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the in thing

The Father-thing

The Father-thing is a 1954 science fiction short story by Philip K. Dick. The story, written from a child's point of view, concerns the replacement of a boy's father by a replicated version. 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, and also reminiscent of some of the short fiction of Ray Bradbury.

The premise was widely used in fiction of the time. Works like Who Goes There? and, most famously Invasion of the Body Snatchers, especially popular in the 1950's, 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.

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

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