I'm looking for help to identify a short story. The man was stranded on an alien planet (crash landed, I think) and ends up dying there alone. He is on a little boat at the end (that he made, maybe) and dies on it. There are alien creatures that swim in the water under him sometimes too.

  • Do you know when you read it?
    – Zoe
    May 8, 2015 at 17:18
  • In about 1995, I don't know if at that time it was recent or not (I think it was in a collection of short stories from the library). May 8, 2015 at 18:31
  • Interesting. I saw a tv show (The Outer Limits "Worlds Apart") that had this story in it. The man in the boat crash landed on a planet and contacted NASA though a wormhole. He was on an ocean planet in a zodiac style boat - and large creatures that swam beneath him. The story had a very sad ending.
    – user53425
    Sep 23, 2015 at 5:09
  • @DonDontBeKnownBeKnown - Was there any indication that the show was based on a short story?
    – Valorum
    Sep 23, 2015 at 5:32
  • I TOO am looking for this story, I borrowed the book from the library in the late seventies, and have been looking for it for the ;ast thirty years..... the boat was a coracle, he was able to eat the vegetation and realised that he could bbreath when he became seasick and had to remove his helmet..... Apr 12, 2017 at 16:00

1 Answer 1


"Shipwreck" by Charles Logan

A starship blows up in a nuclear accident in orbit around a planet of the star Capella, leaving alive only a few astronauts who were in the landing craft nearby. Only one escapes a lethal dose of radiation.

Isidore Tansis, the only one who is not sick, has no choice but to land on the planet, which is barely able to sustain human life - and once down there all his companions die, and the novel begins with Tansis having just buried them.

He now has to face the fact that he will have to spend the rest of his life on the planet, with not the slightest hope of ever again meeting or speaking to another human being, because it is known that no other spaceships are within many light-years of Capella.

Tansis suffers terrible loneliness and hallucinations, causing him to treat the ship's computer like a physiotherapist.

He undergoes hardships during expeditions to find food and resources and makes great efforts to communicate with the native sea creatures who "speak" by dilating their eye pupils. He dies lonely on a beach at the end.

Sourced from this review .. http://www.foxall.com.au/users/mje/Shipwrek.htm

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