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81. After Dinner Conversation: Volume > 2 > Issue: 11
Rebecca L. Christophi In Defense of the Harvest
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What rights should prisoners on death row have to their body, or to their organs? In this work of philosophical short fiction, the narrator tells the story of his own family that lead to the law that allowed organs to be harvested from criminals (both living and after being put to death) to save the lives of the most needy. In the story, the narrator and his family have two children, the older Rupert, and the far younger Sadie. Rupert returns to live with the family and continues to show strong violent tendencies. He threatens to hurt the family and there is a plan to ask him to move out. Rupert overhears the plans, goes into a rage, and cuts out Sadie’s eyes with a knife. Later, under the new law, Sadie is provided a new set of eyes from a criminal; likely Rupert.
82. After Dinner Conversation: Volume > 2 > Issue: 11
Margaret Karmazin Prevention
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Would you murder your own child to protect his classmates? In this work of philosophical short fiction, Sharon is divorced from her husband, Karl. Karl has a new, younger wife, and she is taking care of their 17-year-old son, Ethan. Their older daughter, Haley, is off starting her own successful life. Ethan, however, is struggling with life. On a fateful day, Ethan forgets his backpack after being dropped off for school. His mother searches the laptop and finds a discussion where he, and a few others, have set a date to shoot up the school. She checks his bedroom and finds the guns described in the exchange as well as drugs. Sharon doesn’t want to risk the lives of the classmates or Haley’s future. The next morning she uses Ethan’s own drugs to spike his coffee and cause him to overdose and die. She hides his guns and the laptop that proves what he was planning to do. Her son is dead, the school is safe, and her daughter’s reputation remains untarnished for a bright future. She considers her endeavor a success.
83. After Dinner Conversation: Volume > 2 > Issue: 11
Additional Information
84. After Dinner Conversation: Volume > 2 > Issue: 11
Kolby Granville From the Editor
85. After Dinner Conversation: Volume > 2 > Issue: 12
From the Publisher
86. After Dinner Conversation: Volume > 2 > Issue: 12
Alexander B. Joy Damnatio Memoriae
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Are we just the sum of our memories? Is erasing all the memories of a person more, or less humane, than the death penalty? In this work of philosophical short story fiction, a member of the diplomatic corps recounts the history of Etescanate people and the evolution of their implantation of the death penalty over the centuries. Initially, the death penalty was a drawn out, painful and public affair. As time progressed, it remained public, but became more humane. With the advent of new technologies, it was moved indoors as a private affair where electrical shocks or injections were used. Now, the Etescanate people believe they have found the most humane form of capital punishment, complete memory erasure. Those that are found guilty of the most serious crimes are given a chemical cocktail that completely erases their minds of their entire past. There is one caveat to this punishment, while the government has outlawed killing by the state, it still leaves open the possibility of killing by others and, in some cases, the convicted opt to be killed privately instead.
87. After Dinner Conversation: Volume > 2 > Issue: 12
Ty Lazar For Your Safety
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How do you know if the government-imposed limits on personal freedom “for your protection” have gone too far? Are there certain risks the government shouldn’t protect people from? In this work of philosophical short story fiction, Zoe gets a knock on her door from the Department of Public Health. They have detected increased biochemical signatures that lead them to believe she has been having sexual intercourse without a properly filed Intimate Partnership Agreement (IPA). The IPA’s are for her protection to ensure that any potential partners are disease free. Initially, she denies the accusations, but the evidence from her Livewell stream is overwhelming. This time, it’s just a fine, but if it happens again the punishments will get more severe, all the way up to having points deducted from her social confidence rating. The government employees leave and Zoe heads back into the bedroom to find her one-night stand has committed suicide.
88. After Dinner Conversation: Volume > 2 > Issue: 12
Rebecca Dueben The Truth As We Know It
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How should adults help children who are being bullied? How is childhood trauma adapted into adult relationships? In this work of philosophical short story fiction, Celia has been married six years to Jason, an ex-military man 20 years her senior. Celia’s child, Theo, is the result of Celia’s abusive father raping her as a teen. Theo is a short, overweight, awkward child who is teased at school. Jason continues to try to tease him and create experiences to “make a man out of him.” One day, when Jason and Theo go fishing, Theo is laughed at once too often and pushes Jason off the bridge, to his death. Now Celia is left to decide if she tells the truth about what happened, or tries to frame the death as a slip and fall accident.
89. After Dinner Conversation: Volume > 2 > Issue: 12
Daren Schuettpelz Prometheus Bound in ISS
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Is there an appropriate way for those in power to blow off steam? Are teachers ever allowed to speak in a derogatory manner about students? In this work of philosophical short story fiction, Ethan is an intelligent loner high school Junior. His sister has gone off to the Air Force, and his mother recently died while driving drunk. One day he is approached by two of the popular girls in school who offer him $100 to hack into the school computer system and rig the Cotillion Queen voting results. He agrees, steals a teacher’s password, and logs into the teacher intranet to change the election results. While in the system he finds various “teacher only” discussion threads. In the threads, teaches talk candidly about which students they like and dislike. They also crack jokes about students, and generally say off-color remarks, including a few about Ethan. Ethan screen captures the conversations and emails them to the school and parents. Consequently, he is serving the remainder of the school year in In-School-Suspension.
90. After Dinner Conversation: Volume > 2 > Issue: 12
Tim Sharp The Growing And Weeding of Dandelions
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Can the stakes ever be so high that genocide of a species is a reasonable option? Is this ever the kind of choice you should put to a democratic vote? In this work of philosophical short story fiction, a civilization-sized space ship has been flying to populate the surrounding solar systems. They start with a skeleton crew, use ship resources and grow their population over generations, then arrive at a new planet. They drop off the extra people, replenish their raw resources, and do it all again. All is well until a weak radio signal makes them realize they are heading towards a planet that likely already has sentient alien life. If they don’t stop, their population will burst at the seams in the ship and they will likely run out of resources before the next solar system. If they do stop, they are likely to, over time, subjugate the indigenous population. They have just weeks to decide if they plan to make a course correction.
91. After Dinner Conversation: Volume > 2 > Issue: 12
Kolby Granville From the Editor
92. After Dinner Conversation: Volume > 2 > Issue: 12
J. Weintraub Selling to the Goyim
93. After Dinner Conversation: Volume > 2 > Issue: 12
David Whitaker Choose
94. After Dinner Conversation: Volume > 2 > Issue: 12
Additional Information
95. After Dinner Conversation: Volume > 2 > Issue: 2
Cory Swanson Simon
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What if the Devil were real and you could, and did, kill him? What, does the Devil stand for in society, and what might change about society in the event of his death? In this work of philosophical short story fiction, Simon is put on trial for having, literally, killed the devil. He did it through trickery, of course. He told the Devil that he (the Devil) was a cheap peddler of a product, fear. But, because he was immortal, he would never truly understand the product he pushed on others. The Devil asserts he fears nothing and, to prove it, removes his immortality from his being. Simon kills him. And now Simon is on trial. It is unethical to kill a purely evil thing? And, if the Devil is dead, why are bad things still happening in the world?
96. After Dinner Conversation: Volume > 2 > Issue: 2
Peter Beaumont Pandora's Dreams
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Should we be held accountable for what we imagine, but choose not to actually do? Does wrong thought always lead to wrong action? In this work of philosophical short story fiction, scientists have discovered a way to record dreams and make them available for playback. This quickly gives rise to the bootleg sale of horrible and wonderful dreams to a general public interested in ever-more spectacle. It also creates a market for buying and watching the dreams of celebrities. Finally, it brings about the government subpoenaing dreams to use as evidence in trials and, later, in helping it discover crimes that have not, but might, happen in the future.
97. After Dinner Conversation: Volume > 2 > Issue: 2
From the Publisher
98. After Dinner Conversation: Volume > 2 > Issue: 2
Jared Cappel The Human Experience
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It is moral to take on debts for the benefit of your unborn child that will carry over to your unborn child after you are dead? What if taking on those debts are the best way to ensure your child has the best chance for a successful life? In this work of philosophical short story fiction, a couple looking to have their first child goes to the medical clinic to discuss the cost of DNA selection packages for their yet-to-be-conceived child. How much do they want to fix the genetic lottery to help their child be smart, athletic, or driven? They have the budget to make minor improvements, but if they are willing to take out a loan they can do more. The problem is the unpaid debt carries to their unborn child if they die before it is paid in full. In the end, through the high pressure used-car-salesmanship of the company, they decide to leverage their child’s future and order the “Platinum” package.
99. After Dinner Conversation: Volume > 2 > Issue: 2
Chad Baker People Used To Die Every Day
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If sleep, and the dreams that come with them, were no longer required, would you still do it? Would humanity be different if we didn’t have the time to imagine what might be? Would you break the law to support the dream habits of your partner? In this work of philosophical short story fiction, Peter finds out his partner Samir has been sneaking around behind his back to “try out dreaming.” According to Samir, he likes the way sleeping, and dreaming, makes him feel. And besides, he argues, it doesn’t do any harm; his work will never find out. Peter decides to break the law in support of their relationship and to stop taking the drug that makes sleep and dreams unnecessary, in order to better understand his partner. However, after a nightmare, Peter decides that sleep and dreaming isn’t for him and the government is right.
100. After Dinner Conversation: Volume > 2 > Issue: 2
Zeph Auerbach The Library Of Gromma
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Should the past be forgotten? Does it help society, and the community, to let the past go? How can we learn from the past while simultaneously letting go of it? In this work of philosophical short story fiction, a young boy has been put in charge of the machine that stores the exact collective memories of his grandmother (“Gromma”) and the community at large. His job is made more difficult because the machine is old, falling apartment, and a fire killed the previous caretaker long before his training was complete. As the story closes the boy finds out the previous fire was caused by a community member who believes the community can only move forward by destroying the machine and allowing the memories of the past to naturally fade into obscurity.