The Golden Man (Philip K. Dick, 1954)

I am obsessed with this story.

The Golden Man

Art by Ken Barr

I am obsessed with Anita who looks like Mamie Van Doren and wears a silver foil dress and a long cape.

I am obsessed with the robot bar that serves cocktails and plays lounge music. The bar that is inside the government lab so the scientists don’t have to mix with the people.

I am obsessed with Wisdom whose idea of science is to fire lasers at random to see if Cris can dodge them. He shot at random. He can’t speak for Jamison who maybe didn’t shoot at random. There is something about Jamison.

I am obsessed with Wisdom’s moustache and his brutal face.

I am obsessed with computers that have tape reels that buzz and click and robots that hand deliver paper messages.

I am obsessed by the townsfolk at the diner who know all about mutants and death camps and who try and protect the Johnsons from the stranger in town

I am obsessed with Nate Johnson who hides his family on a farm protecting the son who can’t speak and never shows emotion, Nate Johnson, who hides with his family without hope or possibility of redemption, whose son is a golden god, whose son doesn’t care about him, whose son sacrifices himself so that no one has to die.

I am obsessed with Jean Johnson who may be in love with her brother.

I am obsessed with Cris Johnson. Cris is furred like a lion. Cris can see the future. Cris is irresistible to women. Beside Cris men seem like dwarfs. Cris is a threat to our species.

I am obsessed with George Baines who looks like Rock Hudson but wears a sweat stained fat suit outside the lab. George is engaged to Anita but carries around a crumpled photo of a six-breasted woman he murdered in a concentration camp in Denver. George drives an old car and knows all about the mutants they have in New Zealand and Siberia and England and Sweden but would rather talk about the ones in Denver. George laughs about euthanasia and tells Anita she will have to be sterilised. George noticed the waitress, the schoolgirl on the date, he noticed woman in the yellow silk dress and the way it clung to her body moist in the summer heat.

 

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