The premises is:

A radio station broadcasted sounds recorded from deep space and those sounds when amplified provided people with a blissful trance. And it ended with the protagonist cursing the find and people abusing it, but then the radio comes on and he is blissfully happy again.

It's a short story and felt like Vonnegut-style. Sorry I can't add comments yet, I will be updating this question.

  • Short story? Novella? Novel?
    – Valorum
    Jul 30, 2014 at 22:05
  • Not this, but similar premise; en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Music_of_the_Spheres_(The_Outer_Limits)
    – Valorum
    Jul 30, 2014 at 22:11
  • You know, given the broadness of the title, I'm not sure there's any value in this question being here. You asked the question 14 hours ago, spent a few hours googling (which probably should have been spent before asking the question), and then answered it yourself. Perhaps the question should be removed? Jul 31, 2014 at 12:11
  • @BrianWarshaw I searched for a long while before I asked the question. And the only reason I found it is because of lucky guess to search for a Russian quote from the Russian translation of the text. But by all means remove this as useless Jul 31, 2014 at 13:03
  • I have no authority to close--just thinking out loud :-) Glad you found your answer regardless, though. Jul 31, 2014 at 16:18

1 Answer 1


I found it. It was by Vonnegut indeed.

"The Euphio Question by Kurt Vonnegut"

It begins with :

"Lew, Fred, and I found peace of mind by sitting in easy chairs and turning on a gadget the size of a table-model television set. No herbs, no golden rule, no muscle control, no sticking our noses in other people's troubles to forget our own; no hobbies, Taoism[I1] , push-ups or contemplation of a lotus. The gadget is, I think, what a lot of people vaguely foresaw as the crowning achievement of civilization: an electronic something-or-other, cheap, easily mass-produced, that can, at the flick of a switch, provide tranquillity. I see you have one here."

and ends with

"In closing, I'd like to point out that Lew Harrison, the would-be czar of euphio, is an unscrupulous person, unworthy of public trust. It wouldn't surprise me, for instance, if he had set the clockwork on this sample euphio set so that its radiations would addle your judgments when you are trying to make a decision. In fact, it seems to be whirring suspiciously at this very moment, and I'm so happy I could cry. I've got the swellest little kid and the swellest bunch of friends and the swellest old wife in the world. And good old Lew Harrison is the salt of the earth, believe me. I sure wish him a lot of good luck with his new enterprise."

  • Could you add details of how it meets the criteria? Even though it is your own question, it can help other viewers understand why the answer fits :)
    – Möoz
    Jul 31, 2014 at 1:12
  • @Richard thanks for editing the quotes in. This story made a huge impression on me when I read it as a kid. And it is pretty relevant today. Jul 31, 2014 at 13:05

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