Looking for a short story I read many years ago. As I recall, these anomalies would appear, and everyone was required to move to the centre in order to survive. But more than that, the anomalies exerted a sort of force that prevented you from ever moving further away from the centre — all houses had to be designed to have multiple exits to avoid trapping people, infants might be trapped out of reach, someone could get stuck just by taking a wrong turn, etc. (Breathing, circulation, etc. were fine.)

I'm wondering if this was compiled into one of the Year's Best Sci-fi anthologies by Gardner Dozois, but I've flipped through all the ones I can find on my bookshelves and nothing rings a bell.

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    Can you narrow down "many" years ago? More than 30 or less than 30?
    – user14111
    Feb 7, 2017 at 7:19
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    I have read this too (I'd say around 1995-2000) and also thought it was in Dozois' The Mammoth Book of Best New Science Fiction, but didn't find it there. You had to run towards the center while air pressure increased due to the dome's shrinking, and maybe the dome would have disappeared and freed everybody before the pressure became lethal, maybe it wouldn't have. I read that Stephen King's Under The Dome was based on The Cannibals (stephenking.com/library/unpublished/cannibals_the.html), but now I find myself wondering.
    – LSerni
    Feb 7, 2017 at 7:44
  • I feel like I've read this story too, but I don't remember there being a dome involved. I can't remember where I would have read it. Feb 7, 2017 at 16:26

1 Answer 1


This is Into Darkness by Greg Egan. Wikipedia describes it briefly in the article for Egan's short story collection Axiomatic.

A giant sphere of unknown origin jumps between random locations on the Earth's surface and restricts the movement of objects trapped inside in bizarre ways.

You can read most of it online here.

  • Awesome, that's the one! And it's even weirder than I remember. Many thanks.
    – Wisq
    Feb 7, 2017 at 17:56

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