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Night Shade Message Boards » Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction » Identifying Old Stories » Ashort story titled"The alien" or "resurrection" « Previous Next »

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Thomas
Posted on Monday, January 03, 2005 - 07:29 pm:   

I'm looking for a story that details a space explorers contact with an alien civilization. The exploer has a machine that can bring the dead beings back to life. It turns out the alien is a human and the explorer is actually the alien. Does this ring any bells?

Thanks,

Thomas
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Thomas R
Posted on Monday, January 03, 2005 - 09:02 pm:   

Those are, unfortunately, two very common titles. For "Resurrection" I found works by Clark Ashton Smith, Damien Broderick, David Morrell, J. W. Donnelly, James Van Pelt, John Christopher, Karen E. Taylor, Katharine Kerr, Mark W. Tiedemann, Paul S. Kemp, Philip Boast, Richard Hatch+Stan Timmons, Steve Alten, W. A. Harbinson, and William M. Valtos with that title. For "The Alien" I found stories by LP Davies and Rick Shelley. Rick Shelley's I don't think is it.

However variations of those two words can produce even more.

Note: In part I'm posting this in case someone thinks I made the initial post. The thread was started by a different Thomas and I don't recognize this story.
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Gordon Van Gelder
Posted on Tuesday, January 04, 2005 - 07:00 am:   

Thomas---

It's helpful if you can tell us when you read it, and where (i.e., in a book? in a magazine?).
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Thomas
Posted on Wednesday, January 05, 2005 - 03:16 pm:   

I read the story in a anthology book with stories from the late 50's. The story was titled "Resurection" and it was noted that it had been previously published with the title "The Alien".

I appreciate all the help.
Tanks,
Thomas
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John Joseph Adams
Posted on Wednesday, January 05, 2005 - 07:14 pm:   

Could it be "Resurrection" by A. E. van Vogt? This story was not published as "The Alien," but it was published as "The Monster." Could that be it?

Here's a description of it I found: "Colonizing conquerors arrive on a planet where everyone is dead, resurrect some of the natives, and get a surprise." Sounds right to me, from the way you described it.

Here are the ISFDB entries for it (it's listed twice), and you'll see it was reprinted several times:

http://www.isfdb.org/cgi-bin/pw.cgi?90abb3
http://www.isfdb.org/cgi-bin/pw.cgi?90a869
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Alan T. Sippola
Posted on Wednesday, January 05, 2005 - 10:15 pm:   

Good work, John! You're getting to be almost as good as I am at this "I can find anything!" investigating job. ;-)

The short story is indeed "Resurrection" ["The Monster"] by (A)lfred (E)lton van Vogt (Canada, 1912-2000). It is in several anthologies, including the anthology "The Last Man On Earth", edited by Isaac Asimov.

As an interesting note to this particular story, Dan O'Bannon, the screenwriter for the 1979 movie, "Alien", reportedly had nightmares about parasitoids (Parasitoids are a particularly gruesome kind of parasite that invariably kills its host by the time it becomes an adult and is ready to leave the host's body. A parasitoid female wasp, to give one example, will fly along until it finds a caterpillar of some particular species. It lands on top of the caterpillar, jabs an egg-laying stinger into the caterpillar's body, and injects some eggs. The eggs hatch, the wasp larvae feed on the living caterpillar from within, and then, when they're ready to metamorphose into adults, they crawl out of their hapless host, leaving it to die.), and out of those dreams emerged a script about an alien that laid its eggs inside human hosts, which then burst out of their hosts' chests.
A.E. van Vogt sued over the script for "Alien", and won. You can read a detailed version of Dan O'Bannon's "dream" in van Vogt's "Voyage of the Space Beagle." The alien described in this story is basically a man-sized parasitoid wasp that can walk through walls.

* Resurrection ["The Monster"], (ss) Astounding Aug 1948

The Other Side of the Moon, ed. August Derleth, Pellegrini Cudahy 1949

Uberwindung Von Raum Und Zeit, ed. Gotthard Gunther, West Germany: Karl Rauch 1952

The Other Side of the Moon, ed. August Derleth, Grayson 1956

The Other Side of the Moon, ed. August Derleth, Berkley 1959

Spectrum II, ed. Kingsley Amis & Robert Conquest, Harcourt, Brace & World 1963

Monsters, Pocket 1965

The Other Side of the Moon, ed. August Derleth, Mayflower 1966

Toward Infinity, ed. Damon Knight, Simon & Schuster 1968

Invaders from Space, ed. Robert Silverberg, Hawthorne 1972

In Dreams Awake, ed. Leslie A. Fiedler, Dell 1975

The Last Man on Earth, ed. Isaac Asimov, Martin H. Greenberg & Charles G. Waugh, Fawcett 1982
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Thomas
Posted on Tuesday, February 01, 2005 - 05:10 pm:   

You guys are good. I bought a copy of one of van Vogt's anthologies and sure enough you were right. Thanks !!

Thomas

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