I am trying to recall the name of a story I read when I was fairly young (maybe 20 years ago, but not sure how old the story is).

What I remember: A man acquires a set of creatures that he keeps in his house, I think in an aquarium. They evolve over time, quickly, and think of him as their benevolent god. They build statues in his likeness.

Then, I believe some sort of accident happens, and the statues they build become a little less benevolent, which bothers him. This pattern continues on with his cruelty increasing and their depiction of him becoming more cruel.

2 Answers 2


It's Sandkings by George R. R. Martin.

The critters see the owner as a god and build statues of his face in the sand.

  • 1
    Thank you! I guess I shouldn't be surprised I like yet another R.R. Martin story.
    – Bryan
    Mar 19, 2013 at 16:05

The story you are thinking of is called Sandkings by George R. R. Martin. It is his only Hugo and Nebula winning story. It was also turned into an episode of the Outer Limits in 1995 by Showtime.

  • Thanks Thaddeus. I will have to see if I can track down that episode as well.
    – Bryan
    Mar 19, 2013 at 16:10
  • Yes I remember the outer limits episode now. If I remember right it didn't seem to follow the written story very well. and was a little disappointing. This is not surprising as the books/stories have more details and are more unaltered
    – Fey Ray
    May 24, 2016 at 3:13
  • @FeyRay To be honest the original story doesn't have a lot of details. It's more of a "concept" story typical of scifi/horror.
    – Andres F.
    Mar 11, 2020 at 13:39

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