- The Defenders (short story)
"The Defenders" is a 1953
science fiction short storyby American author Philip K. Dick, and the basis for Dick's 1964 novel " The Penultimate Truth".
The story deals with the
Cold Warera. It depicts a future historywhere nuclear war between the United Statesand the Soviet Unionhad occurred years ago and the American people are living in subterranean cities to avoid radiation. The Americans are told that the war is still continuing on the irradiated surface, fought on their behalf by soldier-like robots.
The end of the story reveals that contrary to what Americans thought, the war has ended long ago and the robots have been maintaining a peace with the Soviets for many years. They had not informed the subterranean dwellers as they thought them too immature and belligerent to understand the futility of war.
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