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This question

SF short story by British author WW2 Burma

made me think of a story whose title (and much else about it) I can't remember.

The setting is the-near-future-when-written and humanoid extraterrestrials had contacted and landed on Earth. They had been granted a large island in the Pacific to live on - I thought Borneo, but maybe that's wrong, and hence my trouble in finding it.

The protagonist is a spy working for an Earth nation who was dropped off on the island. I can remember nothing about the plot except that he may have been working against other Earth nations to gain technological advantages from the ETs rather than against the ETs directly.

The story was long-ish, probably a novella or novelette, really too long to hold my attention at the time. I read it in an anthology, probably paperback, in the late 1970s.

ISTR the title was short and maybe just the name of the island. You'd think that would make it easy to find, so I may be wrong on that.

ISTR it was by a British author - I thought Ballard, Aldiss, Harrison, or Brunner, but looking through isfdb.org turned up nothing. I remember thinking at the time it must have been from early in their career since it was very techno-thriller-ish and later the author turned out more sophisticated work.

All or part of these factoids may be mis-remembered, sadly.

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This might be "Vanguard From Alpha' by Brian Aldiss, half of an Ace Double. Has humanoid aliens living on Earth, called 'Tosks' or 'Tusks' or something like that. I think they were from Alpha Centauri and they were given Malaysia to live on, someplace in that area. The story does involve an Earth spy but I don't know what happened because I never finished it.

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  • Yes, that's it. Thanks for posting an answer. I dislike accepting my own. In the original magazine it was called "Equator" as I posted below. Dec 13 '20 at 0:05
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After getting frustrated enough to post the question, I was able to put the pieces together and find the story: "Equator" by Brian W. Aldiss.

I figured it out by reading the entry on Aldiss in The Science Fiction Encyclopedia.

Analysis of my poor memory follows:

  • They had been granted a large island in the Pacific to live on - I thought Borneo, but maybe that's wrong, and hence my trouble in finding it.

It was Sumatra, and not the whole island.

As for the site of the base, it had to be in an equatorial region. Earth’s equatorial belt was about as warm as Alpha II’s temperate zone. A site in the middle of Africa might be too inconvenient; a small island might prove too self contained. The increasingly mighty nation of Brazil would tolerate no Rosks near her borders. After many squawkings, orations, protests and uses of veto an area of eighty square miles just south of Padang in Sumatra was finally ceded as a Rosk base.

  • I read it in an anthology, probably paperback, in the late 1970s.

It was The Future Makers, link goes to the 1974 edition I had/have.

  • ISTR the title was short and maybe just the name of the island. You'd think that would make it easy to find, so I may be wrong on that.

Short, yes, but not the name of the island.

  • ISTR it was by a British author - I thought Ballard, Aldiss, Harrison, or Brunner...

Indeed.

I found it online in New Worlds #75 at the Internet Archive.

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