Foster, You're Dead!
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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."
It was adapted by Kalen Egan and Travis Sentell for the episode "Safe and Sound" of the 2017 TV series, Philip K. Dick's Electric Dreams.
The story takes place in 1971 where the vast majority of citizens own private bomb shelters and financially support nuclear war preparations for their town. New models of "improved" shelters are released and bought every year (much like vacuum cleaners or automobiles) because the Soviets supposedly develop new methods of attack on previously-developed shelters.
The story revolves around Mike Foster, the adolescent son of an "anti-P," a movement of outsiders refusing to take part on these preparations because they argue the military industrial complex is only creating fear to sell more bomb 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.
Finally, Foster's father gives up his resistance and buys a brand-new costly bomb shelter model. Foster luckily boards the new shelter. Soon afterward, news reports the Soviets developed a new anti-shelter technique leaving all recent models totally vulnerable.
- Dick, Philip K. (2002). Second Variety and Other Classic Stories. Citadel Press. p. 413. ISBN 0806512261.
- Willis, Jesse (25 May 2012). "Foster, You're Dead by Philip K. Dick is PUBLIC DOMAIN". Retrieved 14 June 2015.