By Jeffrey Goddin (?-?).
First appearance: Galaxy, June 1977.
Short story (14 pages).
Online at Archive.org (HERE).
(Note: Faded text; click the "Zoom In" function 3 or 4 times for greater clarity.)
"Now and in the future, murderers are hunted by their dreams!"The Environment, always pleasant, always present, knows Phil Lehman even better
than he does himself; so when Phil starts down a dismal road in pursuit of ill-gotten
gain, a path from which there's no turning back, including an occasional detour into
murder, the Environment knows . . . and waits . . . and plans for that moment, the
perfect moment . . .
Editor's note about this story: "Murder, theft and betrayal in Metropolis A. Combining
the genres of Science Fiction and Mystery is notoriously difficult. Mr. Goddin makes
it look as easy as—dreaming!"
- There's not much about our author on the Wild World Web, except for this (HERE).
- The basic setup in this story is very reminiscent of Robert Sheckley's "Seventh Victim," which we highlighted last summer (HERE).
The bottom line: "Actions are sometimes performed in a masterly and most cunning way, while the direction of the actions is deranged and dependent on various morbid impressions — it's like a dream."