Electric Ant

Topics: Science fiction, Reality, New York City Pages: 4 (1296 words) Published: November 12, 2011
1. Plot: Garson Poole is the owner of Tri-Plan Electronics. One day, he wakes up in a hospital to find out that he lost his hand during a squib accident. What is worse is that he is told by the doctors that he is a human-appearing organic robot, something called an Electric Ant. Then he learns from a futuristic computer that his subjective reality is being fed from micro-punched reality tape in his chest cavity. He conducts experiments on himself, first by glazing over a couple of holes and then punching new holes to see what effect this has on his reality. The more he starts to know and understand about his reality, he gets even more and more curious about what would happen when he cuts the tape. And when he does, it becomes too late.

2. Genre: This short story belongs to the science fiction genre. Three specific elements are the concepts of reality control, futuristic time period and the effects of advanced technology on the society and individuals. Many sci-fi films and novels, like Matrix and Inception, have themes of subjective reality, the subconscious mind and solipsism. Even more take place in the future, near or far, for example, George Orwell wrote his science fiction novel, 1984, in 1949, as a prediction to what would happen in the future. Due to the futuristic time periods, advanced technologies and how they affect society and individuals are a big theme present in many science fictions. Burning Chrome, for example, has many technological elements that we discussed in class, such as the Vasopressin, Automatic Jack’s robotic arm, Sendai eyes and more. It is very similar to the world that Philip Dick presents in ‘the Electric Ant’, where flying cars called squibs are ubiquitous and computers have now surpassed the human intellect and ability.

3. Characters: Garson Poole is the main protagonist in this short story. He is a workaholic, boundlessly curious, rash and ambitious. He is seriously workaholic; it is very evident in the manner he talks...
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