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I bought a book at a book fair 17 years ago. It is a collection of short stories. Can anyone give me the title of the book, any of these stories, or the authors involved. It is driving me crazy!

  • A story about a guy who crashed into a ghost town, then is accompanied by Laurel and Hardy robots.
  • A woman crashes into a planet then is saved by the local aliens, only to kill them with the flu.
  • A man seeks solitude on a planet after a life of conflict, only to find pirates have been marooned on it.
  • A man's transportation breaks down on his way to a space port on the moon, and he walks toward it while a mysterious predator stalks him just out of sight.
  • An asteroid being mined is home to a ghost of an asteroid.
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    Could the story about the transportation breakdown on the moon be Arthur C Clarke's A Walk in the Dark? That would mean your book is likely on this ISFDB list. – Bob Warwick Feb 5 '15 at 7:04
  • The fourth story soThe story sounds like 'A Walk In The Dark' by Arthur C.Clarke. It appears in the following collections. 1."Reach for tomorrow" 2."The Collected Stories of Arthur C Clarke" 3."More Than One Universe" – sueelleker Feb 5 '15 at 7:09
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I bought a book at a book fair 17 years ago. It is a collection of short stories.

It's a 1996 anthology edited by Mike Ashley, originally published in Great Britain as Space Stories by Robinson Publishing Children's Books, an imprint of Robinson Publishing Ltd., and republished in the United States by Random House as The Random House Book of Science Fiction Stories.

• A story about a guy who crashed into a ghost town, then is accompanied by Laurel and Hardy robots.

"City of Ancient Skulls" by Simon Clark:

Then the round face of Hardy appeared above the front of the car. It was covered with dust. His bowler hat was flattened. He stared hard at his friend, who scratched the top of his head. "I didn't mean to do it, Ollie, honest. I tried to tell you about the brake. You wouldn't . . . I thought . . . I was going to . . .

Stanley started to cry.

I whispered to Bright Spark, "What do you think of these androids? Their behavior seems so strange."

A sign in the room where they were stored said LAUREL & HARDY—THE KINGS OF COMEDY."

• A woman crashes into a planet then is saved by the local aliens, only to kill them with the flu.

"Status Extinct" by Eric Brown:

She knew what it meant, this knife in her suit. The aliens, unable to get inside the ship to kill her, had symbolically "killed" her suit.

For she had brought death to these innocent people; she had spread disease amongst them in the form of the influenza virus, a virus new to them and against which, therefore, they had no protection.

• A man seeks solitude on a planet after a life of conflict, only to find pirates have been marooned on it.

"Hally's Paradise" by Douglas Hill:

"Saw your ship land yesterday," the man in the center said. He was the owner of the rough voice, probably the leader. Heavily built, coarse features made coarser by smears of dirt and several days' growth of beard. "Took us till now to get here," he went on, grinning. "Nice place you made for yourself."

Hally said nothing, just watched them stonily. He knew their kind well enough. A trio of drifters, probably criminals wanted on several planets. What ugly mischance had brought them here?

As if aware of the question in Hally's mind, the leader of the trio answered it. "Our ship came down a few days ago. Malfunction—useless. Figured we were stuck on this ball of nothing forever. Real nice surprise to see you coming down. What I can't figure is what you're doing here."

• A man's transportation breaks down on his way to a space port on the moon, and he walks toward it while a mysterious predator stalks him just out of sight.

Two candidates for this one. It could be "A Walk in the Dark" by Arthur C. Clarke (first published in Thrilling Wonder Stories, August 1950, available at the Internet Archive) as suggested by commenters. (You can listen to the Mind Webs reading of this story at the Internet Archive.) The man in Clarke's story is walking to the spaceport, and he is being stalked by an unseen monster . . .

For there could be no mistaking the rattle of monstrous claws in the darkness ahead of him.

. . . but the vehicular breakdown happens before he starts out, not on the way, and he is not on the moon but a distant planet:

Who would have believed that the only tractor at Camp IV would have broken down when he was just setting off for Port Sanderson? He recalled the frenzied repair work, the relief when the second start had been made—and the final debacle when the caterpillar track had jammed.

It was no use, then, regretting the lateness of his departure: he could not have foreseen these accidents, and it was still a good four hours before the Canopus took off. He had to catch her, whatever happened; no other ship would be touching at this world for another month.

Apart from the urgency of his business, four more weeks on this out-of-the-way planet were unthinkable.

Maybe you are conflating Clarke's story with "The Long Night" by John Christopher (first published in Galaxy, October 1974, available at the Internet Archive), which is set on the Moon . . .

"Then there's life on the moon after all. The rock-eating lunar worm. Vermis lunaris corfieldis. OK to move on, or do you want more from here?"

. . . and they do have a vehicular mishap:

The caterpillar reached the lip of the crater, nosed down. Suddenly there was a screech of tracks trying to grip and failing, a sensation of sliding. Corfield was thrown against him. They wound up in a heap on the floor, knocked about but undamaged.

They donned suits and went out to examine the damage. It was easily found. The left-hand track was broken and stripped, a limp tail that trailed behind the caterpillar.

• An asteroid being mined is home to a ghost of an asteroid.

"Asteroid 745: Mauritia" by "Martin Pearson", pseudonym of Donald A. Wollheim (first published in Orbit, No. 1, available at the Internet Archive):

It's a rather strange thing to be expected to tell a ghost story out here in interplanetary space. The captain has asked me to do this rest period and I'm a man who obeys orders. He says you passengers asked for a ghost story this time and, what's more, you want a ghost story of space.

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