Ursula K. Le Guin is an American novelist who writes primarily science fiction and fantasy. She once wrote, "Once you light a candle, you also cast a shadow." In her story, the entire city comes together to celebrate summer in a seaside festival. People enjoy processions, a horse race, singing, and dancing. The narrator takes a moment to explain to the reader that the people of Omelas have everything they need and nothing more. They do not live in a fairy tale world, but they do live without guilt.
Luigi Ugolini was an Italian writer who had reputation for his short stories. Many of his works are required reading in Italian schools. This odd tale is about a scientist by the name of Benito Olivares whose studies push him deep into the Amazon jungle of South America. While there he discovers a new and baffling plant, the features of which are almost like those of a man. Stretching out his hand to pick a flower from it, he gets pricked by a thorn. He will never be the same again.
Gabriel José de la Concordia García Márquez was a Colombian writer. He is noted for saying, "The heart's memory eliminates the bad and magnifies the good." This story is an example of magic realism. In it a man named Pelayo finds a disoriented, apparently homeless, old man in his yard. The man is unkempt and seems mentally unstable. He speaks in a language that Pelayo cannot understand. The most unusual characteristic of the old man, however, is that he has a pair of very big feathered wings. Pelayo and his wife benefit from the old man's presence as they begin to charge admission from those who have come to see the old man. Despite mistreatment, the old man continues to stay.
Katherine Mansfield was a prominent short story writer from New Zealand. She is noted for saying, "I always felt that the great high privilege, relief and comfort of friendship was that one had to explain nothing." In this story, the boss is visited by his friend Mr. Woodfield. They converse in the study about various topics. After Woodfield leaves, the boss is overcome with emotion but unable to cry. Instead, he encounters a fly.
Ray Bradbury was an American author, famous for his novel Fahrenheit 451. He wrote a variety of genres including science fiction and fantasy. He is know for the line, "You don't have to burn books to destroy a culture. Just get people to stop reading them." This story provides a glimpse into the future (2026), man has self-destructed, and what happens to that which he has left behind.