I this read many years ago.

In this story one group of characters live in a fairly primitive world full of tensions - between tribes I believe. Occasionally they will uncover by mistake buried “god wires”. The parallel story is that the first group of characters are part of an artificial world used to train administrators of a more evolved civilization.

  • Hi, welcome to the site. In roughly which year did you read this and when do you think it might've been published? Also, was this a short story? If so, did you read it in an anthology, a magazine, or online? Nov 20, 2023 at 1:53

1 Answer 1


This sounds like "The Short Ones" (1955) by Raymond E. Banks. The titular "short ones" live in an enclosed colony in Washington D.C. where they are used to test people. To the short ones, the human test subjects are "gods" and they have explanations for how one supplant/replaces another.

The short ones find "god wires:"

Valsek stumbled over a god-wire before he could answer. Another exposed god-wire! Important things were stirring and he had to drive this farm-hand clod to his labor.

Meanwhile in Washington they are watching the colony:

Time: One month earlier... or half an hour.

Place: The Pentagon, Washington, D. C.

The Life Hall.

In the vast, gloomy auditorium the scurryings and scuttlings of the Short Ones rose to a climax beneath the opaque, milky glass that covered the colony. Several spectators rose in their seats. At the control panel, Charles Melton also rose.


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