“Grandpa” is a 1955 science fiction novelette by James H. Schmitz. It is about a mischievous boy who gets the chance to test his skills against unknown alien life forms.
One Dream Job Coming Right Up!
This story evokes a setting that I would die for: being one of the first explorers on a newly discovered planet! Honestly, how cool would that be? It would be rough, but it would still be my dream life. This is a very cool story with descriptions that reminded me of both Hyperion and Chasm City – and that is a good thing indeed!
Cord is a teen-aged boy with the Colonial Team on the outback world of Sutang. There is a lot of work to do and very few people to do it, which is why Cord often gets in trouble for doing some exploring on his own. In fact, Cord’s local leader wants to send him back to his home world, but Cord doesn’t like that idea at all. Lucky for him the Planetary Regent is coming to visit, and she wants Cord to accompany them while riding a local life form. This is Cord’s big chance to impress the people who control his destiny – but can he be both chivalrous and safe at the same time? He is about to find out… because a big test is heading his way!
Some Interesting Tidbits
- Word count: 8,935 (15 pages)
- Special thanks to Tinkoo at Variety SF for recommending this great story!
Where To Find Grandpa
- This short story was first published in the February 1955 edition of Astounding Science Fiction.
- You can read a free online version of “Grandpa” at Baen eBooks.
- It is also included in the anthology Explorers: SF Adventures to Far Horizons.
Craving More SF Stories Like This One?
If you liked “Grandpa” then you may also enjoy “The World That Couldn’t Be” by Clifford D. Simak – about a farmer who tries to save his crops by hunting a very dangerous alien beast.