“Hide and Seek” (short story) Gerard Klein
English Publication History: The Book of John Brunner (DAW, 1976)
Original: French (Cache-cache), 1960
Translated by John Brunner, 1973
Synopsis: The often purported Theory of Everything has been rumored to exist in many places and faiths, but mathematicians and physicists know that it simply lies in the details. Most, however, feign from delving into exhaustive detail as it requires hundreds and thousands of pages and hours to describe details across multiple disciplines. Of course, that purported Theory of Everything is the existence of God, but where the details lie, does the devil lie within, too?
Pseudo-analysis: A similar but much more popular version of this story is Arthur C. Clarke’s “The Nine Billion Names of God” (1953), both of which feature a deep secret unveiled with god-like repercussions. Though Clarke’s story was a short 10 pages, Klein’s story is even shorter–just 1 page. It’s a short shortstory with a punch ending, much like one of the stories in Isaac Asimov and Groff Conklin’s anthology Fifty Short Science Fiction Tales (1963).