The Father-Thing

Second Variety and Other Classic Stories by Philip K. Dick
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First published in Fantasy & Science Fiction Dec 1954

In a story that sounds similar to Invasion of the Body Snatchers, Charles Walton realizes his father has been replaced by an alien imposter. Charles enlists two friends for help, and together they find and burn the bug-like creature that controls the father-thing, which in turn destroys the father-thing and the Charles-thing which had just matured.

“The Father-Thing” was adapted for Electric Dreams as one of the better episodes of the first season.

Cast of characters

  • Charles Walton – eight-year-old boy whose father has been replaced by an alien
  • June Walton – Charles’s mother
  • Ted Walton – Charles’s father / the father-thing
  • Tony Peretti, Bobby Daniels – Charles’s friends who help him defeat the father-thing