The Mold Of Yancy

Manuscript received at SMLA Oct 18, 1954                                          

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Captive Market   Chronology The Minority Report

(1955 Aug): IF
(1958): THE SECOND WORLD OF IF {Ed.: Quinn, Wulff} Quinn, pb, $0.50
(1964): THE PENULTIMATE TRUTH {expanded into novel}
(1980): THE GOLDEN MAN {Ed.: Hurst} Berkley, pb, 04288

THE GOLDEN MAN story notes by PKD

"The Mold Of Yancy"

    Obviously, Yancy is based on President Eisenhower. During his reign we all were worrying about the man-in-the-grey-flannel-suit problem; we feared that the entire country was turning into one person and a whole lot of clones. (Although in those days the word "clone" was unknown to us.) I liked this story enough to use it as the basis for my novel THE PENULTIMATE TRUTH; in particular the part where everything the government tells you is a lie. I still like that part; I mean, I still believe it's so. Watergate, of course, bore the basic idea of this story out.

SRG 51

   In his personal remarks, Dick emphasizes that for him science fiction is a way of rebellion, especially against authority. The term authority covers both persons and social institutions, any group manipulating others for their own benefit and in so doing catching both individuals and the body communal in the either/or trap. In "The Mold Of Yancy", Dick inveighs against such a situation. Thought and behaviour control operating under a guise of social virtue is particularly invidious, easily capturing those of us suffering from the widespread malady of intellectual laziness. While Dick's notes on "The Mold Of Yancy" does not intimate that he intended a pun, a sensitive reader cannot escape a connection. The effort to mold a national way of thought can result only in a mouldering state of mind, a decay of initiative inviting otalitarianism. This reminder invites immediate rebellion.

TTHC 264:   To his credit, Dick protected the integrity of his work the best he could. Once with the agency Dick seldom worked with an editor on rewriting a story, but there were exceptions. One of his seminal stories of the era, the riff on Eisenhower-era conformity "The Mold Of Yancy," was reworked for If, according to the green card. from 9,500 to 7,000 words. {...}

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