From what I recall aliens come to earth and gets the people addicted some kind of "drug" making everyone passive. Other details I remember are the Aliens live off of methane gas so everything smells like sulfur. I think the main character, a human ends up starting a fire at the end in order the blow up the methane and destroy everything. Some of these details may be off, I read this so long ago.

  • 2
    How long ago was that?
    – user14111
    Mar 31, 2015 at 10:47
  • Maybe 7 years ago? For a while I thought it may have been one of the many Ray Bradbury short story's I used to read, however I have looked though all those books and cannot find it. It was a somewhat depressing story but very interesting.
    – Tim
    Mar 31, 2015 at 10:56
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    Part of me wants to suggest the The Tripods books. It doesn't really match in that the pacification is through electric caps on the people's heads, their gas is not breathable by humans but is not methane as I recall it, and their death is caused by exposing them to Earth's atmosphere by breaking their dome with an explosion. Frankly, it seems like a bad match, but I can't help but think of it in connection with this. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Tripods
    – FuzzyBoots
    Mar 31, 2015 at 12:30
  • Is this definitely a short story? Any chance it was a novel?
    – Fruitbat
    Mar 31, 2015 at 16:06
  • Sean: I read a synopses and parts seem similar (particularly the dome) However I will have to look into it more, the title does not ring any bells. One thing I am sure of is that all the people in this new world consume a type of processed stimulant (drug) that keeps them in a low state, I believe a girl (someone the main character knows commits suicide towards the begging by jumping from a building)
    – Tim
    Mar 31, 2015 at 20:32

1 Answer 1


Here's a long shot. A novel rather than short story.

Nightmare Blue by Gardner Dozois and George Alec Effinger

Nightmare Blue: the most addictive drug in the universe. The alien race known as the Aensalords alone know from whence it comes, and are its sole purveyors. Already its effects are visible on Earth—in the stark, raving eyes of the hopelessly addicted and enslaved. Now two agents set out to find the source: Jaeger, the last private detective in the peaceful world of the future, and Corcail Sendijen, a lobster-like alien once a servant of the Aensalords themselves. But Earth alone is not all that is at stake—for it seems humans are merely test subjects, and the Aensalords have plans that could endanger the entire galaxy.

A couple of sample chapters at Baen Books.

  • Thank you for the help, unfortunately this is not the book I am thinking of, but I do appreciate you spending the time to help.
    – Tim
    Apr 1, 2015 at 0:19

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