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Temptation

Temptation Temptation is a short story by David Brin from 1999. First published in Far Horizons: All New Tales from the Greatest Worlds of Science Fiction?, ed. by Robert Silverberg?. Also published in The Space Opera Renaissance, ed. by David G. Hartwell & Kathryn Cramer.


The story temptation takes place in a planet called Jijo, which is mainly composed of water. This planet represents where all the unwanted things are placed. It is a quiet, privative and silky place. The story has several different themes that compose the plot. One of the main themes refers to technology and science vs. magic. Technology and science in the story refers mostly to a form of freedom, where the dolphins feel that through their work they can gain control of their lives. Freedom is represented as fallows,

“Who would have thought that we dolphins, youngest registered sapient race in the civilization of five galaxies, would become patrons ourselves, just a few centuries after humans started uplifting us.”

Through technology and science they have been able to claim their freedom and stability. Temptation comes into the picture through magic as well. The dolphins are shown better ways of life, a utopian world offered by the sages.

“Across all ages, visionaries have come up with countless utopian schemes. But this one could actually w-w-work!”

According to the previous quote it is not the first time a utopian life has been offered to the dolphins. It also suggests that these creatures that offer the “perfect” life seem to be instigators that through superstition want to submit the dolphins to rules making them their slaves. This idea suggests another possible theme in the story, truth vs. fantasy. The truth that to the dolphins is pure fantasy, to the sages is the perfect plot. They are blinded by the ideology of a utopian life preventing them of seeing the reality behind such scheme. A non-realistic world created in their heads by promises and the desire to have a better life.

Other sites: SF site, David Brin, Wikipedia,



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