Should the earthlings show that they represent a procreating species, this species would be considered dangerous and annihilated by the alien visitors. However the two randomly chosen people are way too shy to perform sexual activity under the scrutiny of the alien scientists and are finally released and put back on to the very train station platform and moment in time, where they previously had been snatched from. While the aliens continue their patrol onward to the next galaxy to be examined for "dangerous" species, the two on the platform decide to go for a drink together and share some thoughts on their embarrassing adventure. They end up in bed and do what almost would have led to mankind's extinction...

What was this story, and who was its author?

  • 1
    This sounds familiar to me. In the story I'm thinking of, the aliens procreated asexually and were astonished that a species did not reproduce by "budding". I'll have to check some of my old anthologies.
    – Fruitbat
    Commented Jan 25, 2014 at 17:43

1 Answer 1


I'm fairly sure that the story is What is this Thing Called Love? by Isaac Asimov.

These creatures could be the most dangerous life-forms in the Galaxy, Captain, just because there are two forms.

The humans are taken from an "elevated station" and returned there.

I have it in "Nightfall Two" (Panther science fiction 0 586 03657 1). I believe that this 2 volume collection was also published as "Nightfall and other stories".

Wikipedia article here


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