The Commuter

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For the upcoming film, see The Commuter (film).
"The Commuter" was originally published in the August–September 1953 issue of Amazing Stories

"The Commuter" is a science-fiction short story by American writer Philip K. Dick.


It tells the story of a railway station manager who encounters the eponymous commuter who testifies to the existence of a town that cannot be found on any normal map. There is clearly something amiss since the commuter exhibits a disconcerting tendency to literally vanish on close questioning about this ephemeral town. However, based on the information he manages to extract from the commuter, he undertakes an investigation and so boards the train the commuter swears is scheduled to stop at the town. Lo and behold, the station manager arrives at the non-existent town and further puzzling adventures ensue.

Subsequent investigation reveals the town nearly existed - it was narrowly voted out of existence during a planning meeting; the narrowness of the vote directly reflected in the ephemeral nature of the town.


The story will be adapted by Jack Thorne into an episode of the Channel 4/Amazon Video anthology series Philip K. Dick’s Electric Dreams. Tom Harper will direct the episode starring Timothy Spall, Tuppence Middleton, and Anne Reid.[1]


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