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I heard of this novel but never read it. It is based on the Bellman's line "What I tell you three times is true", in Lewis Carroll's "The Hunting of the Snark". The entire plot is about convincing aliens that only information obtained three times in a row can be trusted, and in that way saving Earth from an invasion, as far as I have understood.

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    "What I tell you three times is true" gets used in Heinlein's Number of the Beast, but it doesn't feel like a match. – DavidW Nov 10 '19 at 22:39
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    blog.inkyfool.com/2010/04/… – FuzzyBoots Nov 10 '19 at 22:54
  • @ FuzzyBoots Do you mean "Chaos, Co-Ordinated" published in Astounding Science Fiction (1946) ? Well the plot described in the link you gave me is essentially the description I remember about the book I'm looking for, so it is most probably the one. If you change your comment into an answer, I'll accept it. Even the supercomputer rings a bell, even though I did not remember it when Iposte my question. – Alfred Nov 10 '19 at 23:04
  • @ DavidW I chekced the plot of "Number of the Beast" on Wikipedia, it does not look like what I read about that book. Contrarywise, "Chaos, Co-Ordinated" is right on spot. – Alfred Nov 10 '19 at 23:07
  • @FuzzyBoots Don't you want to turn your comment into an answer, so I can accept it ? Your comment I already upvoted, but it is not much. Or, if you prefer, I could "self-answer" and in that case I'll of course make clear that your contribution (through your comment) was essential for my finding the name of the story. – Alfred Nov 12 '19 at 0:38
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"Chaos, Co-Ordinated", published in Astounding Science Fiction (1946), matches.

There's also a short story called Chaos, Co-Ordinated published in Astounding Science Fiction (1946) in which the humans manage to feed The Hunting of the Snark into the alien supercomputer as a field report and thus save the earth, largely because the computer now runs on the Rule of the Bellman and wipes its own memory of everything that it has heard only once.

You can read it in the Internet Archive copy of the magazine.

I found it by searching for novel aliens "tell you three times".

  • The link in your comment blog.inkyfool.com/2010/04/… did send me to a page where I found a description of Chaos, Co-Ordinated that perfectly fitted my memory, so I accepted it. But he link just above sends to a page where I see only a list of stories with their authors (including Chaos, Co-Ordinated), but no legible text. Why can't I find the text of this story following your link ? Is there a small mistake causing a misdirection ? Can you help me to find the text itself ? – Alfred Nov 12 '19 at 1:09
  • I think this old question is about the same story and it has a different link to a text in the comments given after the answer scifi.stackexchange.com/questions/216770/… – DannyMcG Nov 12 '19 at 1:53
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    @DannyMcG: Unaccepted, but that is a better link. – FuzzyBoots Nov 12 '19 at 2:50
  • The logician Lewis Carroll would not have approved of such a conflation of the Bellman's rule with its converse. – Buzz Nov 12 '19 at 23:38

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