An alien, though human like, race escapes from their dying world on a FTL ship and land on Earth in prehistory, settling peaceably and mating with the natives (possibly in Ancient Egypt). The story post script has a Chinese astronomer witnessing the 1054 Crab Nebula supernova and proclaiming it as a portent of miracles - the text says the miracle is already here and lies in seven of his genes.

I thought it might be an Arthur C Clarke story, but I can't find it amongst his output. I read the story in 1976.


1 Answer 1


"...And All the Stars a Stage" by James Blish.

1086 A.D.: A sudden glare of light in the constellation later called Taurus. The Chinese astronomer T'ang Yaou-Shun marks it down: A new and marvelous star, portending miracles.
But the miracle has already happened. It sleeps inside Yaou-Shun, in twelve of his genes.

At one point, the serial was scheduled to be retitled CRAB NEBULA for its book reprint publication (but this did not happen). See this source.

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    Can't say how much I appreciate that. I see the supernova was in Taurus, which makes me think that Blish was thinking of the Crab Nebula, even though he got the date slightly wrong. And not a short story after all - how fallible is memory! Commented Jul 14, 2019 at 10:38
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    @MichaelCPrice You can read the magazine serial at the Internet Archive, in the June 1960 and July 1960 issues of Amazing.
    – user14111
    Commented Jul 14, 2019 at 12:39

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