"Youth" is a short story by Isaac Asimov
. It is the story of two kids who find two strange animal
s that they have never seen before. They have the idea to try and use the animal
s to try and gain entrance to a circus
. In the mean time, some unexpected arrivals have got into contact with the two youths' fathers who believe that these travellers could help them with the populace
's declining scientific
ability. People are forgetting science
, with fewer and fewer attending university
classes and no one really knowing how the roads that cross the world were built etc..
This story has an excellent twist in it. To be quite honest I possibly have already spoilt it by saying what I have so make sure you leave a bit of time after reading this. Make sure you are forgetting what happens otherwise it will ruin the surprise. Try to read something else to set your mind on one track before reading the story. Trust me.
The story follows the normal Isaac Asimov trend of showing a different light on exploration of the Universe. Where most tales of science fiction tend to focus on the struggles of man against the odds of space Isaac Asimov has changed the slant.
The only problem with this story is that not much happens short of the twist. Not much science fiction takes place since it is based on one of the youth's farm not in a spacecraft or something similar so don't be expecting to be gripping your seat for every page. I personally did not enjoy this as much as "The Martian Way" or "Sucker Bait" but it is still an interesting story. To me it seems more like Isaac Asimov toying with his writing style rather than anything else (not that there is anything wrong with that). This comes across to me in the development of the characters with the emphasis on the youths. One gets a really good sense of the personalities of the children (one is outgoing the other is more passive) but not so much of their parents. While this development occurs in the characters there is little movement of the narrative. This is in contrast with "The Deep" which has much less focus on the characters and concentrates more on the happenings within the story (though this does not mean that the characters are neglected).
This story is copyright 1952 by Galaxy Publishing Corporation as far as I know and as published in The Martian Way by Panther Science Fiction.
If you know of any other occurances or copyright information I would be most grateful.