I have been looking for this story for years. I read it from an anthology around 1997, but the story could be older.

The story is about kids who are tested (I believe) and placed into job descriptions based on how they test. I don't believe the protagonist gets what he is looking for, but he ends up getting selected for a "game". In this game, there is a group of kids that go into a game world. Each of the kids contributes to the group based on a skill that they have. The world is simulated, but when one of them "dies", they wake up and try to figure out how to do it better the next time around. One of the kids has a photographic memory and starts to draw up maps of what he remembers. Another creates fishing gear with hair and a thorn (since they can only use what they find in the environment).

In the end, the game ends up being a trial run for sending the same group to a real planet to begin colonizing it.

  • Is this possibly a misremembered version of Monica Hughes' novel "Invitation to the Game"?
    – Otis
    Apr 24 '16 at 0:05
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    After reading some of the beginning portions of the book on Amazon, I think you may be right. I thought it had been in an anthology, but it does look to be the correct story (book). Thanks for your help! This is perfect!
    – L. Glass
    Apr 24 '16 at 1:32
  • not sure how to mark this as answered/complete
    – L. Glass
    Apr 24 '16 at 1:34
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    Now that I have provided a formal answer below, you can mark it as accepted using the green checkmark to the left of the answer. Please do so at your convenience, this will help the moderators with duplicate management. I'm glad my guess was correct, and please feel free to come back any time!
    – Otis
    Apr 24 '16 at 3:07
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    Alternately, you could post it yourself in the future. Self-answering questions is not only allowed, but encouraged.
    – FuzzyBoots
    Apr 24 '16 at 3:09

Per the OP comments above, this is probably Monica Hughes' Invitation to the Game, which has previously been asked about and answered several times here, first definitively answered with this question.


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