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7

<Mar 1952

Dec 1953

The Skull

Expendable

MS title: "One Who Stole"

FIRST APPEARANCE

HISTORY:

    After writing "The Skull" the next story PKD wrote was likely "Project: Earth" – although there is uncertainty about this as "Project: Earth" may have been in PKD’s rejection pile in 1951. The evidence for "Project: Earth’s" status is slim. Paul Williams, Editor of The Philip K. Dick Society Newsletter (PKDS) and executor of PKD’s estate notes that Underwood-Miller editor, Don Herron, has acquired:

    a sheaf of previously unknown PKD letters written to J. Francis McComas and Anthony Boucher between 1951 and 1967. {…} As for the newly discovered letters: the first batch is from ’51 – ’53 and primarily focuses on the submitting and rewriting of short stories.

    {…} we learn that "Project: Earth" was submitted to F & SF in March of 1952 (and presumably rejected).

    However, in PKD’s "Self Portrait" of 1968, quoted above, he writes:

    Within the month after quitting my job I made a sale to Astounding (now called Analog) and Galaxy. They paid very well, and I knew then that I would never give up trying to build my life around a science fiction career.

    There is a bit of a problem with this statement, though. To ascertain which stories he sold to Astounding and Galaxy should be a simple matter but Phil only had one story ever published in Astounding and that was "Impostor" in Jun 1953. Also, the manuscript for "Impostor" reached the SMLA on Feb 24, 1953, precluding any previous sale. My conclusion from this is that PKD, in 1968, was remembering incorrectly. The sale was not to Astounding but possibly to Imagination and the story was "Project: Earth."

    His first published story in Galaxy was "The Defenders" in the Jan 1953 issue. It is possible that it was written in Jan 1952.

    Such are the problems trying to sort out PKD’s early stories. Certainly included in these pre-SMLA days are rejected stories later sent to the SMLA. Only one of these can be nailed down with reasonable certainty, "Of Withered Apples," already mentioned. But it’s likely that some of the other stories sent to the SMLA early in 1953 also qualify.

    "Project: Earth" was one of these. Under the manuscript title of "One Who Stole", the short story "Project: Earth" was sent to F & SF in March 1952, as mentioned above. Later, presumably after rejection by F & SF, PKD sent the story off to the SMLA where it arrived on Jan 6, 1953. The story was first published in Imagination in Dec 1953.

    Small boys figure again in this story of a quiet man who is compiling a great book about a secret project. Curious, one of the boys investigate and finds a box of miniature aliens which he frees with unhappy consequences for the man and his project.

    "Project: Earth" rates


Other Magazine and Anthology Appearances       Click here for Cover Pix: aaaPKDickBooks.jpg (3234 bytes)

1987   THE COLLECTED STORIES OF PHILIP K. DICK     
1990   THE COLLECTED STORIES OF PHILIP K. DICK        
       

NOTES:

MS received at SMLA, 6 Jan 1953

PKDS-22/23 12

{...}{Underwood-Miller editor, Don Herron, has acquired}a sheaf of previously unknown PKD letters written to J. Francis McComas and Anthony Boucher between 1951 and 1967. {...}

{... ...}

As for the newly discovered letters: the first batch is from '51-'53 and primarily focuses on the submitting and rewriting of short stories.

{...}

We learn that "Project: Earth" was submitted to F&SF in March of 1952 (and presumably rejected). We learn that Dick was in fact submitting stories to mainstream magazines such as The Saturday Evening Post in early '52, and that he asked Boucher's advice regarding an agent and as a result sent his stories to Willis Wing (who turned him down) and then Scott Meredith. We learn that by March 5, 1952, he'd sold five stories: "Roog," "The Little Movement" and "Expendable" to F&SF, "Beyond Lies The Wub" to Planet, and "The Skull" to If.


Collector’s Notes

Rudy’s Books: IMAGINATION, Dec 1953. "Project Earth," VG+. $7.50

 


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