The Chromium Fence


The Chromium Fence

The Chromium Fence is a 1955 science fiction short story by Philip K. Dick, first published in Imagination magazine.

The story is set in a future where political differences have been reduced to trivialities, the "purists" are pitted against the "naturalists". The purists wish to make the adoption of cosmetic changes (sweat glands removed, teeth fixed and so on) compulsory. This is one of Dick's bizarre extrapolations of the consumer society that he saw all around him in 1950s America. He depicts city people as being so indoctrinated to consumption of worthless goods, that it has become a political creed. The purist and naturalist mantra in this story is shown as one extreme manifestation of the brain-washing. The central character, Don Walsh, seems the only sane man left and refuses to join either side. Eventually, however, he is forced to act and pays the ultimate price.

Notes:

*One of Dick's most obscure stories, never reprinted anywhere after its single appearance in the bottom-market Imagination (July 1955) - at least until the advent of Dick's collected stories in 1987.

*The agency attempted to sell the story at the New Yorker magazine by describing it as a 'New York story' set in the future.

External links

* [http://www.philipkdickfans.com/pkdweb/The%20Chromium%20Fence.htm PhilipKDickFans.com's Details]


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