The Factory

Three workers reluctantly take jobs at the factory. But the “factory” isn’t a building or even a collection of buildings so much as a sprawling city-sized campus, encompassing a river, restaurants, apartments, forests, and a bridge so long it takes hours to cross on foot and you can’t see one end from the other. Each of the jobs is stunningly, unerringly meaningless, so meaningless that it seems the lack of meaning is the point. As the story unfolds, small intersections among the workers appear, at once coincidental but also eery and fraught. The final sentences are brilliant and damning and disturbingly relevant—the workers don’t so much enter the factory as the factory enters them.