"That Hellbound Train" (Narrated By Jeffrey LeBlanc)
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"That Hell-Bound Train" is a short supernatural story by Robert Bloch. It was originally published in The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction in September 1958.
The creation of “That Hell-Bound Train” is a curious story. Originally shaped by William Tenn, who at the time had an editorial position at Fantasy and Science Fiction salvaging stories that had been selected by Anthony Boucher as "not quite good enough to be published, but still too good to have been rejected". From an interview in 2001, Tenn explained that the original version of "That Hell-Bound Train" had been "an absolutely fine piece of work that just didn't have a usable ending"; consequently, he devised a new ending "and persuaded Robert Bloch to write it".
"That Hell-Bound Train" won the Hugo Award for Best Short Story in 1959. “Comic Book Resources” has described it as "a classic deal-with-the-devil tale with a nice twist at the end". The story centers around Martin, a young hobo with a fondness for trains, considering whether to abandon crime when a strange train pulls up beside him on a desolate train track. The train conductor offers Martin anything he wants, in return for which he will "ride that Hell-Bound Train" when he dies.
Will Martin take our devilish Conductor’s offer? Can Martin beat the odds and....shame the Devil?--JL