Simulacrum meltdown 3

"I guess I yearn to be Horselover Fat; he is not just my alter ego; he is my idealized self."


Welcome to the third issue of Simulacrum Meltdown. It's late again. It's become a tradition, frankly, to not come out on a regular schedule. In this instance, I thought it would be ready in July. Fat chance. But here it is at last, for what it's worth… This issue finishes up the Dr. Futurity essay from last time. It has a small section of Phil and drugs promised last time but not the piece on Phil and the FBI. In the essay on Time Out of Joint in SimMelt number 1 I remarked that Phil had made much mention of his old novel in the years following publication. Boy, was that flat out wrong! Frank Bertrand provides the evidence. Perry Kinman is still slogging away at his Razzleweave zine in Japan. "Zine?" I don’t think so. From what I have seen Razzleweave is going to me an encyclopedia! Nadia Markalova continues to publish her Russian-language The God in the Trash. She's up to three issues now. What If Our World Is Their Heaven: The Final Conversations with Philip K. Dick was finally published and contains some fascinating material. But The Selected Letters 1980-1982 is still in limbo. So is the Imposter movie, though I saw a trailer to that on a video this summer. Minority Report is in progress from Spielberg. Jason Koorick's web site continues to rule! And keeps the lines of communication open for all. In the same breath that I announce it's arrival of SimMelt 3 I must also announce its suspension. SimMelt is going into cold-pac for a while. The truth is, it's increasingly difficult to crank these out. It's a matter of enthusiasm and the organizational skills necessary to produce a 30 or 40 page zine. Delays creep into the process and I start making all manner of promises -- "Almost done!" "Just three more pages and it's finished!" "Only have to write an introduction!' "Should be headed for Kinkos any day now!" -- that inevitably fail to materialize. I don't think anyone I make these claims to necessarily held their breath in anticipation. Anybody turning blue out there? If so "quit holdin' out and take another breath." For me it's kind of depressing to have an unfinished issue hanging fire so long. So, more for my own peace of mind than anything else, SimMelt is going off to the Beloved Brethren Moratorium and chill out. But don't worry. This isn't the end. The problem with SimMelt was that it was too many pages. Consequently I've decided to try something smaller and faster. Beginning next month look for PKD Otaku to roll out of the photocopier. In the meantime, thanks to everybody who has supported this venture. Thanks especially to Frank and John and Perry for submitting material for this third issue. The quote at the beginning of Simulacrum Meltdown no. 2 is from a letter Phil wrote to Cathy (no The blurbs this time are not plot elements but rather blurbs about Phil that appeared on various book covers and book backs. Some interesting "authorities" line up to heap praise on out Man in Fullerton. Enjoy.
“One of the most original practitioners writing any kind of fiction, Philip K. Dick made most of the
European avant-garde seem navel-gazers in a cul-de-sac” The
Sunday Times


From Frank Hollander
I'm finally catching up on my PKD zine reading, and I'm hoping you continue with SimMelt. PKD fandom
really needs a fanzine "of record", even if just to list what new books and articles have appeared since the
last issue. The web is great, but these printed artifacts should not be neglected.
I'd like to correct some statements in SimMelt #2 about the timing of "Vulcan's Hammer". First of all, there
is definitely a long sf story that predates "Time Pawn", and that is "The Variable Man", from the pre-SMLA
period. It is easily the longest story not later expanded into a novel (and I believe only because it was
already used as the title story in a collection was it not ripe for such treatment). And I think "The Variable
Man" (quite incorrectly listed as 2600 words in Levack, it probably should be 26,000) is even a little longer
than the original "Vulcan's Hammer", which was substantially expanded for the novel version--it's a 60 page
paperback story in the original version, 135 Ace double pages for the novel.
As for the timing of "Vulcan's Hammer", Paul Williams dates it as "possibly 4/16/53", but Gregg Rickman
reverses the dates, and lists 4/16/54 as the "alternate date of receipt". I've spent a bit of time trying to figure
it out, and I think 4/16/53 is much more likely. PKD's production in 1953 was as follows (*** by the
notable long stories):
"The Trouble with Bubbles" (1/13/53)
"Breakfast at Twilight" (1/17/53) "The Impossible Planet" (2/11/53) ***"A Glass of Darkness" (8/19/53) "Tony and the Beetles" (8/31/53) "Planet for Transients" (3/23/53) "To Serve the Master" (10/21/53) ***"Vulcan's Hammer" (4/16/53 or 4/16/54) "Upon the Dull Earth" (12/30/53) "Foster, You're Dead" (12/31/53) "Vulcan's Hammer" fits almost as comfortably in sequence as "Time Pawn" and "A Glass of Darkness". I believe that the "gap" above is when he first starts slowing down with stories and working seriously on novels. He was working on Voices from the Street ca. 1952-53, and I think major work on that novel fits the 9/53 gap. He finished Solar Lottery by March '54, and I believe he was working on Mary and the Giant during a long gap in the Summer of '54. The World Jones Made was also finished by the end of the year. A longer short story like "Vulcan's Hammer" is not the focus of his writing by the time of Solar Lottery. It fits much better as an early longer sf work that never came together, and written before he was concentrating on making it as a novelist. So that's my best argument for "Vulcan's Hammer" dated 4/16/53, which somewhat undercuts the
significance of "Time Pawn" as a longer work. I think what's happening then is that he is learning how to
churn out the longer stories quickly (as opposed to the time spent on "Second Variety" and probably also the
much earlier "The Variable Man"), and "Vulcan's Hammer" was the first such attempt. Of course, that
would make "Time Pawn" the second.
One last note: "Cantata 140" is wrapped up with a page or two of text which is not included in The Crack in
From Gerardo Acosta
At last, SimMelt 2 arrived at home. Reading SimMelt 1 was such a nice experience. As I told you once,
TOJ is also of my favorite PKD novels. I read it before the other novels concerning lost reality. It amazed
me so much. Reading your article makes me remember when I read TOJ for the first time. I do not agree
with some of your "what if?" comments. I think that the fact of the soft drink stand is like other dickinan
elements. It just appears in the book, it doesn't have to have a real reason. Remember the novel OUR
FRIENDS FROM FROLIX 8? There is a scene in which some astronauts found the remains of God floating
in the space. Such scene is out of the context of the novel. Dick could have omitted such part. But the reason
of including such part, give a novel a different taste.
I think that more or less the same happens with the soft drink stand scene in TOJ. I agree that the world in
which Ragle Gumm lives is a faked one, in the sense that they are really leaving in 1998. But the people and
the things that belong to Ragle's world are real. If Ragle sees a person, then he's seen a real flesh and blood
guy or girl. If he sees a soft-drink stand then he is seeing a real one. Why then does it then disappear? The
reason of the soft drink stand, I guess, is only to cover a fake. Ragle is living in 1955 (or what age?) and a
soft drink stand of that age is enough to fake to his eye and convinced his that he's living in such year. But
once he sees the soft drink stand, he sees it disappearing. So it wasn't enough to put a soft drink stand of that
year, or maybe he watched one of the imperfections of that faked world. People made this charade but not all
is perfect, sometimes they commit mistakes, I agree with that. But a "mistake" I believe is when someone
makes a comment that is not a proper one, it shows that something is wrong. The magazine that just appears
in Ragle's world showing a beautiful girl that doesn't exist in such world (Marilyn Monroe) and some person
commented that he has heard about her. This is what I understand as a mistake in that faked world, but not
the disappearing of an object, or a person. I think that in that scene Dick is only playing with the reader,
nothing else. Since logically speaking, the disappearing of the soft drink stand has no sense.
“Perhaps the greatest writer SF has produced to date” City Limits
Upon reading an article about
Philip K. Dick
What if entry is made to the mind? What if we loose the force of binding that glues the fabric? Can it be that there are others out there that see into our minds? of other computers. Electrical waves are quantifiable. We are electric. The waves of the future are the waves of the past/present sending shock waves to the inhabitants of the planet. Blanket protection is non-existent. Penetration confirmed. No secrets, all waves readable-- nicrocosms and mishmash, deliberate lies and truths, readouts of fantasies-- partial parables, fables. [This poem originally appeared in the Spring 1989 issue of Western Ohio Journal]
Dick was sf’s greatest extrapolator of modern angst.” New York Daily News
Joints Out of Time: PKD comments on his novel Time Out Of Joint – in
chronological order…
Compiled by Frank C. Bertrand

“…allow me to declare happily that at last a major US hard-cover publisher is bring out a novel of
mine: J.B. Lippincott is printing a “novel of menace” by me in the spring…”
[ltr. 12/30/58]
“I want to do a psychological s-f book in the tradition of my TIME OUT OF JOINT.”
[ltr. 1/4/60]
“In TIME OUT OF JOINT. The book was written some time ago, and the older world into which
they moved, out of their real future world, was in point of fact the actual time-period in which I was
living, along with everybody else. At least that’s how I recall it. Am I wrong? Isn’t it the ‘fifties in
Joint, not the thirties?” [ltr. 9/8/70]
“Did I tell you another novel of mine is being made into a movie? TIME OUT OF JOINT, an early
novel – the young producers renewed their option money payment for an additional year.” [ltr.
“Mr. Zwack mentions that he’d like to see my novel TIME OUT OF JOINT. If you don’t have a
copy, I do and will, upon your request, send it to you.” [ltr. 3/15/73]
“TIME OUT OF JOINT, on which they’ve now paid $6,000 option money, has as I recall few
female roles.” [ltr. 6/22/73]
“Belmont published the reprint of TIME OUT OF JOINT.” [ltr. 10/7/73]
“You could also ask them for reversion on TIME OUT OF JOINT.” [ltr. 10/19/73]
“And I also have an option by a movie company on TIME OUT OF JOINT.” [ltr. 12/18/73] “My first hard-cover novel, Time Out of Joint sold for $750. And my agent was so excited that he sent me a telegram to announce this joyous news.” [interview, February 1974, Vertex Magazine] “That smaller advance, $750, was on my first hardcover novel sale, TIME OUT OF JOINT.” [ltr. 3/15/74] “TIME OUT OF JOINT. Option in force by Martin Scorsese/Jay Cooks.” [ltr. 2/27/75] “The only two we haven’t looked into are: TIME OUT OF JOINT (Belmont 92-618 1965) THE ZAP GUN (Pyramid R-1569 1967)….Actually I am sort of laughing quietly because originally TIME OUT OF JOINT (which Don specifically asks about in this letter) was shown to him at Ace, and he rejected it furiously, saying it was so terrible as to defeat description.” [ltr. 5/5/75] “I remember how Don Wollheim, back in the Fifties, viewed the MS of TIME OUT OF JOINT; if he were to publish it, substantial revisions (on the order of those you propose for SCANNER) would have had to take place. However, while Don was stating these proposals, Lippincott was purchasing it as it stood for their hardback market. It was my first hardback sale. True, Lippincott did not pay me as much as Ace Books would have, but in my opinion, I was right to leave TIME OUT OF JOINT as it stood, which was exactly the way Lippincott wanted it (except that they did want the ending beefed up, which I agreed with, and did).” [ltr. mid-March ‘76] “The big change came when I wrote The Man in the High Castle, because that book was not written for Donald Wollheim. I had sold Time Out of Joint, and had gotten the idea of selling a hardcover novel.” [interview, June 20, 1977, The Dream Connection] “In TIME OUT OF JOINT the world is fake, & specifically the real world is another time-segment. My initial revelation in 3-74 was that the time was really around 70 AD – not later but earlier, a reversal of JOINT. Yet, the basic intimation is there, fully, in JOINT; this is all a cunningly fabricated delusion, the world we see, & the basic delusion has to do with the true Temporal locus. Since JOINT was SF I naturally put the real time in the future, not the past. Damn it. I’ve overlooked the extraordinary parallel between JOINT & my “it’s really 70 AD!” experience. E.g.: the dream I had of the dark, old-fashioned house with the archaic window shades, the cracked mirror – & realizing I couldn’t get out of that world without God’s help. My incessantly recurring dream at the 1126 Francisco St house – that’s where I lived when I wrote JOINT – that was the Fake world of the novel, & resembles the miserable old house in Placentia dream. Is there some clue in my 1126 Francisco St dream? It was with Joan that I so recently saw it again, after many years. Maybe I have a soul which leaves my body in sleep & goes back in time &, (as in 3-74, forward). Back in the Fifties when I lived at 1126 Francisco St actually, as expressed in JOINT that world seemed unreal; in actuality, “it was decades later” (in JOINT).” [In Pursuit of Valis, 1977] “So JOINT, EYE, STIGMATA, UBIK, MAZE & TEARS are progressive parts of one unfolding true narrative, in which the genuine Hermetic macro-microcosmology is put forth.” [In Pursuit of Valis, c. 1977] “2) JOINT world as simulated deliberately.” [In Pursuit of Valis, c. 1977] “God, all my “this is illusion” writing (EYE, JOINT, STIGMATA, UBIK, MAZE) are analogs of the USA 1974 vs. the glimpse of Rome CAD 45 via the Golden Fish sign.” [In Pursuit of Valis, July 1978] “USA 1974 fades out, ancient Rome fades in & with it the Thomas personality & true memories. Jeez! Mixture of “Impostor,” JOINT & MAZE – if not UBIK as well.” [In Pursuit of Valis, July 1978] “JOINT depicts a deliberately Fake world, designed to occlude one.” [In Pursuit of Valis, 1978] “EYE, JOINT, 3 STIGMATA, UBIK & MAZE are the same novel written over & over again. The characters are all out cold & lying around together on the floor, mass hallucinating a world. Why have I written this up at least five times?” [In Pursuit of Valis, 1978] “Polyencephalic fusion in MAZE, the fake past in JOINT, but best of all, the Satanic bogus worlds in STIGMATA, because in STIGMATA the correct source/cause is presented.” [In Pursuit of Valis, 1978] “I remember what gave me the idea for JOINT, the reflex of reaching for a light chain – overhead – when there wasn’t one.” [In Pursuit of Valis, 1978] “The on-off overhead light chain that wasn’t there – that was my first clue…& (as shown in JOINT) I saw that a time dysfunction – or deception – was what it was all about.” [In Pursuit of Valis, 1978] “ 9) Every other relevant story & novel, from JOINT to “Remember Wholesale,” “Electric Ant,” “Retreat Syndrome,” etc., not listed in 1) through 8).” [In Pursuit of Valis, 1978] “real situation: MAZE EYE JOINT” [In Pursuit of Valis, 1978] “2) JOINT the world is fake – & the time is mistaken” [In Pursuit of Valis, 1978] “JOINT opens with a telltale anachronism. Symptoms – or signs – unveiling the world as spurious abound. Strip the fake world away & another one appears, even set in a different time.” [In Pursuit of Valis, 1978] “I wrote Time Out of Joint in the 1950s, before I had even heard of LSD. In that book a guy walks up to a lemonade stand in the park, and it turns into a slip of paper marked Soft Drink Stand, and he puts the slip of paper in his pocket. Far-fucking-out, spacey, that’s an ‘acid experience.’ If I didn’t know better I’d say that this author had turned on many times, and is universe was coming unglued – he’s obviously living in a fake universe. What I was trying to do in that book was account for the
diversity of worlds that people live in. I had not read Heraclitus then. I didn’t know his concept of
ideos kosmos, the private world, versus koinos kosmos, which we all share. I didn’t know that the
pre-Socratics had begun to discern these things. There’s a scene in the book where the protagonist
goes into his bathroom, reaches in the dark for a pull-cord, and suddenly realizes there is no cord,
there’s a switch on the wall, and he can’t remember when he ever had a bathroom where there was
a cord hanging down. Now, that actually happened to me, and it was what caused me to write the
book.” [interview, May 1979, Dream Makers]
“The cover for TIME OUT OF JOINT is stunning. I love that vast brooding
somewhat whacked-out face hovering over the landscape like some kind of
nutso deity. Yes, the title can’t be read in that cover; you’re right. I did indeed
read the Gregg Press intro to JOINT and enjoyed it.” [ltr. 7/26/79]
“SOFT DRINK STAND in JOINT” the plasmate. Perseverance of subcortical
learned reflexes; there must be unremembered (by us) reprogrammings of the
hologram (this fits in with Thomas’ subcortical memories of a cooler, moister,
higher-altitude climate that he had just been in).” [In Pursuit of Valis, 12
October 1979]
“Hence MITHC is an early pseudo-world novel of mine, like JOINT & EYE
& STIGMATA & UBIK & MAZE.” [In Pursuit of Valis, 1979]
“You’ve got to realize that they [most of his literary novels] were written
before Time Out of Joint, they were written before that.” [In His Own
, 4/22/81]
Time Out of Joint {1958}. Now that was a really perilous gamble on my
part to write because there was no chance that Donald Wollheim would buy Time Out of Joint.
That meant that I could not possible sell it as a science fiction novel. It was bought by Lippincott as
a “novel of menace.” I only got 750 bucks for it. It was really a risky thing to do. But there again
we are dealing with fake reality and I had become obsessed with the idea of fake reality. I was just
fascinated with the idea. So that’s a pivotal book in terms of my career. It was my first hardcover
sale, and it was the first novel in which the entire world is fake. You find yourself in it when you
pick up the book and turn to page one. The world that you are reading about does not exist. And
this was to be essentially the premise of my entire corpus of writing, really.” [In His Own Words,
“And I wrote Time Out of Joint in ’58, and we only got $750 for it. And we couldn’t sell it as
science fiction at all, we sold it to Lippincott as a “novel of menace.” And Donald Wollheim read
that – it got submitted to Ace by mistake – and Wollheim – I’ve never read such a long, angry letter
from an editor in my life. He was incredibly threatened by that novel. He saw everything that he
construed as science fiction as going down the tubes with what that novel did. If it ever got into
print, which he doubted it ever would, he said the only thing salvageable was the last chapter,
where there was the war on the moon. And I should build back from the last chapter. And the style
was wrong, because it was essentially pedestrian, he said…” [In His Own Words, 10/12/81]

“Break the power of fake world by means of info. (1) UBIK (2) 2-3-74 hence VALIS & JOINT &
MAZE etc.” [In Pursuit of Valis, 1981]
“The book bubbles with original ideas, often funny and profound at once. Literally cosmic.”
(reviewing Dr. Bloodmoney)
The Doctor Will See You Now: the Evolution of Dr. Futurity

Part 2: Dr. Futurity

After "Time Pawn" Phil continued to write short stories but in 1955 he turned his hand to full-length novels. Solar Lottery appeared in 1955, The World Jones Made and The Man who Japed in 1956, Eye in the Sky in 1957 and finally Time Out of Joint in 1959. These novels brought a fair amount of critical attention from Damon Knight in his seminal collection In Search of Wonder. Reviewing Solar Lottery Knight wrote "Dick has caught and intensified the bare-nerve tautness of our own society at its worst, and put it on paper here so you can see, hear, feel and smell it." Knight concludes, "at his intermittent best, Dick is still one of the most vital and working science fiction writers." But by now Phil was ready to abandon science fiction for mainstream works. He had completed at least eight such novels and finished the manuscript for the ninth, Confessions of a Crap Artist, in 1959. None of these works were accepted for publication at the time. Crap Artist wasn't published until 1975, the others not until after Phil's death. Phil was seen as a science fiction author and it was his science fiction works that sold. So, unsurprisingly, it was to SF that he returned. At some point, probably 1959, Donald Wolheim at Ace Books suggested that Phil expand his old “Time Pawn” story to novel length and Phil agreed. He probably needed the money after the failure of his realistic novels to find a market. He heavily revised and enlarged Jim Parsons' adventures in early 1959, the manuscript reaching Scott Meredith on July 28 of that year. We learn from some of Phil’s correspondence that Wolheim had reservations about the new version. Apparently Wolheim felt he had been “stuck or stung” in the deal. In a letter to Meredith, dated January 4, 1960, Phil denies this, saying he had been completely candid with Wolheim about the changes he planned and the new direction he intended to go with the material. Anyway, he continues, Wolheim “had the legal right to reject my work entirely [or] to request any amount of changes he wished.” Phil also remarked “that TIME PAWN rework almost killed me; it was the hardest job I’ve done to date.” Unfortunately we do not have Phil’s outline and letter to Wolheim nor Wolheim’s objections so the incident is unclear. In any event, Ace published the novel despite Wolheim’s complaints in February 1960 and without, as far as we know, any major changes. Ace, as was their habit, changed Phil’s title. Phil seemed unaware of this as he still referred to the novel as Time Pawn as late as January. But it was as Doctor Futurity that the book appeared being one half of an Ace Double (D-421). (The other half of the book was John Brunner’s Slavers of Space.) It carried an unimaginative cover by Edward Valigursky and the teaser line “A bag of tricks for the future.” The price was 35 cents. It was re-issued as another Ace Double (15697) in September 1972, (this time with Phil’s The Unteleported Man as the second half), sporting a truly dreadful cover by Bergman and the legend “HE WAS THE PUPPET OF THE FUTURE’S WOLVES” across the top. The price had gone up to 95 cents. In January 1979 Berkley Books purchased a package of Phil’s novels for $14,000. These were The Cosmic Puppets, the complete version of The Unteleported Man and Dr. Futurity. Mark Hurst, who arranged the sale, later told Paul Williams that there were plans for a “heavily revised Dr. Futurity (changing the title to Time Pawn and adding some sex)” but this never took place. The Berkley edition was finally published, unchanged, as Dr. Futurity in August 1984, more than two years after Phil’s death. It contains the banner “HIS CHILLING TIME TRAVEL CLASSIC” and another lackluster cover illustration. The price tag had reached $2.75. There have been a number of foreign language editions over the years. An Italian translation, Il Dottor Futuro, was published in 1963 and again in 1995; one French translation under the title Le Voyageur De L’inconnu published in 1974, and two more as Docteur Future in 1988 and 1993; and at least one German edition, Schachfigur im Zeitspiel, published in 1983. There do not appear to be any Japanese or Russian editions – even Vulcan’s Hammer has a Russian edition. There were also at least four British editions, the most recent in an omnibus of three early novels (The Man Who Japed, Dr. Futurity and Vulcan’s Hammer) published in 2000. When Vintage and, later, Del Ray republished many of Phil’s novels in the 90s they skipped Dr. Futurity. The Berkley is the last American edition. Phil did not think very highly of his novel. In 1981 he told Gregg Rickman, “Dr. Futurity – Well
that’s just worthless. Again, it was an attempt to turn out a novel to make money. It was the state of the art at the time. That was the state at which science fiction was at that point.” Nevertheless, he later explained to Scot Apel, “Whenever I write a book, I really write as well as I can. That even includes Vulcan’s Hammer, Dr. Futurity and The Unteleported Man. It isn’t that I say, ‘Well, I’m only paid three cents a word; what the fuck; crummy pay, crummy book.’ I really try to write a good book, but they don’t all come out good. The intent is not sufficient to guarantee a good result.” Reviewers at the time were of much the same mind. Damon Knight, somewhat surprisingly, gave it the most positive evaluation. Writing in the June 1960 issue of The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, Knight while deploring the "less than plausible " plot and "frequent stylistic howlers" nevertheless praised Phil's "unexpected vividness and power." He remarked that "almost alone among s.f. writers to make the politics of his future worlds sound like more than perfunctory pieties." P. Schuyler Miller, in the October 1960 issue of Analog, thought “Some of the details of the future culture are brilliantly drawn; others, like the Latin-German-whatsit language, just don’t convince. By the end it’s a little hard to work out the score or even who’s up.” In Worlds of If for July 1960, Frederik Pohl concluded, “Dick’s narrative is neither bald nor unconvincing. It is quite convincing. It is even hairy. What flaws the story is a really excessive troweling-on of time paradoxes, so that most everybody turns out to be almost anybody else.” These less-than-enthusiastic views were codified in the first edition of The Science Fiction Encyclopedia (1979). The citation for Phil includes the judgment, “PKD is a complex writer who sometimes seems to lose control of his work. He occasionally becomes trapped in ideative mazes and sidetracked, unable to find any kind of resolution – cardinal examples are Dr. Futurity…which leaves most of its questions unresolved and The Unteleported Man….” Lawrence Sutin dismisses the novel as “a potboiler that barely bubbles.” Gregg Rickman, usually Phil’s most generous readers, merely says “The book is probably most interesting in its play on the themes of motherhood, abortion, sterility and genetic engineering, all concerns of Dick which the book rather unpleasantly hastens through.” And Jonathan Lethem, while reviewing The Dark Haired Girl in the Spring 1979 issue of the PKDS Newsletter remarks, “I’m more comfortable imagining a new reader stumbling across, say, DR FUTURITY, than this….” I don’t believe he meant that as a compliment. When it came time to expand “Time Pawn” into a novel, Phil recycled a great deal of his original work. The first five chapters of Dr. Futurity are essentially the same as the short story. The future is better defined, there is more detail about the society and the narrative is more logical. There are certain changes in the basic structure. Parsons is now in California rather than New York. He is only 400 years in the future instead of 700. Males are sterilized at the onset of puberty instead of at birth – someone must have pointed out the flaw in Phil’s earlier scheme. Gametes are still harvested based on success in the Lists – and the fact that the participants are pre-pubescent children continues to be ignored. To further the expanded plot the nature of the Cube government is changed. In “Time Pawn” it is essentially decent, even humane. In the novel it is much less so. It is now something of a police state using specially trained juveniles called "shupos" as vicious storm troopers. The woman, Icara, is shot not by a companion but by the shupos during a raid on a clandestine political meeting. The title “Stenog” is now a name, Al Stenog, and he is depicted as vaguely sinister and decadent, rather like an SS official. And the Cube government is aware of time travel. They initiated the experiments but abandoned it as unproductive. Most of the key elements of the short story -- the culture of death, the operation of the Cube, Parsons' “crime” of restoring the injured and his sentence to exile on Mars – remain intact in the novel, sometimes uncomfortably so. It would appear that Phil had no desire to begin his novel from scratch and by using most of “Time Pawn” he had nearly a third of the novel written before he started. The big changes begin in Chapter Six. Parsons is launched into space in an automated ship. But instead of being immediately knocked out of the sky the flight proceeds deep into space. Parsons is looking at Mars approaching on his view port when the planet suddenly disappears. After a time a second space ship comes along side. Two men enter and tell Parsons they are there in a time ship to rescue him. They explain they have transported Parsons’ ship into the future to avoid interference from the Earth government. But before they can continue both men are gunned down by a shupo hidden in the walls of the cabin. One of the rescuers manages to kill the shupo before dying, leaving Parsons totally alone, lost in space and time. Parsons makes his way to the time ship and experiments with the controls. Eventually he lands the ship on a desolated planet that he assumes to be Mars. Searching the surface he discovers a stone marker with a message etched on metal addressed to him! It contains instructions for operating the time ship. The moon rises in the sky and Parsons sees that it is Earth’s moon. He is on a far-future Earth grown old and nearly lifeless, abandoned by mankind. Perplexed he returns to his vessel. Following the instructions he sends the time ship back into the past and emerges in the Wolf Clan’s stronghold to be met by Loris and much of the plot of “Time Pawn” continues. Again, Loris wants Parsons to revive the cold-pack preserved Corinth. The difference this time is that Corinth has been killed by an arrow through his heart. The arrow is still protruding from his chest. Once more Parsons is successful in restoring Corinth to life. At this point, Dr. Futurity leaves behind the “Time Pawn” material and becomes a completely new work, albeit containing many of the previous characters. While Corinth is recovering from surgery he is killed again by an unseen assailant and once more by means of an arrow through his heart. Nixina then explains to Parsons that Corinth had originally been killed in 1579. He had been obsessed with stopping the English from colonizing North America and, using the time travel equipment, had gone back to the past to assassinate Francis Drake when he landed on the California coast. Dressed as an American Indian of the period, complete with bow and arrows, but armed with modern weapons, Corinth planned to kill the Englishman and so frighten off further incursions to the New World by Elizabethan explorers. Instead, he planned to populate the past with the Wolf Clan. In this way he hopes to prevent the near annihilation of the North American indigenous population by the English colonists. But alone on his way down to the beach he himself had been mysteriously killed. The Wolf Clan had brought him forward to his own time and put his body in cold-pack while they sought medical attention. His second death leads them to believe that his death is immutable by some law of time they don't understand. However, an analysis of the original arrow, which Parsons' had removed, shows that the weapon had been made with materials not available until the 20th Century. Corinth had been killed in the past, but not by someone from the past. His assassin had, like Corinth himself, come from the future. In an attempt to discover who had killed Corinth, another expedition to 1579 is organized. They land at a slightly different spot so as not to meet themselves from the first attempt. Parsons goes down to the beach and meets Drake. Only it is not Drake; it's Al Stenog! Stenog has come to 1579 to stop Corinth. The Soul Cube government had finally perfected time travel for itself and, somehow learning of Corinth's plot to alter history has taken measures to prevent him so to preserve their culture. Shocked, Parsons runs away. As he climbs up the bluffs he meets Corinth. Parsons tries to stop him from reaching the beach where Stenog, armed with sophisticated weapons from his own era, awaits. But Corinth doesn't believe him and, seeing that Parsons is a white man, jumps to the conclusion that he is an enemy. He attacks Parsons and in the struggle Parsons accidentally kills him with one of own Corinth's arrows. Parsons, horrified, realizes that he was the "assassin." He had come back in time to investigate the death of his patient only to become the instrument of his patient's death. Loris and the rest of her party, now understanding the truth, abandon Parsons in the past. They drop him off slightly later in time, after Drake/Stenog has departed. Parsons wanders the beach for a day when suddenly a time ship appears. It is Loris, come back to rescue him. Parsons is not completely surprised. He knew he would somehow have to get back to the future because he realizes that he will also kill Corinth the second time. He is to be the unknown assailant who plunges a second arrow into the man as he lies recovering from surgery. He must do it; otherwise when Corinth awakes he will identify Parsons as the man who stabbed him in 1579. Loris and Parsons return to the future. Seizing an opportunity, Parsons steals a time ship and returns to the evening of Corinth's surgery. He enters the room with an arrow ready to kill the helpless man. But he can't do it. He is unable to deliberately murder another human being, even to save his own life. He returns to the time ship but then realizes that someone did kill Corinth the second time. But who? Fine-tuning the controls of the time ship he returns to witness the murder and sees two strangers, a man and a woman, plunge the arrow into the victim's heart. Finally, all is revealed. The strangers are Parsons' own grown-up twin children. Loris had returned to find Parsons in the 16th Century because she discovered she was pregnant with his children. After the children grow to adulthood they realize they must return to the near past to save their father by killing their grandfather. The society in which they live is much different from the culture first Parsons encountered. The medical arts were being clandestinely revived and a new ethical era was about to start. Forced sterilization of males would end; the Soul Cube would become voluntary and natural childbirth would be allowed. His children and their colleagues are responsible for this change and, using the time ship, have gone father into the future and so know that they will ultimately triumph. But Parsons himself will not be a part of this. He must return to his own time, albeit with access to a time ship so he could visit the future from time to time. He will have two families (and two wives), one in his "present" and one in his "future." Parsons does go back home. The book ends with him carefully constructing the stone marker that he will take to the far future on a dead Earth, the marker that will instruct him on how to operate the time ship after he escapes the Mars shuttle. For it is Parsons himself, knowing that someday he will need it, who will now create it in the first place. In part one of this essay I suggested that Dr. Futurity ranked as Phil's "least successful novel." I base this opinion, in the first place, on the many internal inconsistencies in the work. Corinth's ultimate plan to prevent the colonization of North America by the British by assassinating Drake and his fellow explorers one by one is really ludicrous. How is this supposed to frighten the English? The death of one man or several could not possibly hold back ultimate colonization. Especially so as the Spanish have already taken Mexico and are exploiting its great wealth to solidify their power in Europe. Even supposing Corinth's plan had worked, such a vast alteration of the past would completely change the course of human history and negated the events that eventually lead to Corinth's own existence, not to mention the society and technology that make time travel possible. Parsons brings this issue up but Loris brushes him off. She claims the far future would not be terribly altered. This is absurd. If the British fail to colonize North America there would be no Thirteen Colonies, hence no United States. The world would certainly go on but to say history would not be radically changed makes no sense. Paradox is always an issue in sf time-travel stories. Phil notes that but, breathtakingly, moves right on, totally unconcerned. The time ships are another problem. Do they work well or don't they? Bringing Parsons into the future was so inexact the conspirators actually lost him. But later on they can fine-tune their machines to an incredible degree, moving back and forth by minutes to arrive at a particular point in time. With all the jumping around from era to era it's sometime hard to keep track but, in biological time, Parsons' adventures unfold over the course of only a week or two. What about Al Stenog? Is he Francis Drake or only impersonating him? Loris tells Parsons that Stenog "remained in Drake's place for ten years or so" in case Corinth made another attempt to change the past. If he is "Drake" born in the 25th Century than what happened to the real Drake, the one born in 1541 who fought the Spanish Armada? The character of Jim Parsons does undergo a moral advancement. Unlike the fairly cold-blooded killing he performs in "Time Pawn," in the novel he harms no one, except accidentally while defending himself. Indeed, he consciously refuses to take Corinth's life a second time, even though it may well mean his own death. The other problem with Dr. Futurity, in my view, is that the plot from the "Time Pawn" and the plot for the novel-length version simply do not adhere. "Time Pawn" is fundamentally about the future "death society." But the expanded material is not concerned with that aspect at all. Indeed, we never hear of it again until, perfunctorily, at the very end of the novel. In retrospect it would have been far better for Phil to have scrapped his original novelette and begun the novel fresh. But it is clear that Phil's heart simply wasn't in this work. Unsatisfactory as the final results were, by recycling "Time Pawn" he already had one third of the novel out of the way. The remaining two-thirds really do have a "what the fuck; crummy pay, crummy book" feel to it. No wonder Wolheim was annoyed. And no wonder Vintage and Del Ray declined to ever bring it back into print. This makes Mark Hurst's plans to "heavily revise and add some sex" plan for Dr. Futurity in 1979 Could Phil have done so? It seems unlikely. He remarked to Gregg Rickman concerning a planned re-write of The Unteleported Man, "I can't get back into the action-adventure stuff." Dr. Futurity would have been even a worse problem. Phil began revising The Unteleported Man in 1979. Remember that UTM was part of the package of novels, including Dr. Futurity purchased that year for revision. What if he had attempted a revision of Dr. Futurity, as Hurst desired? Conceivably he could have concentrated on the "death society" elements of "Time Pawn" and totally recast the whole plot to change history. He had written on both elements in the not-too distant past. "The Pre-Persons," written in 1973, certainly depicts a "death society" and he tackled the time-travel theme again in "A Little Something for us Tempunauts" also written in 1973. Consider what Phil was writing circa 1979. He completed VALIS in 1978. The next year he wrote "The Exit Door Leads In" and "Chains of Air, Web of Aether." In 1980 he completed The Divine Invasion, "I Hope I Shall Arrive Soon" and "Rautaava's Case." Timothy Archer was finished in May 1981. In the winter of 1981 he returned to the revision of UTM, writing what became the first chapter of Lies, Inc. in which Rachmael ben Applebaum dreams he is a rat (or a rat dreams he is Rachmael ben Applebaum). Given these writings, was there any way Phil could have returned to Dr. Futurity and written a satisfactory revision? I don't know. There are certainly old-fashion sf tropes in some of the short stories from that time and The Divine Invasion. Lies both raises and dashes one's hopes. Much of it is, to me, incomprehensible. What revisions Phil did make only confuse the plot even more than in the original. But I find that first chapter to be wonderful, one of the funniest things Phil ever wrote. If Phil had seriously wanted to rewrite Dr. Futurity he would have to do exactly what he refused to do in 1959: scrap most of it and start fresh with a few key elements. In effect, he would have to write a brand new book. So, much as I would have loved to see "a heavily revised Dr. Futurity (changing the title to Time Pawn and adding some sex),” better by far if he had spent the time working on The Owl In Daylight. Phil had reused one key element from this failed novel. In 1964 Corinth appeared again in the form of David Lantano of The Penultimate Truth. In a neat plot reversal, Lantano is a Cherokee Indian from the Sixteenth Century brought to the future to save society (in part by assassinating a man). Was Phil conscious of the parallels? Was he rehabilitating Corinth? If so, what a curious end to his old story.
“Philip K. Dick’s best books have always described a future that is both entirely recognizable and
utterly unimanageable.” New York Times Book Review

“More than anyone else in the field, Mr. Dick really puts you inside people’s minds.” Wall Street

From the Time Scoop

I Ching Toward Bethlehem Letters that appeared in the December 4, 1975 issue of in Rolling Stone.
(And, yes, there is something wrong with the last letter: “five years ago” should perhaps be “five years old.”

Phil K. Dick Interview This originally appeared in the May 1980 issue of Slash. I’m not sure but I think
Phil might be stoned.

Is it okay to write you a fan letter about an article concerning me? Long ago Paul Williams had sent me a
copy of his piece on me and I liked it a hell of a lot, but I never anticipated the nifty layout, format,
presentation you’d give it. That sort of strobe-light title on page 45 – wow! It captures the whole unreal,
eerie quality of my experience related in the article. Also, the photographs, the way they were arranged and
burned… it scared the hell out of me and my friends. The whole thing, article and presentation, is a scary
piece which everyone I’ve talked to has liked. I do think that the full-page color illo is good. The more all
of us guys here looked at it the more we feel it captures and freezes the whole thing perfectly.
I’ve been getting excited calls from everyone about this; the phone is always ringing. And people are
dropping by and just sort of sitting there and looking at me. I’m already a subscriber to Rolling Stone
anyhow, and I take my cues from it in regards to new albums, etc. What artists are good and which are not.
I feel like going out and buying a whole lot of my own books, right now. Your stuff has that compelling
authority; I think we all look to it to tell us what’s doing and where the new action is.
My mother-in-law had one comment: “I’m glad he’s off dope,” she said to my wife, her daughter. Again
thanks to everyone concerned.
Damn it, you guys! First Bruce Springsteen and now Philip Dick – you’ve taken them away from me and given them to the masses. (It was only inevitable, though.) I’m somewhat consoled by the inclusion of the complete list of his books – good to know there are still several I haven’t read. I was 17 years old and fresh from my first LSD trip when I was given Philip K. Dick’s Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldrich. I thought that I was going mad; bursting between intergalactic universes, haunted by fourth-dimensional illusions, twisted from throbbing auditory hallucinations, stricken with cellular convulsions and generally scared shitless. The acid hardly bothered me at all, but that book is a fucking mind grinder. Kudos to Paul Williams for his fine article on Philip K. Dick. Only one slight problem: Paul’s statement that the I Ching was unheard of in America in 1961 “except by Jungian scholars and students of Chinese literature” is erroneous. Alan Watts, without whose work we would all still be five years ago, was writing about the I Ching in the Fifties (see his The Way of Zen, 1957). Watts was one of the early popularizers of the I Ching. Just want to give credit where credit is due.
“A brilliant, idiosycratic, formidably intelligent writer.Dick illuminates. He cast light. He gives off a
radience. " Washington Post

Philip K. Dick is 51 years old. Since 1955 he’s written 35 books that have been translated into eighteen
languages. He has five ex-wives, two cats and lives 10 minutes from Disneyland. Of the books he has
written, his personal favorites are, The Man in the High Castle, Dr. Bloodmoney, and Through a Scanner
Darkly. His latest book, VALIS, will be released in February, with the sequel to be published sometime in
the spring. Mr. Dick says he doesn’t take drugs anymore, but thinks about them all the time. Despite stories
to the contrary, he’s a real charming guy.
The interview was conducted in Mr. Dick’s conapt by Gary and Nicole Panter. K.W. Jeter, one of Dick’s
close friends and author of the yet unpublished but excellent DR. ADDER, attended and added his
DICK: Um … fuck.
JETER: Beer?
SLASH: I don’t drink beer.
DICK: I don’t drink beer either. What’s so … so … I’m tired of all this circle of … of effete intellectual …
this circle of intellectuals who drink beer. (laughter)
SLASH: Is this a conapt?
DICK: It definitely is a conapt.
SLASH: Is a conapt a combination of condominium and apartment?
DICK: Yes.
SLASH: So the people in your stories own their own apartments?
DICK: They own them and are doomed to live in them. And they are also doomed to participate in
meetings with the other owners and have complaints made about their moral lives.
SLASH: Like in small towns … do you go to these meetings?
DICK: Yes, it’s mandatory.
SLASH: What do they say?
DICK: They say how come your car has got dust all over it? So I park in a dark corner of the garage so no
one can see it. This one old lady built a little door for her cat to go in and out of and in a meeting someone
complained that they saw cat shit out on the walkway and now she’s responsible for all the cat shit anyone
sees around.
SLASH: Can they make you move out if the other tenants don’t like you?
DICK: No, they can’t get you out they can just sue you to death.
SLASH: Were you raised in a religious organization?
Dick: No.
SLASH: Are you anti organized religion?
Dick: Yes. Technically, I’m Episcopalian, but I don’t ever go. I’m interested in them because they’re a
barrio church and they do lot of civil service work … technically I’m a religious anarchist.
SLASH: Is this Orange County?
DICK: Very Definitely … I bet that’s good beer. The Germs are breaking up, huh? The cat’s laughing at
me … But Darby Crash is going to start his own band.
SLASH: Yeah, how’d you know?
DICK: I know … I know this stuff. Did I do that right? I sure like the Plugz. Now the beach bands like the
Circle Jerks …
SLASH: Darby has a mohican now which brings up the kids you wrote about that modeled themselves after
South American Indians or was it Africans. When did you begin to write about mutant youth cultures?
DICK: In my writing? TIME OUT OF JOINT in 1958.
SLASH: Were you a beatnik then … a bohemian?
DICK: I was all of those things. I knew the first beatnik. His name was Charles McLane … oh, the first
hippy. I’m sorry. He was into drugs – that would be hippy.
SLASH: What made a beatnik, alcohol?
DICK: Some were into drugs. The difference was there was more of an emphasis on creative work with the
beatniks. You had to write … much less emphasis on drugs.
SLASH: How far does a bohemian or lunatic fringe go back?
JETER: To the Bohemians in the twenties …
DICK: Wrong! Puccini’s LA BOHEME describes people who were poets and singers and who burned their
pictures in the 19th Century. The furthest I can remember back is the thirties to the WPA artists paid by the
government. They became the bohemian strata of the United States.
SLASH: What prompted you in 1958 to begin writing about this kind of youth culture? Kids with teeth
filed to points?
DICK: Yeah, I don’t know. It wasn’t until ’71 in a speech I delivered in Vancouver that I was consciously
discussing the rise of the youth culture. I glorified punks “kids who would neither read, watch, remember,
or be intimidated.” I spoke of the rise of a youth culture which would overthrow the government.
SLASH: Do you still think that’s the case?
DICK: I certainly do.
SLASH: Have you got a timetable?
DICK: What time is it now? (laughter) Any day now I expect to hear that swarms have entered the White
House and broken all the furniture.
SLASH: What comes after that?
DICK: Oops!
SLASH: You wrote in one story about a system of enforced anarchy.
DICK: Yes, I did … (tape stops!) … of course I grew up in Berkeley and my baby sitter was a communist.
She used to give me lectures on how wonderful the Soviet Union was. I would draw all these pictures of
tractors and cow shit, but told her the shit was dirigibles. I was sent to a communist kindergarden.
JETER: Sounds like a Roger Corman film. COMMUNIST KINDERGARDEN.
SLASH: What do you think of communism now?
DICK: … uh, I’ve had the shit kicked out of me by the authorities so many times that I no longer have an
opinion on that. “When I hear the word “communism” my mind goes blank. Let me know when they’re in
power. Then I’ll give you a definite opinion. (laughter) I regard the Soviet Union as a tyrannical
dictatorship run by an entrenched clique of old men who are probably the Ronald Reagans of the communist
SLASH: The kids that trash the white House would probably be a bunch of dub shits out for a yuk. Is that a
scary prospect?
DICK: Not for me it’s not! I can’t imagine how they could be more dangerous then the people that are there
now. Carter has spoken of the Russians in relation to the Afghanistan war as atheists. That’s holy war talk.
And the Democrats are getting the MX missile put through, which is almost like a Warner Brothers cartoon.
SLASH: A scary prospect is that, though Carter and those guys are fucked, they seem at least able to keep a
country going or vaguely protected more than a bunch of illiterate morons, however energetic. Wouldn’t
Russia take advantage of a White House full of guys telling fart jokes?
DICK: I don’t welcome the Soviet Union into this country at all. It seems to be more of a war between
young and old. And so far the old are winning. Certainly the Soviet power elite are entrenching beautifully
against the youthful dissidents. Like that exhibit of modern art that was literally bulldozed. That’s almost
like a nightmare. That scared the piss out of me. I’ve had my house vandalized by kids and robbed, but the
idea of government bulldozers to destroy works of art?
JETER: The orientation of the underground in the past is always that it seeks to become the overground.
That there’s a revolution simmering under that’s going to take over … but every time it takes over, if it does,
as in the case of Marinetti and the Futurists affecting Fascists to the extent that Italy did become a Futurist
state, but when it became a Futurist state it became the very thing that the Futurists hated. A smart
underground might orient itself to staying underground and becoming a permanent subversive pool
underneath society.
DICK: I just figured if the kids broke into the Pentagon and smashed all the machines there would be no
workable machines. I have all these visions of these marvelous GHQ consoles in ruins and it takes forty
years before they work again. That’s my dream. Not that kids would rule, but that they would make it
impossible for the sophisticated technology to function. I have this impulse that comes to me when I’m
drinking orange soda. That is to pour half a can of orange soda into my television set. I think someday I
won’t go to Washington and attack them and their computers, I’ll just turn on my own television set and go
after the stereo after that.
SLASH: Responsible vandalism?
JETER: This is it. I would like it if the people in charge were better capitalists. The problem is that they
are shitty capitalists. They seek a social reward rather than aesthetic or financial reward. Most of the
publishers would have folded several years ago if foreign and native conglomerates hadn’t bought them out.
SLASH: Are conglomerates better capitalists?
JETER: They are going to have to be.
SLASH: The problem with conglomerates is that they are backward looking in that they seem to rely too
much on marketing research. Marketing research is what I would like to demolish. How did you come to
write stories that are a little bit ahead in time?
DICK: I originally wrote straight fiction but I couldn’t sell it, so I recast it in the future. But I’ve always
been primarily interested in the human being as artificer: producing some kind of product. In high school I
worked at a radio repair shop and my friends were radio repairmen and I was fascinated by this mentality
and later repelled by the salesmen.
SLASH: A feature of your writing a little bit ahead is the precog or precognitive facility.
DICK: It’s one paranormal facility which really fascinates me.
SLASH: Do you have precog ability?
DICK: I wrote one novel in which there was a 19 year old girl named Kathy whose boyfriend was named
Jack who appeared to have a relation with the criminal underground who turns out to have a relation with a
police inspector, and that Christmas I met a 19 year old girl named Kathy who had a boyfriend named Jack
who sold dope but later turned out to be a police informant. There have been other instances.
SLASH: Can you control this ability?
DICK: It just happens.
SLASH: What kind of books do you read?
DICK: I used to read Joyce and Proust. In Junior High I started reading Maupassant, a Nineteenth Century
French novelist and a lot of Russian novelists. I don’t read fiction anymore.
SLASH: What kind of non-fiction?
DICK: Well research for my … I’ve been reading stuff on quantum mechanics lately. Sure you don’t want
some fruit juice?
SLASH: May I look in your fridge?
Dick: Sure.
SLASH: What’s your prognosis for the next 25 years? Do you think things are going to get real dismal?
DICK: No! No! I think things are going to get really good. I think we’re going to see a great
decentralization of the government, which is good. The government is just failing to solve the economic
problems and it will devolve to the state.
SLASH: States? That’s what Ronald Reagan is after, isn’t it?
DICK: Yeah. I think he’s right about that. If you got really sick now it’s the state of California that’s going
to pick up your bill … not the federal government. We could survive much better without the federal
government than without the state government.
JETER: It’s like those forces in the Brown administration who want to conclude a separate treaty with
Mexico for petroleum products. What the hell! California is the sixth largest industrial nation in the world

DICK: I know where my state taxes go. They don’t buy weapons with that. I would like to see this country
break up into individual states.
SLASH: Wouldn’t that mean some pretty piss poor states?
DICK: Yeah, but presumably you’d still be free to travel. I spent years and years studying the war between
the states and as much as I admire Lincoln, I think his philosophy was wrong and they should have let the
South secede. That would have been a much wiser decision.
SLASH: What would things be like now? Would the South still have slavery?
DICK: Definitely not. Civil rights would be much worse for Blacks in the South than they are now but …
on the positive side … uh I have books written during the war of speeches made by General Sherman have
the right to self determination.
SLASH: Sounds more Socialist.
DICK: Well, actually they influenced the Germans on that. The North adopted the Hegelian view of state
as a real entity rather than an abstraction which has led to the massive centralized government as bad as the
Soviet Union. The original model for the U.S. was modeled by Jefferson after the models of the American
Indian Federations. There is no doubt that the founding fathers were designing a system of independent and
allied states based on these Indian models. Jefferson would have been appalled by Lincoln’s contesting the
supremacy of states rights.
SLASH: Where do animals fit into all of this?
DICK: I, like John Denver, can’t turn down a good taco.
SLASH: Things eat other things and there doesn’t seem to be a moral resolution. How do you handle this?
Does it bother you?
DICK: No. I’ll … I’ll eat any cow that walks past me.
SLASH: Oh!!! I will too!!! … but at some point I felt like I had to go kill a deer and go through the whole
process so that I knew that meat wasn’t just something that comes in packages from the food stores.
DICK: I used to raise sheep and we’d slaughter our lambs … but I developed paralysis of my hands from
holding the hind legs while their throats were cut … and I still get traumatic paralysis when I’m under
SLASH: Is that empathy?
DICK: It sure is man. I’ll tell you … Shit!!
SLASH: When you do think about it, how do you resolve it?
DICK: God designed a really fucked-up universe as far as I can make out. I have this friend who had his
cat and he was walking the cat and the cat tried to cross the street and a car came along and did in the cat …
turned it into a fur pizza. This friend of mine has managed to destroy my whole theological edifice with this
argument about his cat.
JETER: A dead cat is the ultimate refutation of any religious system. It was my cat.
SLASH: I have a feeling supermarkets are sneaking up on people.
JETER: What’s a SPAM look like?
DICK: What is that sandwich you’ve got there … it looks really good.

“It is about madness, pain, deception, death, obsessive delusory states of mine, cruelty,
solitude,imprisonment, and it is a joy to read." Washington Post
(reviewing Valis)
“Philip K. Dick is awe inspiring” Washington Post
“I have been a passionate Philip Dick fan for over 20 years. I see him as a major 21st century writer,
an influential ‘fictional philosopher’ of the quantum age. “ Timothy Leary
PKD on Drugs

He left the other cap of acid for Nancy and me, and that night we divided it, each of us taking half a standard
dose (I suppose about 75 mg). I had a theory that if you took such a small amount you might not go so deep
into it, would retain more of a sense of reality and meantime enjoy colors and sounds, et. I was right; at least
for myself … I saw all manner of joyous coloration, especially pinks and reds, very luminous and exciting, and I had several great insights into myself (e.g. that I had had two attacks of schizophrenia, one when I was six, the other when I was eighteen, and that my basic fear was a return of this). Nancy, it would seem, experienced nothing at all except as sense of well-being -- which I also had, before the color sensation began. I wonder why it didn't affect her more; I wonder, then, what a full dose would have done. Frankly, I'd like to get hold of some more; it was an altogether pleasant trip, one which I was sorry to see slide into the oblivion of the past. (PKD to Jack Newkon, November 17, 1965) Under LSD I saw radiant colors, especially the pinks and reds; they shown like God Himself. Is that what God is? Color? But at least this time I didn’t have to die, go to hell, be tormented, and then raised up by means of Christ’s death on the cross into eternal salvation. As I said to J.G. Newkom [a friend of Dick at this time] when I was free of the drug, “I don’t mind going through the Day of Judgement again, after I die, but I just hope it wont last so long.” Under LSD you can spend 1.96 eternities, if not 2.08. (“Will the Atomic Bomb Be Perfected” 1966) I suggest that everyone in the group read the Tibetan book of the dead compiled and edited by W.Y. Evans-Wentz, Oxford University Press, 1960, New York. Reason: the LSD experience resembles the Bradol Thodol existence (i.e. the period immediately following one's physical death). Same brilliant, colored lights, same time-sense, etc. Question, then: is the LSD experience a sort of premature post mortem journey? And, if so, does this tend to indicate that reincarnation is a fact, that we've lived lives previous to this, and, after this, we will pass on to other lives? And can we verify this -- and experience this -- via LSD? So far I haven't come across any account of the LSD experience in which this aspect is considered. To see a relationship between the LSD experience and former and later lives. Added point: when I took LSD the first time I believe myself back in Rome, during the Punic Wars; I hallucinated a Roman ax buried in my side (I may have mentioned this to you before; if so, well, hmm). And I found myself able to use only Latin (oh, I told you that, too? Well, well.) Anyway, it's a point worth considering, even if only to discard it. PKD to Rich Brown, July 18, 1967) My first LSD experience, by the way, confirmed my vision of Palmer Eldrich; I found myself in the hell-world, and it took almost two thousand (subjective) years for me to crawl up out of it. (PKD to Bruce Gillespie, June 8, 1969) I wasn’t getting up in the morning and dropping acid. I’m amazed when read the things I used to say about it on the blurbs of my books. I wrote this myself: ‘He has been experimenting with hallucinogenic drugs to find the unchanging reality beneath our delusions.’ And now I say, ‘Good Christ!’ All I ever found out about acid was that I wanted to get out fact. It didn’t seem more real than anything else; it just seemed more awful. (“Vertex Interviews Philip K. Dick” Feb. 1974) In answer to the questions in your letter, I would say: 1) I have taken amphetamines, LSD. Mescaline and phenothiazines 2) I have used amphetamines for energy in order to write, since I was paid very little for each novel and story, and so had to write a lot; whether the amphetamines influenced the content of what I wrote I do not know. 3) I used amphetamines for about 18 years. They were prescribed for me due to depression. 4) No drug trip has ever inspired me to write anything except a small passage in my novel A MAZE OF DEATH that part being based on my first LSD experience (I took LSD only twice). 5) I take no drugs at all now. Keep in mind that during the time I took amphetamines there harmful effects were not known. The same can be aid for LSD. 6) Yes, I certainly have used stimulants to make a deadline; i.e. the amphetamines. 7) I do NOT recommend that other writers – or other people in general – take drugs; its not worth it. Soon I will have a novel out dealing with this, called A SCANNER DARKLY (January of next year, Doubleday). 8) My drug experiences have allowed me to write more, but probably not better. A SCANNER DARKLY, written without the use of drugs, is certainly my best novel. Further comment: drug use is a major mistake and I regret ever having become involved in it. I have seen too many people die or become permanently psychotic because of drugs. (PKD to Dwayne Boggs September 9, 1976) But I certainly don’t advocate the use of drugs. However, one thing that I took that I did like was mescaline. Mescaline is fascinating, it it’s good mescaline and not bad acid, weak acid. I took mescaline once and it really was psychedelic – and altered state of consciousness. It put me in touch with my deepest feelings. It put me I touch with feelings that I wasn’t aware that I had. That is, it put me in touch with myself. And it was really marvelous. (“So I Don’t Write About Heroes,” Fall 1977) There's nothing good about drugs. Drugs kill you and they break down your head. They eat your head. In "White Rabbit," Grace Slick says, "feed your head." But I say, "What are you really feeding it?" You're feeding it itself. Drugs cause the mind to feed on itself. Look, I'll be honest with you. There was a time in my life when I thought drugs could be useful, that maybe if you took enough psychedelics you could see beyond the illusion of the world to the nature of ultimate reality. Now I think all you see are the patterns in the rug turning into hideous things. A friend of mine had a shower curtain with tigers on it. You know, one of those prints. During an LSD trip once, the tigers started moving and tried to eat him. So he ran outside into the back yard and burned the shower curtain. That epitomizes drugs to me: some guy in his back yard burning his shower curtain. I used to think that drugs put you in touch with something. Now I know that the only thing they put you in touch with is the rubber room of a psychiatric hospital. (Interview with Joe Vitale October 1978) I used to talk like I was really into acid. But the fact of the matter is that I took it two times, and the second time, it was so weak a dose, it may not even have been acid. The first time, though, it was Sandoz acid, a giant capsule I got from the University of California, a friend and I split it, it must have been a whole milligram of it, we bought it for five dollars, and I tell you, I went straight to hell, was what happened. The landscape froze over, there were huge boulders, there was a deep thumping, it was the day of wrath and God was judging me as a sinner. This lasted for thousands of years and didn't get any better, it just got worse and worse. I felt terrible physical pain and all I could talk was in Latin. …I regarded drugs as dangerous and potentially lethal, but I had a cat’s curiosity. It was my interest in the human mind that made me curious about psychotropic drugs. These were essentially religious strivings that were appearing to me. By the time of Three Stigmata I had become a convert to the Episcopal Church. (Interview with Charles Platt, May 1979)
Drugs are the bane of human existence. They killed all my friends, they killed all my enemies, they almost
got me thrown into prison.
(Interview with Gregg Rickman, October 12, 1981)
I remember one time, I – the first time I took LSD, uh, I had a friend play only music that I was very familiar
with […] – I had him play, I tried to think of music that was very innocuous. I mean, I didn’t want no
sudden surprises. You know, no surprising stuff. I didn’t want any surprises. I didn’t want any loud noises,
I didn’t want anything to scare me while I was on LSD, so had him play Beethoven quartets. So he just
played Beethoven quartets. Well I was sittin’ there and all of a sudden the music got real strange, and it got
even stranger and it started to slow down, and the notes began to separate and the music stopped and just
continued the last notes and played forever and finally turned into a spiny cactus that I could see and there's
a name for that and it begins with "s" and I can't say it. I looked it up, it's a word called like "syntheses" or
something -- you can look it up – it’s where you convert one sense to another, a sound into, a sound into
video and video into sound, or something like that. Because of, I got that. So I saw the Beethoven quartet
as a cactus. And with each, with each progression into the next measure, the cactus would grow more
complex, so it was accretional. It didn’t, it wasn’t, it wasn’t, uh, successive any longer, it was accretional.
And it grew larger and larger and more complex.
(Interview with Gwen Lee January 15, 1982)
“The finest novelist of our time.” Hartford Courant
Phil's Medicine Cabinet
A list, probably incomplete, of the various drugs, legal and otherwise, that Phil had experienced. SEMOXYDRENE (letter to Tony Boucher: April 25, 1962) MESCALINE (Letter to Lawrence Ashmead: September 9, 1970 DEXEDRINE & BENSEDRINE (letter to J'Ann Forgue: November 25, 1970) LSD (letter to Jack Newkon: November 17, 1965) AMPETAMINES, LSD, MESCALINE AND PHEOTHIAZINES (letter to Dwayne Boggs: September 9, 1976) PCP (Paul Williams, Only Apparently Real) MARIJUANA (Tim Powers quoted in Divine Invasions) SERPASIL (Divine Invasions) CODEINE (letter to Cyntia ____: February 27, 1967) LIBRIUM (Paul Williams, Only Apparently Real)
SODIUM PENTATHOL (Interview with Gregg Rickman September 30, 1981)

“Dick.has chosen to handle.material too nutty to accept, too admonitory to forget, to haunting to
abandon.” Washington Post


Perry Kinman is working on an encyclopedic examination of Phil’s works. This is a preliminary list of the
drugs (broadly speaking) that appear in the novels and short stories.
Stropharia cubensis-d-lysergic acid diethylamide uppers

“If the 70s and 80s.belong to William Burroughs, the millennium belongs to Philip K. Dick.” Details


Update: September 2001
Primary Sources

Gwen Lee and Doris Elaine Sauter, What If Our World Is Their Heaven? The Final Conversations
of Philip K. Dick
; Woodstock, NY: The Overlook Press, 2000.

Secondary Sources

Steve Beard, “American psychonaut.” Steve Bear, Logic Bomb: Transmissions from the Edge of
Style Culture
; London: Serpent’s Tail, 1998: pp. 75-76. [Originally published in
i-D no. 144 (September 1995).]
Steven Beard, “A Handful of Darkness.” Science Fiction Classics no.3 (1997): pp. 54-55.
Benesch, Klaus, ""Technology, Art, and the Cybernetic Body: The Cyborg As Cultural Other in
Fritz Lang's Metropolis and Philip K. Dick's Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep."
Amerikastudien/AmericanStudies; vol. 44, no. 3 (1999): pp. 379-92.
Andrew M. Butler, The Pocket Essential Philip K. Dick; London: Pocket Essentials, 2000.
Peter Carson, “A Peephole into the Ivory Tower.” Washington Post; May 8, 2001: p. C1.
Istvan Csicsery-Romay, “Gregg Rickman and Others on Philip K. Dick.” Science Fiction Studies
no.67 (Nov. 1995): pp. 430-438.
Istvan Csicesery-Romay, “Jr. and the Android Hunters.” Science Fiction Studies no. 68 (Mar.
1996): pp. 152-157.
Simon A. Cole, "Do Androids Pulverize Tiger Bones to Use as Aphrodisiacs?" Social Text 42; Spring 1995: pp. 173-93. Erik Davis, “Visionaries: They Are the Bogeymen Who Write About Our Future In the Present Tense.” Details; Nov. 1990: pp. 127-28. [On PKD and Burroughs.] Lorenzo Di Tommaso, “Gnosticism and Dualism in the Early Fiction by Philip K. Dick.” Science-Fiction Studies no. 83 (March 2001): pp. 49-65. Denise Dumars, “Philip K. Dick’s Imposter.” Cinefantastique; October 2000: pp. 6-8. John Fairchild, "Upon reading an article about Philip K. Dick." Western Ohio Journal; vol. X, no. 1 (Spring 1989). [poem] Carl Freeman, “A Few Personal Interventions Regarding the Recent Exchange Between Istavn Csicsery-Ronany, Jr., and Samuel J. Umland, Otherwise Known as the Great Android-Human War.” Science Fiction Studies no.69 (July 1996): pp. 313-315. Allen H. Greenfield, “The Sirius Mystery and V.A.L.I.S.” Secret Cipher of the UFOnauts; IllumiNet Press, 1994: pp. 106-107. Philip Halper, “The Three Stigmata of Philip K. Dick.” The Hardcore no. 3 (1989?): n.p. Katherine N. Hayles, "Schizoid Android: Cybernetics and the Mid-Sixties Novels of Philip K. Dick." Journal of the Fantastic in the Arts 32; vol. 8, no. 4 (1997): pp. 419-42. Jeet Heer, “Marxist Literary Critics Are Following Me!” Lingua Franca; May-June 2001: pp. 26-31. Jeet Heer, "The Demons of Philip K. Dick." The Guardian; June 23, 2001: p. R3. Kenneth Krabbenhoft, "Uses of Madness in Cervantes and Philip K. Dick." Science Fiction Studies # 81 (July 2000): pp. 216-234. "Letters to the Editor." Extrapolation; vol. 42, no. 1 (Spring 2001): pp. 88-96. ["Umberto Rossi on DiTommasso" and "Lorenzo DiTommasso on Rossi."] George Melrod, “Dreaming of Electric Sheep.” 21.C no.4 (1995): pp. 78-82. S. Christian Michaels, “The Philip K. Dick Conspiracies.” 93.5; [zine] Part 1, no.30 (June 28, 1995): n.p.; Part 2, no.31 (Aug. 9, 1995): n.p. Kinhsuk Niyogy, "The World of Philip K. Dick." Statesman (India); July 2, 2001: n.p. Gregg Rickman, “Umland and Csicsery-Romay on Rickman.” Science Fiction Studies no.69 (July 1996): pp312-313.
Umberto Rossi, “Puttering About in an Italian Town.” Science-Fiction Studies no. 83 (March
2001): pp. 155-56.
Franz Rottensteiner, “To Set the Record Straight.” Science Fiction Studies no. 69 (July 1996): p.
310. [Comments concerning the controversy with Stanislaw Lem and PKD.]
Steve Sneyd, “Is the Eye in the Sky the Author’s?” Terrible Work no.1 (Spring 1993): pp. 33-35.
[Review of Radio Free Albemuth.]
Brian Stableford, “The Big Idea.” Science Fiction Classics; No. 3 (1997): pp. 46-49.
Samuel J. Umland, “A Rejoinder to Istvan Csicesery-Roany, Jr.” Science Fiction Studies no.68
(Mar. 1996): pp. 149-152.
Michael Walsh, “Science Fiction…comes of Age.” Vancouver Province; February 18, 1972: p. 23.
Michael Walsh, “Canada Gains a Noted Science Fiction Writer.” Vancouver Province; February
21, 1972: p. 25.
Jianjiong Zhu, "Reality, Fiction, and 'Wu' in The Man in the High Castle." Journal of the Fantastic
in the Arts
19; vol. 5, no. 3 (1993): pp. 36-45.

Incomplete Citations

Gene Berkman, “The Penultimate Truth: Parable or Paranoia?” The Inland Alternative; [circa. June
1989?]: p. 35. [Review of Carol & Graf edition.]
Philip K. Dick, “Letter to Richard Geis.” Psychotic; [circa. late 1967 - early 1968?]: n.p. [Response
to a review of The Zap Gun in Psychotic no.21 (Nov. 1967).]

Graham Short, “Infinite Worlds Upon a Time.” [source?] [post-Sept. 1989]: pp. 20-24. [Unknown
SF fanzine]
“You’ll find reflections of our own society in these pictures of the future, plus one of Dick’s most
characteristic qualities, the chilling symbolism of absolute nightmare.” Anthony Boucher (reviewing
The Preserving Machine)


Sprachraketen. Aus der Welt der Lachforschung: Der hält ihm die Buchstabentafel vor, auf der steht C Z W X N Q Y S T A C Z, und fragt Fragen zum Humor: ihn: Können Sie das lesen? «Lesen?» ruft Der Lachtherapeut Dr. Michael Titze gibt Antworten. Frage: Beim Schwitzen transpirieren wir, wenn wir weinen, kommen uns die Tränen – was passiert beim Lachen?

Microsoft word - mm_team_newsletter_draft_august_13_v1.0[1]

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