Breakfast at Twilight
"Breakfast at Twilight" is a science fiction short story by Philip K. Dick. It was received by the Scott Meredith Literary Agency on January 17, 1953 and first published in Amazing Stories, July 1954.
"Phil Dick's third major theme is his fascination with war and his fear and hatred of it. One hardly sees critical mention of it, yet it is as integral to his body of work as oxygen is to water."—Steven Owen Godersky
In the story, a middle-class American family is suddenly thrown into the middle of a nuclear war. American soldiers burst into the house looking for survivors and supplies, under the family's amazed and frightened eyes. Unlike most of Dick's fiction, this short story has a positive and potentially optimistic ending. When they come back to their own time continuum during a bombing, and right before their house is atomized, the members of the family are conscious of what may happen and willing to do all they can to avoid the future. At the end of the story, the words spoken by Tim McLean, the head of the family, rekindle the hope that men can work for a better future. Tim reassures his amazed and worried neighbours by saying that the damage to his house was caused by some problems with the central heating. Then he comments, "I should have got it fixed ... I should have had it looked at a long time ago. Before it got in such bad shape ... before it was too late".
Copyright protection for Amazing Stories, July 1954 and its contents was created under Registration Number B00000469312. Breakfast at Twilight 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 a nonexistent work with the same title was falsely included in renewal Registration Number RE0000190631 (1983-11-22) War veteran, and other contributions by Philip K. Dick, as " (In Amazing stories, July 1955) Breakfast at twilight. Pub. 1955-04-07; B00000531095." This created the deceptive appearance that "Breakfast at Twilight" is still under United States copyright protection.
- Rickman, Gregg (1989), To The High Castle: Philip K. Dick: A Life 1928-1963, Long Beach, Ca.: Fragments West/The Valentine Press, p.389 ISBN 0-916063-24-0
- The Collected Stories Of Philip K. Dick, Volume 1, The Short Happy Life of the Brown Oxford, (1990), Citadel Twilight, p. xvi, ISBN 0-8065-1153-2
- http://cocatalog.loc.gov/cgi-bin/Pwebrecon.cgi?Search_Arg=B00000469312&Search_Code=REGS&PID=x2dIBLcceg2T-xrSfv7M7g3lKeD&SEQ=20100928043157&CNT=25&HIST=1 Direct link to Registration Number B00000469312
- 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 B00000469312 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=bipYMgUUarc4ksK2ChQjMuAKXzSs&SEQ=20100211041346&CNT=25&HIST=1 Direct link to Registration Number RE0000190631.
- isfdb entry for Amazing stories, July 1955
- 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.
- Philip K. Dick at the Internet Speculative Fiction Database
- Breakfast at Twilight, public domain short story for download