The Adopted Father



In a dystopian future, an unemployed man helps an orphaned boy living in his apartment complex.


  • When Mitch asks John if he's a blue, he's probably asking if John's a member of the police. The police seem to have become a fascistic regime in this dystopian future.
  • The final paragraph references Star Trek.

Unresolved Questions

  • Why does John check Mitch's mother for blood or marks on her neck? Is vampirism a problem in this dystopian future?
  • Are John's children his own or has he been "adopted" by a family who didn't have a father along the lines of his questioning at the adoption agency? The hospital has no record of John paying the hospital bill, although he apparently remembers doing so. Also, his children don't seem to resemble John. His children are fair-haired, but John isn't. That's not a conclusive indicator of parentage, of course, but we have seen Wolfe use similar genetic traits to hint at genetic relationships in other stories.
  • Why are the other children in the apartment building afraid of John's son? Is he just a bully or is he different somehow?
  • What's the deal with the graffiti outside John's apartment? Does it specifically target John or his family or is it just meant as further evidence of dystopia?
  • Is John Mitch's biological father? They seem to have a connection that John doesn't have with his own children. Mitch says his mother chose to live in that apartment building because Mitch's father lived there, too, but Mitch says his mother showed him his father one day and he didn't think it was John.

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