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lizardling
10-26-2010, 03:00 PM
I'm trying to remember the exact name and details of a short story that I read about 20 years ago. It may have been in a classic SF anthology, and was about on a par with Heinlein's juvenile SF stories. Google isn't turning up much for me, either.

Basically, a colony gets set up on Rigel. (No Rigellian beauties here) And they have to have defensive walls put all around because the Rigel lights (animated columns of light apparently) keep attacking them every night, and nobody really knows why.

The protagonist and his friend also make friends with one of the short-lived natives that the colonists are using for labor. They don't live very long, and aren't very intelligent, but they're friendly unlike the big bad lights. (And as I write that, I'm cringing at the sociopolitical themes that I didn't pick up on as a kid :P )

There's a twist to the story though, which I'll spoiler just in case.

When the little native that they befriend dies, and the protagonist and his friend bury the little guy inside the walls instead of outside in the graveyard. During one of the nightly attacks, the grave cracks open. And a crumpled Rigel light crawls out. Protagonist is freaked, friend is all "HELLO LITTLE GUY!"

Anyone recognize this and/or the anthology it came from?

Snowboarder Bo
10-26-2010, 06:08 PM
I can't find the text of the story, or even a synopsis, but could it be 1989's When I See Rigel's Light Sleeting Through the Side of Heinlein Station by Lawrence Watt-Evans? It was published in IASFM in December 1989.

AND I did find a blog reference to a short story called Rigel Lights, supposedly in an anthology curated by Aidan Chambers (http://pbackwriter.blogspot.com/2008/12/pbw-holiday-giveaway-2-times-change.html),

Probably the best is a short story I read whose author I have long since forgotten, but I do remember it appeared in a book edited by Aidan Chambers. The name was "Rigel Lights". Brilliant story. but I haven't been able to locate the supposed anthology, not even on Aidan Chambers' website (http://www.aidanchambers.co.uk/index.htm).

ETA: I emailed Mr. Chambers about this. I'll let you know if he gets back to me.

lizardling
10-26-2010, 07:03 PM
O.O

The "Rigel Lights" title is ringing a few faint bells, that could very well be it. Please do let me know if Chambers responds!

Watt-Evans doesn't sound like a likely candidate though, from what I remember of it though. It was a pretty earnest pulp SF style story, which was why I referenced Heinlein's early juvies, same sort of feel.

Chronos
10-26-2010, 08:13 PM
For some reason, when I read your description, my mind flashes on luminous creatures called "wheels". But I have no idea if that's from the same story, nor what story it was from (nor am I even certain that I'm not just making things up from whole cloth).

Snowboarder Bo
10-26-2010, 08:59 PM
BWAHAHAHA!

BOW BEFORE MY SUPERIOR GOOGLE-FU! :D

I found it.

"Rigel Lights" by Louise Lawrence (pseudonym of Elizabeth Wintle Holden), pages 17-39 of Out Of Time, edited by Aidan Chambers, 1985, Harper & Row.

Copies available thru amazon.com (http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=out+of+time+aidan+chambers&x=0&y=0).

WOOT! I win a search thread yet again! :cool:

Wendell Wagner
10-26-2010, 10:07 PM
The first thing you should do (always, always, always) when looking for a piece of science fiction, fantasy, or horror is to go to the Internet Speculative Fiction Database. You can search on that name or just bookmark this website:

http://www.isfdb.org/cgi-bin/index.cgi

Note that the title is "Rigel Light", not "Rigel Lights":

http://www.isfdb.org/cgi-bin/ea.cgi?Louise_Lawrence

Snowboarder Bo
10-26-2010, 10:28 PM
The first thing you should do (always, always, always) when looking for a piece of science fiction, fantasy, or horror is to go to the Internet Speculative Fiction Database. You can search on that name or just bookmark this website:

http://www.isfdb.org/cgi-bin/index.cgi

Note that the title is "Rigel Light", not "Rigel Lights":

http://www.isfdb.org/cgi-bin/ea.cgi?Louise_Lawrence

Good catch on the typo.

But the ISFDB wouldn't have helped in this case, because the OP didn't know either the name of the author or the title of the story, nor did the OP know the book it came from.

lizardling
10-27-2010, 06:18 PM
Thanks for scratching that mental itch, Snowboarder Bo and Wendell! I'll have to get my hands on a copy of that anthology for fun.

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