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24 thoughts on “Resources

  1. Where’s the best place to go to campaign to “FREE the ‘Radio Free Albemuth’ movie”? It is apparently being held tightly in the clutches of the film makers, used to fund world travels and film fest junkets, who are obviously PREVENTING it’s release to theatrical art-house showings (that would be THRILLED to have it) and release on DVD, so that they can drag out their perpetual touring as long as possible. Sounds fun, sure, but come ON ALREADY!!! IT’S BEEN DONE FOR 2 FRICKIN’ YEARS!!! They are REALLY pissing off the fan-base and souring any good will towards them.

  2. Did Phillip K. Dick write a novel beginning with a scientist working in a laboratory on something that suddenly explodes, but rather than being killed, he finds himself far across the lab unharmed? He realizes that at the instant of the explosion he somehow teleported himself to safety. The novel tells of his effort to duplicate the phenomenon.

    I found the book many years ago when doing installation work at the American Philosophical Society library in Philadelphia where they had a small section of science fiction books. I only got to read the first couple of chapters and had to leave the book there when my project was completed. Unfortunately, I don’t remember the name of the novel or the author.

    If if wasn’t PKD, does anyone know who it might be and the name of the book?

  3. Firstly, my sincere respect for Mr Dick and his work. I get it… in my own language. Thomas.

    On Copyright, do not be afraid of the lawyers and rent seekers trying to bully you. Ignore them. Copyright is a piece of paper, protected by the state. The holder gets protection from the taxpayer for free via the state, yet pays nothing for that protection. Copyright must then be at least partially a monopoly power. Windfall gain, unearned income, systemic robbery even. The very thing Dick rightly challenges. The shadow.

    Out of respect for his remembrance, not only would it be noble to uphold this principle against anyone bullying you with copyright law, you too should forgo all gains and benefits you receive form the same protection or be victim become perpetrator too.

    True, i realise that will be an extremely difficult challenge both ways.

    Robin Smith

    CFO MeltFund.

  4. Bernard, The book you refer is Alfred Bester’s ‘The Stars, My Destination’. The scene you portray is in the prologue where the process of ‘jaunting’ i.e., teleportation, was discovered and then studied. The rest of the book occurs years later when jaunting is common place.

  5. That is quite a fine book.The chapter that deals with synaesthesia as I remember,written in the early 1950,describes a condition or experience that I think is very similar to being under LSD from what I understand about it.That was 10 years or before the advent of the the drug age.

    Philip K.Dick wrote Eye in the Sky later in the same decade,a novel of hallucinatory vision,while in Time Out of Joint written 3 years later,the world around Ragel Gumm,starts to disappear,manifesting into scraps of paper with the names of their previous objects.Both novels were written before he took drugs.

    Was Alfred Bester an early influence on PKD ?

  6. Yes,I didn’t manage to finish that one,I’ll start it again.Other authors,such as Michael Moorcock,who was dismissive of much earlier and then present sf,was impressed by his stuff and inspired him to write.

    PKD and others then owe a huge debt to him.It leaves the question open to debate probably then,who was the better writer,although I’m sure Dick possessed notable literary or imaginative powers not wielded in Alf ‘s hands.

    This leaves out Olaf Stapledon,who proberly towers over them all,and although his stuff can be a difficult read,influenced them all.

  7. I must agree with you on Stapledon although it has been many years since I read ‘Odd John’ even. PKD did acknowledge A.E. Van Vogt as a major influence on his early work, particularly SOLAR LOTTERY and also Fred Pohl and C.M. Kornbluth. I’m sure he read most of the sf available from the 40s, 50s and 60s, and the 70s too, I suppose!

  8. Haven’t read “Odd John”,but have “Last and First Men” and “Star Maker”.PKD did mention “Odd John” though,so must have had some influence apon him,as did the other two I should assume then.He dealt with metaphysical themes and God as a reality,but one which didn’t care about his creation,in “Star Maker”,which seem to speak early of important themes for Dick.

    I know he was also influenced by John Sladek,of whom I’ve only read the two “Roderick” books,but who was a contemporary of his.I would have thought that having arrived much later on the scene than Dick,from what I know of his stuff,he would have been influenced by his books,so it seems quite funny that he should be inspired by somebody whose concepts he more than probably had influenced!

    I don’t know,the direction of literary fiction takes some strange turns I suppose,but Sladek is a clever author,if rambling,and know something.

  9. John Sladek was a friend of Dick’s, I think. He wrote the famous parody of PKD titled “Solar Shoe-Salesman” as by Chipdip K. Kill, which appeared in ‘F & SF’. It can also be found in Sladek’s ‘Steam-Driven Boy and Other Strangers’ (Panther Books, 1973)

  10. I haven’t read that one,although I know of it.The only other piece I read by Sladek was in Dangerous Visions,which also included Dick’s “Faith of His Fathers”,surely his best short piece,a form he didn’t often often seem comfortable with.

  11. Yes it was one of the first two PKD books I read,the other being A Maze of Death,which I was overawed by,in 1977.That was the original unfinished version,that Dick revised not long before he died,adding the remaining piece,and calling it Lies Inc.

    Unfortunately,pieces of the other part of the novel seemed to be missing,so John Sladek strangely enough,filled in the gaps with the best of his knowledge of Dick’s literary style.

    “Faith of Our Fathers is far superior to both versions of that book,and the only connection I think is drugs,of which the previous missing piece was about LSD.

  12. The first PKD novel that blew my mind was EYE IN THE SKY, and then A SCANNER DARKLY and VALIS. But I’ve always thought THE UNTELEPORTED MAN an excellent novel in its expanded form and last year wrote a piece about it for PKD OTAKU #26. Please check it out here:
    I can see why you say “Faith Of Our Fathers” is superior to TUM; I shall have to read the story again but I feel both the expanded TUM and FOOF (sorry for the acronyms!) are so similar and probably, as you say, because of the LSD link. Maybe for the politics? I do know that with THE UNTELEPORTED MAN/LIES, INC., you can go pretty much anywhere into the mind and world of Philip K. Dick! Its kinda like a gateway book- one that leads to PKD! Just like LSD itself is a gateway drug to more sophisticated psychedelics! (Well, maybe, I’m just rambling here…)

  13. With it’s awesome plunge into a terrifying,organic theology,”Faith of Our Fathers”,seems to bear very little resemblance to the cruder,blander “Lies Incorporated”,and has a strange but light prose and humour.As you say,only the drugs and the politics,which in the novelette however have the purpose of revealing the absoulute truth behind the political supression,make it have anything in common,but the resemblance I think is only superficial.

  14. I have read your TUM/Lies Inc.article and I suppose I can see the blistering nightmares manifested by drugs in both books might have something in common.However,if you notice,the drugs in “Faith of Our Fathers” don’t cause hallucination,but rather an awakening into the reality that an evil “God” has invaded our world under the guise of a Communist dictator,whereas in the longer piece,we are only given a list of subjective realities under LSD,that don’t contain even an abstract theology.

    As I said before,the connection is only superficial,FOOF I think being closer in theme and treatment to the earlier,simpler but great “Eye in the Sky”,”The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch”,”Counter-Clock World”,”Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep”,”Ubik”,”A Maze of Death”,even the lightweight and comical “Galactic Pot-Healer” with it’s allusion to divinity by the absurd Glimmung,[but one of his best books],as pieces that examine God as an actuality.That is the hard core of the novelette.

  15. I once read a quotation from, PKD in which he said he wrote his novels as expressions of his own perspective of reality. I am ashamed to say I did not download this when I should have, and now, some years later, would like to find it again. I have spent several; hours on the internet today, and still it eludes me. I have no ulterior motive in asking. Frankly, I had great interest in his work in the mid 80’s, but circumstances quashed that in the day to day grind of ordinary life. Now, quite a bit older, not much wiser, but a little more able to chart my own course, I would like to resume that interest, beginning with that quotation. I would be most grateful for any direction to which you could point me.

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