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1978

1987

The Pre-Persons The Day Mr. Computer Fell
Out Of its Tree
 

FIRST PUBLICATION

1987 DreamConnection21.jpg (5665 bytes) PHILIP K. DICK: THE DREAM CONNECTION {Ed. D. Scot Apel}, The Permanent Press, hb, Mar 1987, 269pp, $19.95 (?) {limited to 500 copies}

 HISTORY:

     PKD’s first fictional attempt of 1975 was a short story called "The Eye of the Sibyl". Dick’s friend the cartoonist Art Spiegelman visited PKD in the Spring of 1975 and the two conjured up a collaboration with, presumably, Dick to write the story and Spiegelman to do the illustrations. Spiegelman was at the time editor at the magazine Arcade and the story was to appear there. But the story PKD wrote, "The Eye of the Sibyl," was too complicated to be easily transferred to the cartoon medium and when he sent it off to the SMLA where it arrived on May 15, 1975, it never made the transformation.

    Instead "The Eye of the Sibyl" actually saw first publication in D. Scot Apel’s PHILIP K. DICK: THE DREAM CONNECTION in March 1987. The first edition of this book was limited to a print run of 500 copies and it is now a valuable collector’s item. THE DREAM CONNECTION was reprinted in a larger edition in 1999 though still quite valuable.

    On this story, Charles Coulombe notes:

    He could not, however, write for publication without some reference to his {Valis} experience. His first post-being piece was a short story called "The Eye Of The Sibyl". Eventually rejected by the venue it was written for, it eventually saw the light in Gnosis Magazine (#5 Fall 1987). In it, the major points of Dick's 1975 worldview are set forth, in a style reminiscent of his earlier work.

    The Gnosis magazine printing actually came after the story’s appearance in THE DREAM CONNECTION in 1987. All in all, including its inclusion in THE COLLECTED STORIES OF PHILIP K. DICK, Vol. 5, "The Eye of the Sibyl" was published three times in 1987. The only year in which it was ever published.

    The story itself is autobiographical with PKD weaving in elements of his ‘pink beam’ inspirations into a story that spans the period from ancient Rome to the present day.

    Philos Diktos of Tyana, a priest at the temple in Cumae where the Cumaean sibyl was located, writes of seeing the sibyl in conversation with two slit-eyed 'gods' and hearing of a projected period of decline for the Roman Republic that will span 2000 years. Philos Diktos finds himself transferred to the future where he is now a schoolboy named Philip Dick who is having strange dreams about a repressive police state and conspiracies at the highest levels. He experiences anamnesis - the loss of forgetfulness - and remembers that he is from ancient times and before that came from the star Albemuth. The two slit-eyed gods visit him and explain about the tyranny and their effort to wake the people up.

    At the end of the story with Diktos/Dick back in Roman times he quotes a verse from Virgil:

    At last the Final Time announced by the Sibyl will arrive:

    The procession of ages turns to its origin.

    The Virgin returns and Saturn reigns as before;

    A new race from heaven on high descends.

    Goddess of Birth, smile on the new-born baby,

    In whose time the Iron Prison will fall to ruin

    And a golden race arises everywhere.

    Apollo, the rightful king, is restored!

        This is an important story for understanding PKD's 'pink beam' experiences and as a story in light of that it rates beams.


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

1987   THE COLLECTED STORIES OF PHILIP K. DICK, Vol.5     
1987 EyeSibyl.jpg (5984 bytes) GNOSIS magazine #5  
       

NOTES:

DI 235-6

Cartoonist Art Spiegelman, who was then editing Arcade, made an overnight stop {in Spring 1975}{…} Phil now proposed a collaboration; but the story Phil submitted in March 1975 – "The Eye of the Sibyl" – was, like the 1974 UBIK screenplay, too intricate for adaptation to the intended (comic book/movie) medium.

TTHC 158:

It was right at the time that Dick was contributing to the YAC {Aunt Flo’s Young Author’s Club}that he seems to have decided to become a writer. In his autobiographical short story "Eye Of The Sibyl", his protagonist reports that one night, while he was in junior high and "getting ready to go to Berkeley High next year" he had a vivid dream of seeing a "man from another universe... he couldn't talk; he just looked at me with funny eyes."
The story's hero was thus disposed, responding to a question about his future, to reply "I AM GOING TO BE A SCIENCE FICTION WRITER."

That made my family mad, but then, see, when they got mad I got stubborn... (I was told) science fiction was dumb and only people with pimples read it. So I decided for sure to write it, because people with pimples should have someone writing for them. It's unfair otherwise, just to write for people with fair complexions.

Science Fiction Review, May 1992 11

{...} He could not, however, write for publication without some reference to his {valis} experience. His first post-being piece was a short story called The Eye Of The Sibyl. Eventually rejected by the venue it was written for, it eventually saw the light in GNOSIS MAGAZINE (#5 Fall 1987). In it, the major points of Dick's 1975 worldview are set forth, in a style reminiscent of his earlier work.
These themes are expanded on in VALIS, which appeared in 1981.{...}

{Charles A. Coulombe: "The Ghost In The Android" -- GSM xerox collection}

See also:


Collector’s Notes

Phildickian: "The Eye Of The Sibyl" in PHILIP K. DICK: THE DREAM CONNECTION {Ed. D.S. Apel}Impermanent Press, hb, 1987 (1st). NF/NF. This is the ultra-rare first edition of this book. The book itself is clean and tight with only light shelfwear, and bumping at the spine ends. The dust jacket is crisp and free of chips rips & tears, with barely visible edge-creasing at the spine ends. The dj is covered with a brodart. $150

Phildickian: "The Eye Of The Sibyl" in PHILIP K. DICK: THE DREAM CONNECTION {Ed. D.S. Apel}Impermanent Press, pb, 1999 (2nd). FINE. $75

Phildickian: "The Eye Of The Sibyl" in THE COLLECTED STORIES OF PHILIP K. DICK, Vol. 5. THE EYE OF THE SIBYL, Citadel Twilight, tp, 1992. NF. Very light rubbing. $15 


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