“The Figure,” Edward Grendon (Lawrence Le Shan), 1947 – Scientists construct a device which can grab objects from the Here-Then to the Here-Now. One of the objects snatched from the future is an “aspirational” statue of a beetle, which demoralizes the scientists.
Comments: Short short story. Discussion of post-bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, followed by a raid by millions of insects on these cities about a year and a half later. Read in A Treasury of Science Fiction by Groff Conklin, in which he notes that stories like this (“With Folded Hands” and “The Fog”), are post-bomb reactions and attempt to express the fear that technology is out of control, despite the displeasure of readers who were sick of war and destruction stories by this time.
Author: Wikipedia: “Lawrence LeShan (born 1920) is a psychologist, educator and the author of the best-selling How to Meditate (1974), one of the first practical guides to meditation. He has authored or co-authored approximately 75 articles in the professional literature and thirteen books on a diverse range of topics including psychotherapy, war, cancer treatment, and mysticism.”