Foster, You're Dead!

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"Foster, You're Dead!" is a 1955 science fiction short story by Philip K. Dick. It was first published in Star Science Fiction Stories No.3.

The story takes place in 1971 and revolves around Mike Foster, the adolescent son of an "anti-P," a man who refuses to buy a bomb shelter or financially support nuclear war preparations for his town. Mr. Foster argues that the military industrial complex is creating fear to sell more bomb shelters. In this story bomb shelters are updated and "improved" every year (much like vacuum cleaners or automobiles) when the Soviets supposedly develop new methods of attack on previously-developed shelters. Mike, however, lives in fear that he will not have access to a shelter when the war begins and is a social outcast because of his father's political positions.

The story is a satire of two 1950s-era trends: consumerism and increasing Cold War anxiety. Dick wrote in a letter: "One day I saw a newspaper headline reporting that the President suggested that if Americans had to buy their bomb shelters, rather than being provided with them by the government, they'd take better care of them, an idea which made me furious. Logically, each of us should own a submarine, a jet fighter, and so forth."[1]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Dick, Philip K. (2002). Second Variety and Other Classic Stories. Citadel Press. p. 413. ISBN 0806512261.