I'm trying to identify a short story I read some time in the nineties, and ideally the anthology it was in too. I was reading a lot of Asimov at the time, and it has a typically Asimovian twist at the end, but may not actually be by him.

A man in a small (?) craft is being chased by a bigger spaceship. The two are on opposite sides in a war. I think the man has stolen secrets of some kind. His craft is overpowered and he (crash?) lands on an asteroid. He expects to be captured but notes that the chasing ship is very unwieldy and overshoots. As it returns he is able to evade capture by walking round the asteroid so as continually be on the opposite side as the ship. Eventually an even bigger ship from his own side chases off the one he is avoiding and he is rescued.

The story is framed as being told by one old space-hand in a bar to two others. One of them (relatively young/junior, I think) dismisses it as a tall tale.

However the other listener recognised something about the storyteller and suspects he may be the disgraced spaceship captain who failed to catch a man in a spacesuit.

marked as duplicate by Jenayah, TheLethalCarrot, Dave Johnson, Laurel, Alarion Mar 6 at 20:45

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    Possible duplicate of Identify older short stories (OP on proposed dupe-target was technically looking for a book, but only remembered this one story, so this seems in accordance with our dupe-closure policy) – Jenayah Mar 6 at 19:34
  • Yes, but because I misremembered it as being an asteroid I did not find that question. I did search before posting, honest! – Stewart Becker Mar 6 at 20:43
  • Oh no worries at all, per policy we just close story-ID as dupes when both are accepted, for mapping purposes mainly :) doesn't mean your question was a bad one, far from it. (I'll admit that our story-ID policies are quite not instinctive for newcomers; story-ID kinda has its own laws here ahah) – Jenayah Mar 6 at 20:49

Could this be the story "Hide and Seek" by Arthur C. Clarke?

Most of the details match; it's told as a story within the short story, a lone astronaut avoids capture by a large cruiser. The major difference is that it takes place on Mars' moon Phobos and not an asteroid.

I took a look for what anthology you might have read it in, but appears to have been in rather a number of collections.

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    From Wikipedia it certainly looks like a match: "Back in the frame story the narrator asks Kingman if he was, in fact, K-15 [a spy]. No, he replies, he wasn’t, and leaves for another shot at the squirrel. It transpires Kingman was commander of Doradus." Good catch, have an upvote :) – Jenayah Mar 6 at 18:45
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    It should be "Hide and Seek". I remember reading that story in the anthology There Will be War vol III that I used to have hanging around. – Keith Morrison Mar 6 at 18:55
  • Yes this is it. Having looked it up on archive.org the final paragraph confirmed it. – Stewart Becker Mar 6 at 19:23

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