I recall that, as a child, I purchased a science fiction anthology of short stories in British Home Stores (BHS) sometime in the mid 1980s. It had a reddish-orange cover with white writing and drawn pictures of aliens, space ships, etc. and I suspect it may have been specially made for BHS as well. It was about an inch or so thick and must have contained 20-25 stories from various authors.

I never got around to reading most of the stories but one I recall reading was about a ship automatically being prepped and armed, taking off and bombing an enemy city. The conclusion was that all the people had been wiped out and the systems kept the war going automatically because there was nobody left to turn the machinery off.

I've been thinking about that book recently and resolved to find it (or the stories at least) and get around to finally reading it.

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    One of the There Will Be War series of anthologies? A couple of them had red-orange covers, and your story is one that could have been in one. librarything.com/series/There+Will+Be+War
    – LAK
    Commented Sep 25, 2019 at 13:04
  • No, the colouring you mention is about right but this was an A5 sized hardback book with no author or editor names on the cover (that I recall).
    – The Betpet
    Commented Sep 25, 2019 at 13:08
  • Somewhat similar to Down the Bright Way but it is a novel. See the description at (warning) the TVTropes page for Absurdly Dedicated Worker.
    – TheLethalCarrot
    Commented Sep 25, 2019 at 13:37

1 Answer 1


The story you mention is Flying Dutchman by Ward Moore. This anthology matches the color scheme you describe.

enter image description here

The book was previously identified here: Anthology book with story about robotic bombers, h/t to TheLethalCarrot.

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    Asked and answered here with some more detail.
    – TheLethalCarrot
    Commented Sep 25, 2019 at 13:49
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    @TheLethalCarrot thanks. Will see if we get an acceptance. Commented Sep 25, 2019 at 13:50
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    This is it :O Thanks for finding this for me! :D
    – The Betpet
    Commented Sep 25, 2019 at 14:31
  • 1
    @TheBetpet you are most welcome, and welcome to scfi stack exchange! Commented Sep 25, 2019 at 15:08

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