Adjustment Team

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First published in Orbit Science Fiction #4 Oct 1954

On the edges of reality an adjustment team constantly tweaks the known world in order to nudge things in a certain direction. Ed Fletcher accidentally sees behind the curtain when an adjustment team clerk misses his cue and allows Ed to arrive at work late. After Ed witnesses the terrifying spectacle of the adjustment team in full-on adjustment mode he is taken before The Old Man, a godlike figure in charge who eventually lets Ed return to his life as long as he promises not to tell anyone what he has seen.

I really like the 2011 movie, refashioned as The Adjustment Bureau, starring Matt Damon and Emily Blunt. It takes just the basic idea and turns it into a love story (which admittedly doesn’t feel all that phildickian) that deals with predestination and free will.

Cast of characters

  • Ed Fletcher – our everyman protagonist
  • Ruth Fletcher – Ed’s wife
  • Nathan Douglas – Ed’s boss
  • The Old Man – in charge of the whole shebang