9. "The End Of The Whole Mess" (Short Story)

Original publication date: 1986
Included in: Nightmares And Dreamscapes (1993)

Universally recognized for his horror works, Stephen King is known to dabble in science fiction from time to time; “The End Of The Whole Mess,” his nifty vision of a pre-apocalypse, is one of his better sci-fi entries. The narrator is Howard Fornoy, who, via his journal, writes about the life of his genius younger brother, Bobby. Bobby messed around with a chemical that somehow calmed human aggression, a breakthrough that Bobby saw as a potential end of violence, and, subsequently, a catalyst for world peace.

But the chemical’s unforeseen side effects include memory loss and the depletion of motor skills, ironically bringing about the end of days rather than “kumbaya” salvation. How King suggests Howard’s final moments in the story’s latter section is worth the reading experience alone.