Trying like crazy to locate a short short story that I think is called "Shards".

It's about two Earth men who have volunteered to have their minds transferred into the bodies of giant fish in order to better combat an alien invasion. I would love to read it again, it was hair-raising, but I can't find a trace of it online.


1 Answer 1


This is "Shards" by Brian Aldiss. The protagonists are transformed into fish-creatures in order to fight aquatic aliens.

“The security of the world demanded this drastic experiment. The alien ship ‘landed’ a year ago in the North Atlantic, off Bermuda. Our submarines have investigated its remains on the ocean bed. They have found proof that the ship landed where it did under control, and was only destroyed when the aliens left it.

“The aliens were fish people, aquatics. The ocean is their element, and undoubtedly they have been responsible for the floods extending along the American and European seaboards and inundating the West Indies. Undoubtedly the popular press is right to claim we are being defeated in an alien invasion.” “My dear Roberts, I don’t doubt they’re right, but –”

“There can be no buts, Dr Collison. We’ve failed to make any contact with the aliens. They have eluded the most careful submarine probes. Nor is there any ‘but’ about their hostile intent. It seems more than likely that they have killed off all the eel family in some unimaginable slaughter under the Sargasso Sea. Before they upset our entire oceanic ecology, we must find them and gain the information about them without which they cannot be fought. Here are our spies, here in this tank. They have post-hypnotic training. In a couple more days, when they are fit, they can be released into the sea to go and get that information and return with it to us. There are no buts; only imperatives in this equation.”

Slowly the two men descended the metal stairway, the giant tank on their left glistening with condensation.

“Yes, it’s as you say,” Collison agreed wearily. “I would so much like to know, though, the insane sensations passing through those shards of human brain embedded in fish bodies.”

  • For the record, I couldn't find it published online, but you should be able to pick up a copy of The Mammoth Book of Science Fiction from all good booksellers.
    – Valorum
    Commented Aug 8, 2016 at 16:15
  • I remember this story. Some pretty crazy stuff from the perspective of the fish things. I think I read it in his collection of short stories Starswarm
    – DCShannon
    Commented Aug 8, 2016 at 16:23

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