The Wreck of the Ship John B.
Robinson, Frank M. “The Wreck of the Ship John B.” Playboy June 1967. Collected A Life in the Day of ... and other Short Stories. New York City: Bantam, 1981. Reprinted in English The Year's Best Science Fiction No. 1. Brian W. Aldiss and Harry Harrison, editors. London, UK: Sphere, 1968. Also: Best SF: 1967. Brian W. Aldiss and Harry Harrison, editors. New York City: Berkley Medallion, 1968. Reprint The Dead Astronaut. Ray Russell, editor (uncredited). Chicago: Playboy Press, 1971.
Discussed 16 June 2020 in "Book Review: The Dead Astronaut, ed. uncredited (1971) (J. G. Ballard, Ursula K. Le Guin, Arthur C. Clarke, et al.)" on the website SCIENCE FICTION AND OTHER SUSPECT RUMINATIONS: Reviews of Vintage Science Fiction (1950s to mid-1980s).¶¶In addition to words of praise, the reviewer (identified as Joachim Boaz), summarizes and comments,
The captain of a colonization vessel on a lengthy deep space voyage confronts the slow withdraw of his crew. As the years pass and the automated vessel plows on, the crew slips into a mental stasis — lost in their thoughts, ignoring their companions, hiding behind privacy screens. The ideas, interactions, and texts that gave meaning no longer stimulate. The Captain, lurched out [sic] of his own stupor by the discovery of a space wreck whose passengers voluntarily hurled themselves into the vacuum, plots a crisis to reawaken his own crew.
Robinson postulates, as does Hilary Bailey and Michael Moorcock in The Black Corridor (1968), that future urbanism (that the spaceship reproduces) compels the individual to turn inward, to retreat from the oppressive world.
RDE, finishing, 22Feb21