from fantasy and science fiction by
Rudyard Kipling

Rudyard Kipling

This page:
As Easy as A. B. C.
A Matter of Fact
The Mark of the Beast

see also:
Kipling’s ghost stories



science fiction

index pages:

Where noted, my source for Kipling stories is Kipling: A Selection of His Stories and Poems, by John Beecroft. It lacks copyright information (or even dates) for individual items. It does provide this compilation for the whole collection:

Copyright © 1892, 1893, 1894, 1895, 1896, 1897, 1898, 1899, 1900, 1901, 1902, 1903, 1904, 1905, 1906, 1907, 1908, 1909, 1910, 1911, 1912, 1914, 1919, 1924, 1932 by Rudyard Kipling.

Copyright © 1892, 1893 by Macmillan & Company

Copyright © 1894 by Bacheller, Johnson & Bacheller

Copyright © 1897, 1898, 1905 by The Century Company

Copyright © 1900 by The Curtis Publishing Company

Copyright © 1901 by Caroline Kipling

Copyright © 1904 by Charles Scribner’s Sons

Copyright © 1956 by Elsie Bambridge

As Easy as A. B. C.

Copyright © 1912 by Rudyard Kipling
also published under the title “Easy as A. B. C.”

“There’s nothing to prevent any one calling meetings except that it’s against human nature to stand in a crowd, besides being bad for the health.”
“You can’t do anything with folk who can go where they please, and don’t want anything on God’s earth except their own way.”



“Would you believe me, they went on to talk of what they called ‘popular government’? They did! They wanted us to go back to the old Voodoo-business of voting with papers and wooden boxes, and word-drunk people and printed formulas, and news-sheets!”
The orator urged us to arise in our might, burst our prison doors and break our fetters (all his metaphors, by the way, were of the most mediæval). Next he demanded that every matter of daily life, including most of the physical functions, should be submitted for decision at any time of the week, month, or year to, I gathered, anybody who happened to be passing by or residing within a certain radius, and that everybody should forthwith abandon his concerns to settle the matter, first by crowd-making, next by talking to the crowds made, and lastly by describing crosses on pieces of paper, which rubbish should later be counted with certain mystic ceremonies and oaths. Out of this amazing play, he assured us, would automatically arise a higher, nobler, and kinder world based—he demonstrated this with the awful lucidity of the insane—based on the sanctity of the Crowd and the villainy of the single person.



text checked (see note) Feb 2005

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A Matter of Fact

copyright information above

A large percentage of the tales of the world, the thirty-nine that cannot be told to ladies and the one that can, are common property coming of a common stock. We told them all, as a matter of form, with all their local and specific variants which are surprising.



‘What are you going to do?’

‘Tell it as a lie.’

‘Fiction?’ This with the full-blooded disgust of a journalist for the illegitimate branch of the profession.

‘You can call it that if you like. I shall call it a lie.’

And a lie it has become, for Truth is a naked lady, and if by accident she is drawn up from the bottom of the sea, it behoves a gentleman either to give her a print petticoat or to turn his face to the wall, and vow that he did not see.



text checked (see note) Jun 2005

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The Mark of the Beast

copyright information above

East of Suez, some hold, the direct control of Providence ceases; Man being there handed over to the power of the Gods and Devils of Asia, and the Church of England Providence only exercising an occasional and modified supervision in the case of Englishmen.

This theory accounts for some of the more unnecessary honors of life in India: it may be stretched to explain my story.



The man who has a weakness for horses never wearies of inspecting them; and when two men are killing time in this way they gather knowledge and lies the one from the other.



text checked (see note)> Jun 2005

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Graphics copyright © 2005 by Hal Keen