Book Review: Three Survived by Robert Silverberg (1969)

All right, so this book is really a young adult science fiction book and not an adult science fiction book. But, in my defense, I bought it from the local library for a quarter, and the library conmingles its adult and youth fiction on the sale tables. Also, many of the novels of the era were shorter, so the thin spine nor story line didn’t give much hint, and I didn’t spend that much time perusing the text in the library before making the acquisition, which represents all the excuses you’ll need to understand why I owned this young adult book.

I read it because the only way to get an acquisition off of my to-read shelves is to read it.

The book runs about 100 pages and tells the story of three diverse characters who are the only survivors of a spaceship accident: Rand, an engineer; Dombrey, a low level jetmonkey crewman; and Leswick, a Metaphysical Synthesist. Although Rand thinks he’ll lead the group of deadweight survivors, he learns that it takes more than logic to meet the challenges of the jungles and the natives of a hostile world.

Read it as a parable of how people should respect the talents of those who have a different skill set. For example, Rand could represent developers, Leswick the sales and marketing types who have to deal with people for a living, and Dombrey the techinical writers and the testers that everyone thinks are dumb and superfluous, but who know which fruits to eat and which vines are really snakes, and the developers had just best get off of their little primadonna “We run the world” schtick and realize that it takes dumb jetmonkeys and liberal arts majors to make a successful software company.

Or maybe I’m reading the morale of the story wrong.

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