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Literature / The Fly

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"Do flies live very long?"
Hélène Delambre

"The Fly" is a short science fiction mystery story by George Langelaan, which was published in the Playboy magazine in 1957.

One night François Delambre gets a call from his sister-in-law Hélène, who informs him that she has killed his brother (and her husband) André. Her claim is proven true as André's partially crushed body is found under a steam-hammer in Delambre family's factory. Thus starts the unraveling of the circumstances that led to André's death.

In 1958, a largely-faithful film adaptation was released. An In Name Only version by David Cronenberg was released in 1986.


This story has the examples of:

  • Driven to Suicide: André's fate, as aided by Hélène. She follows suit with cyanide shortly after giving her written confession to François.
  • LEGO Body Parts: The Teleporter Accident left André with a fly leg in the place of his right hand, and cat-fly head in the place of his own.
  • Merging Mistake: The Teleporter Accident with André and the fly left them with their heads and arm/leg swapped around.
  • Screaming Woman: When Hélène finally sees what exactly has happened to her husband, she starts screaming and is unable to stop it for a long time.
  • The Speechless: The accident left André unable to speak, and he communicates to Hélène with knocks and written messages.
  • Teleporter Accident: Multiple, with André's teleporter:
    • André's own accident, resulting in a Merging Mistake with a fly.
    • A botched teleportation left his cat Dandelo stuck between the transportation points.