Pre 1970s story: scientists tricked into creating machine

MikeW

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I read this in the 1970s, possibly from an old Gollancz collection of stories - my guess it dates from the 40s-50s, maybe by Henry Kuttner and/or C.L. Moore.

Some scientists are told that an invisibility machine (or it might have been for teleportation or time travel) has been created, but was accidentally destroyed and they have to recreate it from some sketchy plans.

At the end they find out that the plans were a ruse to give them the confidence to build something which was theoretically impossible.
 

chrispenycate

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Well, I read it in the late fifties/ early sixties, (probably in an Astounding/Analog) and have no more idea than you as to author or title. But your description is accurate enough that I can't add anything useful.
 

MikeW

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I've gone through a few Kuttner/Moore bibliographies but they don't offer much in the way of synopses. It could be "Project" (1947) under their Lewis Padgett pseudonym
 

PaulMmn

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There was a story... likewise, from ages ago, where Earth and an alien planet swapped scientists. The Earth scientists were given the task of duplicating the aliens' ?anti-gravity device.? The Aliens were given the task of duplicating the Earthers' 'perpetual motion machine.'
.
I forget the reason for the challenge and the punishment for failure... but both the aliens and the earthlings 'cheated' and created fake devices to be duplicated... hoping that the others' scientists would actually create such devices!
.
The Earth scientists succeeded... and then set about helping the alien scientists create perpetual motion.
.
And, of course, I forget the story title and author. But it sounds similar! (;
.
--Paul E Musselman
 

Danny McG

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I know it's five years since this was asked so probs no longer relevant but someone else may want to know. I'm pretty sure it was an anti gravity machine the scientists got flim flammed into inventing. story was called Noise Maker but I can't recall who wrote it . ( somebody James perhaps )
 

monkeypooper

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Google is a marvel,

stuff face book
only books in my face
which i'd rather read than twitter on about

From your posts i'd say you only go from memory i reckon you would help alot more people using google aswell even though you sound like a font of information
 

Danny McG

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This editor blurb gives the story outline.
 

Pete_100

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There was a story... likewise, from ages ago, where Earth and an alien planet swapped scientists. The Earth scientists were given the task of duplicating the aliens' ?anti-gravity device.? The Aliens were given the task of duplicating the Earthers' 'perpetual motion machine.'
.
I forget the reason for the challenge and the punishment for failure... but both the aliens and the earthlings 'cheated' and created fake devices to be duplicated... hoping that the others' scientists would actually create such devices!
.
The Earth scientists succeeded... and then set about helping the alien scientists create perpetual motion.
.
And, of course, I forget the story title and author. But it sounds similar! (;
.
--Paul E Musselman


That one is Double Dare by Robert Silverberg.

Although the details are back to front. The humans duplicate the aliens' perpetual motion machine, and then discover the original was a fake.
 

otistdog

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It's always interesting to learn about these "lookalike" stories that are very similar in outline to more famous stories with the same themes or motifs. I'd never heard of "Double Dare" before; "Noise Level" is the one that springs to mind from the description. Thank you for posting, Pete_100.
 

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