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Mockingbird (S.F.Masterworks S.) - Walter Tevis A dystopian future awaits us although in this case, not one that was thrust upon us, but rather one in which we have carelessly walked into. Our relentless drive towards automating everything, our pursuit of pleasure and rugged individualism has led to a society in which we are run by robots and humans have become hopelessly uneducated, permanently drugged out of their minds and are losing the will to live.

Now things are falling apart. No one knows how to read anymore or how anything works, most of the robots created to look after us killed themselves because they couldn't bare living, the population is dwindling rapidly and everyone is too stoned to know or care anyway. The future looks bleak and humanity doesn't look worth saving anyway.

This story centers around three characters. Spoforth, the last super intelligent robot left alive and only still around because he was programmed not to be able to kill himself. Bentley, someone who inadvertently teaches themselves to read and Mary Lou who regains her mental faculties as she can't stomach the drugs. The two human characters eventually find each other and begin an awakening together.

This is a lament at the way the author saw society as heading and there probably is some validity to his fears. The future he envisaged doesn't seem too far-fetched. It certainly gives you pause for thought. A bleak vision but not without some hope, for both those people in the story who've found themselves in that mess, and ourselves who still have a chance to avoid it.