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The Minority Report [short story] (1955)

by Philip K. Dick

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6302637,625 (3.74)2
In the world of The Minority Report, Commissioner John Anderton is the one to thank for the lack of crime. He is the originator of the Precrime System, which uses precogs--people with the power to see into the future--to identify criminals before they can do any harm. Unfortunately for Anderton, his precogs perceive him as the next criminal.… (more)
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Showing 1-5 of 25 (next | show all)
Interesting story. ( )
  zeronetwo | May 14, 2024 |
This text was something between a short story and a novella. The philosophical/sci-fi elements are nice, but the background could have been worked out better. Furthermore it's written like a romance novel: hyperboles and unnecessary adjectives. Not for re-reading. ( )
  jd7h | Feb 18, 2024 |
Amazing how well this book has stood the test of time, still a great and thought-provoking piece. ( )
  snare | Dec 13, 2023 |
First published in Fantastic Universe, Philip K. Dick's short-story "The Minority Report" reveals Cold War anxieties by questioning the relationship between authoritarianism and individual autonomy while also addressing issues of free will.

The plot to this slim story, that became one of my favorite Spielberg films (although I dislike Tom Cruise), is as follows: Police Commissioner John Anderton finds himself at the mercy of his own crime-prevention system when the prescient precogs (mutants with precognitive abilities they can use to see up to two weeks into the future) he's hired to stop crime before it starts peg him as a soon-to-be murderer (murdering a man named Leopold Kaplan, a man he has never met). At first he goes on the run, but later turns to the offensive to figure out why the precogs identified him as a killer. He finds out that Kaplan is pushing to abolish the crime-prevention system, claiming that it is not accurate.

What makes this short story (and film) fascinating is how Anderton is eventually torn between a terrible decision: Should he protect the system he helped create and willingly kill Kaplan to validate the Precrime system? Or should he allow the system to crumble under Kaplan's plan? Dick is a master at toying with questions of free will and in The Minority Report we are given the existence of three apparent minority reports which suggests the possibility of three future time paths, all existing simultaneously, any of which an individual could choose to follow or be sent along following an enticement (as in Anderton's being told he was going to murder an unknown man). This creates for Anderton, an existential crisis of sorts that the rest of the story races to resolve.

The main tension, throughout the story, is the fact that Anderton struggles to find an appropriate balance between Precrime authority and individual liberty.
And this makes for a fascinating, thought provoking read indeed.

Highly recommended. ( )
  ryantlaferney87 | Dec 8, 2023 |
This is a fun short read. It's an interesting premise and it has lots of mind bending twists and turns that I'm grown used to with PKD!

What I did enjoy is that Anderton is described as basically the exact opposite of Tom Cruise in the Movie adaption. That amused me. The guys old, fat and balding. He's not scaling any tall buildings! ( )
  ImagineAlice | May 8, 2023 |
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This work is the single short story, Minority Report. The Pantheon hardback 0375421874 is a novelty edition, which, though over 100 pages, contains only the one short story. Do not combine this work with:

1. Minority Report and Other Stories which is an audio production of only 5 stories (Minority Report, We Can Remember it for You Wholesale, Paycheck, Second Variety, and The Eyes Have It).

2. The Minority Report and Other Classic Stories which is Volume 4 of the Collected Stories and contains 18 stories.

3. Minority Report (0575074787; 0575075201; 1857987381), a 2002 UK Gollancz film tie-in collection of 10 stories.
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In the world of The Minority Report, Commissioner John Anderton is the one to thank for the lack of crime. He is the originator of the Precrime System, which uses precogs--people with the power to see into the future--to identify criminals before they can do any harm. Unfortunately for Anderton, his precogs perceive him as the next criminal.

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