Sunday, November 21, 2010

Fox B Holden's "A Gift For Terra" (short story, first contact, free): There's no such thing as a free lunch

Illustration by Paul Orban accompanying the original publication in If Worlds of Science Fiction magazine of short story A Gift For Terra by Fox B Holden
First ever human ship to Mars has crashed there. Ship destroyed, one of the 2 member crew is dead. Johnny Love is the survivor. Two more 2-crew ships are to follow 20 days apart, & will land depending on success of previous missions. But Johnny will likely be dead before the first of them lands.

Johnny will be rescued by child-like Martians humans didn't suspect existed. He will be offered the ultimate free gift to take back for humanity - knowledge humanity won't discover on its own for a 1000 years!

Only there is no such thing as a free lunch...

See also.

  1. Damon Knight's "To Serve Man" (download): Another story about aliens offering free lunch to humanity. Among the most famous stories of science fiction, & with a funny ending.

Fact sheet.

First published: If, September 1954.
Download full text from Project Gutenberg, Manybooks, Feedbooks.
Rating: B.


Paul said...

Thanks for the tip!