Cover image for


Author: Fredric Brown
Published: 1944
Language: English
Wordcount: 9,786 / 27 pg
Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease: 77.8
LoC Category: PS
Downloads: 8,254
Added to site: 2008.07.03 21417
More Info:

st happen if our races fight -- extinction of one and weakening and retrogression of the other. The battle between them, said the Entity, depends upon what we do here. Why cannot we agree to an eternal peace -- your race to its galaxy, we to ours?'

Carson blanked out his mind to receive a reply.

It came, and it staggered him back, physically. He recoiled several steps in sheer horror at the intensity of the lust-to-kill of the red images projected at him. For a moment that seemed eternity he had to struggle against the impact of that hatred, fighting to clear his mind of it and drive out the alien thoughts to which he had given admittance. He wanted to retch.

His mind cleared slowly. He was breathing hard and he felt weaker, but he could think.

He stood studying the Roller. It had been motionless during the mental duel it had so nearly won. Now it rolled a few feet to one side, to the nearest of the blue bushes. Three tentacles whipped out of their grooves and began to investigate


Average Rating of 4.9 from 7 reviews: *****
Lisa Carr

An excellent two-man story. The Outsiders have invaded our galaxy and are bent on destroying humanity. As the big interstellar showdown approaches, two scout ships, one from each side, scuffle, then the pilots wake up to find themselves naked on a blue world under a scorching blue dome that exists nowhere, and outside time.
They are separated by a force field, but are expected to fight to the death, with the loser's entire race to be annihilated.
An absorbing story, with a truly strange alien.

This one rates as my favorite bit of Science Fiction... I read it in the early 70's, and again about 2010 and re-read it dozens of times since. A most excellent short story, written well.


A great story, all our wars should fought this way (except for the annihilation of the loser’s race of course).


I remember this story from years ago, nice to find it again on This is a very creative story that will immerse you in an alien and unimaginable situation. Don't miss it if you are a science fiction fan.

Dick Thornton

This is a wonderful story written by a master scifi author.


A classic, and as Cheryl said in her review, the basis for an original Star Trek episode (and other SF stories). Short stories by Frederic Brown are always fun. When you read it, keep in mind that remarkably, it was written 66 years ago.


Science fiction short story that was the inspiration for the Star Trek ( original series) episode with the same name. Humans and an alien species are on the brink of battle in space. A third, much advanced species intervenes by taking one person from each side and placing them in an "arena" to fight to the death. The one who is killed will have their entire species destroyed, as well. Interesting to see the method of battle each side invents.

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