The Last Of The Masters

"Protection Agency"

TTHC 389: Manuscript received at SMLA July 15, 1953.

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The Turning Wheel   Chronology The Father -Thing

(1954 NOV-DEC) ORBIT SF #5
(1958 Mar) SPACE STATION 42 AND OTHER STORIES, Jubilee, 212, {Austr.}
(1980) THE GOLDEN MAN {Ed.: Hurst} Berkley, pb, 04288


(1991) SECOND VARIETY, Citadel Twilight,

THE GOLDEN MAN story notes by PKD

"The Last Of The Masters"

   Now I show trust of a robot as leader, a robot who is the suffering servant, which is to say a form of Christ. Leader as servant of man; leader who should be dispensed with -- perhaps. An ambiguity hangs over the morality of this story. Should we have a leader or should we think for ourselves? Obviously the latter, in principle. But -- sometimes there lies a gulf between what is theoretically right and that which is practical. It's interesting that I would trust a robot and not an android. Perhaps it's because a robot does not try to deceive you as to what it is.

SRG 52

... In "The Last Of The Masters" Dick continues to make us aware of the paradoxical cast of human existence. Even as the Anarchist League glories in its two-hundred-year-old success at destroying all government, it hears a rumour of a remnant of the old order that is still flourishing. The League goes on a search and destroy mission, an unnecessary move. The small anachronistic society is gradually breaking down of its own entropy. Complete with a disciplined economic organization (but no market to supply) and a well-trained military (but no enemy to fight), the group exists at the will of a deteriorating pre-war robot master. Even as the Anarchists break the robot up beyond all salvage, one of the service men pockets a memory chip "just in case the times change."


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