Get 50% off Catholic Books & eBooks

Discover the Next Tolkien & O'Connor

Join Here for FREE to Never Miss a Deal

Find new favorites & Support Catholic Authors


Science Fiction


18 & Up

Author’s Worldview

Protestant Christian Pro-Life

Year Published



Abortion, Feminism, Pro-life, philosophy, religion, ethics, Body Ethics  

Reviewed by

Eric Postma

Reviewed by Eric Postma

The Pre Persons by Philip K. Dick remains one of the most chilling stories I have ever read. It depicts a world in which abortion is not only legal, not only accepted, but celebrated. At one point, a woman suggests to her husband that they should get an abortion. “Don’t you think that’d be hot?” she says. The laws are such that there are no restrictions on when you can kill an unborn child. In fact, it is far, far worse than that. In this story, it is perfectly legal to ‘abort’ a child up until the age of twelve.

Subscribe to Catholic Reads & Get Quality Orthodox Catholic Books for as little as $1 or FREE

The story opens in the middle of such a scenario. Walter is hiding from the abortion truck, a vehicle exactly like those that catch stray dogs, while it patrols the neighborhood. As it turns out, the patrol is searching for one of his friends. When he goes home and expresses his fear to his mother, she calmly reminds him that the truck can’t be for him. He’s twelve and “the law says he has a soul.” What determines the possession of a soul? According to the government, you have a soul when you have the ability to do basic algebra.

The author uses this ridiculous criterion to show how arbitrary the line is that was drawn by the Supreme Court in the Roe v. Wade decision. To decide that a person is only alive after he is born is every bit as arbitrary as saying the child is alive only after he can feel pain, or can walk, or is viable…or can do algebra.

Ed Gantro decides to call out this lunacy when his son, Tim is picked up because he doesn’t have his D-card. The D is for ‘desirability,’ and any child without it is considered a stray. Ed, unable to legally prevent his son from being picked up and taken down to ‘the pound’ decides to claim that he should be aborted as well. Despite having graduated from Stanford, he’s forgotten how to do algebra and therefore no longer has a soul. The final resolution to the story is a happy one, but it is far from satisfying, being that it is only temporary. Gantro, his son, and the other children in the truck are allowed to leave.

In this story, Philip Dick demonstrates how society can get to that point, the gradual slide from killing an unborn child to killing an eleven year-old child. If that still sounds impossible to you, keep in mind that two weeks before writing this (January, 2019), the Governor of Virginia was on a radio show openly talking about killing a baby that had just been delivered. Also consider that there was a bill to prevent that sort of thing from going on in the Illinois state legislature over ten years ago, which indicates that this was already a real issue. Finally, when I learned about The Pre Persons, approximately a decade ago, it became legal in the Netherlands to euthanize a child for quality of life reasons up until the age of…twelve.

The fact that The Pre Persons was written in 1974 by one of science fiction’s most respected authors, explicitly as a response to Roe, is astonishing in its own right. Mr. Dick wrote the stories that films like Blade Runner, Minority Report and many others are based on. His stories continue to be reprinted individually and in collections available in virtually any book store. But this book has not been made into a film or included in collections. I scoured the internet and Barnes & Nobles for it over a decade ago when I first learned about the story. The only place I could find it was the original October, 1974 issue of The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction that it was first printed it.

The fact that The Pre Persons describes so well the central fallacy of the pro-abortion argument and did so immediately after Roe v. Wade is enough reason to recommend it. It foretells the trajectory of our laws over the ensuing decades; the trends of relationships between the sexes; increasingly utilitarian attitudes towards children.  It was written by an acknowledged master of Sci-Fi, but the story seems to have been intentionally suppressed by mainstream media. It is a must read. If you can find it.

Lord of the Rings & the Eucharist by Scott L. Smith

What do trees have to do with Bread & Wine?

Our Lady of the Artilects by Andrew Gillsmith

Robots, Souls, Muslim & Catholic Friendships, and the sacramental reality that binds them all together.

Best Books of 2022

Our favorite book finds of the year!

A Very Jurassic Christmas by Corinna Turner

Christmas with Jurassic dinosaurs is often wild!

Markmaker by Mary Jessica Woods

Aboard a world-ship, in an alien society, one artist’s quest for truth will turn his whole society upside down.

Legion by William Peter Blatty

When a boy is crucified, Detective Kinderman finds himself chasing down a murderer who is already dead.

Please Don’t Feed the Dinosaurs by Corinna Turner

A series of dino adventures that has been doing better what the mainstream Jurassic Park series only recently attempted.

Heaven’s Hunter By Marie C. Keiser

A man-hunt across space that forever changes both the criminal and the detective.

Mandy Lamb and the Full Moon By Corinna Turner 

A human-sheep hybrid’s friendships with a friendly vampire and a very angsty house-wolf are tested in this story that explores nature versus nurture. 

Breach! by Corinna Turner

Isaiah’s got a T-rex size problem, but this time, it’s not a dinosaur.

Do Carpenters Dream of Wooden Sheep? by Corinna Turner

A poignant retelling of the Holy Family in a cyberpunk universe.

A Printer’s Choice by W.L. Patenaude

The first nation in space has sworn off religion, but now they need the help of Fr. McCellan to solve a murder and save them from religious terrorists.

Three Reformers: Luther, Descartes, Rousseau by Jacques Maritain

Reaching back to a forgotten era of integrated Christian philosophy, Maritain retrieves concepts that could solve the dissolution of postmodern society.

August & September New Book Releases

Step into Fall with a Good Book

Cinderella by Charles Perrault

The true story of the Catholic saint who inspired the myth of Cinderella

Ad Limina by Cy Kellet

The Bishop of Mars faces intergalactic espionage on his journey from the frontier of space to the ancient halls of the Vatican.

Prayer Journal by Flannery O’Connor

An intimate window into the mind of a great artist and honest Christian

Freedom & Responsibility in “Citizen of the Galaxy” by Robert Heinlein

One of the masters of science fiction delivers a story exploring the limits of freedom and the ongoing battle against fallen human nature.

Books for Lent

Deepen your Lenten reflection with these stories of repentance and forgiveness

Silence by Shusaku Endo

The story that introduced faith to one of the most secular nations on Earth