“The Defenders” by Philip K. Dick
First off what I thought was extremely effective about the way this story was told is the fact that it sort of started in the middle of the storyline regarding the apocalyptic situation. The story begins in the time period featuring the current living situation, then gives slight background information regarding what happened to the world piece by piece. It elicits a natural cycle of curiosity. I love how the details that you would initially want to know immediately are told randomly throughout the story. I think that the style of how the information is given to the reader makes it more interesting to read. I imagined everything from a visual aspect similar to that of the movie “I-Robot”. Its interesting how the rules embedded within the leadys to do what they perceive as best for the humans is what causes the initial conflict. When Franks, Moss and Taylor was told by the leader that “in a sense, it has come to be our war,” it made me think that the leadys might have consciously evolved in some way to where they feel that they have a greater purpose than serving the humans.
The most interesting part of this story to me was when the humans found out that the war had ceased to exist since they first went underground. It brings to my attention that WE are the virus to our own state of living. “We found that it had no purpose, except, perhaps, in terms of human needs.” The leady also speaks on a higher perspective of culture and how humans have to develop to the point where no hatred lies within us. The dynamic between relationship of fear and control the humans have with the leadys. They fear what they are capable of, however, they were made to not be able to harm humans. I also love the idea of “ours” eventually meaning “mankind’s”.
“Tupac Shakur and the End of the World” by Sandra McDonald
The main reason I chose to read this short story was because it had “Tupac Shaker” in the title. At first when I began reading this short story it gave me a “Walking Dead” vibe regarding the dialogue and background information of the characters (even thought I’ve only seen like 3 episodes from the tv series). This one is a little different from the previous story because the cause of the apocalypse involve some time of “plague”. I enjoyed the way the story was being told from Susan’s perspective as the narrator. This story seems to mainly be focused on the demise of each individual character as they try to reach their destination. Its interesting that they don’t really have any major conflict or action regarding how the first few characters die. It seems to just be a series of unfortunate events that lead to their deaths. I thought that the ending of Susan was probably the most significant to the story. I thought that she was about to be saved, but it seems that she was hallucinating the entire time. It was an interesting mashup of all that she last cared about before her life came to an end.
Here’s a pop art painting I did of Tupac. Ironically he was my first choice of selling my art on apparel on my website! RIP Pac