The Defenders (short story)

The Defenders (short story)

"The Defenders" is a 1953 science fiction short story by American author Philip K. Dick, and the basis for Dick's 1964 novel "The Penultimate Truth".

The story deals with the Cold War era. It depicts a future history where nuclear war between the United States and the Soviet Union had occurred years ago and the American people are living in subterranean cities to avoid radiation. The Americans are told that the war is still continuing on the irradiated surface, fought on their behalf by soldier-like robots.

The end of the story reveals that contrary to what Americans thought, the war has ended long ago and the robots have been maintaining a peace with the Soviets for many years. They had not informed the subterranean dwellers as they thought them too immature and belligerent to understand the futility of war.

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