The Father-thing

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"The Father-Thing" is a 1954 science fiction short story by American writer Philip K. Dick. The story, told through third-person narration but focusing on the child, concerns the replacement of a boy's father with a replicated version. At first, only the child sees the difference and has to recruit other children to help him reveal the truth. The story is typical of Dick's short stories of the period.[1]

The premise was widely used in fiction of the time. Works like Invasion of the Body Snatchers, especially popular in the 1950s, expressed the fear that people are not what they seem to be. Dick's story is typically more personal because it is not about the invasion of a community, but of a family.[2]

The Father-Thing is the US Underwood-Miller (1987) and UK title of the third collected volume of Dick's short stories,[3] retitled Second Variety after "Second Variety" was moved from Volume 2 by Citadel.[4]

The story was adapted for the 2017 TV series, Philip K. Dick's Electric Dreams, by writer-director Michael Dinner and starred Greg Kinnear as the Father.[5][6]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Farrell, Henry (16 January 2018). "Philip K. Dick and the Fake Humans". Boston Review. Retrieved 28 February 2018.
  2. ^ The Father-Thing (Forward). RosettaBooks. 2010. ISBN 9780795317132.
  3. ^ "The Collected Stories of Philip K. Dick, Volume 3: The Father-Thing". Retrieved 28 February 2018.
  4. ^ "The Collected Stories of Philip K. Dick 3: Second Variety". Retrieved 28 February 2018.
  5. ^ "Film Crit Hulk" (13 January 2018). "Phillip K. Dick's Electric Dreams Recap: Daddy Issues". Vulture. Retrieved 28 February 2018.
  6. ^ Ryan, Maureen (11 January 2018). "TV Review: 'Philip K. Dick's Electric Dreams' on Amazon". Variety. Retrieved 28 February 2018.

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