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The Commuter (short story)

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"The Commuter" was originally published in the August–September 1953 issue of Amazing Stories.

"The Commuter" is a science fiction short story by American writer Philip K. Dick.



A railway station manager encounters the eponymous commuter, who speaks of a town that cannot be found on any normal map. The commuter literally vanishes on close questioning about this ephemeral town. Based on the information the manager manages to extract from the commuter, he undertakes an investigation and boards the train the commuter says is scheduled to stop at the town. The station manager finds himself arriving at the non-existent town.

Subsequent investigation reveals that the town nearly existed. It was narrowly voted out of existence during a planning meeting, and the narrowness of this vote is directly reflected in the ephemeral nature of the town.


The story was adapted by Jack Thorne into an episode of the Channel 4/Amazon Video anthology series Philip K. Dick’s Electric Dreams. Tom Harper directed the episode starring Timothy Spall, Tuppence Middleton, and Anne Reid.[1]


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