I read a short story in a science fiction magazine in the 1960s, probably in If, Tomorrow, or Galaxy. I think that the story was set billions of years in the future. The protagonist was a lizard like alien as far as I remember.

The protagonist was a member of some type of organization and had some sort of mission or task.

The plot seemed rather humorous and goofy. If I remember correctly, the protagonist had an accident causing mind transfer or something.

One of the Human members of the organization had the surname Habsburg.

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    "The protagonist was a member of some type of organization and had some sort of mission or task." Can you be less specific? Commented Feb 2 at 20:02
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    @Organic Marble Yes, I could be less specific. Commented Feb 3 at 7:08

1 Answer 1


I think you're probably misrecalling "Habsburg." If we consider instead "Hapsburg," we find "Simon Says," by Lawrence S. Todd (Larry S. Todd), If, June 1965.

Our protagonist is reptilian:

As he was unaccustomed to being interrupted in the middle of a massage session, even by so exalted a personage as Base Commandant Henly, Nestil Lagotilom lifted his eight-foot reptilian form from the massage table, dismissed his masseur, and swore vigorously about bureaucrats.

The chief technician is named "Hapsburg":

"Nestil Lagotilom? George Hapsburg, chief technician to that thing." He jerked his thumb at a complex device on one of the raised flat planes. It was a sparkling glass globe supported by a shiny metal base in which intricate machinery was exposed.

The story is a setup to a joke:

Suddenly Lagotilom sat erect, as if he had just struck an elementary truth. "Sir, there's been something buzzing around the back of my mind the last few days. I know what it is, now. This SIMO machine. Subelectronic Integrator for the Manipulation of Objects, by Nestil. SIMON. Ever heard of Simon Says?"

"Beg pardon?"

"Simon Says. It's a game. [...] Lagotilom chuckled immoderately. "This whole damn demonstration, all of it, was just another game of Simon Says." And he left the office, chuckling thoroughly...

You can read the story (in its only publication) at the Internet Archive, including a full-page picture showing the reptilian-looking Nestil:

Nestil stands left in the frame, his ship the "Li'l Abner" standing on its landing legs in the right distance.  Nestil is looking back at the viewer over his right shoulder

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    Habsburg and Hapsburg are different spellings of the same name. "Habsburg dynasty, or Hapsburg dynasty, Royal German family, one of the chief dynasties of Europe from the 15th to the 20th century. As dukes, archdukes, and emperors, the Habsburgs ruled Austria from 1282 until 1918." britannica.com/summary/…. Members of an English family that once claimed doubtful Hapsburg ancestry now refer to those ancestors as the "Perhapsburgs. Commented Feb 3 at 7:17

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