The setup for this is an Earth that has become increasingly unlivable so humanity has planned a big generation ship, but only a limited number of people can go.
The story follows a couple who has managed to get a seat on the generation ship through hard work and excelling in basically every imaginable test. It is clear that only the top 0.001% have a chance. They want only the absolute “best” on this ship. I am making quotes around the “best” part because one of the key points of the story, is whether intelligence is the only and proper way of determining who are worthy of making the foundation for the survival of the human race. The problem arises when their child is deemed not excellent enough to get a seat on the ship. He is just an average child. The father thinks they should send him back to Earth to his grandparents, so they can retain their place on the generation ship. The mother has a different opinion.
I found this to be a story with plenty of potential for some exploration into personal morales and what is for the greater good. I frequently see stories like this in Analog that really aims for tackling complex and interesting humanistic issues. The downside is that often the result is rather superficial. The story jumps straight at the problem at hand and doesn’t waste any time, but it comes with a lack in character development. We are just told how they think and feel, without having a good grasp of who these characters are, their motivations or why they act like they do. Which is a shame, because the actual premise is interesting, but without any sort of character depth it isn’t as engaging as it could be.
Read in Analog January/February 2023