name this sci-fi short story from the 80s
May 2, 2007 7:36 PM   Subscribe

Trying to remember a sci-fi short story - I used to read Nebula Award collections when I was a kid and this one was in one years collection, but I am pretty sure it did not win. I've been trying to figure out what it was for years now. I'll tell you what I remember from it inside here...

I read most of my sci-fi all thru the 80's but it could have been an older collection(say from the late 70's) that i only read in the 80s. Now, It might not have been the nebula awards compilation but I'm maybe 75% sure that it was. I've done various web-searchs of Nebula and Hugo Winners and short lists..but nothing rings a bell. so here is what I remember of the story...

I think the main character was some type of fuzzy ball like creature? Then I think it rolled around and maybe was in love with a tree type creature that it met on a hilltop? They possibly both spoke some pidgin English. It's not much I know.

The most distinct thing I feel when I think about it now is it had a very 'flatland' feel to it. I guess that means for me at the time, it seemed totally 'alien' (The characters were I guess aliens) and not like aliens I had known until then(mean green Martians).

If you can get this right you are a very special person!
I'm available to answer more questions If I can thru the rest of the evening.
posted by darkpony to Media & Arts (12 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Sounds like Harlan Ellison. I'll go look.
posted by kuujjuarapik at 7:58 PM on May 2, 2007

Best answer: first one that comes to mind, very close, is "Love is the Plan the Plan is Death" by James Tiptree Jr, Best Short Story 1973. collected in the 1989 Best of the Nebulas edited by Ben Bova?

First few lines (ellipses are me leaving things out)...
Remembering --
Do you hear me, my little red? Hold me softly. The cold grows.
I remember --
-- I am hugely black and hopeful, I bounce on six legs along the mountains in the new warm!... Sing the changer! Sing the stranger! Will the changes come forever?... All my hums have words now. Another change!
Eagerly I bound on subward following the tiny thrill in the air. The forests have been shrinking again. Then I see. It is me! Mr-Myself, MOGGADEET -- I have grown bigger in the winter cold!...
I stop, pluck up a tree. so much I wanted to ask the Old One. No time. Cold. ...
I bound over a hill and see my brother Frim. A big black old one! I think. And in the warm, we can speak!...
He doesn't hear me, all his eye-turrets are under the trees...
posted by LobsterMitten at 8:39 PM on May 2, 2007

No chance it was Asimov's The Gods Themselves?
posted by Abiezer at 9:09 PM on May 2, 2007

Heinlein had some cute fuzzy pigeon-speaking baby Martians in at least one of his juvies (but i do not remember falling in love with trees). There is of course, Little Fuzzy (H Beam Piper), but they didn't roll and they didn't love trees.
posted by b33j at 9:25 PM on May 2, 2007

Response by poster: I'll be darned. I really think that is it lobster mittens.

A tiny part of me thought it was Tiptree...A tiny part thought also Ellison but I am pretty sure I didn't know who he was then.

This is great. just great. I hope the story is still as strange as I remember it.

Thank you so much. now i feel silly. it seems so easy!
posted by darkpony at 9:30 PM on May 2, 2007

And hey - check it out - looks like it's online in full text:
Love is the Plan the Plan is Death
posted by LobsterMitten at 9:32 PM on May 2, 2007 [2 favorites]

And yes, it's totally as strange as you remember. :)
posted by LobsterMitten at 9:33 PM on May 2, 2007

Response by poster: double awesome!

thanks again.
posted by darkpony at 9:34 PM on May 2, 2007

:) Very glad to help - thanks for reminding me of it; it's probably been 15 years since I read it.
posted by LobsterMitten at 9:59 PM on May 2, 2007

This is why I love [Ask] Metafilter.

Now I know where Andrew Plotkin gets story ideas...
posted by RikiTikiTavi at 10:01 PM on May 2, 2007

LobsterMitten, you have immeasurably brightened my day. Thank you, thank you, thank you.
posted by po at 10:54 AM on May 3, 2007

(And, how silly of me - darkpony, thank you as well for asking the question. :)
posted by po at 10:57 AM on May 3, 2007

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