“First Contact,” Murray Leinster, 1945

First Contact,” Murray Leinster, 1945 – Two ships meet in space, one “alien,” one human.  Both seek to obtain the other’s technology, and neither can afford to let the other to follow it home—can they find a non-violent solution to the problem?  “The story ends with each crew taking over the other’s ship. Naturally, before leaving their own ship they are able to remove everything which might point back to their home world. Each stands to benefit from the new technology on the other’s ship. Each keeps the other race’s fiction library to gain insight into their thinking. They agree to repeat the encounter at the same location some time in the future.” (Wikipedia)

Comments: A classic example of “problem-solving” sf.  Contains one of the first “instances of a universal translator in science fiction” if not the first. (Wikipedia)  Stereotypical gender roles and a concluding line that suggests that the two alien cultures have much in common because they’re able to swap dirty jokes.  Read in The Astounding-Analog Reader, Volume 1.

Author: Wikipedia: “Murray Leinster (June 16, 1896 – June 8, 1975) was a nom de plume of William Fitzgerald Jenkins, an award-winning American writer of science fiction and alternate history. He wrote and published over 1,500 short stories and articles, 14 movie scripts, and hundreds of radio scripts and television plays.”


About jennre

Lifelong sf fan, first-time blogger
This entry was posted in 1940-1945, gender, logic/reason. Bookmark the permalink.

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