I'm trying to remember the name of a sci fi short story I read back in the 80's or 90's. The story could have been based in the 50's, 60's or 70's. The main character of the story was a bank cashier, a not too smart man that wasn't particularly good at his job. He had trouble with numbers and would give wrong change etc.

Somehow he received some sort of brain implant or computer augmentation. It wasn't via surgery and I seem to recall it may have been via some other dimensional being? The device may have been called an "X-" something or other and may have been a prototype but I'm stretching here and I could be wrong. A side affect of the implant/computer was blinding headaches until he reaches some sort of evolutionary plateau.

He got better at his job was promoted to higher positions etc.

In the course of this it seemed he was becoming almost a God and I remember him evolving or altering a woman to join him. There was his concept of beauty which evolved with him and previously beautiful women were seen as coarse. Mention was made of the size of the pores on their skin.

There was some twist at the end with the female.

  • That is pretty vague. If you can recall anything else about the story, no matter how trivial, please add it to your question. Was the woman a bank employee? Did the man have a dog? "many years ago" could be 10 years ago, or it could be 80 years ago; can you narrow it down a little? Was the story humorous, serious, scary?
    – user14111
    Commented Sep 12, 2017 at 11:38
  • Sounds a little like "The Terminal Man" by Michael Chrichton but that was a novel rather than a short story. The character wasn't a bank cashier, however. Commented Sep 13, 2017 at 1:46
  • possibly the same as scifi.stackexchange.com/questions/179219/… (which is newer but has an accepted answer)
    – Otis
    Commented Feb 20, 2022 at 14:01

1 Answer 1


It's One Against Time by Astron del Martia.

  • Bank cashier
  • God-like (able to meld with stone)
  • Brain implant
  • Concept of beauty and noticing pores
  • Headaches

From goodreads.com:

Harold Newman was a loser. He was a plodding bank clerk whose past was weary and whose future was dull. Until the moment when his mind was activated by a warp in time and he became a super brain - a brilliant freak gifted with the power of twenty computers. Suddenly Harold's future wasn't dull anymore. It was deadly.

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