A long time ago (maybe in the 70's?) I read a short story where humanity and aliens were in contact, and the only thing they wanted was Earth fiction. So many people became authors, and were using machines to write their novels. The twist of the story was that one of the characters machines was broken, and he was actually writing everything by hand.

I don't recall the name or author of this story, but it was quite interesting how it was predicting the rise of AI writing. What is the name of this? It's not "Fault-Intolerant" or "The Monkey's Finger" by Asimov.

  • Voting to close, not science fiction.
    – Adamant
    Commented Apr 1 at 23:37
  • 1
    If you liked this, you may find that Roald Dahl's "The Great Automatic Grammarizator" (I may have misspelled that last word) is an even older and more accurate (DEPRESSINGLY accurate!) prediction of AI writing. Commented Apr 2 at 10:32
  • Not science fiction? The guy goes into space.
    – Larf
    Commented Apr 3 at 3:02

1 Answer 1


This is "So Bright the Vision", by Clifford D. Simak. The story originally appeared in the August 1956 issue of Fantastic Universe Magazine. The main character was a writer whose 'yarner' writing machine had broken (the character who pretended to use a machine while actually writing his own stories was an acquaintance of the main character) and he had no money to buy a replacement. That night he finds an alien creature, a sort of living blanket, in a park, and takes the creature home. The blanket gives him amazing dreams, and he realizes that he can use those dreams as stories; then, the blanket's owner arrives, and rewards him with alien money for the blanket's return. The protagonist is overjoyed at first, until the salesman at the yarner store informs him that the alien money is counterfeit. In the end, the protagonist sets off for outer space to find the cheating alien and recover the funds to buy a new yarner, but realizes at lift-off that, when he returns to Earth after adventuring among the stars, he won't need a yarner anymore.

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  • 1
    If so, it would be a dupe of scifi.stackexchange.com/questions/274497/…
    – FuzzyBoots
    Commented Apr 1 at 18:32
  • Thank you! I was thinking possibly Simak, but wasn't sure. It's pretty amazing how things like this are (in some parts) coming true now.
    – Larf
    Commented Apr 1 at 19:53

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