Murray F Yaco's "Unspecialist" (short story, science fiction, free): Overspecialization kills flexibility
I won't place it among the top rung of sf stories, but it's not far below them. Great concept. Space centric execution didn't work as well with me, but not a moment of boredom.
Story summary.Arnold, an unspecialist, is forced by authorities as a passenger on an unarmed military spaceship with 2 crew - on a mission to deliver some "potato fertilizer and tractor fuel" to a far off farm world.
After picking up their load, but before delivery to destination, they'll discover an asteroid full of a military fleet of aliens called Ankorbadians - obviously intended to raid human worlds soon, & before this ship can seek help.
While the pilot Banner & co-pilot Harcraft are insisting there is no way out, Arnold will save the day by rigging together a bomb from onboard load of fertilizer & diesel plus whatever tools are at hand in this unarmed ship.
They'll successfully blow up the alien fleet.
Fact sheet.First published: Astounding Science Fiction, October 1959.
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