I'm hoping to locate a short story in an old SF magazine (late 50s?). Earth has been colonized by extra-dimensional energy creatures with cities build out of pure energy. That energy pours out of energy fountains in the configuration of concentric energy rings, with the flow then being the source for further energy objects including energy buildings. Humans live in the cities mostly unnoticed, but occasionally get exterminated like rats when noticed. Our hero discovers he has the mental ability to control energy objects, with the ultimate discovery he can change their shape and color to create his own energy fountains. With that discovery, he and fellow humans float safely away out of the energy aliens' city on an energy barge on the energy river he created, with energy hands sticking up out of the river to wave goodbye to them. Of course that is the entire short story -- I'd just like to read the original again.


2 Answers 2


The answer for this question was previously offered for an answer here Sci-fi novel: aliens ignore humans, put up giant structures all over Earth and here Old short story about energy beings. The novella "The City of Force" by Daniel F. Galouye, published in Galaxy Magazine, April 1959, available at the Internet Archive. It has the extra-dimensional energy creatures with their cities of pure energy, humans hunted down and exterminated, the hero who learns to control the energy and the hands waving bye, bye:

He sent his two force rings drifting ahead and positioned the smaller within the larger. As the cataract of raw red energy poured forth, he changed it into pink radiance. Then he sent the rings floating toward the forest, letting them lay down a narrow carpet of pastel stardust.

The bulky proportions of a river barge took shape before them, centered on the glistening strip, and several courtly hands stretched out to help him and the girl aboard.

Smoothly, the craft moved off, maintaining a distance of several feet behind the radiant waterfall that provided the substance for the form.

As they drifted along, the river of light dissipated into nothingness behind them, leaving once again only the bare plain.

And, in their wake, scores of hands reared above the surface of the pseudo-stream to wave farewell.

  • Perfect! Thank you very much. I had been looking forward to rereading this for years, but had not found it or this forum. Jun 6, 2016 at 13:37
  • @WalterKraslawsky You can accept the answer by clicking on the check mark next to it. By the way, Galouye later wrote a novel Lords of the Psychon which is a prequel to "The City of Force".
    – user14111
    Jun 6, 2016 at 20:23

This is from memory as I do not have it any more. I searched the Galaxy Magazine page and finally found the October 1963 edition.

Per Wikipedia:

Of Men and Monsters by William Tenn (Philip Klass)

Of Men and Monsters is a science fiction novel written by William Tenn, published in June 1968 as a paperback by Ballantine Books. The book is an expansion of his story The Men in the Walls, originally published in Galaxy Science Fiction in October 1963. Of Men and Monsters is Tenn’s only full-length novel, as the majority of his other stories are novellas.

  • Thank you. Similar plot line and worth reading someday. But "The City of Force" by Daniel Galouye, in previous answer, was the one I was looking for. Jun 6, 2016 at 13:43

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