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43

<Feb 2, 1953

Winter 1955

The Hood Maker

The Impossible Planet

4800 wds

FIRST PUBLICATION

HISTORY:

    "Human Is" reached the SMLA on Feb 2, 1953. It was published in Startling Stories in the Winter 1955 issue and selected for Ballantine Books’ THE BEST OF PHILIP K. DICK in 1977.

    In a letter to Terry Carr in 1964 thanking him for his comments on his novel collaboration with Ray Nelson (THE GANYMEDE TAKEOVER), PKD mentions "Human Is" in passing:

    {…} by the way: as to my story "Human Is". If you prefer not to include it, by all means don’t. The judgement is up to you fellas at Ace, not me; I was merely hoping. Assemble, from all that I sent, what you consider the best; okay? I’m sure I’ll be pleased, even if it’s the same story twelve times.{SL-38 129}

    Of the story Phil Dick had this to say:

    To me, this story states my early conclusions as to what is human. I have not really changed my view since I wrote this story, back in the Fifties. It's not what you look like, or what planet you were born on. It's how kind you are. The quality of kindness, to me, distinguishes us from rocks and sticks and metal, and will forever, whatever shape we take, wherever we go, whatever we become. For me, "Human Is" is my credo. May it be yours. {Levack 99}    

    The story is similar to "Beyond Lies The Wub" in that a human is ‘possessed’ by an alien in a beneficial way. When Lester comes home from Rexor IV he’s a changed man alright, but his wife and nephew don’t seem to mind; in fact he’s much better now than what he was.

    "Human Is" rates four stars but loses one for obviousness .


Other Magazine and Anthology appearances.    For Cover Pix Click Here:aaaPKDickBooks.jpg (3234 bytes)

1977 THE BEST OF PHILIP K. DICK, Ballantine, pb, 25359, 1977, ?,?(?)
1987   THE COLLECTED STORIES OF PKD
     

NOTES:

SL-38 129

Dear Terry,

    I am most beholden to you for the complete and satisfying letter regarding my collaboration with Ray (by the way: as to my story HUMAN IS. If you prefer not to include it, by all means don't. The judgement is up to you fellas at Ace, not to me; I was merely hoping. Assemble, from all that I sent, what you consider the best; okay? I'm sure I'll be pleased, even it it's the same story twelve times.

{...} {PKD>Terry Carr, Nov 20, 1964} {Note: I’m not sure what collection PKD is referring to here in this 1964 letter. The nearest one in time published by Ace Books is THE PRESERVING MACHINE in 1969. This collection only has nine stories in it, none of which is "Human Is." Surely it didn’t take five years to assemble this collection? -- Lord RC}


Collector’s Notes

 


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