10

What I remember:

A man (whose family is dead) purchases a machine that can form metal objects of any shape. The man wants to return the machine for some reason, so he figures he'll try making something impossible. He keys in a "devil's tuning fork," which, to his surprise, it creates. He looks into the impossible space and sees his family. The story ends with him keying in a larger version so he can go through the space to his family.

FYI, a "devil's tuning fork" is the same thing as a blivet, poiuyt, or widget (see wikipedia's blivet article if you need more information)

Also, I do remember some of the other stories from this book, but not as intensely as the above. Here are the details:

  1. In this story people live in houses and get from place to place via walk though teleportation doors. No-one ever goes outside and the lawns and gardens are all looked after by robots. The story focuses on a boy who teleports to school and back, but he is always looking outside, wanting to explore. In the end he does get outside and sees some amazing things.

  2. The other story is about how the world has been converted into a massive junkyard. No animals or plants exist, and only one man is present. He spends his time searching through all the filth, and one day he discovers a lemon seed. He is able to grow this lemon tree, which produces one lemon. He eats the lemon, but dies. The tree was grown in pure garbage, and the lemon is pure poison.

I've been after this for years so anything anyone knows will make my day.

  • I do remember some of the other stories from this book, but not as intensely as the above. Here are the details: 1. In this story people live in houses and get from place to place via walk though teleportation doors. No-one ever goes outside and the lawns and gardens are all looked after by robots. The story focuses on a boy who teleports to school and back, but he is always looking outside, wanting to explore. In the end he does get outside and sees some amazing things. – eon31337 Jul 14 '12 at 8:53
  • 2. The other story is about how the world has been converted into a massive junkyard. No animals or plants exist, and only one man is present. He spends his time searching through all the filth, and one day he discovers a lemon seed. He is able to grow this lemon tree, which produces one lemon. He eats the lemon, but dies. The tree was grown in pure garbage, and the lemon is pure poison. If you have any questions or ideas let me know :D – eon31337 Jul 14 '12 at 8:53
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    Since Oldcat is right that one of the stories is probably "It's Such a Beautiful Day," you might look over the titles of collections including this work at ISFDB (see isfdb.org/cgi-bin/title.cgi?62723) to see if you recognize any of them. One collection, called "Eco-Fiction," sounds like a promising candidate to include both it and the other story you mentioned in comments. – Otis Apr 20 '16 at 14:03
  • I own "Eco-Fiction", and of the three, I only remember the Asimov story being in it. :( I'd like to read the garbage one myself. Sounds a bit like WALL-E's world. – Organic Marble Apr 20 '16 at 14:30
4

Can't help you on your main story, or the third. But #2 is almost certainly "It's Such a Beautiful Day" by Isaac Asimov. There might be lists of where this is collected that could help you find the others.

Plot Summary, from wiki:

Set in the year 2117, the story presents District A-3, a newly built suburb of San Francisco, and the world's first community to be built entirely using Doors, a method of travel via teleportation.

When the Door that transfers him from home to school fails, Richard "Dickie" Hanshaw takes a dislike to the method and starts to wander outside in the unfamiliar open, exposed to the elements. When he catches a cold, Mrs. Hanshaw is horrified and takes him to see Dr. Sloane, a psychiatrist, afraid that her son's wanderings are signs of a mental abnormality.

Despite his own misgivings, Dr. Sloane invites Dickie to go for a walk with him in the open, and Sloane learns to understand and appreciate the boy's dislike of moving around by matter transference and his newly acquired interest in the open air. Dr. Sloane advises Mrs. Hanshaw not to disapprove of Dickie's odd hobby so heavily, to treat it as if it is no big deal. This will remove its tantalizing aura of forbiddenness, and soon Dickie will lose interest in it and turn his attention to more "normal" interests.

At the conclusion of his last consultation with Dickie and Mrs. Hanshaw, Dr. Sloane succumbs to Dickie's viewpoint and says, "You know, it's such a beautiful day that I think I'll walk."

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