Friday, May 15, 2009

William Tenn's "Down Among the Dead Men" (novelette, management): A team leader builds a team out of hostile recruits

Quote from short story titled Down Among the Dead Men by William TennMankind is fighting a was with insect-like Eoti, & losing. Too many men are dying, & in spite of liberal population increase measures, there simply aren't enough men.

So powers that be are manufacturing zombies from the organs of dead men, & giving them appearance of famous war heroes. Only they've forgotten to teach sensitivity to men training these almost-human zombies; trainers keep referring to their wards with insulting epithets.

Narrator, a war veteran, is now assigned a war mission he must complete with 4 of these newly minted zombies. Only his team mates are badly hurt & insulted at their low social status, & the boss must fix their psychological issues to actually get a team...

Collected in.

  1. Isaac Asimov & Martin H Greenberg (Eds)' "Isaac Asimov Presents the Great SF Stories 16 (1954)" (anthology).

Fact sheet.

First published: Galaxy, June 1954.
Rating: A.
Related: Stories of William Tenn.


Ed said...

One of the greatest SF short stories ever written.

Anonymous said...

A classic. And the setting and story are fantastic. I could read tomes of it!

Pity there is only this one short story - epic though it is, it is simply not enough!