I'm looking for the name of a short story about a human space ship who makes first contact with aliens. Because neither species is willing to trust the other they don't want to leave for fear that the other ship will follow them and discover their home world. In the end they decide to exchange ships and by doing so share all their information and technology.

Also I believe that the aliens eyes were adapted to much lower light than humans...

marked as duplicate by FuzzyBoots story-identification Jul 15 at 20:04

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    An oldie but a goody. And one I can never stick a title and author too. Very frustrating. – dmckee Jun 29 '12 at 19:23
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    I know this story. The solution was a novel one. I will hunt around and see if I have it somewhere. – Thaddeus Howze Jun 29 '12 at 19:24

I read this in the Astounding Science-Fiction Anthology and I believe the story you are referring to is called "First Contact" by Murray Leinster (1945).

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    One detail that I remember about that story -- they conclude their future dealings are likely to be positive due to similarities in certain mental aspects... Because two members of the crews (one from each), once able to communicate, spend time trading dirty jokes :) – K-H-W Jul 3 '12 at 15:06

Could it be First Contact (novelette)?

The story ends with each crew taking over the other's ship. Naturally, before leaving their own ship they are able to remove everything which might point back to their home world. Each stands to benefit from the new technology on the other's ship. Each keeps the other race's fiction library to gain insight into their thinking. They agree to repeat the encounter at the same location some time in the future.


Just bougth a 1962 "analog [science fact -> science fiction] magazine at a used book store. It contains a very similar story - Sleight of Wit by Gordon Dickinson, where a human colonialist scout makes first contact with an alien colonialist scout. They don't trust each other, etc. And in the end they trade ships. The difference is that the human succeeds in capturing the alien, by using his ultimate weapon - his brain.

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