"Beam Us Home" is a 1969 science fiction short story by James Tiptree, Jr. It is about a bright young man who believes he is a crew member from Star Trek’s USS Enterprise.
Every Kid’s Dream
When I was in kindergarten and the teacher asked us all what we wanted to be when we grew up, nearly every boy said “an astronaut.” It’s no small wonder either, not only was being an astronaut the cool, hip vocation of the time, but there were plenty of SciFi TV shows to deepen our interest in the subject. Here is the story of one boy whose interest in Star Trek defined his life’s path.
Hobie is a smart kid who enjoys watching a certain science fiction TV show every week. In fact he enjoys it so much that he sometimes talks about the characters as if they are real. His parents don’t mind – mostly because they aren’t savvy as to what is happening – but when he joins the Air Force they are mildly disappointed. However, their feelings are turned positive when Hobie is accepted into the astronaut training program. One small problem, though, is the fact that a war breaks out in South America before Hobie gets to go into space. The question is will that war be the end or the beginning of Hobie’s dreams?
Some Interesting Tidbits
- Word count: 5,206 (11 pages)
- Did you know that James Tiptree, Jr. was the pen name of American science fiction author Alice Bradley Sheldon? Yep. You can learn more about her on Wikipedia.
- Special thanks to Variety SF for pointing out this great story!
Where To Find Beam Us Home
- This short story was first published in the April 1969 edition of Galaxy Magazine.
- You can read "Beam Us Home" online for free at the old Sci Fiction web site.
- It is also included in David Hartwell’s anthology The Science Fiction Century, Volume One.
Craving More SF Stories Like This One?
If you liked "Beam Us Home" then you may also enjoy “The Death of Doctor Island” by Gene Wolfe – about a mentally disturbed teenage boy who is sent to a very high tech rehabilitation center.