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First Contact | [Murray Leinster]

First Contact

A dilemma in the Nebula! Two spaceships meet in deep space. How do they establish trust, not only between their two crews, but also between their home worlds? A classic puzzle. The only way to warn home would be to return, and how do you know you were not being followed? Trade would be desirable, but how can you base an exchange of knowledge on unfounded trust?
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Publisher's Summary

A dilemma in the Nebula! Two spaceships meet in deep space. How do they establish trust, not only between their two crews, but also between their home worlds? A classic puzzle. The only way to warn home would be to return, and how do you know you were not being followed? Trade would be desirable, but how can you base an exchange of knowledge on unfounded trust? What then is the solution to this stalemate of technological equals, other than to utterly destroy the alien ship, who's defensive capabilities are unknown?

Public Domain(P)2009 CoolBeat Audiobooks

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  •  
    Niels J. Rasmussen Edmonton, Alberta Canada 05-25-14
    Niels J. Rasmussen Edmonton, Alberta Canada 05-25-14 Member Since 2012

    Dr. Nils Rasmussen

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    "One of the Best Sci-Fi Short Stories I Have Read"
    Any additional comments?

    The premise in this short story is simple, yet unique (especially for its genre).

    The story itself is just a simple, straightforward dilemma. But the consequences of choices made by the characters involved hold with them possible world-ending connotations.
    Well written, narrated & produced.

    Condensed versions of this story have appeared in best-of sci-fi collections and magazines, but this is the original, full story. Another take on this story was also produced for the 1950s sci-fi radio series "Dimension X". (Check it out! Great episode.)

    Check this one out if you call yourself a fan of science fiction.

    9.5 / 10

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Joel D Offenberg 08-23-10 Member Since 2009
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    "A Classic"

    The plot is simple: A spaceship from Earth is studying a nebula, when it encounters an alien spacecraft. Does either side trust the other to go home peacefully? When and how is it possible for two completely alien species to establish trust, especially when a wrong guess could lead to annihilation of the whole race?

    The author, Murray Leinster, has written some of the most interesting and thought-provoking science fiction of the middle part of the 20th Century, and this---published in 1945---is one of his best. Leinster is credit with coining the term "first contact" to refer to an initial meeting with an alien species and with providing the first example of a universal translator in this story.

    I'm less excited by Skip Mahaffey's reading. It is competent, but doesn't add anything to the experience.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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