5

The first is a sci-fi story set on Earth. From the depths of space comes these microbes that latch onto electromagnetic fields. Anything electronic is rendered useless. There's the usual stuff where governments try to solve the issue but make it ultimately worse. It's only when they realise that the microbes surround the planet that they realise it is futile.

The story closes with people having returned to a simpler life, using medieval farming methods, not using electricity in any form, getting about by horse, etc.

I think it was a short story.

  • 1
    Welcome to SFF. If you have two questions (about two different stories) you need to ask them as two questions – Valorum Jan 25 at 17:57
  • Hi there! As these appear to be two separate stories, I've taken the liberty to edit out the second one, which you'll have to ask in a separate question :) (see How to Ask). This way, people will be able to provide answers that do answer one question only; may I invite you to take the tour to see how things work here? Please also take a look at the guidelines on story-ID, see if that triggers any more memories you could edit in. Cheers! – Jenayah Jan 25 at 17:59
  • 3
    And, in case it wasn't absolutely clear, you're encouraged to go ahead and create that second question now - no need to wait aND see what happend to this one! You can copy what you posted about it by clicking the "edited <however long ago>" link to the left of your name at the bottom of the post (or the link earlier in this sentence). – RDFozz Jan 25 at 18:38
  • 1
    I recall this story -- at the end, there's a scene of starting up a diesel engine powered generator every so often (weekly?) to see if the electricity eaters (I want to call them "waverleys") have gone, while life goes on without electricity of any kind. No explanation of how animal nervous systems continue to operate, however... – Zeiss Ikon Jan 25 at 18:52
  • I read it a long time ago, so it was probably published before 1970, certainly before 1980. From setting, seemingly 1930s or 1940s at the latest. – Zeiss Ikon Jan 25 at 18:54
6

This is likely Fredric Brown's "The Waveries". Although the organisms are electromagnetic in nature, and are called - wait for it - "vaders" as well as "waveries".

They block first all radio and TV transmissions, then shut down electrical power and even lightning. The world ends up running on muscle power again in the end.

user14111 pointed out that it's online in the January 1945 Astounding here.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.