Not all summer in a day
August 24, 2016 8:35 PM   Subscribe

Help identify this old SF short story about a small group of interstellar colonists (maybe one or two dozen). The colonists (maybe explorers) identities and personal details were kept secret from the people on earth. I'm pretty sure I read it in a paperback anthology but it might have been in a magazine and it would have been at least 20 years ago, more likely 30. The story is probably even older. Gotcha spoiler under the fold.

Collectively the crew of the ship was only referred to as something like "The Three and the Twelve" or "The Three and the Twenty". Definitely two groups, one several multiples larger than the smaller. Might have even been the title.

The reveal at the end was that the Three were male and the 12/20/2 dozen were women including the Captain, XO, Medical officer etc. The men were assigned all the grunt work and were basically only along for stud service.

Also I feel the story was short; possibly only a few pages. The whole point was to reveal the big "shock" that women were the majority of the crew including all positions of authority.
posted by Mitheral to Media & Arts (7 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Not all the details line up, but maybe Houston, Houston, Do You Read? A group of three men meet up with a world of all women who try to keep the gender imbalance secret from them.
posted by crazy with stars at 9:18 PM on August 24, 2016

I think this is probably not what you're thinking of because it doesn't involve interstellar travel (at least as far as I recall?) but Ursula LeGuin's The Matter of Seggri hits a lot of these same buttons (and has a similar "big reveal" as I recall) so you might be interested.
posted by rainbowbrite at 9:27 PM on August 24, 2016

Best answer: I don't have a link, but the story is "Survival Ship", by Judith Merril.
posted by Mogur at 2:45 AM on August 25, 2016 [1 favorite]

I dug around in my books but can't find the volume of stories this story was in. But here is an amazon link for another anthology of Merril stories:
posted by james33 at 4:38 AM on August 25, 2016

Response by poster: Ah, "Survival Ship" is indeed the story. I would have read it in the Robert A. Heinlein presented as edited anthology "Tomorrow, the Stars" which I happen to already have in both paperback and .epub.
posted by Mitheral at 7:36 AM on August 25, 2016

Response by poster: Oh, and in the slight chance it might help future searchers, the crew is actually referred to as the Twenty and the Four.
posted by Mitheral at 8:01 AM on August 25, 2016

« Older What was this 90s kids' computer game?   |   Can I insure an unpermitted guest house? Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.