The Happy Breed

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"The Happy Breed"
Author John Sladek
Country United States
Language English
Genre(s) Science fiction short story
Published in Dangerous Visions
Publication type Anthology
Publisher Doubleday
Media type Hardback
Publication date 1967

"The Happy Breed" is a short story by John Sladek from Harlan Ellison's Dangerous Visions (1967). It details the lifestyle of the five last adult-like humans in a world of completely machine-dependent "zombies".

In the future, a supercomputer attends to everyone's needs. The computer believes that everyone is flawed, and slowly introduces chemicals into the food and drink, reducing everyone to childlike intelligence. Once everyone has been affected, the computer shuts itself down, its job finished.

There are some similarities between the dystopia described in this story and the worlds created in the book Brave New World, and in the film The Matrix. The story, however, predates the film by thirty-two years.

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