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January 25th, 2012, 02:24 AM
I'm trying to recall the title and author of a little SF short book I read when I was in 8th or 9th grade, back in 1969,70... The story is about a space station that was in the general shape of a huge vertical ship, with about 100 or so levels. The ship had malfunctioned many lifetimes ago, and the humans living in the lowest levels had lived several generations without any knowledge of the upper levels.

However, they did know that there was a mysterious bunch of mutants that lived in the upper levels, and anyone who ventured up to the higher levels, either never came back, or came back terrified etc...

The central story problem however is that the station has begun to slip, and someone from below has to venture up to the very upper levels to the control center, in order to attempt to reactivate the ship. They must therefore navigate past the mutants to make it to the control rooms, or the station will fall to earth or something (I don't recall the actual problem).

Does anyone recall this story? It was distributed by Scholastic Books to schools, and I remember buying it in a school book order. I would love to find this again, and share this with my kids...


Jim diGriz
January 25th, 2012, 07:28 PM
This sounds like Heinlein's 'Orphans of the Sky', to me. Except that it is a generational star ship and not a space station, as such.

January 26th, 2012, 01:10 AM
Hi Jim -- that sounds about as close as it gets! It's amazing how 30 yrs of forgetting morphs the story around abit, but the story sounds right. I read the summary of the story just now from wikipedia (Heinlein's "Orphans of the Sky" (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Orphans_of_the_Sky)), and it rings pretty close to my swiss cheese memory... (all those Grateful Dead shows... mmmmhhhhhh)

thanks alot!!

January 27th, 2012, 12:52 PM
Jim diGriz -- a.k.a. Slippery Jim; SSR...
got it!

January 27th, 2012, 11:12 PM
Hi astrolog - you may be conflating memories of the Heinlein novel already mentioned with Brian Aldiss's 'Non-Stop' (UK) aka Starship (http://sffworld.com/book/3605.html) (US).