Science Fiction Books/Short story


I read a short story about a civilization that faced extinction only to find out at the end of the story that it wasn't human civilization, but bacteria or some othe microbes that had colonized under a person's ring and his scratching the itch is what threatened their civilization.

Best I can do. The memory is over 50 years old. Don't remember the title or the authorls3r3.

Thanking you in advance with the hope that the title of expert is well deserved."

The short story you are looking for is called "Starting from Scratch" by Robert Sheckley. The short story is found in the following anthologies:-

Bear in mind that the Contento Index of Science Fiction Anthologies/Books only includes works published before c.1982, so that short story may be found in more recently published  books for all I know.


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I have read most of the short stories and books produced by the Top 80-100 authors in the SF field, as well as more obscure authors such as Robert Sheckley, and can answer any queries regarding author, title or theme of a science fiction short story(or novel). I can also answer questions on the history and influence of Science Fiction past to present, as well as on specific SF genres such as Cyberpunk,Golden Age SF, H G Wells-style scientific romances etc. I do not answer questions about books/stories set in the Fantasy genre.


Am currently doing a writing course for writing Science Fiction Books, with the Writer's Bureau in the UK.<

Am considering becoming an amateur writer of Science Fiction. Other than that, no academic credentials, I simply have read a multitude of SF books and stories, with an emphasis on stories from H G Wells to the 1980s.

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