«Slow Birds,» by Ian Watson tells the story of a strangely idyllic world which is plagues by mysterious invaders. Dubbed «slow birds,» because the cylindrical objects fly at the rate of only a few feet per minute, the artefacts are a complete mystery. Jason Babbidge’s life is inexorably changed and linked to the slow birds when his brother, Daniel, climbs aboard a slowbird shortly before it disappears into the unknown. Watson’s story deals with Jason’s quest for his brother and later the revelation which comes to him as he climbs aboard a slow bird of his own.
«Slow Birds» was nominated for the 1983 Nebula for best novelette.