The story first appeared in the July issue of " Astounding Science Fiction " and was the lead story in the collection " Nine Tomorrows ". They are taught to read at the age of eight and then Educated at the age of eighteen. The choice of professional speciality is dictated by the analysis of the brain, with no choices allowed to the recipient. The best of the Educated people compete in "Olympics", in the hope of being "bought" by an advanced Outworld. To stay on Earth is almost an admission of failure. George Platen is determined to be a computer programmer, a profession in demand, and he hopes to qualify for "export" to an Outworld. On Reading Day, concerns are raised about George's ability to be Educated.
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It is about a young man in the 65th century who dreams of being a computer programmer. The society in which he lives, however, will decide what he will be. When George was eight he was taught to read instantly by having a computer transfer that knowledge directly to his brain. Now that he is eighteen he prepares for Education Day that time when it is decided what he will be and the knowledge will be transferred only there seems to be a little problem with his tests, a problem that will cause him much anguish.
Used by permission of Doubleday, a division of Random House, Inc. For on line information about other Random House, Inc. Another sci-fi short story at abelard. G eorge Platen could not conceal the longing in his voice. It was too much to suppress. He rolled over on his stomach and peered over the foot of his bed at his roommate. His figure was slight but the look in his blue eyes was as intense as it had ever been, and right now there was a trapped look in the way his fingers curled against the bedspread. His name was Hali Omani and he was a Nigerian by birth. His dark brown skin and massive features seemed made for calmness, and mention of the Olympics did not move him.