God holds the departed in his hand at Judgment and enumerates their sins; some are embarrassed and hide in his sleeve. They are chosen to be reincarnated (I think).

  • 2
    Please take a look at the guidelines at scifi.stackexchange.com/tags/story-identification/info to refine your question. When did you read it? Where? What language? Do you remember anything about the cover or the content of the other stories?
    – FuzzyBoots
    Commented Apr 6, 2017 at 18:03
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    This doesn't appear to be about science fiction or fantasy
    – Valorum
    Commented Apr 6, 2017 at 18:46
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    @Valorum Say what? (1) A supernatural being (in this case God) makes a literal on-stage appearance in the story; that qualifies it as fantasy. (2) Reincarnation is another fantasy theme. (3) From the answer, we see that the story involves colonization of an extrasolar planet, a classic science fiction theme. Vote to reopen.
    – user14111
    Commented Apr 6, 2017 at 20:48
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    I would only vote to re-open on point #3 - I would say though that the question should be edited then to include some element of the sci-fi aspect. Until then, no vote from me
    – NKCampbell
    Commented Apr 6, 2017 at 20:53
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    @Valorum The evidence for the correctness of the posted answer is that it matches every point in the question. From the Wikipedia page about the story: 'It portrays a Last Judgment in which God and the archangel Gabriel laugh at sinners and saints alike, embarrassing them until they flee "up the sleeve of God." After every human soul has taken shelter there, all of humanity, "enlightened" and "in new clean bodies," is given a second chance. ' There's your embarrassed sinners hiding in God's sleeve and there's your reincarnation.
    – user14111
    Commented Apr 6, 2017 at 21:56

1 Answer 1


It's A Vision of Judgment by H. G. Wells, of all people.

The twist is that everyone, no matter how virtuous they thought themselves to be, is revealed as laughably inadequate, dishonest and weak, but God, in his infinite mercy, shakes them all out of his sleeve on to a new planet, in orbit around Sirius, to start again 'now that we know each other a little better'.

The story was first published in 1899, so is easily available online, e.g. at Project Gutenberg.

  • You can learn about link markup on this page. Basically, it has to be of the form [some text](actual link), or [some text][link name] followed by [link name]: actual link at the very end of your post. Commented Apr 6, 2017 at 19:59
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    @Gallifreyan Actually "[link name]: actual link" can be anywhere in the post, doesn't have to be at the very end. Though that's a sensible place for it.
    – user14111
    Commented Apr 6, 2017 at 20:43

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