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Number

Writing Date

Pub. Date

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Notes

49

>Mar 23, 1953

May 1954

Planet For Transients

Souvenir

MS title: "Engineer"
5400 wds

FIRST PUBLICATION

HISTORY:

    "Small Town" reached the SMLA on Mar 23, 1953 – the same day as the manuscript for "Planet For Transients." PKD had titled the manuscript "Engineer" but this was changed by the time of publication in Amazing Stories in May 1954.

    Other than the USA and UK Amazings in 1954, "Small Town" was collected in THE GOLDEN MAN, edited by Mark Hurst and published in 1980. Then, as with so many of these early stories, it was forgotten until THE COLLECTED STORIES in 1987.

        Here, from the "Story Notes’ to THE GOLDEN MAN is what PKD wrote about "Small Town":

    Here the frustrations of a defeated small person -- small in terms of power, in particular power over others -- gradually become transformed into something sinister: the force of death. In rereading this story (which is of course a fantasy, not science fiction) I am impressed by the subtle change which takes place in the protagonist from Trod Upon to Treader. Verne Haskel initially appears as the prototype of the impotent human being, but this conceals a drive at his core self which is anything but weak. It is as if I am saying, The put-upon person may be very dangerous. Be careful as to how you misuse him; he may be a mask for thanatos: the antagonist of life; he may not secretly wish to rule; he may wish to destroy.

   Have you ever wondered about those people who build and run huge train-sets layouts in their basements? Well, wonder no more. Here PKD explains all that’s going on. In the small town of Woodland everything is just super but in the larger world outside things are not so good.

    "Small Town" rates


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

1954 Aug   AMAZING, Vol.2 #5 {UK}        
1967 Apr SmallTown.gif (12425 bytes) Amazing, Apr 1967  
1980 THE GOLDEN MAN, Berkley, pb, 04288, 1980, ?, $2.25 (?) {Ed. Hurst}  
1987   THE COLLECTED STORIES OF PKD  
       
       

NOTES:

THE GOLDEN MAN story notes by PKD: "Small Town"

    Here the frustrations of a defeated small person -- small in terms of power, in particular power over others -- gradually become transformed into something sinister: the force of death. In rereading this story (which is of course a fantasy, not science fiction) I am impressed by the subtle change which takes place in the protagonist from Trod Upon to Treader. Verne Haskel initially appears as the prototype of the impotent human being, but this conceals a drive at his core self which is anything but weak. It is as if I am saying, The put-upon person may be very dangerous. Be careful as to how you misuse him; he may be a mask for thanatos: the antagonist of life; he may not secretly wish to rule; he may wish to destroy.


Collector’s Notes

Ken Lopez: "Small Town" in Amazing, May 1954 (1st). FAIR. Signed by the author. Water damaged; covers dulled and pages wavy. Signature blurred. Intact but only about fair in wrappers. $75

Rudy’s Books: "Small Town" in Amazing, May 1954 (1st). FINE. $15

Massoglia Books: "Small Town" in Amazing, May 1954 (1st). ? $8


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