I am looking for a short story that is probably really old (30 years+) and I only remember the rough plot like this:

Several astronauts (I think it was multiple, but possibly it could have been only one) are returning from their trip to space. After having seen the stars, life on earth seems boring and mundane to them. They yearn to go back and see the stars once more and struggle to deal with life on earth. Quite possibly, they even harm themselves (not sure about that part).

I remember the story to be about the void that is now left in them and the psychological effect this return to an everyday life has on them after having experienced something extraordinary.

I have considered if this might be "The rocket man", but am not convinced that is the one.

  • Similar to the Moon rainbow en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moon_Rainbow Apr 2, 2020 at 15:55
  • Do you remember if each of the astronauts have a unique after effect from being in space that is along the lines of the old saying "see no evil, speak no evil, hear no evil"? I'm vaguely recalling a tale where one astronaut is plagued by visions (sight), another I believe refuses to speak because he now knows some ultimate truth, etc.
    – Helbent IV
    Apr 2, 2020 at 17:06
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    @HelbentIV Sorry, I don't remember that. I guess you do not know the name of said tale?
    – sfiss
    Apr 2, 2020 at 17:07
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    @sfiss I believe Helbent is referring to The Field of Vision by LeGuin, you can read about it here scifi.stackexchange.com/q/154380/28516 Apr 2, 2020 at 21:25
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    @OrganicMarble. That is the story I was trying to think of as a possible answer. It was on the proverbial "tip of my tongue" all day, but I kept thinking it was a Henry Harrison story, which threw me off the scent, as it were.
    – Helbent IV
    Apr 3, 2020 at 7:01


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