Point of Focus

by Robert Silverberg

Short story

Publication history


(None on file)


Holis Bork has been sent to negotiate the entrance of Mellidan VII into the Federation, a union of 485 worlds. Mellidan is unlike any Federation world in that it does not have an oxygen atmosphere -- the inhabitants breathe chlorine. But differences can be overcome, and Bork is confident in the success of his mission. But when his ship lands, he discovers the unthinkable -- a Terran dome, built by the people of the only planet ever to refuse an offer to join the Federation: Earth.

This story is an interesting specimen for its time. It argues quite strongly against the assimilation of one culture into another, and for the necessity of diversity among races. This seems quite contrary to the general run of glorified conformism that features in much SF of the 50s.

Other resources

(None on file)