Ubik was an interesting text, which I was able to connect to Sleep Dealers. Watching Sleep Dealers prior helped me enjoy the novel by comparing and contrasting the two. I was also able to imagine some of the events of the novel. The main character from Sleep Dealer could connect with his family from his native land through a screen, and he who send money virtually. He was also able work in a different location without his body being present through his energy. In Ubik, Runciter was able to consult his dead wife for business matters, who was a half-life.
““Burial is barbaric,” Herbert muttered aloud. “Remnant of the primitive origins of our culture.”
Something so today and for the past thousands of years, was seen as barbaric in the novel. I looked up the word remnant to get a better understanding of what Herbert was referring to:
a usually small part, member, or trace remaining
a small surviving group —often used in plural
Herbert was trying to say that burials are not often used in their culture, since the dead are turned into half-lifers, so that their families could still communicate with them. These half lifers expire, they use some form of energy like in the Sleep Dealers. Runciter’s wife
has a transparent casket “encased with an icy mist”. She seems like her body is
dead and she is present through technology. Her husband knew “that to activate her constitute a sin against her” (9), but he did it anyway because on her will that is what she wished for, she wanted to be involved in business matters instead of resting in
peace after her death. Gravity is what seems to keep her somewhat alive and is
able to communicate with her husband through earphones. I could not imagine
connecting with someone in such a state, without being able to speak directly
to him/her and talking to him/her with his or her eyes shut. In a way, our
society is similar because we use cell phones. The half-life is not able to see you but you are able to see them. By talking on cell phone, you do not see one another but you hear each other’s’ voice, which could also seem strange, when thinking about it.