The Pre-persons


The Pre-persons

"The Pre-persons" is a science fiction short story by Philip K. Dick. It was first published in "Fantasy and Science Fiction" magazine, October 1974.

It was an anti-abortion response to Roe v. Wade. Dick imagines a future where the United States Congress has decided that abortion is legal until the soul enters the body, which is specified as the the moment a person has the ability to do simple algebra. The main protester — a former Stanford mathematics major — demands to be taken to the abortion center, since he claims to have forgotten all his algebra.

Dick said of the story in 1980:

:In this ... I incurred the absolute hate of Joanna Russ who wrote me the nastiest letter I've ever received; at one point she said she usually offered to beat up people (she didn't use the word 'people') who expressed opinions such as this. I admit that this story amounts to special pleading, and I'm sorry to offend those who disagree with me about abortion on demand. I also got some unsigned hate mail, some of it not from individuals but from organizations promoting abortion on demand. Well, I have always managed to offend people by what I write. Drugs, communism, and now an anti-abortion stand; I really know how to get myself in hot water. Sorry, people. But for the pre-persons' sake I am not sorry. I stand where I stand: "Hier steh Ich; Ich kann nicht anders," ["Here I stand, I can do no other"] as Martin Luther is supposed to have said. [cite web |url=http://www.philipkdickfans.com/pkdweb/The%20Pre%20Persons.htm |title=The Golden Man story notes by PKD |accessdate=2008-04-22 |format= |publisher=The Philip K Dick Fan Site ]

References


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