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Thread: The name of a book/story, please

  1. #31
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    I'm sorry to say that I can't help with any of the outstanding mysteries. I do, however, have one of my own to toss into the ring.

    Back in the mid 1960s, my brother had an SF novel that contained two separate memorable themes. One was that Stonehenge was not a human-made ruin, but a long-disused landing site for alien spacecraft. (That may be a pretty common idea, though, so I wouldn't expect that to uniquely identify the book. BTW, this was years before Chariots of the Gods!)

    The second one may narrow it down a lot, though. Our hero ends up on an alien world populated by humanoids... with a difference. They're immortal, but they periodically undergo a "reset" -- they lose all memory of their past life and start over. They had learned to store their memories and reload them after the "reset". However, any sort of criminal offense had a simple punishment: the culprit was walled up in a cell until after the next "reset", and didn't get reloaded with their old memories. They were sort of exterminated without being executed, if you see what I mean.

    Naturally, our hero commits some trivial offense on this world and gets himself walled up (the locals didn't realize this would have fatal consequences for him). There's a memorable scene in which he manages to extract himself from this rather gruesome fate.

    I have no clue as to the title or author, and neither does my brother. Any bells ringing out there?

  2. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by Donnie B. View Post
    I have no clue as to the title or author, and neither does my brother. Any bells ringing out there?
    Sorry, no bells ringing, but it sounds like a great story and I'm also interested in learning the answer to your query.

  3. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by Donnie B. View Post
    I'm sorry to say that I can't help with any of the outstanding mysteries. I do, however, have one of my own to toss into the ring.

    Back in the mid 1960s, my brother had an SF novel that contained two separate memorable themes. One was that Stonehenge was not a human-made ruin, but a long-disused landing site for alien spacecraft. (That may be a pretty common idea, though, so I wouldn't expect that to uniquely identify the book. BTW, this was years before Chariots of the Gods!)

    The second one may narrow it down a lot, though. Our hero ends up on an alien world populated by humanoids... with a difference. They're immortal, but they periodically undergo a "reset" -- they lose all memory of their past life and start over. They had learned to store their memories and reload them after the "reset". However, any sort of criminal offense had a simple punishment: the culprit was walled up in a cell until after the next "reset", and didn't get reloaded with their old memories. They were sort of exterminated without being executed, if you see what I mean.

    Naturally, our hero commits some trivial offense on this world and gets himself walled up (the locals didn't realize this would have fatal consequences for him). There's a memorable scene in which he manages to extract himself from this rather gruesome fate.

    I have no clue as to the title or author, and neither does my brother. Any bells ringing out there?
    "A Trace of Memory" by Joel Rosenberg.

    Its available online at Webscription.net

  4. #34
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    Joel Rosenberg was first published in the late 70s. I don't see how he could have written this if Donnie B. read it in the 60s. It's cool that the entire work is on-line, though.

    ETA: Oh, I see. Keith Laumer was the author and Joel Rosenberg wrote the preface to this edition.

  5. #35
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    Keith Laumer! That does sound familiar, though the title doesn't. I wonder if it was ever published under a different name?

    But it's definitely the right story. The walling-up scene starts in Chapter 15, if anybody wants to jump right to it.

    Thanks very much indeed, Bolasanibk!

  6. #36
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    Excellent news - and complete with a link to the story itself.

    Cheers Donnie B, for mentioning it, and Bolasanibk, for finding it. I look forward to reading it.

  7. #37
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    Glad to be of help. Sorry about the goof up on the author though.

  8. #38
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    I'm reading it now, didn't skip to Ch 15.

  9. #39
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    Thanks for the find, Bolasanibk. I discovered the Baen Free Library some time ago while searching for some H. Beam Piper stuff, which led me to Eric Flint's 1632 series. My primary SF interest, since my degree's in History, is Alternate History, so I didn't pay much attention to the Laumer books on the site. This one just became next on my "to read" list.

  10. #40
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    Actually, Laumer did a series of alternative history stories, in which characters travelled between versions of the world.

  11. #41
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    The Baen free library rocks!

    So many books, so little time.

    And then there's Project Guttenberg to distract me (I also like the classics).

  12. #42
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    Now I have more on my to-read list.

  13. #43
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    Guys! Guys! I need to find the name of a short story. I'm pretty sure I read it out of Dozois's Year's Best SF but I can't find it anywhere.

    The long and short of it: Doctor encounters an old woman in his practice and turns out she's much, much, much older than he figured and does research into popular tunes (one of which is When the Red Red Robin Comes Bob-Bob-Bobbin' Along) along with old public records. From this he's able to create a treatment for progeria but it's too late for his daughter who suffers from the disease.

    I think the title was "Music of the Heart" Would any of you help with the actual title and author?

  14. #44
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    Oh wait, disregard that I suc... darn worksafe boards.

    Melodies of the Heart by Michael F. Flynn.

  15. #45
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    That's what I like about this thread... quick answers to obscure questions!

  16. #46
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    Looking for book title

    I am trying to find the name of a book. A friend was explaining it to me but doesn't know the name and it sounds interesting. It is fiction and he said he read it around the mid 90's and isn't sure when it was written. The premise is that a asteroid is heading for the Earth and Aliens try to convince the human race to build a square mile cub in China. The humans hide in the cube and the aliens take them off the planet to spare them. Does anyone about what I am talking?

  17. #47
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    This doesn't ring a bell here, sorry. There is a dedicated sticky for story title searches here. Maybe a moderator can merge your thread and attract more attention from the SF crowd.
    So many bugs, so little time.

  18. #48
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    Thanks ABR. I didn't even think to look for a thread of similar topic. Is there a Mod in the house?

  19. #49
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    I activated the Mse call. Let's see if one shows up to help out.

    ETA: By the way, I wasn't implying that moderators were large, furry animals. There was only one moderator on duty when I posted and it's been awhile since I've done a mse joke on BAUT. Oh, never mind.
    Last edited by ABR.; 2009-May-03 at 04:28 AM. Reason: giving an explanation
    So many bugs, so little time.

  20. #50
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    merged

  21. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by closetgeek View Post
    I am trying to find the name of a book. A friend was explaining it to me but doesn't know the name and it sounds interesting. It is fiction and he said he read it around the mid 90's and isn't sure when it was written. The premise is that a asteroid is heading for the Earth and Aliens try to convince the human race to build a square mile cub in China. The humans hide in the cube and the aliens take them off the planet to spare them. Does anyone about what I am talking?
    This is almost certainly wrong, but Ian Watson's The Flies of Memory springs to mind.

  22. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Beardsley View Post
    This is almost certainly wrong, but Ian Watson's The Flies of Memory springs to mind.
    I will see if that rings a bell. Thanks Paul, and thanks Tinaa for merging.

  23. #53
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    Here's one I read in the early 70s, and would like to track down again.

    Fantasy novel, which seemed to be part of a series with a quite rigorously worked-out premise. The characters live in our own history, but certain legendary people, objects and places are real. The main characters are immortal, or at least very long-lived (I seem to recall they achieved this in different ways), and encounter each other intermittently as the story moves forward through (in this novel) the Middle Ages. One of the characters is the Wandering Jew. Another character is Prester John. I seem to recall someone spending many years entombed in the Roman catacombs, and then being revived/rescued.

    Any thoughts?

    Grant Hutchison

  24. #54
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    This reminds me of Doris Lessing's Canopus in Argus books (of which I sadly read only one), in which the proponents monitor the Earth's development, and are immortal*. But it doesn't quite fit.

    *) "We do not expect to die.". That line from the book I did read has been burned into my memory. It... works.
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  25. #55
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    Recently came across this site which might be helpful for people trying to find books.

    AllReaders.com.

    The site allows you to perform searches like : Find me a coming of age story set in an alien invasion scenario with a female archeologist as the main protagonist.

    I have not tried it extensively, but was hoping the group could check it out and see if it actually is useful.
    Last edited by Bolasanibk; 2009-Sep-08 at 02:12 PM. Reason: grammer

  26. #56
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    Looks interesting...seems to be just books, and not short stories, which leads to my question.

    I'm pretty sure it was in an Analog or the like collection. The premise was that the main character was a paranoid tinfoil type, who stayed holed up in his room thinking everyone was out to get him. He somehow gets the technology to upload a copy of himself on his computer (maybe so as to better keep tabs on Them). Somewhere along the plot, the copy gets run through or runs itself though a psych evaluation software, and patches itself to become a more rational version of the main character. It then begins to manipulate his life to better himself....finds him a secure job, makes him feel safer, gets him a lady friend, etc, etc...after all looks right with the world, it turns to moving out into cyberspace to grow and explore more (isn't that how all these types end?)

  27. #57
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    hmm--I put in a good description of Revelation Space--and none of the books in that sequence came up, but Heinlein's Time for the Stars and Orphans in the Sky came up, neither of which are very good matches for my criteria!

  28. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rhaedas View Post
    Looks interesting...seems to be just books, and not short stories, which leads to my question.

    I'm pretty sure it was in an Analog or the like collection. The premise was that the main character was a paranoid tinfoil type, who stayed holed up in his room thinking everyone was out to get him. He somehow gets the technology to upload a copy of himself on his computer (maybe so as to better keep tabs on Them). Somewhere along the plot, the copy gets run through or runs itself though a psych evaluation software, and patches itself to become a more rational version of the main character. It then begins to manipulate his life to better himself....finds him a secure job, makes him feel safer, gets him a lady friend, etc, etc...after all looks right with the world, it turns to moving out into cyberspace to grow and explore more (isn't that how all these types end?)
    I remember that story, and it was definitely in Analog. But I don't recall the title or the author. Sorry.
    "It's not the things we don't know that hurt us, It's the things we do know that aren't so. --Artemus Ward

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  29. #59
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    Looking for a short story

    About the earth stripped away from the sun. Something like "go out for another bucket ful of air"??

    TIA

  30. #60
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    Fritz Leiber's A Pail of Air.
    Don't know how long the link will last, but here it is.

    By the way, I moved the posts to the "official" what's the story thread.
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