Meddler (short story)

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"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.[1] 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.[2]


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[edit]

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. [3]


  1. ^ Levack, Daniel (1981). PKD: A Philip K. Dick Bibliography, Underwood/Miller, pp. 108-109. ISBN 0-934438-33-1
  2. ^ 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
  3. ^ Beyond Lies the Wub (1988), Gollancz, p. 404 ISBN 0-575-04407-1

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