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I am trying to get a lead on the name/author of an amusing short story I read in a great scifi English class in high school 30 years ago: a spaceship crashes in a desert and the two men who go to investigate encounter an old miner leading a donkey on which sits a shivering alien who is begging the men to help him get warm. They go back and forth on this one, but before they can do anything, the alien keels over. The miner then reveals that actually HE is the alien, and that had all been a test to see how they would react to an alien on earth. The men are grateful and very relieved that the master race is actually human. Right about then, the miner keels over. And then the donkey pipes up, "Now what's all this about a 'master race' ...?

Any ideas? Thanks!!


I remember the story but, sadly, cannot recall the author.That said, I vaguely recall that it was a particularly short whimsical SF story and there were 2 SF anthologies that I know of which specialised in containing only very short whimsical SF stories in them. These 2 collections  and their listed short stories they contained are shown below, maybe the story titles  will trigger some memory in you:-

Perhaps there are other SF anthologies specialising in such very short SF stories, I do not know....

Another possibility would be to check the contento index to science fiction or the websites for all the short story listings of the key SF writers ( wrting c. 1940-1980) who specialised min SF humour. HTH, Geoff.

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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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