Psi-man, Heal My Child!

Second Variety and Other Classic Stories by Philip K. Dick
Buy it on Amazon
First published in Imaginative Tales Nov 1955

A nuclear war between the Soviets and the United States wiped out U.S. cities decades ago, and by 2017 an entire generation has grown up in militarized underground communes. 

The few who have psionic powers live outside the communes and struggle with how to guide normal humans toward a working society when the humans don’t want their help. Jack repeatedly travels back in time and tries to warn the U.S. chief of staff of the armed forces about the outcome of the war, but he doesn’t have any luck preventing what will happen. The other psionics in present day are more concerned with how to sustain peace going forward. 

In the end the communes stop the free flow of civilians to the village where the psionics live. Anyone who leaves the shelter of the commune won’t be able to return, and only time will tell if the humans will accept the help of the psionics to rebuild civilization. 

Cast of characters

  • Ed and Barbara Garby – a couple with a sick child in the commune
  • Porter – a precog
  • Jack – a time traveler
  • Thelma – a healer
  • Doris – a parakineticist
  • Stephen – a telepath
  • General Earnest Butterford – chief of staff of the U.S. armed forces before the war