Sunday, October 4, 2009

Howard L Myers' "Health Hazard" (short story, satire, free): Leave aboriginals alone vs "uplift them" debate

Quote from short story titled Health Hazard by Howard L MyersThis beautiful but complex story describes the contact of a tribe of aboriginals with two groups of "civilized" people - those who don't mind the civilization affecting the locals' way of life, & those who would rather leave the locals to their pristine state of innocence.

Aboriginals are "chimos" & "chimees" of a world called Notcid; "civilized" ones are men & women of earth. Story is described from the point of view of Romee, a chimee. Of course, the civilization begins touching the locals, eventually in a way that is promising to have survival value.


Story has some funny jokes on substance abuse & protecting the young from strenuous effort, & the crazy ways States sometimes handle them. I could see some parallels in India - both related to tobacco/alcohol campaigns & the recent efforts of Delhi to "protect" the high school students from board exams.

Fact sheet.

First published: Analog, January 1973.
Rating: A.
Download full text from Baen CD.
Related: Stories of Howard L Myers.