17

This question already has an answer here:

I have a very vague recollection of a short story in which somehow the parts of a spaceship were aliens of different races, whose innate powers allowed them to perform a function (braking, steering...). The end revelation is about the nature of the ship's accelerator.

Any bell ringing?

marked as duplicate by Null Feb 11 '16 at 6:36

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

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    @SQB how is this, a 3 year old question, a duplicate of a question asked 40 mins ago? :P – Shevliaskovic Dec 14 '14 at 21:00
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    @Shevliaskovic Perhaps because SQB felt the newer Q was a better question than this one, in terms of detail. While precedent for that exists, I prefer this Q as it has had more exposure. Maybe someone can amalgamate the info? – Möoz Dec 14 '14 at 21:11
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    @SQB - I agree and have used my super-duper-deduper-hammer on this question instead. – Valorum Dec 15 '14 at 9:26
  • @user14111 This was flagged for re-opening under the policy that story ID questions are not to be closed as duplicates unless both are accepted with the same answer. When closing questions as duplicates, the better question/answer remains open and the other is marked as a duplicate, whether the better question is newer or older (i.e. the rule you mention has not been repealed). – Null Feb 11 '16 at 6:13
19

That would be "Specialist" by Robert Sheckley. Sheckley wrote dozens of brilliant and memorable short stories in the 1950s, and it's well worth tracking them down.

  • That's it! Great, thanks. – DaG Sep 26 '11 at 11:34
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    Sheckley was awesome indeed. – John C Sep 26 '11 at 20:20
  • I read this recently -- great story. – Ernest Friedman-Hill Mar 24 '13 at 5:30

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