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Writing Date

Pub. Date





<Jun 21, 1979


The Day Mr. Computer Fell Out of its Tree

Chains Of Air, Web of Aethyr




    The manuscript for "The Exit Door Leads In" arrived at the SMLA on Jun 21, 1979. The story was requested by the editors of Rolling Stone College Papers, a new and short-lived publication. The story was published in the first issue of Rolling Stone College Papers later in Fall1979. Terry Carr selected the story for his anthology THE BEST SF OF THE YEAR #9 in 1980 and it was included in the Philip K. Dick collection I HOPE I SHALL ARRIVE SOON in 1980.

    On reading "The Exit Door Leads In" one can see that it was obviously written for the attention and edification of college students. Bob Bibleman, the protagonist, is singled out by a robot fast-food vendor and tricked into mandatory enrollment in the College. Once enrolled Bob is warned by his instructor that knowledge of the Panther Engine – a construct based on PKD’s vision of a futuristic machine described in his Exegesis – is top secret. Then in his studies Bob lucks into the schematics for the Panther Engine and prints them out. But when confronted by his instructor Bob meekly hands over his schematics and is then expelled from the College. What he should have done is attempt to publish the schematics for the benefit of the world and to hell with the College. But it’s all a setup; the Panther Engine is worthless, it’s just been a test for Bob to see if he can exhibit independent thought instead of merely kowtowing to Authority and he is expelled for that reason.

    PKD seems with this story to be trying to foster a questioning attitude and independent thought in his student readers. As a story, though, "The Exit Door Leads In" rates .

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

1980   THE BEST SF OF THE YEAR #9, Ballantine, pb, 28601, Aug 1980, ?,  $2.50 (?) {Ed. Carr}        
1984 ROBOTS, ANDROIDS AND MECHANICAL ODDITIES, SIUP, hb, ?,?,? (?) {Ed. Warrick}  
1985 I HOPE I SHALL ARRIVE SOON, Doubleday, hb, 19567-2, Jul 1985, 179pp, $12.95 (Cathy Canzani) 0-385-19567-2  


PKDS-8    9

    "The Exit Door Leads In" was written for Rolling Stone College Papers, a short-lived publication. It's unusual among PKD's stories in that it was written at the request of the editors. That assignment seemed to spur a brief flurry of stories -- "Exit Door" was received by Phil's agent 6/21/79{...}

    Prior to "Exit Door" Phil had not written a short story for publication since 1974. (He wrote a couple of unusual and/or humorous pieces for friends in 1975 and 1977)

Collector’s Notes

    The Rolling Stone College Papers #1, is now pretty rare. Still, $15 would be about right...

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