The Pickup Artist by Terry Bisson
Fourteen people attended this meeting at Lori and A. T.’s home, and two submitted comments by email. Our topic was The Pickup Artist, a near future sf novel by Terry Bisson. In this story it has been decided that there is too much content (art, books, movies, music) in the world, so old stuff must be eliminated to make room for people to buy new content. Regular lotteries are held to determine which creators’ works are to be eliminated, and all the world’s governments develop collection agencies that confiscate obsolete content. The protagonist title character works for such a collection agency. Eight of us had started this book, and all finished it.
The Pickup Artist is full of thought-provoking ideas. The story is an obvious variant on Fahrenheit 451. We wondered why an award-winning author like Terry Bisson would write a book about such a painful theme as the destruction of art. We all found the concept horrible, but felt the scenario presented in this book is