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The protagonist is living in a sunny villa on a hill. All (or almost all) other people have voluntarily "beamed up" to a supposedly better place, but he's hesitating about whether to follow them. He boards a self-piloting boat that takes him to the place where people are "beamed up" - a blasted landscape - where he finds a goat tied up. He tries to rescue it, but gets too close to the beam-up location and is taken.

I think this is a short story, but it may be a novel. I read it no more recently than the 1960's so it must be at least that old. I don't believe there was any dialog, although there may have been a girl who accompanied him to the beam-up site.

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    Hi, welcome to SF&F! There's a chance that the suggestions might help you remember additional details you can edit into your question. Do you have any memory of what the book (e.g. cover) looked like? – DavidW May 24 at 23:11
  • And what happens to him after he is beamed up? What is the other place like? Or don't we ever find out? The story ends with the protagonist disappearing? – user14111 May 24 at 23:14
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    Probably not what you are looking for but Resnick's "Will the Last Person to Leave the Planet Please Shut off the Sun?" plays on similar themes. He also used the name of the story as the title of a collection which I heartily recommend. – dmckee May 25 at 16:55
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    The story ends when he is "beamed up". We never learn what the "other place" is like. – ariespc May 27 at 18:39
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Sounds a little like a part of "City" (1952) by Clifford Simak.

A compilation of tales told by dogs in the distant future were man is considered mythological. I believe pieces of the eventual book were published as stand alone short stories in some of the scifi mags in the 50's and 60's.

  • "City" is a wonderful collection of stories, but by my recollection it doesn't seem to match the description. Or maybe it's when the humans go to Jupiter? – Andres F. May 31 at 14:03
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    You are probably right. Now that I think about it I'm not sure that that particular Webster did go to Jupiter. I remember the melancholy and the nearly empty earth, but I don't remember a goat. I'm new to this forum and this probably should have been a comment rather than an answer. – user117306 Jun 1 at 14:28
  • No, no, this is fine as an answer. Comments are for requesting clarification. I was just wondering if this is the right answer, that's all :) – Andres F. Jun 1 at 20:25
  • I looked at the descriptions of the stories in Simak's 'City' and in the dozen or so Simak novels and compilations I have in my library, but didn't find the story I'm referring to. Still, thanks a bunch for taking the time to think about this and for your suggestions. I'll keep searching. – ariespc Jun 6 at 5:08

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