This was a short SF story where there is a base on the moon and the men who go there to do their time at the base (not sure if they get stranded there for a short while or not) eventually start thinking that they are not alone. They imagine things that don't exist like the out-on-the-surface small meteor impacts (from grain of sand size debris when seen in peripheral vision) they think are things moving about on the surface

Eventually they think the recycled water tastes bad and they end up dying from thirst. Anyone know the Title and/or Author?

  • 2
    Probably read it around 50 years ago. No idea of its date apart from its older than when I read it. It was probably in a Galaxy Reader or other similar paperback Short Story publication or could have been a hard back gollancz sci fi collection from the library that I more than likely read in the mid to late 1960's when I was at school... lots of Guiness flowed under the bridge since then, memory not as good as it was. Spent hours online trying to find it or a recognisable cover from a book that might have it in. Found another bunch of titles I was looking for though :-} – Gaz Jan 21 '18 at 22:55
  • OK, so nobody knows of it, shame, I had High hopes of getting an answer from here. So then, Is anyone aware of somewhere similar to this where I could pose the same question and maybe get the answer? Thanks – Gaz Feb 15 '18 at 5:42
  • OK, I think I've found it, It was published in Astounding Science Fiction, August 1956. It's called The Far Look by Theodore L. Thomas. I can only find a brief description of it but it sounds hopeful. I have found a copy of it on fleaBay and ordered it. Hope it's the right one as it's taken months to track it down. glad that 'Dogfight on 101' and 'The Shortcut' were easier to find. :-} Gaz – Gaz Mar 3 '18 at 6:15
  • The full text can be found at archive.org/stream/Astounding_v57n06_1956-08_Gorgon776#page/… – FuzzyBoots Jun 28 '18 at 15:20
  • Thanks! I(Because I never heard of this.) The best place for answers, where i used to enjoy adding answers, is gone: It was Allexperts category 2157 (this from memory) "Science Fiction Story Identification". There the preference, even by Jeff, Sue and Bill, the "official" experts moderating, was for a short answer, without lots of quotes. It's gone... gone... GONE! and I loved it. SFF Chronicles and a Ray Bradbury forum are left. (But after Ray died, I left it. I realize that would make no sense for other author forums, like one for Poe, but it was a move made out of grief.) – Occam Shave Jun 18 at 18:47

The original querent stated in a comment on March 3rd that they think it is "The Far Look" by Theodore L. Thomas.

The plot concerns a base on the Moon in the near future. Astronauts who spend time in the base return to Earth with vastly increased intelligence, but scientists are unable to discover what is causing this. The only outward sign of the change is a "far look" in their eyes, as if they see beyond any horizon.

The story follows two astronauts through their mission, with flashbacks to problems encountered in previous missions. The account is highly accurate from a science and engineering point of view. It also deals with psychological issues, such as the refusal of a previous pair to drink their recycled water because of its alleged taste. The replacement crew find them dead of thirst, and the water totally pure and tasteless. The dead men could not bring themselves to drink reprocessed human waste.

Only at the end does the reader find the truth: it is the return to Earth that alters the minds of the astronauts. Coming back to the cradle of humankind cleanses their minds of the baggage of their pasts and leaves "men of untrammeled mind".

The full text can be found in the archive.org copy of Astounding Science Fiction, August 1956.

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