Page 1 of 1

Need to identify a short story about a stranded astronaut...

Posted: Wed Jan 04, 2017 7:07 pm
by Controller 2957
Can anyone offer any help with this... I read it at school around 1976 but cannot remember the title nor the author. Thank you in advance!

A lone astronaut called - I think- Steve is stranded on a distant planet when his ship runs low on fuel. His only companion is - again I think - a parrot. The fuel his ship uses is a filament or wire which is kept on a spool. On exploring the locale he has landed in he discovers a huge building half-buried in a mountainside. He enters the building and discovers it is a museum filled with thousands of glass cases containing preserved specimens of various life forms as well as machines. There is a robot curator that does repairs and, as the astronaut finds out, prepares cases for new exhibits. On analysing the wire in one of the machines he discovers that is suitable as fuel for his ship so he winds a length of it onto his ships spool and leaves the planet just ahead of the robot collecting him and his parrot as museum exhibits...

Many, many thanks!

Re: Need to identify a short story about a stranded astronau

Posted: Wed Jan 04, 2017 10:13 pm
by Spiny Norman
Well it's not the Twilight Zone or Out of the Unknown. Wait, it's not television?

Re: Need to identify a short story about a stranded astronau

Posted: Thu Jan 05, 2017 8:47 am
by brigham
It could have inspired 'The Space Museum'.

Re: Need to identify a short story about a stranded astronau

Posted: Thu Jan 05, 2017 11:14 am
by Bernie
There were thousands of short science fiction stories in a era that ran from the 20s to the 80s, with lots of pulp magazines to publish them - Astounding Stories, The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction and lots more. I believe the Asimov magazine still runs. So finding one short story might require a lot of luck.

Quite a few early SF magazines can be found on Project Gutenberg -
https://www.gutenberg.org/wiki/Science_ ... Bookshelf)

B

Re: Need to identify a short story about a stranded astronau

Posted: Fri Jan 06, 2017 1:10 pm
by Controller 2957
Spiny Norman wrote:Well it's not the Twilight Zone or Out of the Unknown. Wait, it's not television?
I read it as part of an anthology. I've no knowledge of it ever being adapted for either the big or small screen (or radio, come to that) - hence the posting in 'Other Media.' That's not to say it HASN'T been adapted, just that I'm not aware of an adaptation.

Re: Need to identify a short story about a stranded astronau

Posted: Mon Feb 13, 2017 2:59 pm
by videoking
Too bad if it wasn't adapted, it would have been a cool addition to any number of anthology series out there.

Re: Need to identify a short story about a stranded astronau

Posted: Mon Feb 13, 2017 8:00 pm
by Mark
No idea if it's the one but, there was an Sci-Fi anthology called "The Twenty Second Century", published in 54, so it could well have been knocking about in School Libraries in 76, and there was a story in it called "Museum Piece".

The book's author was John Christopher, of "The Tripods" fame, which is how I have heard of it, not read it though.

Re: Need to identify a short story about a stranded astronau

Posted: Wed Feb 15, 2017 11:10 pm
by Darren Fricker
Mark wrote:No idea if it's the one but, there was an Sci-Fi anthology called "The Twenty Second Century", published in 54, so it could well have been knocking about in School Libraries in 76, and there was a story in it called "Museum Piece".

The book's author was John Christopher, of "The Tripods" fame, which is how I have heard of it, not read it though.
"Museum Piece" is mentioned on these pages - doesn't sound much like it though;

https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=9j7 ... 22&f=false

http://www.godlikeproductions.com/forum ... 104705/pg1

When I saw that you read it in 1976, my mind immediately went to a Brian Aldiss edited collection from 1973;

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Penguin-Scienc ... 0140031456

If you expand the review comment by Peter King, it shows that there was a story called, 'The Store Of The Worlds' by Robert Sheckley that at least mentions a parrot...

I read some of this book at school but sadly not that story. I also picked up a copy a few years back for a bit of a nostalgia trip but I think it ended up in a charity shop somewhere as it was falling apart a bit.

Happy hunting !

Re: Need to identify a short story about a stranded astronau

Posted: Fri Feb 17, 2017 5:38 am
by Bodie
It's definitely not "The Store of the Worlds", which is basically a tale about a man living a normal life, then waking up to find reveal to the reader that he's actually living in a post-apocalyptic world and all that went before was an induced dream of the past, for which he'd paid his life savings.

Sheckley was a prolific writer of short stories and there's definitely one where the protagonists land on an abandoned orbiting museum or warehouse, full of things they don't recognise as dangers until they've triggered them. From memory it may have been one of the "AAA Ace" series of stories, but I'm positive it's not the story we're looking for either.

Re: Need to identify a short story about a stranded astronau

Posted: Fri Feb 24, 2017 12:16 pm
by ctraynor
No, of course it wasn't Store of the Worlds. The parrot is the only thing that might make people think of that one.

It sounds like it could be something by Clifford Simak. It seems his style.

Re: Need to identify a short story about a stranded astronau

Posted: Sat Feb 25, 2017 6:27 am
by Darren Fricker
It might also be worth posting your query here;

http://scifi.stackexchange.com/

Re: Need to identify a short story about a stranded astronau

Posted: Fri Mar 03, 2017 11:52 am
by Controller 2957
Got it! 'The Hobbyist' by Eric Frank Russell!

Thanks for all the help folks, especially Darren who gave me the steer which led to the solution. ***CASE CLOSED*** :-)

Re: Need to identify a short story about a stranded astronau

Posted: Fri Mar 03, 2017 10:09 pm
by Darren Fricker
Wonderful :o)

Re: Need to identify a short story about a stranded astronau

Posted: Sat Mar 04, 2017 3:08 pm
by brigham
AKA 'The Space Willies'?

Re: Need to identify a short story about a stranded astronau

Posted: Thu Mar 09, 2017 7:31 pm
by Controller 2957
brigham wrote:AKA 'The Space Willies'?
Same author but a different story... 'The Space Willies' is also known as 'Next of Kin'. Might that be what you're thinking of?