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Pierce, John R. [as by J. J. Coupling ] – “Period Piece” (1948)


Probably the best work here aside from the two by Bradbury, this is a proto-Dickian questioning of life and reality wherein a man who believes himself to be a time traveler from the modern day to the 31st century slowly comes to the realization that he is actually an automaton created as a kind of in-person history channel special. His own awakening, caused by a flaw in his programming, leads his creator to question his own reality – echoing, Bleiler and Dikty point out, the Gnostic heresies, another trait Pierce shares here with Dick’s work.

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