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Calvin Crumrine
Posted on Tuesday, January 11, 2005 - 04:49 pm:   

Ah, I fondly remember reading F&SF many years ago in high school & college. Thought you'd ceased publishing & am very glad to find myself mistaken.

Perhaps someone here can help me. I stumbled across this while searching for a way to identify a story or book whose plot I remember, but little else.

It's about 2 planets, in the same solar system I believe although I'm not certain about that. The book starts as intelligent life develops on both planets. One is quite Earth-like with seas & continents while the other is more Mars-like with lots of desert.

I remember the aliens on the Mars-like planet as 'red monkeys' although that might be incorrect. They developed a nomadic culture where 'territories' were trade routes rather than specific areas. Their culture was marked, if I remember correctly, by rational curiosity.

I think the aliens on the Earth-like planet were amphibians & developed much more like humans did, with cities & nations.

Eventually the planets developed space flight & discovered one another where their culture clash resulted in a war that destroyed both races.

The story is told entirely from within the alien cultures, sort of like a Michener novel. If I remember correctly, at the end it's revealed that the story was found via an archeological expedition from an advanced Earth.

Does this strike any memories? I thought it was called something like Second Contact & was by a well-known author, but if so I can't seem to find it so that's probably wrong.

Thanks.
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Sean T. M. Stiennon
Posted on Tuesday, January 11, 2005 - 07:48 pm:   

I might actually know the book you're looking for--I haven't read it, but here's a link to a review of a book a lot like your description, entitled First Cycle.

http://www.sfreader.com/read_review.asp?ID=286

Sean T. M. Stiennon
www.sfreader.com/authors/seanstiennon
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TCO
Posted on Tuesday, January 11, 2005 - 08:19 pm:   

I'm trying to think of a story (maybe a serial) that was written in the mid-70s to early 80s in one of the big 4 magazines. It just sticks in my mind a bit because there was a character making some sort of a trip and he had jewels hidden in a wound on his body.
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Alan T. Sippola
Posted on Tuesday, January 11, 2005 - 09:00 pm:   

Calvin --

It would help a lot, that if possible, you can provide us with an approximate year in which you read this story. Was it five years ago, or fifty-plus?
Also, was it definitely in the pages of F&SF, or some other SF periodical?
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Alan T. Sippola
Posted on Thursday, January 13, 2005 - 07:00 pm:   

Sean nailed it.

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George H Scithers
Posted on Thursday, January 20, 2005 - 04:35 am:   

New search: I'd like to identify a short short story I read many years ago. Scene -- the edge of a lake. Time -- the present. A couple of policemen are watching people walk into the water and drown themselves. Implication is that this is happening elsewhere as well. One policenam says, "Is that the last of them?" Other says, "Apparently so. Shall we go in now?" First policeman: "You go ahead -- I'll see if anyone else is coming." . . . and so on.
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Scott William Carter
Posted on Thursday, January 20, 2005 - 08:50 am:   

"You go ahead -- I'll see if anyone else is coming." . . . and so on.

George, that sounds like the end of the story right there. It's pretty funny.
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George H Scithers
Posted on Thursday, January 20, 2005 - 11:18 am:   

Well, that was almost the end; the remaining policeman (or highway patrolman) watched his partner go in, waited around for a few minutes, then went in himself.
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Scott William Carter
Posted on Thursday, January 20, 2005 - 11:20 am:   

I liked your last line better. Of course, I read it more like a joke than a story.
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George H Scithers
Posted on Thursday, January 20, 2005 - 02:03 pm:   

The original apparently wasn't intended to be a joke . . . it was too realistically done.
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Pat Swift
Posted on Friday, January 21, 2005 - 06:07 am:   

George,

The story you're looking for is "Lemmings" by Richard Matheson. The dell pb "Shock" cites a 1957 copyright for F&SF but doesn't indicate which issue.
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Charlie
Posted on Friday, January 21, 2005 - 10:08 am:   

Jan. 1958

http://www.sfsite.com/fsf/bibliography/fsfstorieswhom07.htm
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George H Scithers
Posted on Friday, January 21, 2005 - 08:02 pm:   

Many thanks for the information about the story, "Lemmings."

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