The Employees: A workplace novel of the 22nd century by Olga Ravn


Bookseller Review by Elle:

Told in a series of employee testimonies, ‘The Employees’ tells the story of employees working on a spaceship in an unknown future – some are human, and some are humanoids: incredibly intelligent, but ultimately, created and engineered. Each testimony has something different to say, and you are never entirely sure who is speaking, but as the plot moves forward, you start to uncover that there’s something rather sinister going on in the background… 

Immersive and captivating – I felt like I was moving through an art exhibit and hearing the voices of each employee in audio. A novel that leaves you thinking about the purpose of work, productivity, and the possible future of technology and artificial intelligence. 

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ISBN: 9781999992880 Category: Tags: , , ,


The crew of the Six-Thousand Ship consists of those who were born, and those who were made. Those who will die, and those who will not. When the ship takes on a number of strange objects from the planet New Discovery, the crew is perplexed to find itself becoming deeply attached to them, and human and humanoid employees alike start aching for the same things: warmth and intimacy. Loved ones who have passed. Shopping and child-rearing. Our shared, far-away Earth, which now only persists in memory. Gradually, the crew members come to see their work in a new light, and each employee is compelled to ask themselves whether they can carry on as before – and what it means to be truly living. Structured as a series of witness statements compiled by a workplace commission, Ravn’s crackling prose is as chilling as it is moving, as exhilarating as it is foreboding. Wracked by all kinds of longing, The Employees probes into what it means to be human, emotionally and ontologically, while simultaneously delivering an overdue critique of a life governed by work and the logic of productivity.

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