Looking For Several SCi Fi Stories From My Childhood

This is the place to ask about that story you remember so well -- but can't remember the title and author.

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Looking For Several SCi Fi Stories From My Childhood

Postby Kurt Todoroff » Wed Feb 06, 2008 8:06 pm

I read these stories during grade school in the 1960s. I would love to find them again.


A man plans a flight to the planet Mars. He thinks that he has considered all variables, but forgets the obvious variable of the Moon’s gravity. This changes his flight path, and he lands on Venus. He discovers a couple of races of beings. One race resembles humanoids. Another is a winged flying race that attacks the first race and abducts people for reasons that I don’t recall. I remember that the first race provides him with a creamy substance which when applied to his facial hair for seven consecutive days, causes it to stop growing. I also remember that he and the queen of the first race fall in love. I think that the winged creatures abducted her near the end of the book.


A scientist creates micro life forms that live in a four acre domed environment. They are extremely intelligent and technologically advanced. Their temporal existence is substantially accelerated beyond ours. They consider the scientist, who’s actions towards them are purely benevolent, to be god. Eventually, their technology exceeds ours. He shares their technological advances with humanity (I think).


A group of people (possibly human) are marooned on another planet. They possess five-day life spans due to the influence of the hostile environment. Individuals become fully sentient shortly after conception while in utero. They possess the knowledge of their history while in utero. During gestation, one person decides to search for, find, and repair the space ship that brought his ancestors to this place, after he is born. He and a female succeed in finding the spaceship. While inside the protection of the ship, their metabolism and life span return to normal. One day while repairing the ship, she tells him that she had a dream that chronicles the events that I just described. He tells her that it was only a dream.


A human colony on the planet Jupiter exists inside an domed enclosure that utilizes electricity to increase its strength. The human inhabitants possess a machine that can transform human life form to other life forms that it extrapolates would be indigenous to the local environment. The leader of the inhabitants has sent six volunteers out to the surface of Jupiter after the machine converts them to the extrapolated indigenous life form. They never return and are presumed dead. Amid severe criticisms about his leadership, the leader decides to undergo the conversation himself, with his dog. After the machine converts him and his dog to the new life form, they venture onto the surface of Jupiter. They are so enamored with their new existence that they decide to not return to the human settlement, and look for the six others who they now presume are still alive. As they begin their journey, the former dog tells the man that he will never return because they’ll turn him back into a dog. The man follows up with, “An me back into a man.”


Several scientists are stuck in a room (on a hostile planet) with limited food supplies. The only way out is through a matter–energy transporter. However, they must align the transport mechanism to prevent death during transport. This requires removal, adjustment, and reinstallation of the very heavy floor plates. The scientists are old and becoming weaker as they perform each successive iteration of alignment.


A man (I think that he is a detective) is sent to a society on another planet to solve a crime or a problem. The planet exists in another dimension. This alternate existence has impossible sights, sounds, colors, and angles. Their appearance of these beings is repulsive to him. To conceal his identity, and protect his sanity, he appears to them in their form, while they appear human to him. He is to infiltrate the population and solve this problem. He falls in love with a female of their species, which places both of their lives in danger. The entity that sent him to this planet sends him and the female to another place to live together.


An entire society travels through time for recreation. They use a time scale based upon centuries. For an unknown reason, travel to the very top of the scale is prohibited. One man travels to the end of the scale and discovers its secret.


A human has been working on the planet Pluto. He is about to run out of oxygen or food or both. He knows that a supply ship will arrive after he will have starved. He decides to stand on the planet’s surface, remove his helmet from his environment suit, allow his body to freeze with the expectation that the supply ship personnel can revive him. He removes his helmet and freezes, only to discover that his mind still functions. This is torture since his frozen immobile body will stand there for months (years?) waiting for the supply ship. The story ends with him thinking to himself “Man is it cold.”


A group of men (workers ? / soldiers ?) have volunteered to have their physiology modified such that they can work in extremely hazardous environments with minimal environmental gear. They possess considerably greater strength after the modification. Somehow their minds and intellects are modified when they are in this state. They talk loudly. To revert to human form, they must enter some sort of electric field. The reversion is temporary (perhaps twenty-four or forty-eight hours). I seem to remember one of these persons yelling at his boss or wife or friend “I’m coming down” when he was about to commence the reversion in the electric field.


Thank you for any assistance.

Kurt Todoroff
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stories

Postby admin » Thu Feb 07, 2008 8:47 am

I've read several of these stories, but only remember the name and author of a few.

#2 is Microcosmic God, by Theodore Sturgeon, available in Microcosmic God: Volume II: The Complete Stories of Theodore Sturgeon.

#4 is Desertion by Clifford Simak, one of the stories in City, which is still in print.

#7 sounds a little like The End of Eternity, by Isaac Asimov.
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Postby Kurt Todoroff » Fri Feb 08, 2008 10:32 pm

Hi admin,

Thank you for your response. Your three suggestions were, indeed, the three books that I had read years ago. I plan to purchase them soon. If the others come to mind, please post them.

Best wishes.
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Postby Al Simms » Sun Feb 10, 2008 10:11 am

Number one sounds like Pirates of Venus by Edgar Rice Burroughs, the first in his short Venus series.
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Postby HomieBear » Tue Feb 12, 2008 10:01 am

Story #6 is a story by CL Moore, sorry I don't have my copy here to look up the title but it is one of her many famous short stories.
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Postby HomieBear » Tue Feb 12, 2008 10:02 am

And of course the last story in your list is the very famous "Scanners Live in Vain" by Cordwainer Smith.
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Postby Kurt Todoroff » Tue Feb 12, 2008 5:54 pm

C.L. Moore's novel was "The Bright Illusion".

My gratitude to all of you for assisting me. I hope that the final three titles appear here soon.

Best wishes.
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Postby Kurt Todoroff » Tue Mar 04, 2008 9:32 pm

I purchased Ray Bradbury's book "A Sound Of Thunder & Other Stories" a week ago. I read 28 of the 32 short stories in the book. Tonight, I started reading story number 29 titled "Frost And Fire". After reading the four short sentences of the first paragraph, I knew that I was reading story number three on my list in my posting. What a great surprise. The story was just as good as I remembered it was almost forty years ago.
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