I’m looking for the name of this sci-fi novel, the details of which are a bit fuzzy to me. It involved some kind of either alien building that was discovered or an alien artifact big enough for people to walk around inside. Inside were a series of puzzles/tests and perhaps booby traps I guess designed to only let members of a race sufficiently advanced to get through to the end without being killed off. Unfortunately most of the keywords I have tried keep bringing me to the movie Cube, which is definitely not what I’m looking for (although a great film!). Anyone have a clue?
I can think of everything BUT the title and author. The alien artifact was on the Moon, and it was multidimensional or something that gave it unfathomable properties. Doing any number of seemingly trivial things would cause you to die in various bizarre ways, but it would also kill you if you simply stood in one place and did nothing for the maximum length of time anyone had survived in it so far. If only someone could survive walking all the way through it, there would then be no time limit and it could be investigated with (relative) safety. They solved the problem by using a matter duplicator on a volunteer who was dying of cancer. By expending hundred of copies, they eventually worked their way through it by sheer persistance.
The one I was thinking of was Special Deliverance, but Clifford D. Simak.
Rogue Moon was the first thing I thought of, too. Did you read it in the Science Fiction Hall of Fame, perhaps?
Definitely sounds like Rogue Moon.
You bastards. Another vote for Rogue Moon.
Although you’re asking for a novel, the plot is similar to the movie “The Terrornauts,” based on Murray Leinster’s “The Wailing Asteroid.”
C’mon people offer some helpful suggestions.
Can you remember the last place you were reading it?
The Man in the Maze by Robert Silverberg?
House of Doors by Brian Lumley?
I can’t be sure, because I only read the blurb on the back many years ago, and wanted to track it down so I could finally read it. But the description for Rogue Moon definitely sounds like it. Thanks!
Sounds like every plot from the last seasons of “Stargate SG-1” as well.
IIRC in “Rogue Moon” there’s no indication the artifact was a test or had any other purpose. It was just there.
Maybe that’s why I remember reading this story 3 or 4 times and still have no idea how it ends.
It’s like Budrys predicted the video game – a character keeps trying to go through a maze, dies, gets another life, gets a bit further, finally finishes after many deaths and…that’s pretty much it.
And when walking through the maze, the chara…err, person constantly hears the electronic chirping of…Rio, by Duran Duran.
… unfortunately, the protagonist is repeatedly hit with a 1920’s-Style Death Ray…
The Heechee Saga?
It’s been a long long time, but my recollection is that the lack of resolution is kind of what the story’s about. There’s no rhyme or reason to this artifact; it’s just there. And humans have to explore it not to gain exotic technology or save the planet, but just because, like Everest, it’s there. And so this guy’s clones have to die over and over and over again because it’s there and we’re humans. And finally, when a clone makes it through, there’s no reward for the clone, it just has to sit down and wait to die. Because we’re human and that’s what it’s like sometimes.