In 1966 Rogue published one of the classics of 20th century SF, a short story named Day Million. It is a story that feels both incredibly old and stunningly fresh at the same time. The oldness is caused by its addressing itself to its contemporary audience, a very specific group, the heterosexual men who read men’s magazines. Apparently this group drove red sports cars, drank fine spirits, didn’t care much for “queers”, and most importantly liked looking at sexy women in the pages of something called “magazines.” The plot of the story itself is a romance, set in a world not entirely unlike our own, but also one of the most astonishingly futuristic I’ve ever read. Despite the audience having caught up, at least in these parts, to the liberal mindset Pohl seems to have had in 1966, the story is probably less accessible now because of its need to address its heterosexual 1960s male audience.
In Robert Silverberg’s Worlds Of Wonder (aka Science Fiction 101) Silverberg wrote of Day Million: “Each paragraph of the story – each sentence, in fact – demonstrates that Pohl has devoted most of his life to attaining the broadest and deepest possible understanding of the universe as we comprehend it today.”
Day Million is a five page story that shows the power of Science Fiction.
The podcast below features Frederik Pohl’s own narration, made specifically for AboutSF AUDIO.
By Frederik Pohl; Read by Frederik Pohl
1 |MP3| – Approx. 19 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Podcaster: About SF
Podcast: June 6, 2011
First published in the February-March 1966 issue of Rogue.
Podcast feed: http://aboutsf.podomatic.com/rss2.xml
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Posted by Jesse Willis