Eutopia (short story)

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"Eutopia" is a short story by American writer Poul Anderson, originally appeared in Harlan Ellison's 1967 science fiction anthology Dangerous Visions. It later appeared in Anderson's 1981 collection The Dark Between the Stars[1] and the showcase The Best Alternate History Stories of the 20th Century (2001).


At the beginning of the story, the protagonist is on the run. The protagonist encounters a town that helps him as he is their guest. They arrange a transport to take him home. While the protagonist stays, one of the women in the town attempts to seduce him, but he refuses, stating that he is "under vow." On the day before the transport arrives, the mayor of the town tells the protagonist that after talking with his pursuers, he regrets helping him, but cannot renege his hospitality. When the protagonist returns home, he checks in with a superior and complains of the barbarism of the people, but his superior contradicts him, stating that people have different views on what it means to be civilized. The story ends as it is revealed that the protagonist had seduced and slept with a young boy (the son of his earlier host) before the opening of the story and his arrival in the town that had given him refuge, and that the "Niki" to whom the protagonist's thoughts keep turning is the nickname of Nikias, a young boy in his homeland with whom the protagonist is in a relationship.


  • Iason Philippou - Trader (main character)
  • Ottar Thorklesson - His host
  • Lief Ottarsson - Ottar's son
  • Nikias Demostheneou - Iason's lover

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Wagner, Thomas M. (1997). "SF Review: The Dark Between the Stars (1981)". Archived from the original on June 20, 2002. 

External links[edit]