Foster, You’re Dead

Second Variety and Other Classic Stories by Philip K. Dick
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First published in STAR Science Fiction Stories no.3 1955

Schoolboy Mike Foster desperately wants a bomb shelter, partly to fit in (his is the only family not to own one) and partly for a sense of security (this is 1971 and the height of the Cold War with the Soviet Union). Mike eventually convinces his father to buy the newest model shelter on an installment plan. His family though can’t afford it after the Russians develop a new weapon rendering all shelters obsolete unless owners pay for a costly upgrade. The shelter then gets repossessed sending Mike into a fit of despair.

‘Foster, You’re Dead’ was adapted as ‘Safe and Sound’ for the first season of Amazon Prime’s Electric Dreams. It’s not a terrible episode of television, but it shares very little in common with the short story.

Cast of characters

  • Mike Foster
  • Bob Foster – Mike’s dad and the last of the town’s anti-preppers
  • Ruth Foster – Mike’s mom
  • Bill O’Neill – shelter salesman for General Electronics