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April 1st, 2010, 01:03 PM

I posted a question here a few weeks ago in search of a title/author of a story and had a couple of people provide the answer ("Unaccompanied Sonata" by Orson Scott Card)--many thanks to all who responded.

I come with a similar question, in hopes that the kind people of this forum will be able to help me (and my middle school science fiction club) again. The story whose title/author I am searching for is a story about a person--I think it was a guy, or maybe a guy and his friend--who is working on trying to create a computer that will generate truly random information, not just simulated randomness. As he gets closer and closer in his attempts, the "random" information begins to contain coherent thoughts, snippets of Shakespeare . . . and eventually he begins to think that he is talking to God, so he asks his machine, what is the meaning of life (or something like that.) I'm almost positive that the thing responds "The answer is I don't know." The machine also knew that as a child he seemed to have a lisp, but his lisping was actually him pronouncing something correctly in a way that nobody else could understand. Does this description ring a bell?

And while I'm at it, does anybody have any other short story recommendations for a middle school sci fi club?

Thanks so much--Sam

April 1st, 2010, 05:25 PM
I do not know your story sorry.

I would reccomend Tunnel in the Sky by Robert Heinlein
Also I, Robot by Issac Asimov

April 3rd, 2010, 01:34 PM
Thanks for the recommendation. The kids have already read (and mostly liked) a handful of the I, Robot stories. I'm trying to present them with a wide range of authors, time periods, subjects, etc. I remember reading the story in question (the one about the random number generator that I'm trying to find) a long time ago and really liking it. Any ideas on other places I could go to ask for help?



May 21st, 2010, 11:06 PM
Sam, I highly recommend Zenna Henderson's Ingathering: The Complete People Stories.. I read these books many years ago and still enjoy going back and reading them again.. Any of Anne Macaffrey's Dragon Rider books or, for that matter, ANY books by her make for great reading..

Although the Martian Chronicles have been around for decades it doesn't hurt to pass any of Bradbury's great novels down to the younger generation..

Asking for recommendations for great reading material is hard, I have so many great favorites, but I think if I could read one story aloud to kids, it would have to be the short story 'With Friends Like These' by Alan Dean Foster..

Have fun and hope I provided you with an idea or two.. Good luck.. :)

May 23rd, 2010, 10:06 AM
If you're looking for something really subversive, one of my favorite short stories is

Family Resemblance by Alan E Nourse

May 23rd, 2010, 10:20 AM
Because I'm new go the genre I've only read short stories by Isaac Asimov. I'd recommend to you The Dead Past, Gimmick Three, Kid Stuff, Living Space, Satisfaction Guaranteed, Dreaming is a Private Thing, Profession, The Dying Night, I'm in Marsport Without Hilda, All The Troubles in the World and of course the best The Last Question.

May 26th, 2010, 02:23 PM
I would recommend Major Ingredients, the selected short stories of Eric Frank Russell.