The Dispatcher by John Scalzi
♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦
*Published October 4, 2016*
*Listening length: 2 hours, 18 minutes*
This is a fantastic novella about a world where when someone is intentionally killed will come back. Murder is no longer a crime you can get away with but with coming back, death has taken a different meaning.
One day, not long from now, it becomes almost impossible to murder anyone – 999 times out of a thousand, anyone who is intentionally killed comes back. How? We don’t know. But it changes everything: war, crime, daily life.
Tony Valdez is a Dispatcher – a licensed, bonded professional whose job is to humanely dispatch those whose circumstances put them in death’s crosshairs, so they can have a second chance to avoid the reaper. But when a fellow Dispatcher and former friend is apparently kidnapped, Tony learns that there are some things that are worse than death and that some people are ready to do almost anything to avenge a supposed wrong.
It’s a race against time for Valdez to find his friend before it’s too late…before not even a Dispatcher can save him.
I fricken’ love listening to this particular book, I love Zachary Quinto’s voice, I love this world where murder (intentional killing) returns a person to their home in perfect health. But when a Dispatcher goes missing, Tony is called upon to help a detective understand the world of Dispatchers and the black marker that has sprung up with being able to send someone back to their homes in perfect health.
I love the morals and ethics that have popped up with this question of “What would happen if murder brought the person back instead of killing them?” I liked that Tony had experience on both sides of moral line and he is able to explain how both sides work, even if he doesn’t much traverse the darker side of the line. It’s an interesting moral question.
How do you think the world is going to change in coming years? How do you think this will change our ethics? Comment below and let me know!