This is a short story I read at least 25 years ago. It was in English. I believe it was in a book of short stories. I don't know if the other stories were by the same author.

The plot of the story is a man visiting a planet is forced to compete for the right to die and be used for reproductive material or die trying. The men on this planet intentionally put themselves into deadly situations, so they can use their strength and reflexes to save themselves. If they die, then they weren't good enough. The men, including the visitor have to complete an extremely difficult and dangerous obstacle course. At the end of the obstacle course there was a giant woman, like over 30 feet high. The woman doesn't kill him because he stops to talk to her instead of just going between her legs to be crushed for genetic material like the local men who manage to complete the course do. She says she will tell everyone that he completed the course and became part of the planet's gene pool. She helps him escape. The story was making an analogy: the men were like sperm competing to fertilize the woman's egg.

  • It's not it, but it reminds me a little of the Rumelya story(dream? alternate reality?)-within-a-story from Lucius Shepherd's Green Eyes
    – Joe L.
    Commented Jan 23, 2015 at 21:38

1 Answer 1


Long shot (it's a comic/"graphic novel", which I assume you'd remember as a major detail), but something from Moebius' "The Incal"? That pages' description doesn't mention it (so maybe it's actually some other Moebius-illustrated tale), but I distinctly remember a there is an episode where the protagonist is forced to fight enthusiastic all-comers (males) climbing up a narrowing cone or pyramid for the rights to mate/merge (fatally) with some sort of queen at the top (which then doesn't happen).

  • It does sound similar, but I'm pretty sure the story I read was a short story, not a graphic novel. Also, I think the protagonist and the other men had to complete some kind of very tough obstacle course, not fight each other. Commented Jan 27, 2015 at 14:50

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