The Variable Man is a science fiction novella by Philip K. Dick, first published in 1953.
“He fixed things—clocks, refrigerators, vidsenders and destinies. But he had no business in the future, where the calculators could not handle him. He was Earth’s only hope—and its sure failure!”
Predictability has come a long way. The computers of the future can tell you if you’re going to win a war before you fire a shot. Unfortunately they’re predicting perpetual standoff between the Terran and Centaurian Empires.
What they need is something unpredictable, what they get is Thomas Cole, a man from the past accidently dragged forward in time. Will he fit their calculations, or is he the random variable that can break the stalemate?
The Variable Man first appeared in the September, 1953 issue of Space Science Fiction magazine.
Total Running Time (TRT): 2 hours, 48 min.
Philip Kendrick Dick (1928-1982) was an American science fiction author. Dick explored sociological, political and metaphysical themes in novels dominated by monopolistic corporations, authoritarian governments, and altered states.
In addition to 44 published novels, Dick wrote approximately 121 short stories, most of which appeared in science fiction magazines during his lifetime.
Although Dick spent most of his career as a writer in near-poverty, ten popular films based on his works have been produced, including Blade Runner, Total Recall, A Scanner Darkly, Minority Report, Paycheck, Next, Screamers, and The Adjustment Bureau.
In 2005, Time magazine named Dick one of the one hundred greatest English-language novels published since 1923. In 2007, Dick became the first science fiction writer to be included in The Library of America series.