“Ariel Dorfman describes his fascinating novella-cum-parable, The Compensation Bureau, as ‘love in the time of Apocalypse.’ The High Commission that controls the universe needs to do something to deal with that little rock in space, the Earth, whose unruly inhabitants have descended into a plague of self-destructive violence.

One of the Actuaries whose task involves compensating those multi-millions who throughout human history have been deprived of their full lives through physical deprivation or savagery, unfortunately falls in love with one of the victims he seeks to award with a digitally researched afterlife.

A fantasy, yes. But when the Commission decide to call time on this troubled world – a decision Dorfman fears may be at hand – who, with our daily news diet of largely self- inflicted crises, can dismiss this as fanciful self-indulgence?”

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