I'm looking for a book of science fiction short stories. One of the stories describes the experiences of a man who finds himself in a corridor with a dead body. The corridor turns out to be a Möbius strip. I must have read that late 1970s.

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    I know that story. I think it's from van Vogt, but it's definitely an older one from the 50s or so. A man wakes up to find himself in a triangular corridor; as he walks along it, he finds a dead body laid out in his path. He goes past it, and a little while later finds another body, this one crumpled in a heap. He eventually figures out that the whole corridor is a mobius strip, with down based on whichever wall he's walking on, so the body had fallen from one wall to what became the floor. It's all part of a recruitment test for some top secret organisation.
    – andrewsi
    Commented Aug 6, 2015 at 14:29
  • (And a half hour of googling didn't turn up anything of us, though hopefully there's enough extra information there to point someone else in the right direction)
    – andrewsi
    Commented Aug 6, 2015 at 14:30
  • Yes, I recognize it as well. But haven't been able to narrow it down. Commented Aug 6, 2015 at 15:03
  • @andrewsi Yes, that's the story. I must have read that late 1970s.
    – Artales
    Commented Aug 7, 2015 at 8:53
  • A number of stories featuring Moebius strips are discussed at carliner-remes.com/jacob/math/project/lit.htm, however I don't think any are what you are looking for.
    – Eborbob
    Commented Aug 7, 2015 at 11:35

1 Answer 1



The story you're looking for is Theodore Sturgeon's "What Dead Men Tell".

It's collected in The Perfect Host, and at least some pages of it are available on google books

The protaganist wakes up in a triangular corridor; as he explores, he discovers a body that has been laid out in his path, and notices that the colours of the walls and his clothing change as he walks along. The whole thing is a recruitment test, to work out if he's smart enough to join a top secret organisation.

Since you're after a collection of short stories, here are the places where it's been anthologised

  • Good job! Didn't recognize it as Sturgeon at all! Commented Aug 7, 2015 at 14:04

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