Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Science Fiction - "Paycheck"

This is another story by Philip K. Dick, which was used as a base for a movie by the same title. I recently saw this movie (picked up a DVD in discount bin at Wal-Mart), and found the movie pretty bad.

The story was little better. The plot is about a mechanic who gets a job at a secret company for two years and at the end his memory of the two years is erased. When he goes to get his paycheck instead of money he gets a bag of , what seems like useless, trinkets. At first he is upset and puzzled, because it is he himself who prepared those objects.

In the rest of the he finds each of the trinkets very useful and realizes that somehow in his job he had been able to forsee the future. Turns out the technology the secret company was working on is called a "time scoop" - a device that lets you retrieve objects from the future.

The interesting difference between this story and the movie, is that in the movie the company that made the machine was evil and was destroyed by the hero. In the short story, the company is one of the last bastions of freedom, waiting to overthrow the bad goverment. In the story the hero has to avoid the Secret Police, who want to find the location of the hidden plant.

In the end the hero winds up working for the company, to help save it and save himself from the goverment.

Again, as in "Minority Report", the technology described is bit skewed. There are rocket cars, but computers are not mentioned.


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