Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Philip K Dick's "Second Variety" (novelette, doomsday, free): Retelling Joseph Kelleam's "Rust"

While Kelleam's classic is more in the mood of Ray Bradbury's "There Will Come Soft Rains" (download text/MP3), & Arthur Clarke's "The Curse" & "If I Forget Thee, Oh Earth ...", Dick's version has more action. Kelleam's version is told a long time after humanity is gone, killed by its own war robots gone berserk, this one is told while the process is still happening. And the robots here are more resourceful.


  1. While there is the suspense about the "second variety" of robots that is supposed to be revealed only in the end, it was actually clear about half way through the story - just a little after the idea of varieties comes up.

Fact sheet.

First published: Space Science Fiction, May 1953.
Download full text from Project Gutenberg, Manybooks, Feedbooks, Internet Archive.
Caution: HTML version of the story at Project Gutenberg contains an illustration that is a story spoiler.
Download audio from LibriVox.
Rating: A. 
Related: Stories of Philip K Dick.