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Writing Date

Pub. Date





<Aug 4, 1952

Sep 1953

The Great C


MS title: "Shadrach Jones And The Elves"



    Less than a week after sending a batch of three short stories to the SMLA, Philip K. Dick mailed in the manuscript for "Shadrach Jones And The Elves". It arrived at the SMLA on Aug 4, 1952. Somehow, between the time of its reception and its publication in Beyond in Sep 1953, the title was changed to "The King Of The Elves."

  This story, another pure fantasy of a lonely gas-station attendant chosen by the elves to replace their dying king and fight the trolls, has proven popular over the years, particularly since its publication in THE COLLECTED STORIES. 

    It was first anthologized in PKD’s Berkley collection THE GOLDEN MAN in 1980. Then in THE COLLECTED STORIES, Vol. 1 in 1987. Since then, though, with PKD’s popularity picking up and the story’s new availability to readers it appeared in six more anthologies in the ten years between 1987 and 1997.

    Philip K. Dick wrote this about "The King of The Elves:"

    This story, of course, is fantasy, not sf. Originally it had a downbeat ending on it, but Horace Gold, the editor who bought it, carefully explained to me that prophecy always came true; if it didn't ipso facto it wasn't prophecy. I guess, then, there can be no such thing as a false prophet; "false prophet" is an oxymoron." {TGM 321 'Story Notes.'}

    "The King Of The Elves" rates

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

1980 tgmBerkley1980.jpg (13676 bytes) THE GOLDEN MAN, Berkley, pb, 04288, 1980, ?, ? (?) {Ed. Hurst}      
1987 csopkd1a.jpg (6949 bytes) BEYOND LIES THE WUB/THE SHORT,  HAPPY LIFE OF THE BROWN OXFORD, ?,?,?,? (?)  
1988 KOTE88.jpg (6334 bytes) MASTERPIECES OF FANTASY AND ENCHANTMENT, SFBC, hb, ?,?,? (?) {Ed. Hartwell}  
1991   FAERIES, Roc, ?,?,?,? (?) {Ed. Asimov, Greenberg, Waugh}  
1991   SPELLS OF ENCHANTMENT, Viking, ?,?,?,? (?) {Ed. Zipes}  
1991c UnkPenguim91.jpg (5751 bytes) SPELLS OF ENCHANTMENT, Penguin, pb, ?,?,?,?,(?) {Ed. Zipes}  
1993   THE OXFORD BOOK OF MODERN FAIRY TALES, Oxford University Press, hb, ?,?,? (?) {Ed. Lurie}  
2000   FAERIES, NAL, pb, ?, Dec 2000, ?, $10.95 (?) {Ed. Asimov, Greenberg, Waugh} ISBN: 0-451-45061-2  


TTHC 210:

{...} The title of Goethe's ballad "Erlkonig" is echoed in Dick's short story "The King of The Elves."

Science Fiction Chronicle, Oct-Nov 1995, p18

    Russ Galen sold film rights ton three PhilipK. Dick short stories: "The Minority Report" went to 20th Century Fox, "The King Of The Elves" to Jim Henson Productions, and "Impostor" to Miramax.

Collector’s Notes

Rudy’s Books: "The king Of The Elves", Beyond Fantasy Fiction, 1953 (1st). VG-FINE. $8.50

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