The Alternate Reality Of Philip K. Dick

Illustration for article titled The Alternate Reality Of Philip K. Dick

Philip K. Dick had a plan to bridge "mainstream experimental literature" and science fiction in 1962, he said in a 1975 interview. I can't help wondering what books would look like now if he'd succeeded.


The plan revolved around Martian Time-Slip, a more demented novel that Dick wrote right after his acclaimed Man In The High Castle. Dick told Rolling Stone:

With High Castle, and Martian Time-Slip, I thought I had bridged the gap between the experimental mainstream novel and science fiction. Suddenly I'd found a way to do everything I wanted to do as a writer. I had in mind a whole series of books, a vision of a new kind of science fiction progressing from those two novels. Then Time-Slip was rejected by Putnam's and every other hardcover publisher we sent it to.

My vision collapsed. I was crushed. I had made a miscalculation somewhere, and I didn't know where. The evaluation I had made of myself, of the marketplace, went poof! I reverted to a more primitive concept of my writing. The books that might have followed Time-Slip were gone.

- Philip K. Dick talking to Rolling Stone, at PhilipKDickFans, via BoingBoing



Total Dick-Head ( here,

Both Paul Williams and PKD biographer Gregg Rickman believe PKD is misremembering Martian-Time Slip as following Man in the High Castle. It was in fact We Can Build You that followed TMIHC, and is a much fit as a novel PKD is describing here as fusing SF and mainstream fiction. -It's one of my favorites. I label 'Pastorale SF"