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2BR02B

Kurt Vonnegut

2BR02B is a science fiction short story by Kurt Vonnegut, originally published in the pulp digest magazine Worlds of If Science Fiction, January 1962. The title is pronounced "2 B R naught 2 B", referencing the famous phrase "to be, or not to be" from William Shakespeare's Hamlet, Prince of Denmark. In this story, the title refers to the telephone number one dials to schedule an assisted suicide with the Federal Bureau of Termination. Vonnegut's 1965 novel God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater mentions the story, attributing it to his recurring character Kilgore Trout.

Plot Introduction

The setting is a society in which aging has been cured, individuals have indefinite lifespans, and population control is used to limit the population of the United States to forty million. This is maintained through a combination of infanticide and government-assisted suicide - in short, in order for someone to be born, someone must first volunteer to die. As a result, births are few and far between, and deaths occur primarily by accident.

(From Wikipedia, text under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License)

Edition from PublicLiterature.org

Free ebook to download in PDF format - 46 Kb - 14 pages