I think it was in a sci fi anthology about 25 years ago. The human in the story is aware of them as little bugs which won't leave him alone. They are trying to pay him back for help he gave them unknowingly with their research. (I think.)

He is under a lot of pressure at work because he needs to find a way to recycle plastic or something. The aliens keep trying to help him and he keeps throwing their work away, unaware of what they are doing.

1 Answer 1


It sounds like "The Gift of Garigolli" by Frederik Pohl and C. M. Kornbluth. I read it in an anthology (Galaxy, Volume 2). According to the table of contents it appeared in the August 1974 edition of Galaxy.

  • Thank you! I'm pretty sure that this is it. I have my librarian friend trying to track it down and I've also ordered a copy of one of the anthologies listed in the above mentioned link. Between the two, I will find it and let you know if that's it for sure. I'm thinking I should wait until then to accept an answer. If I'm wrong on that, feel free to let me know! Mar 15, 2012 at 2:24
  • I'm confirming that, yes, it is The Gift of Garigolli as referenced above. Thank you for helping me find it! Mar 28, 2012 at 17:21
  • knowing nothing about the story but what the OP described I would have guessed the author as either Pohl or Kornbluth ...
    – davidbak
    Oct 20, 2017 at 16:10

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