The End of Elysium

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The End of Elysium: A Short Story (Short Story Singles)

Last Free Dates: 24th Nov 21 to 26th Nov 21
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...A sci-fi short posing the question of is it better to die in paradise than live in hell....

When a great cataclysm over took the world, a place called Elysium was built. An underground shelter in which a group of people share a common dream of a world with no pain or suffering, a paradise to all who dreamed there. Looking after it is Ranger, whose role is to keep everything running and look for the promised land. And yet the technology that runs it is failing and the Watchman finds time is running out to save everyone. With the council considering what measures to take, Ranger keeps looking only to find signs of humans in the area which had been considered inhospitable. But even with the knowledge the world can support them, some of those in Elysium would rather die there in paradise than return to the new world where they will face hardship and strife once again. The council that decides what should happen to those in the colony, see no reason to leave even if it would damn all the survivors. But when Ranger ventures outside Gehanna, he discovers that the planet is no longer in peril and that humans are beginning to colonise the planet again. With this news and a settler, Annie, who has accompanied him, Ranger returns to Elysium to try and convince the Council that dying in paradise in a few short years does not have to be the only path they can take.

This is a interesting short sci-fi story pondering the question of is it better to die quickly in a dream of paradise instead of living for real in a world with hardship and suffering. The places are suitably named for the situation and the background of what has caused this to be suitably apocalyptic. As a result, the setup may be simple but is effective in setting the scene to allow the question to be asked and have a real meaning and effect on the lives of everyone involved instead of just being there for a philosophical debate. The descriptions of the world are as sparse as the the main character can make of it, and the differences between the dream like paradise inhabited by most and the harsh reality of the broken shelter help to set out what is at stake when the decision is made.
The book is well-written, I didn’t notice and formatting or spelling issues, and it was easy to follow the story along, which finished sooner than I thought, but with more content than I thought I had read. In the end, the book does not try to make the decision for the reader merely acknowledging that different people have different viewpoints. Some would rather stay with their life in their dream paradise, while some would rather take the risk to live and strive in the real world.

Overall, this is a well written short story posing an interesting question that keep the mind thinking long after the book has been put down.

Rating: 4
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