Lost scifi short story from my youth, the Golden Age of Scifi.
December 23, 2013 9:46 AM   Subscribe

I am looking for a science fiction short story probably from the first half of the 20th Century. It involved a deep mine, strange events at the bottom, footprints in stone and a species that evolved to live underground, INSIDE the rock.

There is a story I read a long time ago and want to read again. Yes, I was reminded of this by the Seattle thread, but it is yet another story that has been stuck in my head for decades.

So, the story is about a super deep mine, deep enough for there to be problems with geothermal heating. Deep in this mine there have been strange stories from the miners. I think they have been seeing faces, people, in the rocks. I believe the story is told from the POV of a man who goes down to figure out what is going on.

The big reveal of the stories is that there are strange people who live in the rocks. They can somehow move through solid rock. One of them comes out and leaves footprints in the floor of the mine. Humans have dug deep enough to disturb these dwarves, people of the rocks. The man sees one of the rock people come out of the wall of the mine.

I read this in a compilation in the '80s, but at the time I was reading a lot of scifi from the '20s to '60s. It could have been from almost any time during that period.
Do you know this story?
posted by Seamus to Media & Arts (4 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
This sounds very familiar and specifically something I've read recently. The only book of short stories I've read recently that's from the right timeframe is I Sing the Body Electric by Ray Brabury, so it's possible it's in there. Unfortunately I don't have the book anymore to go double-check or get a story title for you.
posted by kbuxton at 11:01 AM on December 23, 2013

Best answer: The Microscopic Giants by Paul Ernst.
posted by moonmilk at 11:05 AM on December 23, 2013 [1 favorite]

The movie serial "Flash Gordon's Trip to Mars" had clay men living in the rocks, who would ooze out and attack the Earth people.
posted by JimN2TAW at 11:24 AM on December 23, 2013

Response by poster: moonmilk has it! Thank you.

The Microscopic Giants by Paul Ernst
First published: Thrilling Wonder Stories, Oct 1936

And Paul Ernst was one of the Street and Smith writers who wrote under the name Kenneth Robeson. My day has now been made. Thanks.
posted by Seamus at 11:53 AM on December 23, 2013

« Older Ow My Ear   |   "Cool" things to do in Reno, NV. Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.