The Skull (short story)

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"The Skull" was originally published in the September 1952 issue of If

"The Skull" is a science fiction short story by American writer Philip K. Dick, first published in 1952 in If, and later in The Collected Stories of Philip K. Dick. It has since been republished several times, including in Beyond Lies the Wub in 1988.

Plot synopsis[edit]

Conger, the protagonist, is given a chance to get out of jail if he agrees to travel back in time and kill a man. Conger's target appeared in 1960 in a small town and spawned a new religious movement which radically changed the world over the next few hundred years. Conger is given a skull from which he can identify the man, and is sent back in time in a capsule. As Conger prepares for the man's arrival, he discovers that the skull is his own, and he is the man who will change the world, as people around town begin to take interest in the time traveler. Due to the use of time travel, Conger realizes that even though he will die, another version of himself will reappear in a few months, as if resurrected.

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