Short story - unsure of the name but I think it is called "Short Ones"

Estproph

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I've tried to search for this story with no success, with both plot searches and title searches. I can't remember the author, but I do remember it was in an anthology book which I bought mid-70's used, so it was probably written and published in the 60's. The plot in brief: the government develops a humanoid species which is only about 6 inches tall, called short ones, as a tool to study social psychology and cultural development. The short ones live in a constructed "world" where they are the only intelligent species that exists. Humans can communicate with them via a psychic link, enabled by short ones anatomy which uses a copper spike as a spine, and the short ones look at those who communicate with humans as prophets of the Gods. Only certain people are selected to be contacts with short ones. The story describes the training period of Hiller, one person selected to communicate with the short ones. Hiller is at first timid in his efforts, and because he wants to keep a light hand and not cause too many waves in short one society, he abandons his short one prophet when a despotic king attempts to destroy all prophets and all talk of any gods other than himself. Hiller's prophet is eventually caught and taken in for public execution. The king orders him to be split in half, and to be especially cruel, has him split in half from the belly down so that he suffers. With his dying breaths, the prophet curses the king, and Hiller transmits a blast of psychic energy through him which obliterates the king. Hiller passes the training, and the story ends with the short ones making Hiller into a True God, one who says little but when he speaks shakes the world. Ring any bells with anyone? I'd love to find a copy again, but of course Googling "short ones" doesn't generate the best results.
 

M. Robert Gibson

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Could it be The Short Ones by Raymond E. Banks?
I can't find a synopsis but I did find some extracts in a search here


and here

which seem to fulfil your criteria "Short ones" and Hiller
 

Hugh

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Could it be The Short Ones by Raymond E. Banks?
I can't find a synopsis but I did find some extracts in a search here


and here
.
which seem to fulfil your criteria "Short ones" and Hiller
I’m sure that’s it. Good story.
 

Ravensquawk

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Ring any bells with anyone?
Oh my, does it ever.
I am never, ever, not ever going to forget the condemned protagonist, who I think as he was dying, getting the satisfaction of requesting execution of his greatest antagonist, and seeing it done, as the antagonist is "shucked like a ripe pea."

(Unfortunately remembering this repulsive execution is not a good thing for anyone upset by capital punishment.)

I would have thought it was something by Blish. This helped a lot.

Bits of this story, like my lingering memories of a stone head gulping a space flier, has continued its depraved clinging to my neuron firing paths with a tenacious, spiteful glee.

Thank you for remembering enough of this story to revive finding it.
 
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Ravensquawk

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I just read it in Robert Silverberg's anthology Alpha 8.
Silverberg's edited anthologies are excellent.

Valsek stumbled over another god-wire before he could answer. Another exposed god-wire!

He bent to examine the god-wire. The shock to his hands told him there was a feeble current running in it which made his magnetic backbone tingle. Vexing, oh vexing, to know that current ran through the wire and through you, but not to know whether it was the current of the old god, Melton, or the new god, Hiller!

Telfus decided not to remind his employer that usually the new Spokesman felt it necessary to execute the old Spokesman of the used-up god.
TIME: One month earlier . . . or half an hour.
PLACE: The pentagon, Washington, D.C.
The life Hall.
In the vast, gloomy auditorium the scurryings and scuttlings of the Short Ones rose to a climax beneath the opaque, milky glass that covered the colony. Several spectators rose in their seats. At the control panel, Charles Melton also rose.

The political career of Charles Melton was over: he had failed the Life Hall test.
In her other hand she held a metal sliver that looked like a three-quarter-inch needle. “The Short Ones are artifical creatures of living protoplasm, except for this metallic backbone imbedded in each.”
Qualifying for political positions requires passing the Life Hall test, six hours for the candidate, one year for the creatures. It weeds out hotheaded, egotistical, corrupt abuse of power by the current through the creatures being diverted into the controller’s helmet. If the controller kills too many creatures, the current no longer used on them goes through the controller’s helmet, incapacitating him.

"The Short Ones" by Raymond E. Banks exactly matches the question.
The main part of the story is Ralph Hiller undergoing the Life Hall test.

A situation like this could trigger a man into unleashing a blasting fury that would overload the circuits and earn him revenge only at the cost of a crack in his skull. In real life, a situation of white-hot seething public emotion would make a government official turn to his H-bombs with implacable fury and strike out with searing flames that would wash the world clean, taking the innocent along with the guilty, unblocking great segments of civilization, radioactivating the continents and sending the sea into an eternal boil.
As Robert Silverberg pointed out in his foreword, this 1955 story “displays more political sophistication than most of us had.”
I would say we need it now for our some of our egotistical power-mad “leaders” now more than ever.
 
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