Shortlisted for the 2021 International Booker Prize, The Employees reshuffles a sci-fi voyage into a riotously original existential nightmare.
Funny and doom-drenched, The Employees chronicles the fate of the Six-Thousand Ship. The human and humanoid crew members alike complain about their daily tasks in a series of staff reports and memos. When the ship takes on a number of strange objects from the planet New Discovery, the crew become strangely and deeply attached to them, and start aching for the same things-warmth and intimacy, loved ones who have passed, shopping and child-rearing, and faraway Earth, which now only persists in memory-even as tensions boil toward mutiny, especially among the humanoids.
Olga Ravn's prose is chilling, crackling, exhilarating, and foreboding. The Employees probes into what makes us human, while delivering a hilariously stinging critique of life governed by the logic of productivity.