If easy payment plans wereto be really efficient, patrons'lifetimes had to be extended!
t on. "You live in the most fortunate age mankind has ever known. You are surrounded by every wonder of art and science. The finest music, the greatest books and art, all at your fingertips. All you have to do is push a button." He shifted to a kindlier tone. "Well, what are you thinking?"
"I was just wondering how I could go to Mars," the boy said. "With the debt, I mean. I don't suppose I could get away from that."
"Of course not."
"Unless I stowed away on a rocket."
"But you wouldn't do that."
"No, of course not," the boy said, but his tone lacked conviction.
"You'll stay here and marry a very nice girl," Leela told him.
"Sure I will," Billy said. "Sure." He grinned suddenly. "I didn't mean any of that stuff about going to Mars. I really didn't."
"I'm glad of that," Leela answered.
"Just forget I mentioned it," Billy said, smiling stiffly. He stood up and raced upstairs.
"Probably gone to play with his rockets," Leela said. "He's such a
A good story of an automated future where pretty much all there is to do is buy and consume. It's about death and lost dreams.