There is a a science fiction short story I read in a collection once that I really want to find again. The (usual) problem is I have no idea who wrote it or what it was titled. For those who haven’t read it I apologize that the description is, of course, one big spoiler. Anyway, the story goes something like this:
A space-ship. Crew are doing a regular inventory as part of a required military maintenance. They ran across an item (compog?) on the list none could even identify, much less locate. They checked it off the list and got called in for inspection; so, en route they report an anomolous incident which caused the item to destruct and that they jettisoned the remains for fear of radiation. Their call inspired an immediate shutdown of all space travel and instructions to dock near their present location for investigation of the incident that destroyed their company dog. The typo on the list put them in a weird position.
Despite the handful of relatives that live there, this is the first reason I really have to love anything/one within the bounds of illinois! Bless you, Andy L!!! And, Colibri, my Q is answered, you can remove it entirely now as far as I’m concerned. This, my first OP on Straightdope was an unmitigated success! And though I probably now owe Andy L sexual favors, I’m totally pleased with the experience (and I’m a big welcher, so…).
Well, I was jumping up and down and trying to high-five by myself when I saw the link. But now that I’m sober it’s apparent that I need to rethink whole extent of gratitude thing. But I’d definitely stop to help you change a flat on the highway! Thanks you.
“Allamagoosa” is a great short story. I remember reading it as a kid. I could even see it being adapted in the Star Trek universe, on some second-tier Starfleet vessel.
Here’s another sf short story identification question:
I’m pretty sure it was an Arthur C. Clarke story. A cat burglar is hired to steal some of the great artworks of human history. He’s given a portable device that can stop the flow of time in his immediate vicinity. He comes to realize that his employer wants to preserve the art just before the Earth is destroyed - either due to WWIII or some superbomb test. His employer disappears with the loot but leaves him with the stop-time device. He can now live out the rest of his life in stopped time… or die in seconds when the world is blown up.
Human mining or research colony or something, where the local indigenous population has been (willingly) pressed into the service of the humans. Christmas stardate is approaching, and one of the crewmen has been regaling the aliens with stories of Santa Claus. The aliens decide “That’s for US”, and insist that the mission commander provide THEM with Christmas. It’s a bit of a feat of engineering (this is taking place in hard vacuum around an asteroid, IIRC), but for the sake of getting the locals back to work (and also for crew morale), he agrees and complies. Everyone has a wonderful time, and the aliens say, “Let’s do this again EVERY year!” The mission commander says, sure, why not, it was fun.
Then the chief xenoanthropologist explains that, because this asteroid orbits its primary approximately every 168 hours, “every year” to the indigenes means “every WEEK” to the mission personnel.