I'm looking for help finding a science-fiction novel about unemployed people who adopt insects.
December 1, 2012 8:58 PM   Subscribe

Help me find this dimly-remembered SF novel, if you please. Near-future dystopia, high unemployment, unemployed people are treated in humiliating ways, they adopt mysterious insects as pets, the insects give off calming pheromones. More poorly-remembered details inside, one of them NSFW.

A decade or more ago, I read part of a science-fiction novel I'd like to find again. I remember brief bits of the book that are so weird my googling isn't doing much.

*I think it's set in the US, in a relatively near future.

*There is high unemployment. The unemployed are given various benefits, but everything comes with a catch and some humiliation: you're encouraged to sell off everything you own of any value, you're given a card to use the transit system for free, but you're not supposed to use it when the gainfully employed are traveling, etc. (I vaguely remember that this was part of a plan to make the unemployed ever more reliant on the government, but that could be wrong.)

*People start keeping biggish praying mantis-like insects as pets. I think the insects just randomly appear. The insects may give off calming pheromones.

*I think one of the main characters was an unemployed lady who rented her brain out to researchers from time to time. While they were doing their research, she would watch movies she had previously loaded into her brain. The movies were very specific in subject matter. I remember that she was into movies about two women finding an injured male hitchhiker and taking care of him, and she had loaded two or three of these movies.

*A female character (may or may not be the same one above) goes on a trip and, while staying in a hotel room, visits a local convenience store, where she buys an artificial penis and a container of artificial semen (for the post-sex euphoria, apparently).

Any ideas? Thank you!
posted by thehmsbeagle to Media & Arts (3 answers total) 18 users marked this as a favorite
An anonymous reader suggests that this may be something by Philip K. Dick.
posted by LobsterMitten at 7:45 AM on December 2, 2012

second the Phillip K. Dick. if you don't find the exact story in all of his pulp novels you'll at least have a fun time trying.
posted by Conrad-Casserole at 9:26 AM on December 2, 2012

I have read most of Dick's books, and that isn't ringing a bell for me, for what that's worth.
posted by Forktine at 12:19 PM on December 2, 2012

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