In this thread

90’s or older story about photographs that show the future

I explained my reasoning to help others to find the answer to my "story-identification" question: there was a phrase (namely : "not as bland as it sounds") which I thought was in the text of the story I was looking for. But by googling it I found it in a different story (namely "Press Enter") which I remembered having read. So I thought I might have read both stories in the same collection in rapid succession and mixed them in my memory.

Instead of using this piece of information to answer my question, user14111 gave me the list of all collections containing "Press Enter", something I did not yet know how to do. Using this list, I tried one collection after the other, saw a story with a title that looked promising, found a synopsis of that story and saw that it was indeed exactly the one I was looking for. Had I been able to find the list by myself, I would have self-answered.

Can I consider user14111's contribution minor enough to self-answer?

1 Answer 1


I would say self-answering in this case is fine. user14111 did not find the answer to your question (hence why he only posted a comment rather than an answer). He gave you a resource which was vital to you managing to solve your problem, but by itself that resource isn't an answer. The answer is the name of the story, which you found.

If you want to be sure, you can ask user14111 in a comment whether he's OK with you posting an answer based on a search through the link he gave you. I imagine he will be; for someone as experienced as him at identifying sci-fi short stories, getting that ISFDB was probably a trivial effort.

If you still feel bad about receiving the rep for the answer, you might give user14111 a bounty on some other question. (He has almost 1000 answers, many of them really exemplary story-ID answers; I'm sure you can easily find something bounty-worthy.) But this is completely optional and you should feel no pressure to do so. I mention it only as an option if you really want user14111 to get some reward for helping you.

PS. Congrats on finding your story :-) Also that was a very good story-ID question: lots and lots of detail about the story. I upvoted it.

  • Of course it's worth noting that whilst this is a bit of a different case comment answers are generally considered fair game as soon as posted, see this meta.
    – TheLethalCarrot Mod
    Commented Nov 20, 2019 at 9:13
  • In an earlier case where the answer was almost in the comment, I asked Fuzzyboots to turn it into a question so that I could accept it. But that comment pointed to a link where the answer was visible. Here I still had to do some amount of research. The best is ask user14111 directly, I think. Thanks
    – Alfred
    Commented Nov 20, 2019 at 10:39

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .