One thing that sets "The Golden Man" apart from other evolving humanity stories is that Johnson is no clear improvement on standard-issue Homo sapiens. Yes he has super skills and is very physically attractive, but his brain lacks a frontal lobe, making him unable to use language or read. He is closer to an instinct-driven animal than a thinking human. As one of the characters points out,
"Superior survival doesn't mean superior man. If there were another world-wide flood, only fish would survive. If there were another ice age, maybe nothing but polar bears would be left."Humans aren't necessarily evolving into something better, only something different. As Dick said in a 1979 interview:
"I intended to show that (1) the mutant might not be good, at least good for the rest of mankind, for us ordinaries; and (2) not in charge but sniping at us as a bandit would, a feral mutant who potentially would do us more harm than good"The movie Next must be only loosely based on Dick's story, since Cage is not a perfect physical specimen (at least in my opinion) and would be an unlikely hero if his character was a mute unthinking animal of a man. I could be wrong, though. Watch the trailer for yourself.
You can read "The Golden Man" in Martian Time-Slip and The Golden Man (Amazon.com).
Tags:The Golden Man, Philip K. Dick, Next