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Pay for the Printer by Philip K. Dick

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? Read More

Cosmicomics by Italo Calvino

This is a guest post by Kristie Lewis.

Today I’d like to introduce you to an esoteric but delightful linked collection of short stories, Italo Calvino’s Cosmicomics. In the early 1960s, Calvino began playing with celestial bodies, microbes, and prehistoric creatures as characters, and published these short fables or “cosmicomics” in magazines like Playboy before collecting them as Cosmicomics (1965; English edition 1968). This moment in time, just before a decade of massive and terrifying upheaval, was perhaps the high-water mark of secularism, in America at least. Many people were looking for ways to take the truth that science was rapidly uncovering about the universe, and make it congeal as a compelling, coherent narrative. Read More

The Eyes Have it by Philip K. Dick

The Eyes Have It is a comedic scifi short story by Philip K. Dick, in which stars his most clueless, ass-hat character yet.

Non-Spoiler summary:

There’s not much I can say about this exceptionally short story, except that its narrator (and protagonist) suffers from what I can only describe as MIS (metaphor incomprehensibility syndrome). It’s literally about a crackpot man, who has trouble understanding how metaphors work and in fact considers them to be subliminal hints concerning a coming alien invasion.

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