The Chromium Fence

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"The Chromium Fence" was originally published in the July 1955 issue of Imagination

The Chromium Fence is a 1955 science fiction short story by Philip K. Dick, first published in Imagination magazine.[1]

The story is set in a future where political differences have been reduced to trivialities, the purists are pitted against the naturalists. The purists wish to make the adoption of cosmetic changes (sweat glands removed, teeth fixed and so on) compulsory. The purist and naturalist mantra in this story is shown as one extreme manifestation of the brain-washing. The central character, Don Walsh, seems the only sane man left and refuses to join either side. Eventually, however, he is forced to act and pays the ultimate price.


  • One of Dick's most obscure stories, never reprinted anywhere after its single appearance in the bottom-market Imagination (July 1955) - at least until the advent of Dick's collected stories in 1987.
  • The agency attempted to sell the story at the New Yorker magazine by describing it as a 'New York story' set in the future.


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