Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Classic - Short story review - "Let's Be Frank" by Brian Aldiss

?Let?s Be Frank?, is a short story written by Brian Aldiss, originally appearing in Science Fantasy, v 8 #23, 1957.

This story was published in 1957, and is a fine example of the writing at that time. It has little science, but a lot of historical fact. It is told almost entirely in narrative, has very little scenery, but is easy to read, understand and enjoy nevertheless.

The story was different, and thought provoking. It is not a hard science fiction story, neither is it a fantasy or space opera. It merely asks the question ?what if, what if a shared consciousness was born and that shared consciousness kept propagating until it was the majority consciousness in the world?

The author doesn?t take a long in-depth look into the developments that could have happened and the inevitable socialism that would have ensued. Instead Aldiss short circuits that discussion by adding an additional shared conscious competing with the first, and the first shared consciousness building a space ship and leaving for space.

The last paragraph has the twist ending that truly puts this story in the science fiction realm, but I will leave it to you to find a copy of this story and read it yourself.


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Breakfast in California said...

I first read this story in a collection I picked up in the lobby of a hotel in Wabash, Indiana in 1961. The story has stayed with me all these years. I wish I could find a copy so I could enjoy it again!