I'm looking for the title or author of a sci-fi short story about two spacecrafts somehow meeting and exchanging plants for gold or other items. Both crews think that they have gotten the better of the deal and speed off in opposite directions.

I read this in the 60's.

  • Can you recall any more details? This is a bit short to go on.
    – Simpleton
    Jun 16 '19 at 16:18
  • Welcome to Science Fiction & Fantasy! This question is very terse and would be greatly improved by going through the checklists here; How to ask a good story-ID question?
    – Valorum
    Jun 16 '19 at 16:19
  • 1
    There is a Carl Barks Scrooge McDuck story where Scrooge and family go to a planet of gold that Scrooge wants to claim. However, it is inhabited by a stranded alien, whom sadly has first claim. The alien, however, offers to trade the planet for a tray of earth that Donald has brought (long story...). The alien then uses a device to turn the earth into a lush, green planet that he floats away on - and Scrooge starts wondering if perhaps the alien got the better part of the deal. Jun 17 '19 at 7:46

"In Value Deceived" by H. B. Fyfe (1950) may be your answer as per Short story about aliens trading for hydroponics

The alien home world had all its food crops destroyed by a blight. They are surviving on terrible tasting synthetic food which is in short supply. Alien explorers are frantically trying to find an alternate source of food.

They encounter a human starship. When they are invited inside, the aliens are stunned to see a hydroponic garden. This technology is the key to stopping the famine on their homeworld.

But the aliens play coy, pretending not to be terribly interested. Eventually they manage to get the humans to give them a spare hydroponic set up as an amusing trifle.

They give the humans one of their heating units, which the humans had been pretending to be uninterested in. It gives off heat, but also produces ashes. Things like diamonds, gold nuggest, and chunks of uranium. An amusing trifle.

As they depart, the aliens floor the ship's accelerator to run away, before the humans regret their bargain. To their surprise, the aliens see that the humans are frantically running away as well.

The alien captain thinks

“Anyone would suspect that they—not we—had practically committed theft!”

  • It looks like you've been here before, but just in case, you can accept an answer by clicking on the checkmark by the voting buttons. We'll likely close this as a dupe, but that's not a value judgment on your question, just a method of bookkeeping.
    – FuzzyBoots
    Jun 16 '19 at 16:46
  • Possible duplicate of this scifi.stackexchange.com/questions/206312/… Jun 16 '19 at 18:51
  • That's it. Thanks a lot. Glad I found this site.
    – Larry
    Jun 17 '19 at 2:06
  • I'm pretty sure at least one planet exists where it rains diamonds. I'm sure glad I don't need to shovel diamonds off my driveway, just snow!
    – Nelson
    Jun 17 '19 at 2:35
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    @Larry: If you wouldn't mind accepting it?
    – FuzzyBoots
    Jun 17 '19 at 3:16

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