The father-thing

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Last edited by ImportBot
December 17, 2022 | History

The father-thing

  • 3.00 ·
  • 1 Rating
  • 9 Want to read
  • 0 Currently reading
  • 1 Have read

Science fiction fans will find familiar the premise of Philip K. Dick's 1954 short story "The Father-Thing." In it, a young boy, Charlie, discovers that his father is not actually his father. The man in his house who comes home from work, kisses his mother, sits down to dinner, makes comments about his day at the office may look and talk like the real Mr. Walton, but Charlie knows better. He alone knows the hideous secret: that his real father has been killed, and that an alien now inhabits his body, and has usurped his life. It is no longer his father but the "Father-Thing."

It is a familiar premise but an interesting one. Works like The Thing and, most famously, Invasion of the Body Snatchers, were especially popular in the 1950's, expressing the fear that people are not what they seem to be. The idea that something sinister may be lurking beneath a facade of suburban complacency is certainly an important component to Jack Finney's novel, Invasion of the Body Snatchers and the movie of the same name.
But while that work is largely about the country's paranoia and suspiciousness during the McCarthy years, Dick's story has a much more personal focus. "The Father-Thing" is more personal because it is not about the invasion of a community, but of a family. The alien takeover serves as a metaphor for estrangement, as the "Father-Thing" represents the agency-driven by seemingly inscrutable motives-that irremediably damages the household and the family's stability. Dick's story, then, is both a chilling science fiction tale and a emotionally resonant work about a child's coming to grips with a home in turmoil.
Where Charlie turns when he finds himself an outcast from his home is somewhat surprising, and it reveals much about Dick's ideas about community and exile.

Publish Date
Publisher
Grafton
Language
English
Pages
476

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Previews available in: English

Edition Availability
Cover of: The Father-thing (The Collected Short Stories of Philip K. Dick)
The Father-thing (The Collected Short Stories of Philip K. Dick)
November 24, 2004, Gollancz
Paperback - New Ed edition
Cover of: The Father Thing
The Father Thing
2002, RosettaBooks
eBook in English
Cover of: The father-thing
The father-thing
1990, Grafton
in English
Cover of: The father-thing
The father-thing
1989, Gollancz, Orion Publishing Group, Limited
in English
Cover of: The father-thing
The father-thing
1987, Underwood/Miller
in English - 1st ed.

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Book Details


Published in

London

Edition Notes

Originally published, London: Gollancz,1989.

Series
Collected stories of Philip K. Dick -- 3

Classifications

Dewey Decimal Class
813.54

The Physical Object

Pagination
476p.
Number of pages
476

ID Numbers

Open Library
OL17502378M
ISBN 10
0586207678
Library Thing
9795127
Goodreads
1118428

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History

Download catalog record: RDF / JSON / OPDS | Wikipedia citation
December 17, 2022 Edited by ImportBot import existing book
August 27, 2021 Edited by Jenner Merge works
June 30, 2020 Edited by ImportBot import existing book
January 8, 2011 Edited by WorkBot merge works
September 29, 2008 Created by ImportBot Imported from Talis MARC record.