I'm looking for the title of a book. I have few details other than that people were being rescued from the surface of an alien planet which had something which was attracted to metal. They were being hoisted to safety, but something metal on the cable was being attacked by a swarm of small possibly glowing aliens. I read it in the 70's.

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    Please visit scifi.meta.stackexchange.com/questions/9335/… and edit any new details elicited into your question. Also, if someone posts the correct answer, you can accept it by clicking on the checkmark by the voting buttons as per the tour. – FuzzyBoots Jul 30 at 21:32
  • Hoisted to safety... on a space elevator? Or from the ground into some kind of landing craft? – Valorum Jul 30 at 21:34
  • see OP confirmation comment for answer below – Otis Aug 16 at 1:41

This sounds like "Escape from Splatterbang", also known as "Marooned on Splatterbang" or "Flamers", by Nicholas Fisk, published in 1979. A boy named Mykl and a gypsy girl called Amina are accidentally left behind on a planet, where the indigenous lifeforms, which have the appearance of bolts of light, consume metal as part of their life cycle. When one of the aliens, called "flamers" from their appearance, attacks a piece of metal it makes a "splatter-bang!" sound - which is the informal name given to the planet. To rescue them, the spaceship stays in low orbit, out of range of the flamers, and lowers a plastic container down to the planet's surface. The container is attached to a cable which is mainly synthetic fibre, but does contain some metal strands for reinforcement. This metal is attacked by the lifeforms, but the cable holds just long enough for the kids to be winched up to safety.

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  • nice work ! thank you so much ! – Tim Beck Jul 31 at 1:53
  • @TimBeck If this is the correct book please will you click the tick symbol to the left of Clara's answer to mark it as accepted. Thanks :-) – John Rennie Jul 31 at 4:19
  • My copy of this is titled, "Escape from Splatterbang" fwiw. – moopet Jul 31 at 8:53
  • Its names are legion... I've added the three that I know of. – Clara Diaz Sanchez Jul 31 at 9:32
  • thanks John .. have clicked the icon – Tim Beck Aug 17 at 20:00

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