Help ID a scifi story about aliens and a quarantined Earth
October 2, 2013 6:48 PM   Subscribe

Can you help my friend identify this scifi short story about aliens and a shield around the earth?

Here's his description:

It begins with an Alien "away team" landing on the Earth a long time after Earth has been imprisoned/quarantined within a shield (encompassing, I believe, the Earth _and_ the Moon) preventing space travel. I think this was because humans were deemed too violent or expansionist. Anyway, the Earth looks underpopulated and overgrown, until the aliens are captured and taken underground to explain themselves.

Turns out the Aliens need help and are willing to drop the shield to get it. There is much rejoicing "The shield is down!", and the Aliens discover that the _entire_ _planet_ has been converted into a spaceship and that humans are again much more dangerous than anyone had counted on.

At first I thought it might be Greg Egan's Quarantine, but the Wikipedia description doesn't really fit.
posted by mediareport to Media & Arts (3 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: "With Friends Like These" by Alan Dean Foster. Great story.
posted by codswallop at 7:33 PM on October 2, 2013 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Yep, that looks like the one, based on its appearance at the TV Tropes page for the title phrase. I've passed it along. Thanks, codswallop!
posted by mediareport at 8:35 PM on October 2, 2013

You figured it out already, but yeah - it's not Quarantine. That's got a shield but nothing else.
posted by outlier at 6:08 AM on October 3, 2013

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