The Defenders is a science fiction short story by Philip K. Dick, first published in 1953.
The terrible destruction of total nuclear war between the Western and Eastern Blocks has succeeded in sterilizing the surface of the earth. No living creature can now exist there and all humans on both sides have fled to the hives, built miles below the surface, where they constantly work to produce the war materials necessary to carry on the battle.
For 8 years now, the actual fighting between these super powers has been conducted by robots known as Ledeys since only they can sustain the terrible levels of radiation caused by the constant bombardment. They are the Defenders, standing between the combatant’s far below and ultimate victory or defeat.
Life is hard in the tunnels, but liveable, while it is lethal on the surface. The Ledeys keep the generals informed on everything through vids and pictures; but how can this continue? What will happen? Who will win?
The Defenders was first published in Galaxy Science Fiction January 1953.
Philip Kendrick Dick (1928-1982) was an American science fiction author. Dick explored sociological, political and metaphysical themes in novels dominated by monopolistic corporations, authoritarian governments, and altered states.
In addition to 44 published novels, Dick wrote approximately 121 short stories, most of which appeared in science fiction magazines during his lifetime.
Although Dick spent most of his career as a writer in near-poverty, ten popular films based on his works have been produced, including Blade Runner, Total Recall, A Scanner Darkly, Minority Report, Paycheck, Next, Screamers, and The Adjustment Bureau.
In 2005, Time magazine named Dick one of the one hundred greatest English-language novels published since 1923. In 2007, Dick became the first science fiction writer to be included in The Library of America series.