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I am pretty sure this short story/novelette appeared in either Galaxy or Astounding in the 1950s; it was definitely in a magazine and not an anthology. (It isn't Telek by Jack Vance, although it sounds like it.) The place is Earth in the near future and the main character is a 'TK' a telekinetic. TKs are known to the public but feared and loathed. At the beginning of the story someone tries to run him down with a car while shouting "TK! TK! TK!" Unfortunately, that is the only detail I can remember. The story somehow involved crime; it had a real noir feel to it. The interior illustration that appeared with the story showed a man with a gun. Any help is appreciated.

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  • I can't find anything in either Galaxy or Astounding like that. I did find Silverberg's "Hidden Talent" in If, but while it has persecution of espers (telekinetics burned, pyrotics hanged) and uses the "TK" abbreviation, it doesn't otherwise seem to match.
    – DavidW
    Mar 18, 2021 at 22:24
  • The Silverberg story isn't it, but I appreciate your input - it reminded me of details that I can include in my story description. Thanks! Mar 19, 2021 at 20:14
  • Sadly, not en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tk%27tk%27tk
    – FuzzyBoots
    Mar 19, 2021 at 20:58
  • Why do you date it to the 50s? Why to Galaxy or ASF? (The cry "TK! TK! TK!" rings a very, very faint bell. I think I;ve read it, but haven't the faintest idea where.)
    – Mark Olson
    Mar 20, 2021 at 12:34
  • During the '80s I collected 1950s Galaxy & ASF. I had a fairly large collection, but I had to move, they took up a lot of space & I gave them away, something I regret now. This story was in there somewhere... Mar 22, 2021 at 16:16

1 Answer 1

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This could be a partial match for has been confirmed to be Vigorish by John Berrymann (as Walter Bupp). This story was published in Astounding Science Fiction June 1960

In this story telekinetics or "TKs" are a part of society, but not feared as far as I can tell. However, the narrator tells the story of himself being forced into discovering who is stealing from a casino by the TK lodge he belongs to. During this job he is strong-armed by the casino bouncers after being revealed as a TK:

TK!" somebody yelled. He might as well have screamed, "Fire!" the way that mob of gamblers scuttled away from the table.

In another event he is almost run down by a car:

At last I went down the ersatz wooden steps into the neon-gashed night and started across the nearly deserted main drag toward the motel where I had registered. A powerful turbine howled as a car pulled away from the curb, perhaps a hundred yards up the way. His lights came on and snapped up to bright. I had a perfect flash of PC—I do have moments of it, no matter what the Lodge thinks. The car was going to take a dive into the fountain pool in front of my motel. But it sure didn't act like it. I froze in the middle of the road, hearing rubber scream as the driver floored the throttle and hurled the automobile right at me. He might as well have been on tracks. There was no place to go—I was in the middle of a six-lane boulevard, and could never make either curb before he ran me down.

The story has a strong 1940's--1960's gangster feel, including the argot of the times and caricatured bouncers, casino owners, hustlers etc.

Berryman also wrote 3 other stories on the same theme, all published in Analog Science Fiction: Card Trick, Modus Vivendi, and Right Time.

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    That is IT! Thank you! Sep 28, 2021 at 4:27
  • @LeeEckhardt Excellent. I'll edit that in. There are quite a few different authors on this theme in the 1950s/60s - you might like "That sweet little old lady" from ASF by Randall Garrett and Laurence Janifer writing as Mark Phillips, which also has some similar scenes.
    – bob1
    Sep 28, 2021 at 7:19

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