A story read sometime in the late 1970's or early 1980's from a collection purchased second hand.

Protagonist is part of a archaeological expedition to a snow moon or planet. May have been Jovian moon. Group have landed to explore ancient alien artefacts.

Team leader was connected to female interest back home. Other team member was sweet on same female and wanted to cut in.

During snow storm member got lost and discovered open cavern with aliens in suspended animation. Somehow it seems he was confident he could operate the hibernation module, not clear to me now how. He convinces team leader to explore his find and tricks him into a hibernation module. The stasis radiation freezes the team leader but some stray radiation knocks out the member for long time. He exits closes the cave door and finds it is sealed now.

On return to the landing site he finds the expedition has left weeks/months ago and left a message with "Waited as long as we could, had to leave. Sorry." He is stuck in the bitter cold without his girl and his rival snug in the hibernation module for eternity.

Kind of a soppy love story as is my thing here on scifi SE.

  • 1
    Can you remember any character names?
    – Edlothiad
    Apr 11, 2017 at 12:53
  • 1
    Regret, no further names or details. When I recall the book I am saddened by the loss to extraterrestrial research because the member did not mention his find to the whole group publicly. In retrospect I suppose he did not wish to have the team leader gain credit for the find on his expedition and may have cooked up his plan quickly.
    – KalleMP
    Apr 11, 2017 at 13:29
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    @KalleMP - Hard SFF fans tend to be more vocal, but there are plenty of us who can appreciate the softer side of the genre. I'm an old fart who grew up on the "big three" (Asimov, Clarke, and Heinlein) but when the old New Wave authors of the 70's opened the field for more humane viewpoints I welcomed the breath of fresh air.
    – Joe L.
    Apr 11, 2017 at 14:29


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