This week we introduce another piece of short fiction, a short story by one of our favorite authors Phillip K. Dick.  In case you don't know anything about him, he is the author of stories such as "Minority Report" and "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep", the latter being the inspiration for the film "Blade Runner".  Not a whole terrible lot is known about Dick.  Despite a memoir by an ex wife, and his own private journal "The Exegesis of Phillip K. Dick" much of his life remains shrouded in mystery.  Mostly what we know about him are things that ultimately inspired his writings.  As an example "A Scanner Darkly" was inspired by friends of his who had struggled with substance abuse.  One of the unique things about Dick is that his stories do not fit the classic archetype of science fiction of the day.  He was often preoccupied with metaphysical and existential themes which he then superimposed on science fiction backdrops.  These made for compelling stories.  Another interesting piece of information about him, he believed that he had gained clairvoyance as a result of a pink beam that emanated from a pendant someone was wearing.  Many believe him to be delusional, but very few do not acknowledge his mastery as a story teller.

True to form "The Hanging Stranger" is a short story in which the lines between reality and paranoia break down.  The protagonist must reconcile that paranoia with the suspicion that there may be an alien invasion.  This is very similar to the idea set forth by Jack Finney's "Invasion of the Body Snatchers" though Dick's story predates this by a few years (1953).  Dick does an excellent job of not only creating a sense of paranoia but also suspense.  It is another quick read recommended by us here at Fresh Pulp, and we hope you enjoy it!

You can get a Kindle copy for free by clicking here.