The Hood Maker

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First published in Imagination June 1955

Loyalty to the Free Union is enforced by telepaths. Someone has been anonymously mailing ‘hoods’ (metal alloy bands that block the ‘teeps’) to members of the government. Once the Anti-Immunity Bill, which outlaws the use of these hoods, is passed through Congress there won’t be any way to stop the teeps from taking over the Union. Walter Franklin, a director of a government department, is sent a hood, and he is chased by the teeps until he meets up with hood maker James Cutter who explains what is going on. 

They go to meet Senator Waldo, the author of the Anti-Immunity Bill, to try to convince him to kill the legislation, but it turns out Waldo has been a teep all along. Cutter then spills his secret: the teeps aren’t the next step in human evolution as everyone believes, but rather they are just freaks from a radiation blast who are unable to reproduce. Cutter is more than willing to be scanned by the teeps at that point so that this news can be disseminated to everyone.

“The Hood Maker” was adapted for the first season of Electric Dreams. They tweaked the story to be more about the conflict between the non-telepaths and the oppressed teeps, only one of whom has just started working with the government to scan the citizens. Unlike a lot of the other chintzy episodes in the series this one visually looks great. All the telepaths have a facial birth mark of sorts to identify them, and the ‘hoods’ are actual creepy-looking hoods instead of some silly metal band.

Cast of characters

  • Clearance Director Ross
  • Peters – works for Director Ross in Clearance
  • Ernest Abbud – a telepath employed by Clearance
  • Walter Franklin – Director of the Federal Resources Commission
  • James Cutter – the titular Hood Maker
  • Senator Waldo – author of the Anti-Immunity Bill in Congress