This could've be in an anthology; it was a novella or short story, published before 1980.

The main character goes to the psychiatrist because he thinks he is being followed and watched - or is it paranoia? Turns out the government is protecting him because he is the source of all life (god?). The story ends with the world and the darkness closing in on him -- but has a happy ending.

  • Can you explain how this story has anything to do with solipsism?
    – Martha
    Nov 8, 2018 at 21:55
  • 1
    Welcome to Science Fiction & Fantasy! This question would be improved by going through the checklists here; How to ask a good story-ID question?
    – Valorum
    Nov 8, 2018 at 22:05
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    @Martha - presumably, from the description, the universe doesn't exist if this guy doesn't exist, which implies, he's the only real thing there is. The rest of us are no better than figments of his imagination.... Of course, I'm guessing, since I don't know the story.
    – RDFozz
    Nov 8, 2018 at 22:17
  • Just to clarify: Why do you say it's pre-1980? Is that when you originally read it (maybe for a class), providing you with an exact timeframe? Do you remember any details about the book/magazine/whatever it was in? Can you remember anything about the style of the story, or the details of it, that would indicate when it was written? What language was it written in/did you read it in? What country did you read it in?
    – RDFozz
    Nov 8, 2018 at 22:24

1 Answer 1


This is "Tonight The Sky Will Fall" by Daniel F. Galouye, collected most notably in Brian Aldiss's Space Opera anthology from 1974.

The story concerns Tarl Brent, who has recently become rich through a series of lucky coincidences. It turns out this is all being manipulated by the government and scientists who discovered that Brent - or a being associated with his subconscious - is actually the source of all existence in reality. They theorise that the being can't actually consciously maintain all it has created, so need to do everything they can to keep it from properly waking up.

At one point it does actually wake, and existence is reduced to a tiny area surrounded by darkness. But they are able to get it back to sleep and existence expands outwards again, restoring things to how they were.


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