A Happy Day in 2381

by Robert Silverberg

Short story

Publication history


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One of those if-this-goes-on stories, this one sparked by Catholic doctrine regarding the sinfulness of birth control. In 2381, the Earth is dominated by a culture that believes life is sacred, therefore they should make as much of it as possible. All society's resources are geared towards this end. People live in massive pyramidal buildings housing hundreds of thousands each, leaving the majority of land available for farming. The planet's population is 75 billion and climbing. Citizens are expected to start reproducing as soon as their bodies are physically able, and a 17-year-old girl with eleven children is a hero. And they're all very happy (and don't ask what happens if you're not). This story forms Chapter 1 of The World Inside.

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