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Beyond Lies the Wub by Philip K. Dick The slovenly wub

Beyond Lies the Wub

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Beyond Lies the Wub

Beyond Lies the Wub

is a science fiction short story by Philip K. Dick, first published in 1952. The story is set in the distant future, where humanity has spread out across the galaxy and encountered a wide range of alien species. The main character is a crew member of a spaceship, which has just landed on a planet in search of food. They encounter a strange, slovenly creature known as a wub, which quickly becomes the center of attention.

The crew is initially skeptical of the wub, which they see as nothing more than a large and lazy animal. However, as they begin to interact with it, they quickly realize that the wub is far more intelligent than they had initially thought. The wub speaks to them in perfect English, and even displays an uncanny knowledge of human culture and history.

As the crew begins to discuss what to do with the wub, they are visited by the planet’s governor, who tells them that the wub is a dangerous creature that must be destroyed. The crew is initially reluctant to follow the governor’s orders, but they eventually decide to kill the wub and take its meat back to their spaceship.

As they are about to kill the wub, however, the creature reveals that it is capable of telepathy. It tells the crew that it comes from a distant planet, where it was once a powerful and intelligent ruler. However, it was eventually overthrown by its own people and forced to flee to other planets to avoid capture.

The wub argues that it is a sentient being, deserving of respect and consideration, and pleads with the crew to spare its life. However, the crew remains unconvinced and ultimately kills the wub, taking its meat back to their ship.

Beyond Lies the Wub is a classic example of Philip K. Dick’s science fiction writing, characterized by its exploration of complex philosophical themes and its portrayal of characters struggling to understand the nature of reality. The story raises a number of questions about the relationship between intelligence and morality, as well as the ethics of killing and eating animals.

One of the key themes of the story is the nature of intelligence and consciousness. The wub is initially seen as a simple and unintelligent creature, but as the story progresses, it becomes clear that the wub is far more intelligent and self-aware than anyone had anticipated. The story raises questions about the nature of consciousness and what it means to be truly sentient.

Another key theme of the story is the ethics of killing and eating animals. The crew sees the wub as nothing more than a source of food, and they are willing to kill it without much thought. However, the wub argues that it is a sentient being, deserving of respect and consideration. The story raises important questions about the ethical treatment of animals, and whether it is ever justifiable to kill and eat them.

Overall, Beyond Lies the Wub is a thought-provoking and engaging science fiction story that explores important philosophical themes. Philip K. Dick’s vivid writing style and complex characters make it a must-read for any fan of science fiction, and its themes of intelligence, consciousness, and ethics continue to resonate with readers today.

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