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Tony and the Beetles

Philip K. Dick

Book Overview: 

Tony and the Beetles takes place far in the future when Earth's enormous colonial empire is well established but the question is, how long can it last? 10 year old Tony grows up fast when history catches up with the human race. A sobering look at human history .. and our probable future. Two very different stories but both entertaining.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .He closed the seams around their tops and then did the same with his gloves. Next he adjusted the pressure on his pump unit and strapped it between his shoulder blades. He grabbed his helmet from the dresser, and he was ready for the day.

In the dining-compartment his mother and father had finished breakfast. Their voices drifted to him as he clattered down the ramp. A disturbed murmur; he paused to listen. What were they talking about? Had he done something wrong, again?

And then he caught it. Behind their voices was another voice. Static and crackling pops. The all-system audio signal from Rigel IV. They had it turned up full blast; the dull thunder of the monitor's voice boomed loudly. The war. Always the war. He sighed, and stepped out into the dining-compartment.

"Morning," his father muttered.

"Good morning, dear," his mother said absently. She sat with her head turned to one side, wrinkles of concentration webbing her forehead. . . . Read More

Community Reviews

This one takes race relations to distant planetary systems, while also addressing the innocence of a child's world view.

Really well written. The way a child experiences war is always an interesting perspective. Even if here the child is introduced to it and the rigidness it brings between people who where friends yesterday. The last few lines threw me off. The father is a militarist and colonialist, even in defeat he

Straightforward story but with a strong message.

I gave this a shot because of its hilarious title. It's a fairly run of the mill short story about a young boy (the eponymous Tony) whose family get caught up in the midst of an interplanetary war between human colonialists and the Pas-useti, a native insectoid race disparagingly referred to as 'bee

Conquered territories and nations will be forever conquered and hostile towards conquerors, even thousands years of united existence won't help.

Interesting allegory of racial conflict and colonialism.

Fairly straightforward story among fantastic circumstances - but well told. An unwary civilian boy caught off guard when news of the turning tide of battle arrives. It’s hard to imagine what it would be like when among those (beetles!) directly affected by upheaval; when everything is suddenly t

Born on Stolen Ground

Strictly speaking, this might apply to people born in most places – I know two or three places which are so dull and are lacking so much in natural beauty and cultural improvement that it is hard to imagine that people would ever have fought over them; but it would be impolite,

First published in Orbit Science Fiction (1953), “Tony and the Beetles” is a wise and resonant story about how deceptively peaceful an environment may look through the eyes of a people in power, and how that “peace” may quickly pass, replaced by hostility and menace, when it becomes obvious to all—b

Short, thought-provoking, well-developed. I rather wanted the story to continue, but the lesson (of sentient beings' inherent racism, I suppose) has been learned, so where is there to go?

Still, a fun little read.

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