A baby is born, self aware, in a cave on an alien planet. He knows he has to get to the spaceship that brought his people to the planet or else he will die due to the quick passage of time on the alien planet.

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    – FuzzyBoots
    Apr 12, 2018 at 10:57

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"Frost and Fire" is a short story by Ray Bradbury and the fourteenth in his collection R is for Rocket. It was first published in Planet Stories (Fall, 1946) as "The Creatures That Time Forgot".

From Wikipedia:-

Placed there by a past rocket ship that crashed, the people of the storied land are within sight of another rocket ship on a distant mountain plateau. The plot follows Sim, the protagonist of this story, and his apparently short life on a planet where people are cursed by radiation to live only eight days.

The people of this planet are also gifted with racial memory (they remember their ancestors' memories). However, they do not attempt to reach the sole remaining rocket ship due to the futility of attempting to reach it in one hour, which is the longest length of time between day and night (both deadly).

Sim is then moved by the memory of his ancestors to find and meet with scientists who make halting progress towards the goal of lengthening the world's decreased life span. Sim, motivated by his dwindling days, makes it his goal to extend his life and reach the distant rocket, despite the protests of his sister and other cave-dwellers

  • Thank you for identifying the story & author. It has driven me nuts on and off for the last 20 years or so since I read it, looking forward to reading it again.
    – Pogmoslong
    Apr 12, 2018 at 7:06

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