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Pay for the Printer by Philip K. Dick

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Pay for the Printer is a post-apocalyptic short science fiction story written by Philip K. Dick, concerning the coming of benevolent aliens to the aid of humanity, with tragic results.

Non-Spoiler summary:

World War III. World is in ashes. Mankind is doomed. Or is it? There are still caddies roaming the ruins of the interstate, perfectly good suburban houses, working lawnmowers. People have somehow managed to keep all their cool stuff, to live a peaceful, fully content existence among the ashes.

Who could have possibly saved all this? How could mankind still hold on to that sort of luxury?

And why are all those awesome trinkets randomly collapsing into ash?

My thoughts:

Pay the Printer is, in my opinion, one of Dick’s finest works. It’s short, sweet and awesome. Its alien saviors are original as all hell and to this day, I haven’t found one post apocalyptic story that makes me smile for a good while, even after I’ve put the book down. Read it.


Technical stuff:

  • Word count: 1200
  • Philip Kindred Dick (December 16, 1928 – March 2, 1982) was an American novelist, short story writer and essayist whose published work is almost entirely in the science fiction genre. If you need someone to give you a reason why to read his works, then you’re beyond help.

Where you can find this story:

  • In his collected works anthology The Father-Thing (available in every online bookstore worth its salt)
  • This story is currently not available online. Which means you’re gonna have to buy it. And trust me, this is a sound investment


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