Monday, May 16, 2005

Science Fiction - "The Minority Report"

Few months ago I watched the movie by the same title and since then I have been wondering how far from the original story has Hollywood strayed. "The Minority Report" is a short story by Philp K. Dick that was the basis for the movie.

The basic story elements include Pre-Crime police force, three pre-cogs, who predict the future crimes, and what appears as a false prediction about the story's main character. But this is where the similarity to the movie ends.

Whereas, in the movie the events lead to discrediting of Pre-Crime, in the story the main characters commits murder in order to preserve Pre-Crime police department.

The title "The Minority Report" refers to the dissenting prediction of one of the three pre-cogs (as in the movie), however, and this point is made strongly in the story, there is no majority report - all the reports are "minority reports". Because they never really agree that precisely. In the case of the story's hero, the subsequent reports are affected by his knowledge of earlier ones.

The story itself is pretty short, maybe 30 pages, and I read it over two evenings.

One funny thing about the story is how it gets technology wrong. The story has flying cars, but the computer still produce their output on cards.

"The Minority Report" is one of the stories in "The Philip K. Dick Reader". I bought it because I wanted to read all the stories that were basis for the movies: "Total Recall" and "Paycheck". When I read them I will report further.

I presume that you know that the movie "Blade Runner" was based on Philip K. Dick's book "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep". I read that book ages ago.


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