yes, seems likely. The protagonist does have a fight with a roc at one point. You should write this up as an answer. – Otis Apr 25 '16 at 1:58
  • @Link - ISFDB has a list of collections in which "Gateway to Elsewhere" was published, with cover images (click on a particular title to see its cover). See isfdb.org/cgi-bin/title.cgi?3543 – Otis Apr 25 '16 at 2:00

It sounds like you're thinking of Gateway to Elsewhere (1954) by Murray Leinster. It was published as "Journey to Barkut" in a 1952 issue of Startling Stories, with cover art based on the story.

[Remainder Copied from this question]

The protagonist, Tony Gregg, has a gold coin which he considers to be a good luck charm. An inscription on the coin indicates it's from the apparently non-existent land of Barkut. Tony gets in the habit of flipping the coin to make small decisions, and one day it leads him to meet a man who recognizes the coin and tells Tony that it came from another world.

Tony figures the coin wants to go home, so he uses coin flips to guide himself on a long journey which eventually leads back to Barkut. He learns that Barkut is inhabited by men and Djinn, who are at odds with each other. He has further adventures with the Djinn.

Gateway was reprinted in the 2005 collection A Logic Named Joe. Google Books has a page for Logic which lets you view parts of the book. I have an electronic copy of Logic which I think I downloaded from the Baen Free Library, but it's not available for download there at the moment.

Baen also distributed CDs with electronic copies of their books. The CDs are apparently freely distributable, and I was able to find a site with several CDs for download. Logic appears to be available on some of the CDs. Some googling should lead you to other sites where the CDs and their contents can be downloaded.

Edit: @sean-duggan found a complete copy of A Logic Named Joe freely accessible in HTML form on Baen's websubscriptions site. Gateway to Elsewhere is included.


Piers Anthony wrote the novel Hasan, a story retold from One Thousand and One Nights (AKA Arabian Nights), . It was first serialized in "Fantastic", Dec. 1969 and Feb. 1970, but didn't make the cover. There is a roc and various jinn (including a very powerful marid). However, there is no alternate-world aspect.

Cover the the 1974 paperback:


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