The world of the new race was peaceful, comfortable, lovely—and completely static. Only Eric knew the haunting loneliness that had carried the old race to the stars, and he couldn't communicate it, even if he had dared to!
ld race. Don't deny it."
The thin man, Drew, broke in angrily. "He's not full grown yet. Just fourteen, isn't he? How can you be sure what he'll be like later? He'll be a problem. They've always been problems."
They were afraid. That was what was the matter with them. Walden sighed. "Tell them what you've been studying, Eric," he said aloud.
For a minute Eric was too tongue-tied to answer. He stood motionless, waiting for them to laugh at him.
"Go on. Tell them."
"I've been reading about the old race," Eric said. "All about the stars. About the people who went off in the starships and explored our whole galaxy."
"What's a galaxy?" the thin man said. Walden could perceive that he really didn't know.
Eric's fear lessened. These men weren't laughing at him. They weren't being just polite, either. They were interested. He smiled at them, shyly, and told them about the books and the wonderful, strange tales of the past that the books told. The men
I was pleasantly surprised by this story. The writing and characterization are well done, the storyline is good, and interest is kept up to the end.
This is a 4.5 story that I'm giving the benefit of the doubt and raising to 5 stars.
At a future time when mankind has developed into telepathic beings, a few children are still born "stupid," without the talent. Like Eric.
An interesting version of humanity--instantly intimate, so not needing to struggle with learning. Eric studies the old ways (that no one else is even curious about) and looks for others like him. The author makes the point that it is our apartness that drives our curiosity. A good story, though the ending was a little too easy.
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2013 SFR GALAXY AWARD WINNER
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