"Adjustment Team" is a science fiction short story by Philip K. Dick. It was first published in Orbit Science Fiction (Sept–Oct 1954, No. 4) with illustration by Faragasso. It was later reprinted in The Sands of Mars and other Stories (Australian) in 1958, The Book of Philip K. Dick in 1973, The Turning Wheel and Other Stories (United Kingdom) in 1977, The Collected Stories of Philip K. Dick in 1987 (Underwood-Miller), 1988 (Gollancz, United Kingdom), 1990 (Citadel Twilight, United States), Selected Stories of Philip K. Dick in 2002 and in The Early Work of Philip K. Dick, Volume One: The Variable Man & Other Stories in 2009.
Adjustment Team was adapted for film as The Adjustment Bureau and released in March 2011.
|“||Something went wrong… and Ed Fletcher got mixed up in the biggest thing in his life.||”|
Sector T137 is scheduled for adjustment, and a Clerk is supervising a canine Summoner to ensure real estate salesman Ed Fletcher is inside Sector T137 during the process. An 8:15 bark to summon a Friend With A Car is needed. Unfortunately, the bark is a minute late, bringing an Insurance Salesman, causing Fletcher to leave for work late. Arriving at Sector T137 after it's been de-energized, Fletcher enters a terrifying gray ash world. Escaping white-robed men, he flees across the street back to the everyday energized world outside Sector T137, fearing he's had a psychotic episode.
The Clerk is brought to the top-level Administrative Chambers to explain what went wrong to the Old Man, who decides to personally deal with this unusual situation and orders Fletcher "brought up here." Complicating matters further, Fletcher has told his wife Ruth about the experience. With Ruth accompanying him for moral support, Fletcher returns to his workplace to prove he has not experienced a full psychotic breakdown or seen behind the fabric of reality as he still fears. Things seem normal at first, and Ruth leaves, but he soon realizes people and objects have subtly changed. Panic stricken, he runs to a public phone to warn the police, only to have the phone booth ascend heavenward with Fletcher inside.
Meeting the Old Man, Fletcher first thinks he is dead, but is informed he's only visiting; that a correction was being made, it was a very serious error, he wasn't changed, and his revealing to others what he saw is a grave threat. "The natural process must be supplemented—adjusted here and there. Corrections must be made. We are fully licensed to make such corrections. Our adjustment teams perform vital work." In this instance, the adjustment is to bring about a chain of events that will lessen Soviet-Western Bloc war tension. Fletcher is allowed to return without being de-energized and adjusted, on the condition that he tell no one the truth he has learned, and convinces his wife that everything he has already told her was due to a temporary psychological fit. The Old Man threatens him that should he fail doing so, he will have a terrible fate when they meet again; and he adds that every person eventually meets the Old Man.
On his return, Ruth catches him lying about where he spent the afternoon and demands he tell her the truth, while he tries to stall her long enough to come up with a story she will believe. A bark is heard and a vacuum cleaner salesman rings the doorbell. While Ruth is distracted by the salesman's demonstration, Fletcher escapes to the bedroom, where he shakily lights a cigarette and gratefully looks up, saying, "Thanks... I think we'll make it — after all. Thanks a lot."
The story has been described as Dick's "first tentative try" at Frederik Pohl's "tunnel under the world" theme, in which it's imagined that mundane existence is totally a product of unseen manipulators. In Philip K. Dick and Philosophy, one critic saw the story as underscoring Dick's lifelong artistic concerns with "ethics, existentialism, and philosophy", saying that the story (and the film loosely based on it) were ultimately "about how to live."
|Wikisource has original text related to this article:|
Dictionary and translator for handheld
New : sensagent is now available on your handheld
A windows (pop-into) of information (full-content of Sensagent) triggered by double-clicking any word on your webpage. Give contextual explanation and translation from your sites !
With a SensagentBox, visitors to your site can access reliable information on over 5 million pages provided by Sensagent.com. Choose the design that fits your site.
Improve your site content
Add new content to your site from Sensagent by XML.
Crawl products or adds
Get XML access to reach the best products.
Index images and define metadata
Get XML access to fix the meaning of your metadata.
Please, email us to describe your idea.
Lettris is a curious tetris-clone game where all the bricks have the same square shape but different content. Each square carries a letter. To make squares disappear and save space for other squares you have to assemble English words (left, right, up, down) from the falling squares.
Boggle gives you 3 minutes to find as many words (3 letters or more) as you can in a grid of 16 letters. You can also try the grid of 16 letters. Letters must be adjacent and longer words score better. See if you can get into the grid Hall of Fame !
Change the target language to find translations.
Tips: browse the semantic fields (see From ideas to words) in two languages to learn more.