Paycheck and Other Classic Stories by Philip K. Dick
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“Stability” is one of Dick’s oldest stories dating back to the late 1940s when he was still in high school, but it wasn’t published until it was included in a short story collection in 1987.

At some point in the future world leaders decide that mankind has reached the peak of its civilization, and so in order to prevent sliding backwards they enact a program of ‘stability’ where new inventions are prohibited. The resulting story based on this unrealistic premise is clunky, although I don’t expect too much out of these really early works.

An evil city trapped in a globe summons Robert Benton back in time through the use of some sort of time travel device (that the Council Members aren’t too happy about) in order for Benton to bring the globed city forward to present day where it hopes to be freed so it can take over the world.

Cast of characters

  • Robert Benton – our protagonist and only named character
  • the Controller and Council Members – in charge of controlling inventions and enforcing ‘stability’