Short story read in the 60's or 70's, an astronaut has to enter an alien ship and collect the tears/sweat? of an alien to use as a wonder drug for humans. The alien has some sort of presence which affects the mental state of any human near it.

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    @user21820 The other answer is not accepted so by policy this should not be closed.
    – TheLethalCarrot
    Apr 12, 2018 at 8:32
  • @TheLethalCarrot: I shall be frank and say that that is a ridiculous policy. The other question was posted by an unregistered user who was last seen at exactly the same time as he posted the question. Perhaps he lost the cookie, but whatever it is he never came back, much less to accept the answer. The intended purpose of marking as duplicate is when the questions are identical and already has an answer. In this case, both have answers, so I simply chose the older one as the duplicate.
    – user21820
    Apr 12, 2018 at 9:29
  • @user21820 Well as it is that is policy, unless confirmed we do not dupe close story-id questions. If you have a problem with the policy you can take it to Science Fiction & Fantasy Meta.
    – TheLethalCarrot
    Apr 12, 2018 at 9:31
  • @TheLethalCarrot: Thanks, but sorry but I don't have the time or motivation to do that. I was just stating my opinion, and others can ignore it or take up the matter themselves. I thought it would be nice for future readers to link the two questions as duplicates, but if I run up against policy I don't care anymore.
    – user21820
    Apr 12, 2018 at 9:37

1 Answer 1


This is Stranger Station by Damon Knight. There is a summary here:

“Stranger Station,” Damon Knight, 1956 – Paul Wesson is stationed on Stranger Station, which will be visited by an overwhelmingly alien consciousness. His only companion is the robot (female) Aunt Jane. His purpose is to establish contact with the alien, in the interest of picking up a longevity serum that the aliens have offered to humanity as a gift. He tries to endure the saturating presence of the alien mind–and the degradation of his ability to communicate with other humans that results from this communion–but he begins to fixate on what he calls Wesson’s Law: “When two alien cultures meet, the stronger must transform the weaker with love or hate.” He comes to suspect that the aliens, having determined that humanity will one day be a space-faring race, are attempting to “adapt” humanity to the aliens in advance, perhaps over the course of centuries. Humans will have been conquered–not by hate, but by love–and Wesson decides that he will use hate to resist.

  • That's it! Thank you Organic Marble.
    – Den Holmes
    Apr 17, 2015 at 16:05
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    You're welcome! Please help us both out by marking the answer as correct by clicking the gray checkmark at the left...and upvoting it as well, if you like. Apr 17, 2015 at 16:07

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