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Planet For Transients
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Writing Date

Pub. Date





<Mar 23, 1953

Oct 1953

James P. Crow

Small Town

MS title: "The Itinerants"
4800 wds



    "Planet For Transients" and "Small Town" arrived at the SMLA on Mar 23, 1953.

   Under the manuscript title of "The Itinerants," "Planet For Transients" was published in the Oct-Nov issue of Fantastic Universe magazine and was selected for A HANDFUL OF DARKNESS in 1955. Later the story was incorporated into the novel DEUS IRAE which PKD (and Roger Zelazny) spent a long time writing and which was finally published in 1976.

    This same issue of Fantastic Universe also contains PKD's short story "Some Kinds Of Life" under the pseudonym 'Richard Phillips' -- two PKD stories for the price of one!

    It amazes me sometimes to see the publication history of some of these short stories. For instance, "Planet For Transients" is as good a short story as Phil ever wrote, why it was never snapped up by a half-century’s worth of anthologizers is beyond me.

    In a future, nuclear-war ravaged Earth, a dwindling group of humans sends out scouts to try and find more of their kind. To the radiation-adapted quasi-humans that they encounter they are a curiosity – and good luck to find one. In the end the humans escape to space and realise that they cannot return to Earth except as visitors.

Planet For Transients" rates

Other Magazine and Anthology appearances.

1955 ahod1.jpg (7802 bytes) A HANDFUL OF DARKNESS, Rich & Cowan, hb, ?,?,? (?)        
1976   DEUS IRAE {Expanded into the novel}  


SRG 42

"A Planet For Transients" works a bittersweet situation in which pockets of survivors of a nuclear war, living in mines for three centuries, find supplies dangerously low. With no hope of replenishing them and unable to adapt to the radioactive surface, as have other survivors, these ur-humans must leave Earth or die. As they leave, they accept their salvation but also sadly know they are destined to return only as visitors, that is, if the adapted species admit them.

Collector’s Notes

Rudy’s Books: "Planet For Transients" in Fantastic Universe Oct-Nov 1953 (1st).VG-FINE. $10

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