I believe this story was from the same anthology as this other one: Short sci-fi story about an object too heavy to be moved

I vaguely remember that an attempt is made using a metal bar to do something to the space on the other side of the wormhole (destroy it?), but at the very end, the characters realize that someone on the other side might in fact be doing the same thing to them.

  • Hi Brian. Welcome to Sci-Fi on SE. If you can post some more details, somebody might recognize enough of the story to answer. Can you remember character names or places from the story? Or approximately when it was published? (e.g. - 1990's or 2000's or 1970's?)
    – RichS
    Commented May 8, 2017 at 3:21

1 Answer 1


Aha! I believe it's Tiger by the Tail by Alan Nourse. Originally published in Galaxy in November 1951, reprinted in 50 Short Science Fiction tales.

A woman is caught shoplifting impossible numbers of items in a department store. When she's taken into custody, her pocketbook is found to be empty. Eventually, researchers struggle to pull back a steel bar pushed into the purse, since someone or something is pulling everything through to... somewhere else.

"Frank Collins filled a pipe and puffed nervously. "The way I see it," he said, "these beings pried a small fourth-dimension hole into our universe, and somehow got that woman under a suggestive trance. They made her collect aluminum so they could build a bigger opening."


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