The human has a terminal disease and the alien is incarcerated. The alien has a long lifespan and he wants to travel the universe. Hence, he exchanges "souls" with the human (without the human's consent). The alien couldn't handle paper with his bare hands because he was maybe hot or radioactive. So he sent metal sheets to the human, to write on with acid. I think it is a short story from a collection, written before 90s or early 90s.

  • Can you make a guess as to roughly when this was published? – Tony Meyer Sep 5 '11 at 20:50
  • Is this a short story or a novel? Is there any other detail you remember? Even if you're not sure, saying “I'm not sure I remember this right, but the story might have …” can help. – user56 Sep 5 '11 at 21:05
  • Almost sounds like something that David Weber would write, but i don't know for sure. – DForck42 Sep 6 '11 at 1:53
  • I have added some more details. It is a short story. – KenSuvy Sep 6 '11 at 3:19
  • 1
    I marked this one as a duplicate of the newer one because the newer one has more detail. – FuzzyBoots May 22 '18 at 15:52

A. E. Van Vogt, “Dear Pen Pal”.

Anthologised in several places.

  • Yes, this is the one. Thanks. I even found the collection by searching Google Books. – KenSuvy Sep 6 '11 at 11:33

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