Slim is a boy whose astronomer father is visiting the country estate of an important industrialist. The industrialist's son, Red, has found two strange animals, and he enlists Slim in a plan to turn the animals into a circus act.
The astronomer, meanwhile, tells the industrialist that he has been in contact with space aliens who want to open up their world to interstellar trade. Their world needs help, the astronomer says; ever since the atomic wars that destroyed their old civilization, their world has been regressing. Unless something is done, their culture may face total collapse.
"Youth" by Isaac Asimov, first appeared in the May 1952 issue of Space Science Fiction and was reprinted in the 1955 collection The Martian Way and Other Stories. "Youth" is one of the rare Asimov stories with alien characters.
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Something different from Isaac Asimov
Kitty's voicing of the characters helped bring through their different personalities.
The twist at the end.
All the characters were interesting but I think my favourite was Slim.
Yes, it's only a short story.
Quite different from anything else I've read by Isaac Asimov. An interesting short story with a great twist at the end.
"Didn't you hear it last night?"
Youngsters Red and his friend Slim, find a pair of strange looking animals and decide to keep them as pets. They are quite small and fit into an old bird cage which belonged to Red's parents. They keep the two new pets secret for fear of being told they can't keep them: Red has visions of using them as an entry to life in a circus.
But their secret is found out by the two dads, who had been waiting to receive visitors ...
The story, published in 1952, has aged but the central ideas have not and are as valid today as then. It is a delightful story with a sting in the tail; a lot is packed into it's short duration. Well read, too, by Kitty Hendrix, whose warm, pleasant voice effortlessly guides the reader through text and dialogue, always clear, never over dramatic.
It was a pleasure to revisit one of the old masters of science fiction. My thanks to the rights holder of Youth for gifting me my copy, via Audiobook Boom.
- Norma Miles