I read a story years ago where a number of aliens had contacted Earth. They agreed to trade some of their more advanced technology for sociology advisors. One for each of the different alien species. The point of view character is one of those advisors who spends the trip back to the aliens planet wondering what such an advanced species would need human help with since humans are so aggressive and primitive.

At the end of the trip the alien and human watch as nuclear bombs go off on the alien's homeworld. The human is astounded and the alien says this is the problem. They were very impressed that the humans only detonated two nukes for military purposes and want help applying that to their own society.

I believe this was in an anthology of older short stories, but I couldn't find it when I looked through my collection.

1 Answer 1


This is almost certainly No Shoulder to Cry On, by Hank Davis. It appeared in the June 1968 Analog.

It concludes with the alien saying with tears in its eyes "The job of keeping the peace is that which you humans think you have done poorly." he said in a voice soft as a crumbling dream. "Teach us to do a job that is as poor. Please!"

They are looking down at its home planet, covered with bomb craters and areas where nothing grew.

  • Yes, that was it exactly. Thanks. Commented Apr 20 at 8:44

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