The Employees

A workplace novel of the 22nd century

Paperback, 125 pages

Published Sept. 20, 2020 by Lolli Editions.

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4 stars (3 reviews)

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.

3 editions

Review of 'The Employees' on 'Goodreads'

4 stars


"...I dream that there are hundreds of black seeds in my skin, and when I scratch at them they get caught under my nails like fish eggs. Then, with a popping sound, new ones appear where I scratched the other ones away. I feel that this has something to do with the objects in the rooms, but I don't know how. There's something about their smoothness in relation to my skin...I got the impression that one of the objects wanted to take my skin away from me..."

The Employees is a short novel comprised of numbered interviews with "Employees" of the Six-Thousand ship, an exploration vessel whose full purpose is mostly unknown, but one of its functions is to house some strange objects that are recovered from an unknown place. Through the interviews with the employees, we get a vague idea of these mysterious objects which may or …

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5 stars