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43 votes
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Old story where aliens sell humans some machines to heal anything, and then disappear with their loot before we realize we've been scammed

"Betelgeuse Bridge", a short story by William Tenn, first published in Galaxy Science Fiction, April 1951, available at the Internet Archive. 1. The first-person narrator doesn't actually do ...
user14111's user avatar
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37 votes
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I am trying to locate a story about first contact where the aliens want to talk to the ship's dog instead of the contact team, any ideas?

It's hard to be sure from that terse description, but you might be thinking of "Propagandist", a short story by Murray Leinster which was also the answer to this old question. It was first ...
user14111's user avatar
  • 167k
36 votes

A short story (possibility written in the 80's), where humans visit an alien race that evolves fast?

This is almost definitely Dragon's Egg by Robert L. Forward; the primitive (very briefly) race are the cheela and they live on the surface of a neutron star. The cheela - who are described as the ...
DavidW's user avatar
  • 134k
23 votes

Can't remember name of Sci Fi first contact Novel, "solution to the Fermi paradox"

Run to the Stars by Michael Scott Rohan The protagonists realize that the "BC" world government is engaged in a top secret conspiracy. Half the plot is their efforts to discover the truth. ...
Winchell Chung's user avatar
21 votes

Novel involving the destruction of Jupiter, two alien species, and a neat star drive

Based on the timeframe and subject, this is likely The Jupiter Theft (1977) by Donald Moffitt. The original 1977 cover shows the Cygnans as hexapodal with a thick tail like a third leg coloured yellow ...
DavidW's user avatar
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21 votes
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Novel involving the destruction of Jupiter, two alien species, and a neat star drive

Is this The Jupiter Theft (1977) by Donald Moffitt...? The Wikpedia plot summary matches most of the plots points you described: An alien object, travelling from the direction of Cygnus X-1, is ...
LogicDictates's user avatar
19 votes

Looking for SF short story about first contact and humans have to destroy evidence before aliens reach Earth

Sshhh... by David Brin The story opens with 2 Earth Survey vessels escorting Lentili starships to Earth. The Lentili are a race of tall, long-lived aliens who are far more technologically and ...
Andrew's user avatar
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14 votes

That's what's unique about humans among all species—"they die"

Edit. This is a wrong answer. The story "Greyspun's Gift", suggested in the answer by sagiliss, is a much better match than anything else that's been mentioned here. Possibly a blurred ...
user14111's user avatar
  • 167k
14 votes

That's what's unique about humans among all species—"they die"

This sounds very much like Greyspun's Gift (1970) by Neal Barrett, Jr. It's the story of a young woman named Mary Ann Darling who encounters an alien while shopping in New York, and invites him home ...
treeshaped's user avatar
14 votes
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Looking for a short story about a posthuman conducting first contact with a primitive alien race on their planet

This reminds me in many respects of Dinosaurs, a short story by Walter John Williams, first published in 1988. The central character, named Drill, is a posthuman diplomat "the ultimate product of ...
Clara Díaz Sanchez's user avatar
14 votes
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Dinosaur eggs preserved by alien hatch, alien comes back for them?

Lords of Creation by Tim Sullivan. In the deep Montana shale, paleontologist David Albee makes a remarkable discovery: a metal box containing prehistoric dinosaur eggs — warm, alive… and ready to ...
John Rennie's user avatar
12 votes

That's what's unique about humans among all species—"they die"

The story "Mortal Gods" (1979), by Orson Scott Card, fits in two ways: Earth is visited by aliens. Humans are the only race that dies; other sentient races are all immortal (they reproduce ...
David Moews's user avatar
  • 4,715
12 votes

80's or earlier story called "There Stands a Statue"(?)

"'In a Good Cause—'", a 1951 novelette by Isaac Asimov, which was also the answer to this old question among others. Under the title "Ideals Die Hard" it was reprinted in Authentic ...
user14111's user avatar
  • 167k
11 votes

Can't remember name of Sci Fi first contact Novel, "solution to the Fermi paradox"

Cixin Liu set of novels have a similar theme to the original question asked, together called the three body problem, the particular fermi paradox solution is named the same as the second novel The ...
Neil Turpin's user avatar
11 votes
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SF first contact short story, alien probe visits earth to exchange information, is asked about religion

This is super reminiscent of the shoehorned-in "Starglider" subplot in Clarke's Fountains of Paradise. Starglider shows up, asks a bunch of questions, claims that only species that form ...
Organic Marble's user avatar
9 votes
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Short story about a human who defies aliens who tell him to return to his planet

Short story about a human who defies aliens who tell him to return to his planet "Upstart", a short short story (about three pages) by Steven Utley; first published in The Magazine of ...
user14111's user avatar
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9 votes
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Short Sci-fi Story about a door on the Moon?

I love this story. It was a pleasure to reread it yet again to refresh the details. Your question is such a cogent, accurate summary that it doesn’t need any details fixed. The brilliant author and ...
Occam Shave's user avatar
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7 votes
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SF Novel: Task force tries to fake sentience in a humanoid species to protect a planet from exploitation

This is The Alchemists by Geary Gravel. James Nicoll reviewed it recently (at my request) or I might not have recognized your description because it's been years and years since I've read it last. It'...
mkennedy's user avatar
  • 2,543
6 votes

Which first contact species reappeared?

This happened several times. Off the top of my head I thought of the following examples: Borg Your own nomination. First contact would've have been their meeting with the Enterprise in Q Who, ...
Z. Cochrane's user avatar
  • 6,398
6 votes
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Short Science Fiction story similar to "Story of Your Life"

Possibly "Those Brighter Stars" by Mercurio D. Rivera The main character is a woman with a daughter: I found out about the starships on a snowy Thanksgiving afternoon five years ago, a week ...
starpilotsix's user avatar
  • 31.5k
6 votes

80's or earlier first contact novel: scientists decode alien signal, only to discover the alien civilization is now long dead

I'm guessing that the book is James Gunn's "The Listeners" (1972). The publication time frame works. If you remember that the President in the book was black it's almost certain. A little ...
Emsley Wyatt's user avatar
  • 9,295
6 votes

Pre-1990 short story, Earth space probe (NASA?) lands somewhere like Titan and is found by a female alien

This is Eyes of Amber by Joan D. Vinge. As you say, it takes place on Titan. The indigenous person finds a space probe from Earth and uses it as a sort of totem. The indigenous person can communicate ...
Organic Marble's user avatar
6 votes
Accepted

1950s Short Story - Naive Aliens

This story is The Underprivileged (1963) by Brian Aldiss. Three alien refugees from a war-torn planet land on a human-colonized world, are given the grand tour & see how wonderful things are. ...
Lee Eckhardt's user avatar
  • 6,130
6 votes
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60s-70s short story: distant future, mankind has spread throughout the galaxy, and make "first contact" with other descendants of Earth

Pretty certainly Harry Harrison's Final Encounter. It concludes ”We are alone,” Hautmaki said, looking at the massed trillions of stars. “We have closed the circle and found only ourselves. The ...
Mike Stone's user avatar
  • 12.7k
6 votes

Sci-fi book/series with feline aliens, and a female astronaut

First Flight by Chris Claremont from the Nicole Shea series. After Lt. Shea fails a simulation test, she is given a second chance. She is to play pilot to a minimal-hassle scientific mission which ...
aaron Jay's user avatar
  • 131
6 votes
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Looking for a short story title about an alien that encounters a probe on its own planet

This is J. F. Bone's "On the Fourth Planet". It's based on an early NASA probe concept called Project Gulliver. The probe shot out sticky strings and reeled them back into nutrient-filled ...
Organic Marble's user avatar
6 votes
Accepted

Short story involving Aliens attempting to make contact with humanity at a distance

"The Signals", a short story by Francis Cartier; first published in Analog Science Fiction -> Science Fact, July 1966; reprinted in the 1984 anthology From Mind to Mind: Tales of ...
user14111's user avatar
  • 167k
6 votes

Short story about alien transmission which ends with the aliens' star exploding

This also reminds me of The Hercules Text by Jack McDevitt, 1986. The message is received with a large radio telescope, the fictional Hercules Array, which was built on the far side of the Moon. It ...
Dosco Jones's user avatar
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5 votes
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Book about suppressing First Contact? Character "Polly Ling"?

Bright New Universe by Jack Williamson. I was looking for this book too and someone identified it yesterday here Seeking title / author of a story about alien first contact with Earth. The character ...
Martin Goldsack's user avatar
5 votes
Accepted

I'm looking for a story about card catalogs and aliens

I'm looking for a story "Sshhh . . .", a 1989 short story by David Brin. Aside from translations, it has appeared only in Amazing Stories, May 1989 and in Brin's collection Otherness. Any of ...
user14111's user avatar
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