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I read this a long time ago in a collection of short stories, the only other one I could remember in the book was The Golden Man if that helps any.

From what I can recall of the plot of the story it is about this one man in a jail cell in the middle of a huge room that is supposed to be impossible to get out of. He is surrounded by a moat of some sort and two guards. He can see a spaceship from a window and looks at it quite often. He escapes from this seemingly impossible cell eventually by repeatedly throwing up and using his stomach acid to slowly weaken the bars of his cell. There was also some sort of shield that was supposed to be unpassable. He steals the spaceship and flies off into space where the story ends.

I've tried googling for this story but could not come up with anything

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There are a variety of stories called "The Golden Man". Are you referring to the Dick version or another one? en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Golden_Man –  Richard Jul 18 at 19:19
    
isfdb.org/cgi-bin/title.cgi?41364 I'd venture he means the Dick story. The other two appear to be novels. –  A.D Jul 18 at 19:23

2 Answers 2

Gordon R. Dickson's Danger — Human.

From what I can recall of the plot of the story it is about this one man in a jail cell in the middle of a huge room that is supposed to be impossible to get out of. He is surrounded by a moat of some sort and two guards.

They marched to the door of this building and it opened without any of them touching it. Inside was perhaps twenty feet of floor, stretching inward as a run inside the walls. Then a sort of moat—Eldridge could not see its depth—filled with a dark fluid with a faint, sharp odor. This was perhaps another twenty feet wide and enclosed a small, flat island perhaps fifteen feet by fifteen feet, almost wholly taken up by a cage whose walls and ceiling appeared to be made of metal bars as thick as a man's thumb and spaced about six inches apart. Two more of the aliens, wearing a sort of harness and holding a short, black tube apiece, stood on the ledge of the outer rim. A temporary bridge had been laid across the moat, protruding through the open door of the cage.

He escapes from this seemingly impossible cell eventually by repeatedly throwing up and using his stomach acid to slowly weaken the bars of his cell.

"The hinges of the hatch," he said, "were rotten—eaten away by acid."
"Acid?" the commander stared at him. "Where would he get acid?"
"From his own digestive processes—regurgitated and spat directly into the hinges. He secreted hydrochloric acid among other things. Not too powerful—but over a period of time—"

There was also some sort of shield that was supposed to be unpassable.

"Hasn't he?" said the doctor thickly. "What about the defensive screen—our most dangerous most terrible weapon—that could burn him to nothingness if he touched it?"
The commander stared at him.
"But—" said the commander. "The screen was shut off, of course, to let the food carrier out, at the same time the door was opened. I assumed—"
"I checked," said the doctor, his eyes burning on the commander. "They turned it on again before he could get out."

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"They turned it on again before he could get out." I've always liked how the solution to that part was left to the reader. After all, we're all "human" and dangerous. –  user2338816 Jul 19 at 3:08
    
{nods} On different readings, I've decided that either he found another way through they didn't think of, he'd developed psychic powers such that he was able to speak through his wife and son, or that the point was that he escaped, whether or not he lived. –  Sean Duggan Jul 19 at 12:29

The anthology in question is Strange Gifts edited by Robert Silverberg.

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The stories you've mentioned are "The Golden Man" by Philip K. Dick (which you can read online here) and "Danger, Human!" by Gordon Dickson (you can read the full version here)

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^_^ Good work on finding the anthology in question. –  Sean Duggan Jul 18 at 19:33
    
@SeanDuggan - We aim to please; stream1.gifsoup.com/view5/4083356/… –  Richard Jul 18 at 19:36

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