I’ve been trying to find some older sci-if short stories I remember from years ago. I’m pretty sure this was in a “best of xxxx” type anthology but could be wrong. Below is all I remember about the story. Any help or if there is a better place to ask / find an answer I’d appreciate that too.

Sci-if short story General story was about an asteroid that was going to hit earth and wipe out everyone. Centered on one man’s point of view.

The majority of the story was around the meetings, conferences and decision making that the world was going through trying to find the best solution on how to stop the asteroid. I believe this was most if not all of the story.

The only part I really remember was the ending. If I remember correctly the plans the committee made fell through but the main character had made a quiet phone call to two people shortly before. Those two people flew giant heavy ships out to meet the asteroid and did a kamikaze run to stop it. I don’t believe you even get details about that just the main character telling the committee he solved the problem, the two pilots made their kamikaze run, but only the first ship was needed. I believe he resigns after that and walks away.

Just remembered I think the story makes a point to say both kamikaze pilots were single with no kids. Minor detail but trying to remember all I can.

That’s the bulk of what I can remember. I’d like to reread the story again but I’m also curious to find that collection again too. There were other good sci-if short stories with them.

I think the short story would have been from the 70s or 80s but not later. It might have been much older but only added to a best of collection later.

I know it’s not a lot to go on but if anyone has any ideas I’d definitely appreciate it. Or if there’s a format for this type of question let me know.

  • 3
    Were they oil platform roughnecks, and one was sleeping with the other one's daughter?
    – Spencer
    Commented Jan 12, 2022 at 2:17
  • 2
    Some simillarities (and many differences!) to the short story version of "The Hammer of God" by Clarke. It was collected in "The Years Best Science Fiction: Tenth Annual Collection" (Gardner Dozios) in 1993 Commented Jan 12, 2022 at 8:08
  • Definitely similar plot lines to Hammer of God. The one I remember would just be a short story version of that really but deals with same topics like mission details to intercept. I think it may have been pretty short too like 20-30 pages in a small hardcover book.
    – Thrownaxe
    Commented Jan 12, 2022 at 15:33

1 Answer 1


The story sounds like "Industrial Accident" (1980) by G. Harry Stine. (Originally published under the name Lee Corey.)

Before all the meetings, Chuck Armitage (director of the Control and Inspection Division of the Department of Space Commerce) made a phone call that sent two employees on a suicide mission to save the Earth.

Afterward Armitage had to resign. Yes, he saved the Earth. But in doing so he had to force politically powerful people to own their short sighted decisions.

This story appears in Great Science Fiction: Stories by the World's Great Scientists. It is available to borrow at the Internet Archive.

  • 1
    Thanks! That’s definitely it.
    – Thrownaxe
    Commented Jan 13, 2022 at 21:09

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