I thought that the format of Cole’s piece, “Seven Short Stories about Drones” was incredibly powerful. He tweets about seven of the most well known and highly regarded modern novels, each ending with notable characters’ deaths by drone strike. The stories are so short and the deaths so abrupt that the effect of reading them is almost comedic. At first, it seems like dark comedy. But then, you begin to realize the implications of the tweets. These stories that are so integral to culture, and these characters that are so dear to peoples’ hearts, have been destroyed by machines explicitly designed for remote operations of targeted killings. The combination of the deeply personal content of literature and the inhumanity of killing machines is stark.
And if drones did intrude on the lives of these novels so that their stories never existed, what would the world have lost? What has been lost in the real world? Whose lives have been taken by drones before their stories were told?