a list compiled by Alex Kasman (College of Charleston)
"William E. Emba"|
His nastiest story, a deeply felt response to Roe vs Wade. Dick imagines a future where Congress has decided that abortion
is legal until the soul enters the body, which is specified as
the ability to do simple algebra. The main protester--a former
Stanford math major--demands to be taken to the abortion center,
since he claims to have forgotten all his algebra.
Pre-person is an interesting story that talks about abortion. Legaly, children don't have a soul until they are 12 years old. When they are without a soul, their parents can call for the abortion truck and they get killed (some even get adopted). The interesting part is the role that mathematics has in this story. It is said that you get a soul when you can do algebra. Many children say that legaly they got a soul but nothing changed inside of them. Even some grown ups start thinking about how stupid it is to say that geting a soul is connected to mathematics. So, one adult protests, he claims that he forgot how to do algebra and that means that he has no soul. I won't tell you the end;-). I started thinking about mathematics. There are so many different areas of "knowledge". So why did the author choose mathematics to be so important? What does algebra has to do with our souls? I'm still thinking about that...
I first read this PRE-PERSONS story in a collection of Dick's works 10 years ago. It's insanely good piece of fiction; I had thought it was title "The Abortion Truck" and now stand corrected. KJP, Sept. 2008.
A brilliant and thought-provoking short story that should make us reexamine our beliefs about what it means to be human and to be worthy of protection.
|Buy this work of mathematical fiction and read reviews at amazon.com. |
|(Note: This is just one work of
mathematical fiction from the list. To see the entire list or to see more
works of mathematical fiction, return to the Homepage.)|
May 2016: I am experimenting with a new feature which will print a picture of the cover and a link to the Amazon.com page for a work of mathematical fiction when it is available. I hope you find this useful and convenient. In any case, please write to let me know if it is because I would be happy to either get rid of it or improve it if that would be better for you. Thanks! -Alex
(Maintained by Alex Kasman,
College of Charleston)