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  1. #1

    story re Earth let out of confinement to help in a war

    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!

  2. #2
    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.

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by Mostlyharmless View Post
    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!

  4. #4
    Earthman1
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    This sounds like an Alan Dean Foster style of plot. Could it be his short story 'With Friends Like These'?

  5. #5
    Alan Dean Foster is my guess too. Great little story.

  6. #6
    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.

  7. #7
    Administrator Administrator Hobbit's Avatar
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    June 1971.



    Looks about right to me.

    Mark
    Mark

  8. #8
    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."
    Last edited by Mostlyharmless; December 27th, 2012 at 06:13 AM. Reason: dead link removed

  9. #9
    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.

    Keith

  10. #10
    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.

  11. #11
    Registered User
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    I totally remember that as the planet moving one... Excellent story, btw.

    Btw, that pdfdocspace link doesn't work (for me), and brings up a lot of crap. Sad, I was looking forward to reading it again.
    Last edited by bibliophile2; December 25th, 2012 at 11:14 AM. Reason: comment on a prior link, now tried...

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