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December 21st, 2010, 12:02 AM
I am looking for a short story. The story's main character ran a repair depot for spaceships in the neighborhood of earth. He was trying to expand into repairing those of the more-advanced alien species who visited earth. The problem - and maybe the title - was "the tools to make the tools". He finally gets the tech he needs by mind-scanning a visiting alien diplomat, who also turns out to be the inventor of the required technology. His success lets earth get "promoted" to a more senior membership in the alliance, or federation or whatever.
Any help will be greatly appreciated.

March 18th, 2011, 08:44 PM
Sorry for resurrecting an old thread, but I came across this in google while searching for the same book. I have posted questions here: http://www.reddit.com/r/scifi/comments/g6spo/looking_for_a_science_fiction_short_story/ and here: http://www.reddit.com/r/tipofmytongue/comments/g6hvx/tomt_looking_for_a_science_fiction_short_story/ asking if anyone can remember it. By the time you read this someone will have probably replied with the answer.