Our Friends From Frolix 8

"What had answered mankind's call for help? And at what price?"


UK 1st.: Panther, pb, 04295-4, Jan 1976, 211pp, 60p (Jim Burns)



{For the best bibliographic info in French goto: www.multimania.com/ggoullet/pkdick/frames.html Thanks for the cover pix, Gilles}

"But Thors Provoni had been absent for years; he did not stir the sleep of either Unusuals or New Men. Provoni raged and roamed the outskirts of the galaxy, searching, in his wrath, for something vague, something even metaphysical. An answer, so to speak. A response. Thors Provoni yelled into the emptiness, dinning out his noise in hope of a response.

God help us, Weiss thought, if he ever finds it."

Ken Lopez, Bookseller catalog

DICK, Philip K. Our Friends from Frolix 8. NY: Ace, (1970). First. Paperback original. Very slight rubbing along the upper front spine fold; else fine in wrappers. A very nice copy. $50 {As far as I know, Apr 1999, this is still for sale -- Lord RC}

PKDS-19:    1

   "On November 6, 1968, the Scott Meredith Literary Agency received from Philip K. Dick an outline and four sample chapters (40 manuscript pages) for a novel to be called OUR FRIENDS FROM FROLIX 8. This was only a week after he'd sent them the finished manuscript for A MAZE OF DEATH, written under contract to Doubleday. (October-November was typically the most productive time of year for Dick). The Agency immediately sent the FROLIX material to Donald A. Wollheim at Ace Books, who purchased the unfinished book for $2500 (half on signing of the contract, half on delivery and acceptance of the finished manuscript). {... ...} This special pamphlet edition of the Philip K. Dick Society Newsletter includes the full text of the FROLIX outline(...}. -- Paul Williams in the Introduction.

Outline for science fiction novel called: OUR FRIENDS FROM FROLIX 5 8

   Theme:     Earth is invaded by aliens whom the great majority of people welcome.

    Locus of action:    Earth in 2190

    Situation:    Within the last century two new types of human beings have arisen as sport-mutations desired and preserved until by 2085 they fill the top levels of business organizations -- and, in the planet-wide federal government, all persons who pass the Civil Service tests must be either a New Man or an Unusual.

    The New Men possess magnified cerebral cortexes, the so-called Nodes of Rogers. Their I.Q. is twice that of a brilliant Old Man -- as the unevolved are called. (Most people are Old Men, so this makes the New Men and elite -- along with the Unusuals.)

    The Unusuals are mutants who have freak abilities; i.e. all the familiar psiionic gifts having to do with reading minds, knowing the future, moving objects at a distance, etc. They, too, can pass the Civil Service tests and obtain G ratings. And hence rule, along with the New Men.

    Neither group likes the other very much. In particular, the New Men look down on the Unusuals as being merely odd.

    The highest official on Earth is the Council Chairman of the Extraordinary Committee For Public Safety. He, too, must hold a Civil Service rating. This office, over the years, has passed back and forth between New Men and Unusuals. At this moment the council Chairman is an Unusual named Willis Gramm.

    In addition one further group exists. An illegal organization by Old Men calling themselves -- not Old Men -- but Under Men. There is no way they can rule legally, but at least they can fight. But up to now they have done nothing but print tracts and hang up lurid posters in the dead of night.

    Their paralysis is understandable; they are waiting for their hope, their saviour. Led by their pro tem spokesman, eric Cordon, who is in prison, they are standing firm until the day that Thors Provoni returns from the distant star-system which he is visiting. "Provoni will come back with help," the Under Men say, but, as they wait, the police (the PSS: Public Security Service) get them one by one; the police have successfully infiltrated the ranks of the Under Men and are destroying them from within.

Plot:    The novel opens in on Bobby and his father Nick Appleton. Along the crowded sidewalk, at a snail's pace, they are making -- or trying to make -- their way to the Federal Bureau of Personnel Standards; there, Bobby (who is twelve) will try to score highly enough on his first Civil Servie test to give the Appleton family some hope for the future... since Nick himself has never been able to obtain even a G-one rating, the lowest there is.

{... ...}

{See PKDS #19 (Pamphlet), 1989 for continuation -- not available on this site}


Dear John,

    Yes, I would be very glad to read STAND ON ZANZIBAR...


    As far as my own work goes, I have sold a story collection to Ace for a special, then an outline and 3 sample chapters at $2500, then my newest novel to Doubleday... so I have made three book-length sales in less than a month. Now I can pay off all my enormous debts.



Philip K. Dick

{PKD > John Brunner, 7 Dec 1968}
See the correspondence selections under BGSU? on the A MAZE OF DEATH page.

    Dear Don,

    Great news. Although I am a little late, I have finished the novel, OUR FRIENDS FROM FROLIX 8, which, as you will recall, I am under contract for (sometime last month it was due). All I need do now is simply type up the final draft; there will be no further revision, that having already been done.

The novel runs longer than my others. They all came out at about 215 typescript pages; this comes out to 268, which I would estimate as between 70,000 and 80,000 words. I hope that the length is satisfactory to you; i.e. the contract called for 70,000, rather than the usual 60,000, so I assumed you wanted a longer novel; hence this length, which was most carefully planned on my part; it didn't just happen that way.

Not since EYE IN THE SKY have I so much enjoyed working on a novel. Usually I get up at noon; while writing this I got up at seven a.m. and tottered my way to the typewriter, my mind filled with dialog. There is nothing about reality-versus-illusion in it, no hallucinations, etc. I did depart from the latter part of the outline, but the book remains as the outline described it; I think it is fair to say that it is true to the outline.

Please write me and let me know if the length is okay. But I really don't want to trim it; I would appreciate it very, very much if you let me leave it at its present length. Okay?

Cordially, Philip K. Dick

{PKD > Don Wollheim, editor, Ace Books, Apr 14, 1969}

SL-38 260:

Dear Don,

I have been stewing and fretting about completing the final copy of OUR FRIENDS. First, when I began typing the final version, I discovered that I had to change some of the material. Then I came down with Hong Kong flu, with complications. And as the coup de grace, my Olympia typewriter broke down and had to go to the shop for repairs {...} typing 80,000 words on this damn {loaner} thing is next to impossible (it's a 1941 Royal). I have to have my own machine, and when I get it back I'll resume the typing of the final draft (which I had gotten well into before the troubles began). I am very sorry and I know the novel is overdue, but the revisions have been made {...}
{PKD > Don Wollheim, Jun 6, 1969}

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