The Father-thing (The Collected Short Stories of Philip K. Dick)

Paperback, 400 pages

Published Nov. 24, 2004 by Gollancz.


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Science fiction fans will find familiar the premise of Philip K. Dick's 1954 short story "The Father-Thing." In it, a young boy, Charlie, discovers that his father is not actually his father. The man in his house who comes home from work, kisses his mother, sits down to dinner, makes comments about his day at the office may look and talk like the real Mr. Walton, but Charlie knows better. He alone knows the hideous secret: that his real father has been killed, and that an alien now inhabits his body, and has usurped his life. It is no longer his father but the "Father-Thing."It is a familiar premise but an interesting one. Works like The Thing and, most famously, Invasion of the Body Snatchers, were especially popular in the 1950's, expressing the fear that people are not what they seem to be. The idea that something sinister may be …

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