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the genre's premiere review magazine for short SF & Fantasy since 1993

Exploring Tomorrow -- No Way Out

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Legendary Astounding SF editor John W. Campbell, Jr. hosted the short-lived Exploring Tomorrow, which ran as a replacement show from December 11, 1957 to June 13, 1958. Many of the 29 shows were adapted from stories by SF authors such as Robert Silverberg, Randall Garrett, Isaac Asimov, Murray Leinster, Poul Anderson, Gordon R. Dickson and others. Time has not been kind to the quality of the transcriptions, and several are virtually impossible to listen to. We have run two previous Exploring Tomorrow episodes and "No Way Out" will be the third. Also known as "Overpopulation," "No Way Out" was written by Robert Silverberg and appeared in Astounding Science Fiction for February 1958 (cover at left by H. R. Van Dongen). It aired on April 9, 1958. As John Campbell says in his introduction, as well as his commentary between scenes, this story deals with those who pass the buck and fail to see the meaning of the writing on the wall; in this case concerning the issue of population control, an issue with which author Silverberg would address on several occasions in his stories, perhaps most notably in his 1971 Hugo-nominated novel The World Inside.

John W. Campbell, Jr. is known for (among other things) being an advocate of science and technology, expressed throughout his decades of editorship of Astounding SF in the stories he published advancing this belief. It might come as a surprise, therefore, to learn from Campbell's own lips what he thinks of this particular story and the problem it raises. Very interesting.

Play Time: 18:35