Title: Be Careful What You Wish For
Author: Jon Peddie
Anthology: The Tomorrow Project Anthology: Conversations about the Future
Published: uk.tomorrow-projects.com 2011
Genre: Science fiction, near future
Length: 1727 words, short story
Reading time: 14 min
I read this as part of my reading challenge: 25 short stories in 25 days.
I thought the exposition in this story was done rather clumsily as dialog. I get that you need to establish the word but I thought the part that was handled as dialog instead of the character thinking about the world just didn’t work for me. It felt forced and artificial. The part where he thought about what he didn’t like about the world worked much better.
This is a rather short story, under 2000 words but because of the clumsy exposition it felt much longer to me, which is rarely good.
I liked the theme of the story, it is something we have to think about, what do we do with all the people, if we get near-immortality? We do in fact not have unlimited resources. I have however read more interesting takes of this theme. My personal favourite is still Elizabeth Moon’s in The Serrano Legacy.
Yes it would be amazing if we didn’t die of disease or was ran over by cars. If the robots did all the work, but we will need to think long and hard about this before we just wonder willy-nilly down this path.
The fact that Jorgen is killing people because that is the logical thing to do is kind of pushing him into the machine camp in my opinion. I think a huge part of what makes us human is out compassion as much as our creativity.
So the story is getting 3 star for making me think, for having a cute little twist at the end and for the interesting idea of someone killing random old people off to make room for a new generation, because that is the logical thing to do. I think the story is growing on me as I think on it but that seems to be the case with most of what I read these days. Book blogging does seem to sharpen my appreciation of the stories I read, which is wonderful.