Humanity: Separated by Trait - Childe Cycle, Etc..


Well-Known Member
Nov 5, 2019
A few months ago I picked up the first collection of Valérian et Laureline. That led me to start looking at other French SF graphic novels, and I came across Segments. In this series, humanity takes an aptitude test at seven years of age, and each citizen is then assigned to one of seven planets. And that got me thinking of the Childe Cycle, as this is the only other SF setting that I know where people live on separate planets/systems based on their fundamental aptitudes or traits.

It has been a long time since I read any of the books in the Childe Cycle (Young Bleys was the last book that I read, and somehow I skipped the Chantry Guild) so if my descriptions are a little off, please bear with me. But if I recall correctly, there was Earth, other planets of "general stock" humans, and systems that specialized in three fundamental traits of humanity: Courage (Dorsai) Faith (Friendlies) and Philosophy (Exotics). I knew that the series was never finished by the author, Gordon Dickson. Which was too bad as I gather from Wikipedia that there was a planned novel to wrap everything up that was never written. A lot of the books that I read dealt with the Dorsai, and only indirectly involved the Friendlies (who mostly seemed to end up as cannon fodder), and the slightly mysterious Exotics. Wikipedia states that the intention of the novels was to explore, in part, the "interaction and conflict among humanity's traits". Although I have my doubts that Dickson was actually thinking of that when he started with Dorsai way back in 1959.

Anyway, I would be curious to know if other SF authors have used this mechanic in their novels. Any suggestions?

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