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-   -   Ask the guy who is pretty good at SF Story Identification (https://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?t=482118)

Andy L 09-06-2008 07:08 PM

Ask the guy who is pretty good at SF Story Identification
 
Hi there. It's been just about 4 years since I signed onto the SDMB, but I'm back. A few weeks back I helped out in this thread http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/...d.php?t=476861 with a story identification (by emailing the answer to Wendell). If you've got a story you'd like me to try to identify for you, give a description (include a rough idea of when you read it, and as many details as you remember) and I'll give it my best shot.

Andy

RikWriter 09-06-2008 08:42 PM

I read a juvenile SF short story back in the 70s about two friends who migrate with their families to an interstellar colony on a planet with two moons. One of the friends turns into a werewolf due to the two moons. Any ideas of the title and author?

Ukulele Ike 09-06-2008 08:53 PM

Do you do fantasy/ghost stories?

This was a short-short story I read 30-odd years ago in some anthology....I want to say it was an Alfred Hitchcock anthology, but I can't be sure.

A classic "club" tale, in which a strange little man tells his story (over a couple of large whiskies) about being abandoned on a cliff ledge in some far-off territory, after his companion has already fallen off and been killed. The first-person narrator points out that there was NO WAY the little man could have been rescued.

"Quite," says the little man.

"So, then, you must be DEAD," say the narrator.

"Quite," says the little man, and vanishes.

It's probably a rip-off of Lord Dunsany's excellent Jorkens tale, "In a Dim Room." But shorter, cleaner, more direct, and spookier.

Andy L 09-06-2008 09:18 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by RikWriter (Post 10163167)
I read a juvenile SF short story back in the 70s about two friends who migrate with their families to an interstellar colony on a planet with two moons. One of the friends turns into a werewolf due to the two moons. Any ideas of the title and author?

Doesn't ring a bell unfortunately - I do find references to the "World Of Two Moons" comic series by Wendy Pini, but it doesn't seem to fit completely http://www.experiencefestival.com/a/...ons/id/1970700

Peter Morris 09-06-2008 10:01 PM

Can anyone answer these questions or should we leave it to the OP?

(I remember Ike's story, and I think I can point him to the correct series, if not the actual volume.)

jackdavinci 09-07-2008 07:35 AM

Sometime in the early 80s I read a short story that was probably in a book of collected short stories. A man has a pregnant wife who is currently out and about while he is in their apartment on New Year's Eve waiting for her to get back home. Some old guy knocks on the door. Turns out he was born last year at the turn of midnight News Year's Eve and has aged over the past year. He's this year's avatar of sorts. He dies at the stroke of midnight. Guy gets a call from his wife - she had gone into labor and delivered at the stroke of midnight. Angst ensues.

Alessan 09-07-2008 10:05 AM

OK, here goes -

It's a full-length novel. Set a few hundred years in the future, after humanity had apparently been wiped out by some sort of sentient computer viruses. An immortal, super-enhanced woman, believing herself the last human left, escapes to some faraway planet (in sub-light speeds) with a cargo of human embryos, and there she sets up a new human civilization. Cut several centuries forward - she's still in charge, but her colony is revolting against her, and she learns that a ship is on its way from Earth.

Main characters - the woman, who sees herself as the mother of her planetary civilization, a radical intellectual who refers to the woman's supposed secret police as "Keeyas" (as he misread the term "CIA" in a history book) the reluctant young general leading the rebellion. Oh and there's a twist ending.

I've been trying to find this book for years, after reading it once around 1999 or so. I even started a thread about it, once. Any ideas?

A shameful cracka... 09-07-2008 10:12 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Andy L (Post 10162804)
Hi there. It's been just about 4 years since I signed onto the SDMB, but I'm back. A few weeks back I helped out in this thread http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/...d.php?t=476861 with a story identification (by emailing the answer to Wendell). If you've got a story you'd like me to try to identify for you, give a description (include a rough idea of when you read it, and as many details as you remember) and I'll give it my best shot.

Andy

A woman flies a spaceship around the universe. She is nude all the time. She discovers an alien on a planet that is a kind of amorphous furry blob. Story ends with the alien either psychically sensing her love or transmitting it's love to her, can't remember for sure, and with her wearing the alien as a sort of living, snuggly garment. There was a lot more to the story, but I can't remember it.

Story was in a big (in dimensions, not pages) illustrated colection of science fiction short stories I found in my school library in either the late seventies or early eighties. I'm pretty sure the stories were originally not illustrated, because I found one of the other stories in this book in a regular SF collection years later.

A shameful cracka... 09-07-2008 10:19 AM

I have another one. This was either a children's or YA book, read in the early 80s. It follows a kid in the future who travels to a planet in another star system on a vacation/business trip with his Dad. The trip would take months or years normally, but they have the technology to transmit data faster than light, and the way the kid travels is that a body is created for him at the destination and his mind is transmitted to a receiver at the remote location and uploaded into the simulated body's brain while his real body was kept in a kind of unconscious storage. This was seen as somewhat commonplace to him, but not something everybody got to do - kinda like a kid getting to go on a vacation to Europe. There was some kind of nefarious plot against his father that involved this body duplication process.

Biffy the Elephant Shrew 09-07-2008 10:32 AM

Okay, this one is really vague. Novelette-length story, I think, from the '80s or '90s. There's an older guy teaming up with a younger girl who is a computer genius and who wears a t-shirt with something like "Q" and a picture of a screw. The guy eventually catches on to the fact that this shirt means she's coming on to him and they have sex (her breasts are fake and she makes a "silicone valley" joke). Their computer exploration leads them to know too much about something big and the girl ends up gruesomely killed.

I strongly associate the above story with "All My Darling Daughters," so I thought I might have read them both in the same collection--possibly a book of SF stories with sexual themes--but looking at the titles of stories in books that include AMDD didn't ring any bells.

Larry Borgia 09-07-2008 10:33 AM

Here's one.

Published in the late 70's in Fantasy and Science Fiction magazine.

A man is living the life of a middle aged loser in a city somewhere. Job he hates, single, crappy apartment, out of shape. One day he hears the voice of an alien in his head. At first he understandably freaks out, but eventually he comes to accept it and not be scared. The alien agrees to set up private rooms and a common area in the man's mind.

The alien explains his mission. He comes from a Universe fantastically different from our own. The alien analogizes it to a gigantic incredibly complex mathematical equation, where every part is necessary to the logical meaning of the whole. It's a world of icy abstract beauty, cold and logical. Now one piece of the universe has detached itself and come here, to our universe. Without that piece, the alien's universe doesn't make sense any more. It is difficult for the alien to convey the magnitude of the crisis, but he asks the man to imagine "Time running backwards, the sun turning into a cold ball of iron, glaxies flapping their arms like demented starfish." The Alien has been sent to our universe to track the fugitive and return him, thus saving his world.

The alien begins to make changes in the man's life. He gets the man in shape, gets him a better job, begins investing in a market he can easily predict. The alien is overwhelmed by sensation, having never experienced it before. Even the man's poor bachelor diet fascinates him. Then the alien discovers sex, which he won't shut up about for three days. Eventually the man becomes wealthy. He and the alien start traveling the globe, ostensibly searching for the fugitive, but the man notices they always wind up in places of art, beauty and pleasure. Soon he is leading the life of a decadent cultured playboy.

One day the man is looking at paintings at a gallery in the Greek Islands. As he is about to enter a room the alien starts yelling in his mind. "Get out! Get Out!" The man leaves the gallery. The alien apologizes and claims he was simply bored in the gallery. It's never staed explicitly but it's obvious what happened: The alien found his quarry, but has lost the desire to return to his universe.

At the end the man accepts his life. It's a pretty good life after all, the life of a wealthy aesthete. But sometimes he can't stop thinking about time running backwards or the sun becoming a cold ball of iron.

That story has stayed with me but I can't remember what it was called or who wrote it.

ETA: if anyone knows this let me know, not just the OP.

Andy L 09-07-2008 11:02 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Biffy the Elephant Shrew (Post 10164605)
Okay, this one is really vague. Novelette-length story, I think, from the '80s or '90s. There's an older guy teaming up with a younger girl who is a computer genius and who wears a t-shirt with something like "Q" and a picture of a screw. The guy eventually catches on to the fact that this shirt means she's coming on to him and they have sex (her breasts are fake and she makes a "silicone valley" joke). Their computer exploration leads them to know too much about something big and the girl ends up gruesomely killed.

I strongly associate the above story with "All My Darling Daughters," so I thought I might have read them both in the same collection--possibly a book of SF stories with sexual themes--but looking at the titles of stories in books that include AMDD didn't ring any bells.

Biffy - thanks for one that I can id off the top of my head - it's "_Press Enter_" by John Varley.

All are welcome to id stories mentioned in the thread - I know I can't do it all.

Andy

Andy L 09-07-2008 11:06 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Alessan (Post 10164526)
OK, here goes -

It's a full-length novel. Set a few hundred years in the future, after humanity had apparently been wiped out by some sort of sentient computer viruses. An immortal, super-enhanced woman, believing herself the last human left, escapes to some faraway planet (in sub-light speeds) with a cargo of human embryos, and there she sets up a new human civilization. Cut several centuries forward - she's still in charge, but her colony is revolting against her, and she learns that a ship is on its way from Earth.

Main characters - the woman, who sees herself as the mother of her planetary civilization, a radical intellectual who refers to the woman's supposed secret police as "Keeyas" (as he misread the term "CIA" in a history book) the reluctant young general leading the rebellion. Oh and there's a twist ending.

I've been trying to find this book for years, after reading it once around 1999 or so. I even started a thread about it, once. Any ideas?

Hmm. The first part sounds like a story by Vernor Vinge (the ship of embryos) called "Longshot", but the rest doesn't ring a bell.

astro 09-07-2008 11:06 AM

Story where where there are huge aliens that look like classical "devils" that want to be worshipped. Aliens that are sentient slugs (or was it a virus?) that can infect and destroy the devils.

Ukulele Ike 09-07-2008 11:09 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Peter Morris (Post 10163453)
Can anyone answer these questions or should we leave it to the OP?

(I remember Ike's story, and I think I can point him to the correct series, if not the actual volume.)

I don't think anyone else here knows the answer, so please feel free!

Here's an easy one, since Ray Bradbury wrote it. (I read it in a high-school anthology, but haven't encountered it in any Bradbury collection I own, and I own quite a few.)

Schoolhouse on Venus. It rains all the time. On this particular day the sun is supposed to come out for five minutes. Sad little loner girl really looking forward to it. Bullies lock her in a closet, and forget to let her out in time, so she misses it completely. Wahhh.

One of Bradbury's "Kids suck" specials.

A shameful cracka... 09-07-2008 11:11 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ukulele Ike (Post 10164729)
I don't think anyone else here knows the answer, so please feel free!

Here's an easy one, since Ray Bradbury wrote it. (I read it in a high-school anthology, but haven't encountered it in any Bradbury collection I own, and I own quite a few.)

Schoolhouse on Venus. It rains all the time. On this particular day the sun is supposed to come out for five minutes. Sad little loner girl really looking forward to it. Bullies lock her in a closet, and forget to let her out in time, so she misses it completely. Wahhh.

One of Bradbury's "Kids suck" specials.

"All Summer in a Day". I remembered the story, found the answer by googling 'rain venus bradbury'.

Andy L 09-07-2008 11:12 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Larry Borgia (Post 10164610)
Here's one.

Published in the late 70's in Fantasy and Science Fiction magazine.

A man is living the life of a middle aged loser in a city somewhere. Job he hates, single, crappy apartment, out of shape. One day he hears the voice of an alien in his head. At first he understandably freaks out, but eventually he comes to accept it and not be scared. The alien agrees to set up private rooms and a common area in the man's mind.

The alien explains his mission. He comes from a Universe fantastically different from our own. The alien analogizes it to a gigantic incredibly complex mathematical equation, where every part is necessary to the logical meaning of the whole. It's a world of icy abstract beauty, cold and logical. Now one piece of the universe has detached itself and come here, to our universe. Without that piece, the alien's universe doesn't make sense any more. It is difficult for the alien to convey the magnitude of the crisis, but he asks the man to imagine "Time running backwards, the sun turning into a cold ball of iron, glaxies flapping their arms like demented starfish." The Alien has been sent to our universe to track the fugitive and return him, thus saving his world.
.


This sounds like a great story - I don't know it but I want to. Are you familar with the Internet Speculative Fiction Data base (isfdb.org)? One feature it has is the table of contents of all SF magazines - If you check out F&SF tocs from that time period, the title might ring a bell (here's the format for the TOCs http://www.isfdb.org/cgi-bin/pl.cgi?FSFAPR79 is F&SF April 1979.

Biffy the Elephant Shrew 09-07-2008 11:19 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Andy L (Post 10164703)
Biffy - thanks for one that I can id off the top of my head - it's "_Press Enter_" by John Varley.

That's it! I thought it might be Varley. Thanks.

Larry Borgia 09-07-2008 12:18 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Andy L (Post 10164741)
This sounds like a great story - I don't know it but I want to. Are you familar with the Internet Speculative Fiction Data base (isfdb.org)? One feature it has is the table of contents of all SF magazines - If you check out F&SF tocs from that time period, the title might ring a bell (here's the format for the TOCs http://www.isfdb.org/cgi-bin/pl.cgi?FSFAPR79 is F&SF April 1979.

Thanks! Based on your link I think it may--may--be "The Haute Bourgeoise" By Robert F Young, but I can't find a plot summary to confirm.

Peter Morris 09-07-2008 12:22 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ukulele Ike (Post 10164729)
I don't think anyone else here knows the answer, so please feel free!

Okay then. I've certainly read the same story you ask about. I'm pretty sure that it was in one of The Armada Ghost Book series. Can't tell you which volume, though. BTW, I always thought that the impact of the twist ending was somewhat reduced by the fact that it was included in a book of ghost stories.

Quote:

Here's an easy one, since Ray Bradbury wrote it. (I read it in a high-school anthology, but haven't encountered it in any Bradbury collection I own, and I own quite a few.)

Try The Illustrated Man, I think it's in that one.

Saint Cad 09-07-2008 12:32 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by astro (Post 10164717)
Story where where there are huge aliens that look like classical "devils" that want to be worshipped. Aliens that are sentient slugs (or was it a virus?) that can infect and destroy the devils.

The first part would lead me to "Childhood's End" by Clarke but the rest of the story doesn't match up.

AHunter3 09-07-2008 01:23 PM

Short story, if I recall correctly; gist of story is a time traveler who misconstrued the direction in which probabilities diverge, was trying to travel forward in time and went backwards instead, time machine only goes in one direction so he can't come back. He is "Merlin" circa King Arthur and the "wand" is a Colt 45 or some such. Something happens to make it necessary for him to escape Arthurian times and he ends up in distant past and creates Stonehenge for the express purpose of finding out when the hell he ended up.

as_u_wish 09-07-2008 03:16 PM

Sometime between 1970 and 1990 I read a short story where people are being evacuated from a planet/moon. They are lining up to board the space ships. Some youngsters are busy playing with cars and trucks in the school yard. Their teacher is angry with them for playing. The kids are extremely intent and serious. The teacher kicks the trucks and pours water on them.

Later it turns out that the cars/trucks are foreshadowing what will happen to the escape pods. The last pod (which the teacher is on) is scheduled to be kicked out of orbit and/or flooded out.

Does this ring a bell at all? I probably remember the details only partially and could have some of them wrong.

Edited to add: Oh, and the teacher realizes it and is feeling guilty and sick at heart.

Pyper 09-07-2008 05:40 PM

Ooh, ooh, I've got one! I read it in some type of "Best Short Stories of Some Year" collection. It more supernatural than sci-fi, though, so you might not know it.

It involved a man waiting in a bar for another man, pondering angrily how the second man had ruined his life through manipulating him, and how he (the first man) was not going to let the second man hoodwink him again. The second man arrives. This other man has some sort of Jedi mind trick powers and gradually twists the first man's ideas through his conversation, convincing the other guy that he is completely at fault. It was really well done, basically only a conversation, although I'm not describing it well.

Kat 09-07-2008 06:23 PM

I don't recall where I read this story, but the details that I remember are: human colonists land on an apparently uninhabited planet, with conveniently cleared sections that the colonists used to grow crops, some of which are exported off-planet. At some point, the alien inhabitants "grow" out of the cleared sections, but they are badly misshapen, as portions of them were absorbed by the crops in some way, so the missing portions need to be tracked down and removed by the animals (or humans!) that they ended up in.

Ponderoid 09-07-2008 06:52 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Alessan (Post 10164526)
It's a full-length novel. Set a few hundred years in the future, after humanity had apparently been wiped out by some sort of sentient computer viruses. An immortal, super-enhanced woman, believing herself the last human left, escapes to some faraway planet (in sub-light speeds) with a cargo of human embryos, and there she sets up a new human civilization

Sounds like it might be Eve's Rib by Bryn Chandler.

*** Ponder

E-Sabbath 09-07-2008 06:54 PM

It would be Screw-P, by the way. Old LISP thing.
http://www.catb.org/jargon/html/p-convention.html

"Do you want to screw?"

Okay. Okay. This one... there's only one real answer to.
It's an Isaac Asimov story, and it's about a really. Really. Really horrible pun.

No, no. I mean _really_ horrible. Short-short.

Name it.

Andy L 09-07-2008 07:14 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by E-Sabbath (Post 10166204)
Okay. Okay. This one... there's only one real answer to.
It's an Isaac Asimov story, and it's about a really. Really. Really horrible pun.

No, no. I mean _really_ horrible. Short-short.

Name it.


There are a few choices:

"Shah Guido G" ends with Atlantis sinking beneath the WAVES.
"Loint of Paw" ends with "A niche in time saves Stein"
"Sure Thing" ends with "Sloan's Teddy wins the race"
and there's "Death of a Foy" that ends
"Give my five hearts to Maude, Dwayne; dismember me for Harold's choir"

Which one is your groaner?

Bill Door 09-07-2008 08:08 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by as_u_wish (Post 10165496)
Sometime between 1970 and 1990 I read a short story where people are being evacuated from a planet/moon. They are lining up to board the space ships. Some youngsters are busy playing with cars and trucks in the school yard. Their teacher is angry with them for playing. The kids are extremely intent and serious. The teacher kicks the trucks and pours water on them.

Later it turns out that the cars/trucks are foreshadowing what will happen to the escape pods. The last pod (which the teacher is on) is scheduled to be kicked out of orbit and/or flooded out.

Does this ring a bell at all? I probably remember the details only partially and could have some of them wrong.

Edited to add: Oh, and the teacher realizes it and is feeling guilty and sick at heart.

It's a Zenna Henderson short story, probably from The Anything Box, because it's not one of her "People" stories. I don't remember the title offhand.

Bill Door 09-07-2008 08:09 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by E-Sabbath (Post 10166204)
It would be Screw-P, by the way. Old LISP thing.
http://www.catb.org/jargon/html/p-convention.html

"Do you want to screw?"

Okay. Okay. This one... there's only one real answer to.
It's an Isaac Asimov story, and it's about a really. Really. Really horrible pun.

No, no. I mean _really_ horrible. Short-short.

Name it.


My favorite bad Asimov pun is "the star mangled spanner."

E-Sabbath 09-07-2008 08:11 PM

There's a few more than that, Andy. But you've got it in your shortlist. Which is it? :)

Andy L 09-07-2008 08:17 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Bill Door (Post 10166465)
My favorite bad Asimov pun is "the star mangled spanner."

Actually that one's by Clarke: "Neutron Tide" is the title I'm pretty sure

Andy L 09-07-2008 08:19 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by E-Sabbath (Post 10166473)
There's a few more than that, Andy. But you've got it in your shortlist. Which is it? :)


I'd guess "Loint of Paw."

Andy L 09-07-2008 08:22 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Bill Door (Post 10166459)
It's a Zenna Henderson short story, probably from The Anything Box, because it's not one of her "People" stories. I don't remember the title offhand.

That sounds right - she did a lot of stories about children

Here's the list of stories in "Anything Box" http://www.isfdb.org/cgi-bin/pl.cgi?THNTHNGBXX0000, btw.

Biffy the Elephant Shrew 09-07-2008 08:30 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by E-Sabbath (Post 10166204)
It would be Screw-P, by the way. Old LISP thing.

Thanks. I have this weird ability, demonstrated here, to remember odd details about stories (not necessarily accurately) without remembering any of the substance.

De La Rue 09-07-2008 08:37 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by A shameful cracka... (Post 10164566)
I have another one. This was either a children's or YA book, read in the early 80s. It follows a kid in the future who travels to a planet in another star system on a vacation/business trip with his Dad. The trip would take months or years normally, but they have the technology to transmit data faster than light, and the way the kid travels is that a body is created for him at the destination and his mind is transmitted to a receiver at the remote location and uploaded into the simulated body's brain while his real body was kept in a kind of unconscious storage. This was seen as somewhat commonplace to him, but not something everybody got to do - kinda like a kid getting to go on a vacation to Europe. There was some kind of nefarious plot against his father that involved this body duplication process.

Hey, I read something like that! He went to stay with his aunt, and the only way you could tell if you were a brain in a robot was by a scar on your stomach...

Upon further research, that book was apparently called "My Trip to Alpha-1", by Alfred Slote. Is that it?

luvtinayothers 09-07-2008 08:47 PM

About twenty years ago I bought a used paperback from a garage sale for a quarter. I remember very little about it. I know that it was a bunch of science fiction stories all of them involving the same character, a man that I think was a scientist. One of the stories involved some sort of virtual reality device that allowed him to fully experience the pleasures of harems! I could have sworn that the
title of the collection was "The Best Laid Plans" but I can't find a collection of short stories with that title so maybe my recollection of the title is completely wrong. I think that the stories were from the late sixties, early seventies.
Help!

Naturally Oblivious 09-07-2008 09:18 PM

Heh, I have a few that I've been trying to find the titles of.

The first is a book. I read it in the early 90's, but I'm pretty sure it was published a lot earlier than than that. The paperback version had a blue cover.

The people in the story all live in giant trees that float through "space." At the very beginning, it has one of the characters visiting a doctor while the doctor is digging a bug out of a woman's brain. He says it's to late for the woman, but hopefully he got all the damn eggs or something. The people get water by tossing a pot attached to a rope into ponds of water that occasionally float by. Partway through the story, the tree is ripped in half, and the main characters end up floating on a raft. Two of the members tie themselves to the side, and end up having sex.

Later on they find a ship, and make their way to another tree where they are captured and sold as slaves. I don't remember anything else from this point on.

Another one, which I think is a short story, has this guy who invents a telescope that lets him see through anything, including back and fowards in time. This eventually leads the main character to realize that everyone is being watched by someone, always.

I'm sure there's more, but that's all I remember right now.

E-Sabbath 09-07-2008 09:31 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Andy L (Post 10166519)
I'd guess "Loint of Paw."

You really think that's worse than

"Give my big hearts to Maude, Dwayne. Dismember me for Harold's choir. Tell all the Foys on Sortibackenstrete that I will soon be there --"

http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=BdPDEcUWu3s

Ponderoid 09-07-2008 09:53 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Naturally Oblivious (Post 10166749)
The people in the story all live in giant trees that float through "space."

The Integral Trees by Larry Niven.

Quote:

this guy who invents a telescope that lets him see through anything, including back and fowards in time.
"I See You" by Damon Knight.

*** Ponder

AHunter3 09-07-2008 10:10 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Andy L (Post 10166276)
There are a few choices:

"Shah Guido G" ends with Atlantis sinking beneath the WAVES.
"Loint of Paw" ends with "A niche in time saves Stein"
"Sure Thing" ends with "Sloan's Teddy wins the race"
and there's "Death of a Foy" that ends
"Give my five hearts to Maude, Dwayne; dismember me for Harold's choir"

Which one is your groaner?

You left out "Bottommos" for the low-slung 3rd moon of Mars.

And I believe the actual punchline on the 'Maude, Dwayne' story was more like "Give my big hearts to Maude, Dwayne; dismember me for Harold's choir; tell all the Foys on Sortibrackenstrete that I will soon be there" ;)

Myrrajh 09-07-2008 11:18 PM

Okay, this is pretty cool! Hope you can find this one for me. I read it probably around 1979. There was an underground city and the people would stand in cubicles and be gassed to sleep for the night. They had no sunlight to know when it was day or night, so they relied on the gas.

Story was that the world had gone through a nuclear war and this city retreated far under a mountain to escape radiation; and it was a very long time they'd been there, perhaps for generations. Whenever someone in their society rebelled, they were exiled to "outside", presumably to die from radiation sickness. No one ever came back. There was some old tunnel they'd use to get the bad guys outside.

Well, of course this wouldn't be youth fiction if it didn't have a curious youth in it. This boy decides to venture outside to see how bad it is. He finds out that the earth and all life had recovered and the world was clear, pristine, and teeming with plants and all kinds of animals. Rather Eden-ish, if I'm remembering it correctly.

I'd love to read it again. Those images of his first view of the renewed earth are still in my head after all these years.

Thanks!

Myrrajh 09-07-2008 11:28 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ukulele Ike (Post 10164729)
I don't think anyone else here knows the answer, so please feel free!

Here's an easy one, since Ray Bradbury wrote it. (I read it in a high-school anthology, but haven't encountered it in any Bradbury collection I own, and I own quite a few.)

Schoolhouse on Venus. It rains all the time. On this particular day the sun is supposed to come out for five minutes. Sad little loner girl really looking forward to it. Bullies lock her in a closet, and forget to let her out in time, so she misses it completely. Wahhh.

One of Bradbury's "Kids suck" specials.

Okay, that dredged up bad memories of when I first heard that in elementary school. Talk about depressing. I remember it that the teacher said this was going to be the only time in 100 years or something that they would see the sun. And she missed it. Absolute wahhh.

Hunter Hawk 09-08-2008 02:09 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by astro (Post 10164717)
Story where where there are huge aliens that look like classical "devils" that want to be worshipped. Aliens that are sentient slugs (or was it a virus?) that can infect and destroy the devils.

This could be the "Quintara Marathon" trilogy by Jack L. Chalker. Not particularly worth reading IMO.

Peter Morris 09-08-2008 04:37 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Naturally Oblivious (Post 10166749)
Another one, which I think is a short story, has this guy who invents a telescope that lets him see through anything, including back and fowards in time. This eventually leads the main character to realize that everyone is being watched by someone, always.

Asimov's The Dead Past

Naturally Oblivious 09-08-2008 05:57 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ponderoid (Post 10166873)
The Integral Trees by Larry Niven.



"I See You" by Damon Knight.

*** Ponder

Thank you! Those are it exactly.

Alessan 09-08-2008 06:03 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ponderoid (Post 10166197)
Sounds like it might be Eve's Rib by Bryn Chandler.

*** Ponder

Nope. Sorry, not it.

Risha 09-08-2008 08:04 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Kat (Post 10166098)
I don't recall where I read this story, but the details that I remember are: human colonists land on an apparently uninhabited planet, with conveniently cleared sections that the colonists used to grow crops, some of which are exported off-planet. At some point, the alien inhabitants "grow" out of the cleared sections, but they are badly misshapen, as portions of them were absorbed by the crops in some way, so the missing portions need to be tracked down and removed by the animals (or humans!) that they ended up in.

It's from a short story collection by Anne McCaffery.

Risha 09-08-2008 08:20 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Risha (Post 10167846)
It's from a short story collection by Anne McCaffery.

Found it. It's Velvet Fields from "The Girl Who Heard Dragons".

I remembered this story right off the bat because it, quite frankly, really disturbed me. It's told from the perspective of one of the colonists, who is proud to say (though he no longer has a tongue) that they did what was right to make up for their accidental crime.

A shameful cracka... 09-08-2008 09:23 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Saint Cad (Post 10164944)
The first part would lead me to "Childhood's End" by Clarke but the rest of the story doesn't match up.

That was the first thing I thought of too, but the Overlords were benevolent and most definitely did NOT want to be worshipped.


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