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Gordon Van Gelder
Posted on Sunday, May 20, 2007 - 08:42 am:   

Here's a challenge: anyone want to try identifying these stories that were translated into Persian (as described in an email we received)?

I remember when I was a teenager I read a book
as i,m an iranian so the whole book was in persian language
this book was some short kind of science fiction stories
This book influenced my life
now I want to find this book and again read it because I lost it many years ago
I don,t know the name but I,m sure it was a translate of an english or american book
now I say some clues to it,s stories with the hope that you can help me with the right name of book
this book as I told before consist of a few short stories and
because i read it in persian i just remember the name of it,s stories in persian
I translate their name as good as I can in english and I hope it can guide you to real name
the first one was THE LAST MAN it was about an old man that become aware that all others are not
human any more even thay have no blood and kind of robot

second : A PLANET TO CAPTURE it was about a creature like scorpion that came on earth with a
space ship of humans and with it,s sting could control brains of it,s victims

third : PLAYTHING OF TIME it was as my opinion the best story of book it was about
a detective that has been druged with a spacial group
the effect of this drug was that every time that this man wake up from bed and live his life
when he become old and die he wake up on that vary bed so he finally did,t know is he realy
this time live reality or just a dream again


forth: THE WACHERS OR THE OBSERVERS
it was about a scientist that made a spcial microscope that could see strange worlds in side
every thing

now can you help me
I apriciate
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GSH
Posted on Sunday, May 20, 2007 - 01:32 pm:   

A guess at #4: The Diamond Lens, by Fitz-James O'Brien? It was published in 1858, so it's available online: The Diamond Lens

(If I remember correctly, I first ran across a greatly abridged version of this story in an anthology. Seems like that version focused almost entirely on the last two sections of the tale.)
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Gordon Van Gelder
Posted on Thursday, May 31, 2007 - 06:10 am:   

Here's another story in need of IDing:

Im trying to find a SF story from the late 50s early 60s concerning a man who is awakened from a long sleep and finds himself in a future world where everyone is concerned with a risk-free existence. The risk reduction measures even include jimmying the speedometers on automobiles so that35 MPH clocks as 200 MPH. Of course, only the awakened person remembers what such a high speed would look like.

I appreciate any help you may be able to give.

Thank you.
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Erik Olson
Posted on Tuesday, June 05, 2007 - 07:30 pm:   

Sounds a bit like Stanislaw Lem's Return from the Stars. Original was 1961, though I only know it through the 1980 English translated novel.

Astronauts return to Earth where everyone is risk-averse, docile and drugged. Main character drives a car beyond the speedometer limit, breaks assorted other laws and social norms.
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Gordon Van Gelder
Posted on Wednesday, June 13, 2007 - 08:18 pm:   

Here's another query from a reader:

I've been a regular reader of your magazine for over 20 years. There is a story that has been haunting my memory. The writer had a Spanish/Latino surname and the story was about how the Earth was infected with something from space that caused anyone that was close together to be connected like a centipede. The world changed because it was now inhabited with odd shapes of groups of people. The story was told by someone that was able to stay away from others and not be latched on a big glob of people.

Does anyone recognize it? I thought it might be one of R. Garcia y Robertson's stories from the early 1990s, but I don't remember one with plot described here.
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Gordon Van Gelder
Posted on Wednesday, June 13, 2007 - 08:26 pm:   

And here's another one:
----------------------------------
Maybe you can help me out,I am looking for a story I read in High School or a few years prior.I don't know the title all I give are the following scenarios that took place in the story:

1. Scientist performs a heart transplant on a dog or lamb;dog or lamb has heart attack and dies(This is not "HEART OF A DOG")

2.One of the characters is possibly named RADIUS.

3. A race of clones is created;they rise up and rebel at the end of the story;a woman clone begins crying at the end and the doctor/scientist is startled that she,all have become human.
----------------------------------
It sounds slightly like "Dazzle's Inferno" by Scott Bradfield from the June 2002 issue (http://sfsite.com/fsf/toc0206.htm), but I don't remember clones in it.
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Ahmed A. Khan
Posted on Thursday, June 14, 2007 - 12:26 pm:   

For the last one, could it be one of Simak's "City" stories?

Ahmed
http://ahmedakhan.journalspace.com
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Gordon Van Gelder
Posted on Thursday, June 14, 2007 - 01:05 pm:   

We heard back from the reader about that last one, the one with the character named Radius. It turns out it's Karel Capek's R.U.R.
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Gordon Van Gelder
Posted on Wednesday, July 04, 2007 - 11:44 am:   

Another inquiry from a subscriber:

I am looking for a science-fiction short story I read some forty years ago, either in Playboy or Pentouse (I was a teenager) The main character was near death and the only way he could continue living was to purchase "time" from other people in order to stay alive. He could buy a minute or an hour to keep living from someone who had years of time left. I hoping you have heard of it, by who it is written etc.
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GSH
Posted on Wednesday, July 04, 2007 - 02:08 pm:   

Just a wild guess: The buying time angle brought to mind an old Twilight Zone episode, "The Self-Improvement of Salvadore Ross", based on a short story of the same name by Henry Slesar (F&SF, May 1961). There's a synopsis of the TZ episode in Wikipedia. I have no clue how closely the adaptation might have followed the original short story.
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Gordon Van Gelder
Posted on Sunday, July 29, 2007 - 01:23 pm:   

Here's another question from a subscriber:

Some years ago I read a SF short story which I would like to find again. Hopefully, my reconstruction of the plot, as follows, will allow an answer from you as to its author & title.

The tale begins on Earth where the sun is dying, or "going out". Terrans get to a new star system where the suns keep "going out" and yet navigate to more and more systems through the eons.

They finally reach a habitable planet where there is only one "light" in the sky. The sun dies and there is total darkness. The final sentence of the story is: "Suddenly, a sonorous voice filled the void and said 'Let There Be Light'".
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Rande G. Jacobson
Posted on Sunday, July 29, 2007 - 05:17 pm:   

Let there be light is the last line of Isaac Asimov's story THE LAST QUESTION. It was his favorite short story that he wrote.
Your outline of the story is a bit different than the story though.
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Gordon Van Gelder
Posted on Wednesday, September 05, 2007 - 08:49 pm:   

Here's another story ID question we received:

Hi, I have been looking for years for a childhood science fiction paperback book, I believe was publish by Dell or Signet in the late 1950's or early 1960's about a group of people intentional left on a planet in survival situation. The group made contact with vicious wolf's type creatures. The cover has a bearded man, with his back against a tree, surrounded with several of the wolf creatures lying dead around him. Eventually the wolf creatures teamed up with the humans in over taking the crew of a spaceship from the people who left them, not expecting the group had survived, to escape from the hostile planet they were abandon on.
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Ahmed A. Khan
Posted on Thursday, September 06, 2007 - 01:14 pm:   

Could it be Heinlein's "Tunnel in the Sky"? I don't remember the wolves but the rest of the plot sounds very similar.

Ahmed
http://ahmedakhan.blogspot.com
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Lee R. Shipp
Posted on Friday, September 07, 2007 - 10:27 am:   

It's not "Tunnel in the Sky", Ahmed. Not sure what it is, but it's not "Tunnel".
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Andrew J. Breitenbach
Posted on Friday, September 07, 2007 - 10:37 am:   

Don't know if anyone's IDed this one yet offline, but I know this one, because it scared the pants off me when I read it:

"I've been a regular reader of your magazine for over 20 years. There is a story that has been haunting my memory. The writer had a Spanish/Latino surname and the story was about how the Earth was infected with something from space that caused anyone that was close together to be connected like a centipede. The world changed because it was now inhabited with odd shapes of groups of people. The story was told by someone that was able to stay away from others and not be latched on a big glob of people."

The story is "The New Prehistory" by Rene Rebetez-Cortes. It's in David Hartwell's World Treasury of Science Fiction (where I read it). It's awesome.
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Gordon Van Gelder
Posted on Tuesday, September 11, 2007 - 06:12 pm:   

Here are another two IDs (as well as a confession). Anyone recognize these two stories?

I am a mail carrier who delivered FSF to a customer from 1986-91. I sometimes read them during my lunch break, before delivering to the customer, whose home was at the end of my route. I recall 2 very enteretaining stories, which I'd guess were between 1988-90, and which may have been in the same issue. One involved fairies escaping from a reserve, and swarming all over a nearby town, so the sidewalks were slippery from squashed wings and the area cats gorged themselves into a torpor. The other included a "drive-by charming", wherein the lowlife neighbors of the narrator, who were fairy dust dealers, found their rundown home instantly made over in a cloud of lavender smoke. Unfortunately I do not know the titles or authors of these stories, but would love to be able to track down a copy. Do you folks possibly have a way of identifying the issue in question? Thanks.
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Andrew J. Breitenbach
Posted on Wednesday, September 12, 2007 - 12:29 am:   

Oh man, I feel I should know these. That was during the first time I subscribed to the magazine, when I was in high school and voraciously read it from cover to cover.

Was the first one played for laughs, or was it serious? If the former, it sounds like the kind of thing that even if Esther Friesner didn't write it, she should have. :-)
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Karlb
Posted on Friday, November 16, 2007 - 02:58 pm:   

Here's another story ID question we received:

Hi, I have been looking for years for a childhood science fiction paperback book, I believe was publish by Dell or Signet in the late 1950's or early 1960's about a group of people intentional left on a planet in survival situation. The group made contact with vicious wolf's type creatures. The cover has a bearded man, with his back against a tree, surrounded with several of the wolf creatures lying dead around him. Eventually the wolf creatures teamed up with the humans in over taking the crew of a spaceship from the people who left them, not expecting the group had survived, to escape from the hostile planet they were abandon on.

If anyone still cares, this is unquestionably SPACE PRISON (also known as THE SURVIVORS) by Tom Godwin. Last time I looked it was available online over at Baen Free Library.
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Julie Jamison
Posted on Friday, November 16, 2007 - 07:28 pm:   

There is a story I read at least 30, maybe 40 years ago. I don't remember the story, but the society of the story had only two laws: 1."You must not annoy your neighbor" 2. "You must not allow yourself to be too easily annoyed". Does this sound familiar to anyone? My (aged) mind tells me it might be a Tiptree story, but it could very well be wrong.
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Erik Olson
Posted on Friday, November 16, 2007 - 07:35 pm:   

I bought a stack of 1985 F&SF hoping to find a particular story I remember reading when my older brother subscribed.

It's about a time capsule placed in orbit that falls to the ground long after a nuclear apocalypse. There is a woman with twelve children (repopulating the Earth gives you status.) I remember what was inside but that would spoil the story.

About 1985 or earlier.
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Lee R. Shipp
Posted on Friday, November 16, 2007 - 08:11 pm:   

I think I know the story you're referring to, Erik, though I'm not sure I have the correct reference. It was the story with the females' status being in the number of "names" they had, i.e., offspring, right ? I think it may have been When Winter Ends by Michael Kube-McDowell, from the July1985 issue, but I'm not banking on it.
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Gordon Van Gelder
Posted on Monday, November 19, 2007 - 08:17 am:   

Another question from a subscriber:

I need your help. I am looking for a book title which I remember (vaguely) from my youth. The lead character in it was called ALE-80 (He did have another name, but I cant recall it). This is roughly all I remember about it... I dont know the author. The subject of the book concerned people having chips set in their body (their neck), with which they communicated, and found any information by linking to a main computer somewhere.

Sorry, the information is extremely sketchy, but that is all that I remember. I tried a fruitless search on Google for the character name, but struck out.

I hope you can help, and many thanks in advance.

Regards
Gary C.
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Gordon Van Gelder
Posted on Saturday, December 01, 2007 - 02:25 pm:   

I got an email today from someone who says the story with the jimmied speedometers (queried back in May) is Kornbluth's "Marching Morons."
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Erik Olson
Posted on Sunday, December 02, 2007 - 06:51 pm:   

Lee - that is most certainly the one. I read Part 1 on Kube-Mcdowell's website. What I remember must be Part 2 (not on his website. More fun finding it.) I have 4 other issues from 1985. Apparently I didn't read them right away then either. Probably too interested in computers.
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Gordon Van Gelder
Posted on Tuesday, December 04, 2007 - 06:26 am:   

We received this query today:
------------------------------------------------
Tin Man--A rip-off?

This is just a quick question...I've read the mag for years--yes, I've never outgrown my sf&f!!!! And I know I've read a short that resembles the sci-fi channnel's take on the Wizard of Oz. Could you point me to that story?
------------------------------------------------
I haven't seen TIN MAN so I don't know what story might be similar. The last WIZARD OF OZ-inspired story we ran was R. Garcia y Robertson's "Kansas, She Says, Is the Name of the Star" but I doubt that's the one in question here.
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Gordon Van Gelder
Posted on Thursday, December 13, 2007 - 09:44 pm:   

Does anyone recognize this story?
-----------------------------------------------
I remember reading about the ridge of Tench Tighlman in the story, "Ride Tighlman, Ride" is the M of F&sf many years ago, perhpas the 70s. Can you tell me what issue that was in?
-----------------------------------------------
We published other stories about the American Revolution---Charlie Finlay's "We Come Not to Praise Washington" and James Stoddard's "The Battle of York"---in the last ten years, but I can't recall a story about Tench Tilghman. Does it ring a bell with anyone else?
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Wolf Trubshaw
Posted on Friday, December 14, 2007 - 03:19 am:   

That last one was in March 1976.
Story's called "Ride, Colonel, Ride!" by Mary-Carter Roberts.
http://www.sfcovers.net/Magazines/FSF/FSF_0298.jpg
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ccfinlay
Posted on Friday, December 14, 2007 - 05:30 am:   

Now I want to read that story -- I'm going to have to check to see if I have a copy of that issue at home in with the stack of all the other issues from the mid-70s.
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Gordon Van Gelder
Posted on Friday, December 14, 2007 - 11:46 am:   

Thanks, Wolf.
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Blue Tyson
Posted on Monday, December 17, 2007 - 06:43 am:   

Here's one that has been bugging me for a while, and there's maybe a 50-50 chance it was a FSF story, given I picked up a couple of mags at LAX one day.

Probably 2000-2002, more likely earlier than later perhaps.

I remember a story where a man and a woman, probably some sort of researchers were affected by local conditions/organisms that made them attracted to each other when perhaps they would not have been.

The only other things I possibly remember is there may have been Charles Sheffield and James Patrick Kelly stories in those mags or corresponding mags that I picked up that month.
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Gordon Van Gelder
Posted on Monday, December 17, 2007 - 07:56 am:   

We didn't publish anything by Charles Sheffield in 2000-2002 and only one or two stories by Jim Kelly, so it's probably not one of ours. From your thumbnail description, I don't recognize it, but maybe if you have other details, I can place it.
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S. Hamm
Posted on Monday, December 17, 2007 - 11:22 am:   

Would that perhaps be Joe Haldeman's "Faces," from June 2004? (JPK had a story in the May issue that year.)
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Blue Tyson
Posted on Monday, December 17, 2007 - 05:33 pm:   

No, couldn't be that late, SH.

Gordon, I don't necessarily think that it was by either of those gentlemen, just that they may have been in one of the mags that month, is a vague memory.
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Blue Tyson
Posted on Monday, December 17, 2007 - 06:45 pm:   

It was perhaps a pheromone/sense of smell thing too, maybe?
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Blue Tyson
Posted on Wednesday, December 19, 2007 - 12:09 am:   

Seems there is a pretty good chance (thanks to rasfw) that it was the July 2000 Asimov's

http://www.bestsf.net/reviews/asimovs0007.html


http://groups.google.com/group/rec.arts.sf.written/browse_thread/thread/8be183fb f3c56eea/c9c9ff1e711a6eb8#c9c9ff1e711a6eb8
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Blue Tyson
Posted on Wednesday, December 19, 2007 - 02:31 am:   

And by deduction from that, it was the July 2000 FSF I have read before.
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Gordon Van Gelder
Posted on Wednesday, December 19, 2007 - 06:07 am:   

Here are the contents of the July 2000 F&SF:

http://www.sfsite.com/fsf/toc0007.htm
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Blue Tyson
Posted on Wednesday, December 19, 2007 - 08:57 am:   

Thanks, the actual story itself from above is online at the Asimov's site, here :-

Michaelene Pendleton - The Great Economy of the Saurian Mode - http://www.asimovs.com/_issue_0202/MODESaurian.html
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Gordon Van Gelder
Posted on Thursday, January 10, 2008 - 02:32 pm:   

Another stumper from a subscriber:

Quite a number of years ago, there was a short story about a grandfather who was cryo-frozen. Soon after, his grandson disappeared. After an exhaustive search, the police found the boy in the basement freezer with his suitcase packed. He tried to freeze himself to be with his grandfather. It was an awesome story that I'd love to find again. Any idea of the title, author, and edition of F&SF?? Thanks so much!!
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Gordon_van_gelder
Junior Member
Username: Gordon_van_gelder

Post Number: 579
Registered: 04-2006
Posted on Sunday, February 17, 2008 - 09:00 pm:   

A reader says: am looking for a story which supposes that the SUN is a deity not sure when it came out thanks for your help
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Gordon_van_gelder
Member
Username: Gordon_van_gelder

Post Number: 580
Registered: 04-2006
Posted on Sunday, February 17, 2008 - 09:13 pm:   

And another query: I am looking for a story that I read in the 1960’s that involved the making, selling and using of tobacco products illegal. I can’t remember the author or story name. Can you help?
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Gordon_van_gelder
Member
Username: Gordon_van_gelder

Post Number: 587
Registered: 04-2006
Posted on Monday, February 25, 2008 - 06:25 am:   

Another query from a subscriber:

A really long time ago - maybe in the 1960s, you published a short story about a media event that occurred on Saturday nights. A young, newly married couple was chosen by lottery - they had not been permitted to view the program prior to their entry in the lottery - a media crew wired their house and them and much to their surprise, their Saturday night lovemaking became the object of a voyeuristic/vampiristic experience by everyone else. Can you tell me what this story was, who wrote it and how I can obtain a copy.

Isn't this one of Robert Sheckley's stories? Or am I confusing it with another story?
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Gordon_van_gelder
Member
Username: Gordon_van_gelder

Post Number: 655
Registered: 04-2006
Posted on Friday, May 30, 2008 - 12:14 pm:   

A question from a reader:

a long time ago i read a short story about some people who sent a camera back in time at stonehenge, i know that it was over 10 years ago, but i was wanting to re read that story. is there any hope?

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