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September 11th, 2012, 11:05 AM
This could be a short story/novella/novelette; I don't remember.

SPOILERS!!! I don't know how to describe this story without them.

It begins with a discussion on the bridge of a spaceship approaching a planet. The two beings are worried about the war and about asking the beings on the planet to come help. The planet has been under lock-down for quite some time ever since the galactic federation realized how dangerous they could be. Letting them free to help in this war is a last resort.

The landing party contacts a family and is trying to judge whether these beings are as dangerous, vicious and warlike as they once were, or if they have actually become as peaceful as the bucolic landscape seems to indicate. One of the junior officers goes exploring and discovers that the planet's inhabitants have created an incredibly large computer complex below ground that links all the people (even the animals, I think) so they can speak to each other mentally.

The landing party slowly decides that the help is worth the risk, which seems not as bad as they had feared, so they authorize removing the barrier around the planet.

Ultimately, the reader's suspicions are confirmed: the planet is Earth, and we are the most dangerous beings in the galaxy.

I read this at least 20 years ago; could be as much as 40 years. Very likely in Fantasy and Science Fiction mag, Galaxy, or Analog. I'm pretty sure it was not a novel.

I hope someone recognizes it.

Thanks for reading!

September 21st, 2012, 05:56 PM
Did the story end in the whole planet being set in motion to come to help? If so, I remember it too but alas have forgotten what it is.

September 22nd, 2012, 08:52 AM
Did the story end in the whole planet being set in motion to come to help? If so, I remember it too but alas have forgotten what it is.

Hmm. It might have. I don't remember. Dang.
I do remember that the planet's inhabitants all knew when the shield surrounding the planet went down and they all got a sort of dangerous/scary look in their eyes.
Hey, thanks for replying!

September 23rd, 2012, 07:33 AM
This sounds like an Alan Dean Foster style of plot. Could it be his short story 'With Friends Like These'?

marshal atkins
September 23rd, 2012, 10:14 AM
Alan Dean Foster is my guess too. Great little story.

September 23rd, 2012, 11:04 AM
Oh, my gosh. I'll bet you guys are right.
I checked his bibliography and that was published in Analog in 1971, which is within the time frame for my recollections.
Drat. I swear my husband even had that title of the collection of shorts in the house last year. Gotta go hunting.

Thanks a bunch! I'll post if I find the story.

Meanwhile, if anyone has any other suggestions, I'd be happy to hear them.

September 23rd, 2012, 12:36 PM
June 1971.


Looks about right to me.


September 25th, 2012, 07:10 PM
It was available free at [dead link] pdfdocspace.com/docs/43161/alan-dean-foster---with-friends-like-these.html

and it does end as I remembered

Following, the planet began to move after the Tpin.
On board the cruiser it was very quiet.
"I see," whispered Rappan idly, "that they are bringing their moon along also."
"You get accustomed to something like that," breathed an engineer. "A moon, I mean."

November 2nd, 2012, 02:37 PM
I remember one of the aliens being a douchbag and doing something bad and a little boy shouting "bad man" and obliterating the alien. One of the other aliens witnesses this but is unable to prevent lowering of the shield before it is too late.


December 23rd, 2012, 07:21 PM
There is a similarly themed short story by Gordon R. Dickson called Danger--Human. I read it in one of his books of short stories. I don't remember the details very clearly but some of these ideas were definitely in there.