The story opens with the protagonist as the 'Mayor' of a town, engaging in some standard actions (cutting ribbons to open a mall or some such.) It turns out he's traveling around and taking whatever role he feels like in each town, as he's either the last man on Earth or one of the very last. (Robots are in great supply, and perform the tasks of the various underlings he may have in each role.)

As it turns out, the rest of mankind has been sent thru teleport units to Mars (I think; it could be somewhere else), or so he was told -- actually, that's what they were told, too, but the units they entered were simple disintegration units. The robots had concluded man had massive problems, and decided to start over, first eliminating the rest of mankind (a la 'The Marching Morons'.)

Our protagonist is eventually told this, and introduced to a feisty young lady intended to be the other half of restarting the species. Due to poor understanding of her motives, the robots put her in with our protagonist, but she ends up kicking him very forcefully in the nuts, before the robots come and restrain her. (One of the robots advised that they could have salvaged a sperm sample, except there was no ice handy, so it was lost.)

The story ends with our protagonist talking about his new job; executioner -- the young lady being the assumed victim.

It was a short story in a collection of other short stories; I would guess late 70s or early 80s, and has a Fredric Brown kind of feel.

  • 4
    Holy hell, this sounds insane. Commented Feb 17, 2017 at 15:19
  • I think I read this in an anthology as well, but I have no clue which one.
    – Buzz
    Commented Feb 17, 2017 at 16:49

1 Answer 1


Will add this as a candidate because I don't have enough points to make a comment

"Knock", written by Fredric Brown,

The Zan have killed off all life on Earth other than pairs of specimens for their zoo of exotic Earth fauna. Walter Phelan is the last man on Earth, but Grace Evans, the last woman, is not overly impressed with him and maintains her distance.

Then Walter discusses the future of the human race with Grace. She is shocked by his proposal and leaves as he intended to use the Zan technology left behind to create "the master race". The narrative then ends as it began: "The last man on Earth sat alone in a room. There was a knock on the door..."

  • 3
    Sorry, but nope. I know that one well; it has Walter suckering them into thinking that Earth is a 'Planet of Death' with some snakes... and it's got more of a happy ending. The one I'm looking for has him as the executioner at the end, preparing to kill her off. Right feel, tho :)
    – K-H-W
    Commented Feb 22, 2017 at 19:50

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.