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The story takes place on an Earth-like world. A Viking-like sailor is headed west on an ocean to explore unknown areas of his world. He is standing on the deck of his ship and sees something big and metallic pass overhead. It appears to land somewhere to the north. He doesn’t know what it is but it is a landing craft from an Earth spaceship. And the spacers have selected this area for their camp because it was an uninhabited area of this world. I seem to recall that the sailor and the spacers interact.

That is all I remember and some of it may be wrong because it has been many years since I read it. I don’t think it’s a book but I think it was longer than a short story.

  • Hi, welcome to SF&F. Can you be more specific about "many years?" About when did you read it? You imply, but don't state that the natives are non-human; is that correct? You should check out the suggestions to see if they help you recall any more details you can edit into your question. – DavidW Mar 19 at 20:43
  • So this isn't Earth? The spacecraft is from Earth and the spacers land and they discover a Viking type culture and society? Were the Viking people fully human or were they just humanoid? – DannyMcG Mar 25 at 2:58
  • I believe the natives to be humanoid but I could be wrong. It’s just been too long since I read it, anywhere from 20 to 40 years ago. – sotall Mar 26 at 3:19
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Possibly Poul Anderson's The Longest Voyage.

The theme is more Elizabethan than Viking. Captain Rovic (clearly modelled on Sir Francis Drake - his ship is even called the Golden Leaper) Is looking for the Aureate Islands (El Dorado?) when he hears rumours of a land whose people worship a god from the stars. The God turns out to be a human spaceman. He offers Rovic all the benefits of civilisation, but in the end his ship is destroyed in a clash with the locals, and Rovic is not sorry, preferring his people to do their own growing up, and eventually reach the stars by their own efforts.

  • I’m familiar with this story. I probably own a half dozen copies. And there are a few elements that are similar. But unfortunately, this is not it. In the story I’m looking for, the base is populated by a team and has not yet been discovered at the beginning of the story. I’m 73 years old and my memory is poor enough that I have no idea how long ago I read it, just that it was a long time ago. – sotall Mar 21 at 19:22

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