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Reviews of Selection (1955)

Review by djq (2008-09-14)
This story forecasts an Earth with an over-population problem. The solution is to colonize other planets. However, life on other planets is incredibly harsh and people do not choose to leave Earth. Therefore, selections take place and people are compelled to leave on spaceships. This novelet, or long short story, consists of taking three primary characters, a love triangle of sorts, and describing the psycholgical impact of this selection process for colonization on them.

This long short story is well-written with consistent and compelling characters, but it is no "overlooked classic". The specifics of the harshness of existence described on other planets (which I won't go into as to do so would be a spoiler) seems contrived and used only as a plot device; it is not believable. Furthermore, while the characters are well-drawn, none are particularly likable, and the story does not seem to have a clear moral point or statement it is trying to get across to the reader. Nevertheless, the fine writing and unusual situation along with the relationships and depth of characters sketched is realistic and worthwhile enough that I can recommend this story as worth reading, even though it has been more than 50 years since its publication and (to my knowledge) has never been anthologized.

©Steven Jeffery /, 2017
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