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  1. #1

    who wrote short story "Random Sample"?

    I am trying to find a short story called "Random Sample".

    Here is a quick plot summary:

    The story was narrated by a young girl who was in a psychologist's
    office. She was explaining how she and her brother (friend?) had been
    stomping ants and killing them with a magnifying glass when a
    spaceship landed nearby and started doing tests on her and her
    brother. Well, she was too clever and very mean and so purposely
    failed all the tests and kicked the aliens. Throughout this telling of
    her story, it keeps getting hotter and hotter in the psychologist's
    office and she keeps asking for chocolate which begins to melt.

    The story was only a page or two long--very short. I'd like to know the author and maybe a collection of short stories where it can be located. Thanks for any help!! I really appreciate it!

    Hmmm... Maybe it is by T. P. Caravan from a collection called "50 Short Science Fiction Tales" but I can't find that book anywhere--unless I buy it off ebay/amazon or something. Does anyone know if this story is included in another selection of short stories? Or if this story is *actually* in that book? I need it for an assignment and I am willing to buy the whole book so long as I know the story is in there... and that T. P. Caravan is the actual author.

    Last edited by bobthejeep; July 22nd, 2008 at 09:03 PM.

  2. #2
    I am very industrious. For anyone who cares, the story I am referring to is indeed by T. P. Caravan and it has been included in "50 Short Science Fiction Tales" edited by Issac Asimov and Groff Conklin.

    Happy reading.


    EDIT: I found a copy online in case anyone wants to read it. :P
    Last edited by bobthejeep; July 25th, 2008 at 11:31 AM.

  3. #3
    Great story. I think of that short story every time I hear the Rush song of the same name. I bet Neil Peart has read it as well. Science Fiction definitely influenced his writing.

  4. #4
    I love Rush! Are you talking about their song "Vital Signs"? I can see the resemblance...
    Last edited by bobthejeep; September 7th, 2012 at 09:17 PM.

  5. #5
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Interesting, that link goes to spam as well.

    I did find another copy, I'm posting it here - I'll be interested to see if this link continues to work:

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by bibliophile2 View Post
    I did find another copy, I'm posting it here - I'll be interested to see if this link continues to work:
    LOL! That is my website. Random Sample, indeed.

    I needed the story for an assignment, which was for a lesson plan on unreliable narration. I'm not sure how long I'll keep my portfolio online...

  7. #7
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    That's interesting.

    I would not have pegged that story as having an unreliable narrator. I was under the (uneducated) assumption that an unreliable narrator was one who lied to the reader. These are difficult to write, as lies that don't lead to something can be chalked up to writer incompetence (ie: hard to know if minor gaps in story-telling/facts that don't fit are just mistakes, or purposeful).

    I mean the little girl is an admitted liar (since she didn't write a story for the aliens, which would've been a meta-unreliable narrator), but I thought nothing she said was inconsistent with the reported facts/plot in the story.

    That said, I'm having a tough time thinking of an example of unreliable narration. About the closest thing I can think of is _Use of Weapons_. But I'm not sure that the narrator actually lied during that, I think he just skillfully avoided the truth (but it's been awhile since I read it, and the details are fuzzy - maybe he actually lied about his identity?).

    Thanks for posting the story online. Prior to your reply I'd already grabbed my own local copy

    I've not looked, have you other cool things in your portfolio?

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