Meddler (short story)
"Meddler" is a science fiction short story by Philip K. Dick. It was first published in Future Science Fiction, October 1954 with illustration by Virgil Finlay. Dick had submitted many short stories to magazines and made approximately fifteen sales before becoming a client of the Scott Meredith Literary Agency. This was his second SMLA submission, received by SMLA on July 24, 1952. His first SMLA submission was The Builder, received by SMLA on July 23, 1952.
A government Council illegally makes Time Dips into the future with escalation of adverse consequences following each time-dip. The protagonist, Hasten, is sent in a Time Car as a last-ditch attempt to learn how this meddling worked its destructive force and how to correct the problem. Hasten eventually learns his return trip is apparently the ultimate cause.
About the story
In the October 1954 issue of Future Science Fiction, Dick wrote about Meddler:
Within the beautiful lies the ugly, you can see in this rather crude story the germ of my whole theme that nothing is what it seems. The story should be read as a trial run on my part; I was just beginning to grasp that obvious form and latent form are not the same thing. 
Copyright protection for Future, October 1954 and its contents was created under Registration Number B00000492555. "Meddler" is in the public domain in the United States because it was published in the United States between January 1, 1950, and December 31, 1963, but copyright was not renewed with the US Copyright Office within a year period beginning on December 31 of the 27th year of the copyright and running through December 31 of the following year. When renewal registration was not made within the statutory time limit copyright expired at the end of its first term and protection was lost permanently. After the author's death, "Meddler" was falsely included in renewal Registration Number RE0000190631 (1983-11-22) War veteran, and other contributions by Philip K. Dick, as "(In Future, Oct. 1955) Meddler. Pub. 1955-09-27; B00000559886." This created the deceptive appearance that "Meddler" is still under United States copyright protection.
- Levack, Daniel (1981). PKD: A Philip K. Dick Bibliography, Underwood/Miller, pp. 108-109. ISBN 0-934438-33-1
- Rickman, Gregg (1989), To The High Castle: Philip K. Dick: A Life 1928-1963, Long Beach, Ca.: Fragments West/The Valentine Press, p.388 ISBN 0-916063-24-0
- Beyond Lies the Wub (1988), Gollancz, p. 404 ISBN 0-575-04407-1
- http://cocatalog.loc.gov/cgi-bin/Pwebrecon.cgi?Search_Arg=B00000492555&Search_Code=REGS&PID=Ux9E8akvdoZwrx9kLcKGohaqQ_P&SEQ=20100112074558&CNT=25&HIST=1 Direct link to Registration Number B00000492555.
- http://www.copyright.gov/records/ A direct link to the search result page or search page may cause an immediate Time Out. If that is a problem use this link to Copyright Office home page then follow links and search Copyright Catalog Search for B00000492555 by Registration Number.
- http://www.copyright.gov/circs/circ15t.pdf See p.2
- http://cocatalog.loc.gov/cgi-bin/Pwebrecon.cgi?Search_Arg=RE0000190631&Search_Code=REGS&PID=PlY7efERz-tNUpMyQtkRi6Hm_kE&SEQ=20100112083940&CNT=25&HIST=1 Direct link to Registration Number RE0000190631.
- http://www.copyright.gov/records/ A direct link to the search result page or search page may cause an immediate Time Out. If that is a problem use this link to Copyright Office home page then follow links and search Copyright Catalog for story by title or RE0000190631 by Registration Number.