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?

  • 1
    @SQB how is this, a 3 year old question, a duplicate of a question asked 40 mins ago? :P Dec 14 '14 at 21:00
  • 1
    @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
  • 1
    @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other is marked as a duplicate, whether the better question is newer or older (i.e. the rule you mention has not been repealed).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

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
  • 1
    Sheckley was awesome indeed.
    – John C
    Sep 26 '11 at 20:20
  • I read this recently -- great story. Mar 24 '13 at 5:30

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.