[PW] Children's SF book or short story

d-lien University of Minnesota d-lien at umn.edu
Wed Nov 18 06:48:31 PST 2015

I'm out there (or in here, anyway), but I'm afraid I don't know the
story.  I second all of John Cowan's points on what is is not,

I can also eliminate a few more "hot world juvenile sf novels" -- it's
not FIVE AGAINST VENUS or BATTLE ON MERCURY or Heinlein's "Tenderfoot
in Space" (which takes place on a junglish Venus).  It's also not
ANDROMEDA, a title which I thought might be misremembered as an
"alpha" word, and the "recruit" part sounded promising).

I don't think it's any of the Winston SF Juvenile series, which are
probably the best remembered and most widely read juvenile sf novels
of the 1950s/1960s period and still popular into the 1970s and beyond.
I'm almost positive it's not anything by Andre Norton, probably the
most popular writer of young adult sf of the period.  That still
leaves a lot of possible novels (that I haven't read) and even more
short stories.

I posted the query on one of my other lists and will report back if
anyone recognizes it.  Sorry,

Dennis Lien / U of Minnesota Libraries (retired) /  d-lien at umn.edu

On Wed, Nov 18, 2015 at 7:33 AM, John Cowan <cowan at mercury.ccil.org> wrote:
> Holly Campbell-Polivka scripsit:
>> I did a google search and was able to find somebody else on a science
>> fiction forum searching for what I believe may be the same book. The
>> clue I got from that was that the person thinks the planet or world
>> may be called something like Alpha.
> Since Alpha Centauri is the closest star to the Sun, it's been used in
> lots of sf novels, so that doesn't help much.
>> I'm wondering if the author possibly could be
>> Robert Silverberg, and if the story may be Revolt on Alpha C,
> I'd say the description in Wikipedia rules that out: Alpha C is populated
> by dinosaurs and human colonists.
>> And suggestions I got from another listserv include: Dorsai novellas
>> by Gordon R. Dickson;
> I can rule that out.  The plot doesn't remotely match any of the Dorsai
> novels, and in the Dorsai universe, there is no planet called Alpha;
> the worlds orbiting Alpha Centauri are named Newton and Cassida.
>> The Immortals of Mercury, by Clark Ashton Smith;
> Smith's work is classic fantasy, and would be unlikely to feature a
> computer.  The story you mention is online at
> <http://www.eldritchdark.com/writings/short-stories/98/the-immortals-of-mercury>
> and doesn't fit your plot at all.  Wash out Smith altogether.
>> or Planet of Adventure stories, by Jack Vance.
> No plot match, based on Wikipedia.  This plot doesn't sound anything
> like Vance to me.
> Sorry not to be more helpful, but negative evidence is still evidence.
> --
> John Cowan          http://www.ccil.org/~cowan        cowan at ccil.org
> A rose by any other name may smell as sweet, but if you called it
> an onion you'd get cooks very confused.          --RMS
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