Monday, April 15, 2013

Herbert W Franke's "Paradise 3000" (short story, overpopulation dystopia)

While there are many overpopulation dystopias in fiction, there are two things here that I've not seen often (ok - I've seen some that can be called variants of the second but not in this form):
  1. Why overpopulation? Well, in this future, you have a welfare society that won't let anyone die, & refuses to accept birth control. Because human life is sacred.
  2. To cope with the overpopulation, the society practices "Reduction". Reduction in living space per person, reduction in allowed rations per person, reduction in normal life expectancy, ... And woe be on you ("OrdCit", short for ordinary citizen) if you're over 16 & you manage to get yourself hurt in an accident - you'll be "recalled". As is everyone over 30.

    What's "recall"? It's cold storage hibernation, in completely unreasonable hope that a future will discover how to cope with the huge population & revive those hibernating. I was a bit confused with the ending; may be nice dreams are piped directly into the brains of the hibernating?
It's told as a love story with a confused ending for protagonists who've been indoctrinated since childhood to not get emotionally involved with their partners.

Collected in.

  1. Donald A Wollheim (ed)'s "The Best from the Rest of the World: European Science Fiction".

Fact sheet.

First published: 1975? (in German) (where?)
This post is based on the translation from German by Christine Priest.
Rating: B.