Introduction: The Universe According to Laumer

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Ellison, Harlan. "Introduction: The Universe According to Laumer." In Nine by Laumer.

HE usefully discusses Laumer's stories "The Walls" and "Cocoon" as thematically connected—"the same story told two different ways"—in giving "the ultimate horror of a computerized civilization, in which the individual becomes something akin to an automaton, or a mummy. In 'Cocoon' he has surrendered all volition to a life of sybaritic ease and sense pleasure […]. In 'The Walls' an individual tries to fight the quagmire totality of the Systematized Culture, and makes a valiant effort […] and in the end, when winning becomes impossible, flees to a refuge of madness." HE considers chronologizing the stories with "Placement Test" some 75 years into our possible future, "The Walls" 100 years ahead, and "Cocoon" 200 years (xiii-xiv). (RDE, 07/05/01)