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Outnumbering the Dead

3.58  ·  Rating Details  ·  83 Ratings  ·  12 Reviews
Several centuries in the future, human society has reached a state of near-utopia. All communicable diseases have been eradicated and people live affluent, fulfilled lives. Lukewarm fusion provides almost limitless energy supplies, making space travel, even travel to far-distant stars, cheap and easy. And people have time for such pleasure cruises now, for a simple pre-bir ...more
Hardcover, 110 pages
Published May 1st 1992 by St. Martin's Press (first published 1990)
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Jun 22, 2012 TK421 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: sci-fi
OUTNUMBERING THE DEAD was easily one of the most thought-provoking books I have read in quite some time.

In the distant future humans have the ability to live forever. While still in the womb, these unborn babies are given a treatment during the second trimester...for most, it works. But for the unfortunate few, time still slips away one second at a time.

Essentially, Pohl uses this slim volume to explore the consequences of immortality. Since most of the population is unable to understand what
My favorite quote from this book:

The male and female speakers are both actors. The story takes place in a future society where disease has been eliminated, and humans have greatly extended lifespans. It's an interesting comment on the idea of immortality.

'You mean Algretta? I don't know,' he said, after thought. 'Forse it's just because she's so different from us. She doesn't even talk like us. She's - serious.'

'Oh Rafiel? Aren't we serious? We work hard.'

'Well, sure we do, but it's just - well
Chris Lynch
Feb 01, 2011 Chris Lynch rated it really liked it
I read it years ago, but this novella has stayed with me. It asks: in a world of eternal youth, why grow up? When you've got all the time in the world, why do anything?
Chris Bernard
Jun 04, 2008 Chris Bernard rated it it was amazing
This was really good. "Having the time to do everything turned into an excuse not to do anything."
May 30, 2014 Anita rated it it was ok
Shelves: sci-fi-read
This is a 1990 Novella by Pohl, and probably not representative of his work. I don't recall anything I've read by him and wanted to try something that wouldn't take long to read. A 100 page book fit the bill. I'll give him another try with an earlier full-length book, but I was pretty much bored with this one. There were some great futuristic scene settings and I liked the ending, but there seemed to be a lot of filler in it that could have had better character interactions, I thought. I do not ...more
Oct 02, 2009 Craig rated it really liked it
Here Pohl accomplished in a very short novel what many other writers have taken trilogies to do; he's painted a very realistic portrait of a far-future world, peopled it with interesting and convincing characters, and offered serious and thought-provoking insight into the nature of humanity. It's a very poignant volume.
May 04, 2012 Jim rated it really liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
What do you do as a mortal when everyone around you lives forever? Frederik Pohl crafts an elegant story that explores the meaning of life and death in an elegant, subtle and poignant tale of what it means to live. His craft at building an entire utopia yet emphasizing humanity all within a novella is remarkable.
Sep 06, 2013 Richard rated it really liked it
Fairly interesting classic sci-if utopia world building, but the story is short and only develops the one concept. I was hoping for some insight into mortality from an aging author but all I got was the trite 'live on through your children'.
Marik Casmon
Aug 30, 2009 Marik Casmon rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Blanche
Science fiction set in the distant future about a song-and-dance man who, unlike most other people at that time, is not immortal. The story of his last few days/weeks. Interesting and well-written.
Manuel Todro-rodriguez
Nov 07, 2011 Manuel Todro-rodriguez rated it it was amazing
I read this book back in junior high or high school. I remembered it was a great concept, but had to re-read it. Definately had a deeper meaning and more impact at this stage in my life.
Apr 02, 2012 Jeff rated it it was amazing
I found Pohl's view of the world as the only man who could die intriguing, excellent read, not too long of a book either.
Ned Stenger White
Nov 10, 2013 Ned Stenger White rated it really liked it
a great look at the questions of mortality and immortality.
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Frederik George Pohl, Jr. was an American science fiction writer, editor and fan, with a career spanning over seventy years. From about 1959 until 1969, Pohl edited Galaxy magazine and its sister magazine IF winning the Hugo for IF three years in a row. His writing also won him three Hugos and multiple Nebula Awards. He became a Nebula Grand Master in 1993.
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