At only about 130 pages this novella made the Booker Long List for 2021 which Damon Galgut won with The Promise. The Employees is the second book by Olga Ravn, a Danish author. The premise is that in the 22nd Century a spaceship holds a workforce of both humans and humanoids who care for the objects which are in their care. It’s dystopian for sure, but with a tender sadness.
by Olga Ravn
read by Hannah Curtis 2h 31m
rating: 8.2-A / literary sci-fi –
There’s not much difference between the humans and the humanoids except that the humans can reproduce. New employees arrive at the ship regularly. They start becoming emotionally attached to the objects in different ways At some point a decision is made to record the thoughts and ideas of the employees and that’s the narrative of the book.
WIth a couple exceptions, the employees have no names and their reports are designated as being from their employee number. In some way the employees can tell the difference between the humanoids and the humans and a certain status accrues to the humans although they will die while the humanoids get “rebooted” or “upgraded.”
There is quite a lot of reference to smell and tactile elements but not so much to the visual, auditory taste sensations. Reading Group discusses this in August so I’ll likely read it again.