Faith Of Our Fathers/George Barr

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(1967) DANGEROUS VISIONS, {ed.: Ellison} Doubleday, hb, $6.95 {ill. by Leo & Diane Dillon}

(1971) ALPHA 2, {ed.: Silverberg} Ballantine, pb, 02419, $0.95
(1974) MODERN SCIENCE FICTION {ed.: Spinrad} Anchor, pb, A978, $3.50
(1977) THE BEST OF PKD, Ballantine, pb,  25359
(1992) FOUNDATIONS OF FEAR {ed.: David Hartwell} Tor, pb

SRG 40

As in the earlier THE THREE STIGMATA OF PALMER ELDRITCH, "Faith Of Our Fathers" speculates on the effect of discovery that accepted social, political or spiritual authority is empty of the meaning and value so long vested in it.

SRG 44

   The most sensitive and serious probe of alternate realities in the Dickian short stories tests meta-reality. "Faith Of Our Fathers" challenges both the concept of the charismatic leader and that of the spiritual fountainhead. In this multi-racially governed world, a group of undervover dissidents work assiduously to sepeate the real  Supreme Benefactor from the public facade. If indeed there is a difference. After using anti-hallucinatory drugs, they descry a variety of decadent and evil non-human forms. While these individual visions shatter the earlier beneficent image, they also pose a third and more disturbing alternative reality -- good and evil fused inescapably together. If this is the ultimate reality, then all our cultural beliefs in a saving Good are false. The human mind balks at this loss of innocence. One character openly muses on the strong possibility that men need mass hallucination for sheer psychic survival. Philip Dick offers an even more frightening alternative in  "The Electric Ant".

Levack    94

    The title is that of an old hymn. I think, with this story, I managed to offend everybody, which seemed at the time to be a good idea, but which I've regretted since. Communism, drugs, sex, God -- I put it all together, and it's been my impression since that when the roof fell in on me years later, this story was in some eerie way involved. {PKD}

PKDS-29    12

"Faith Of Our Fathers": A Comparison of the Original Manuscript with the Published Text by Sam Umland

{... ...}

   The finished manuscript of "Faith Of Our Fathers" was received by the Scott Meredith Literary Agency on 1/17/66, and the story was eventually published in Harlan Ellison's sf anthology Dangerous Visions in 1967. The manuscript that I have examined was given to Anne Dick by Ray Nelson in 1986; Dick presumanbly had given it to Nelson several decades earlier. The manuscript consists of 41 double-spaced typed pages. 39 of the pages are typed on inexpensive onion-skin "erasable" typewriter paper; these 39 pages represent what I believe to be the first, or rough, draft. The 40th page is numbered "43" and was typed on somewhat better quality paper (the watermark reads "Millers Falls EZERASE). I believe this to be the final page of Dick's second draft; the number 43 indicates the length of the ms. after Dick retyped the first draft with his additions, emendations and corrections. The 41st page of the ms, I examined is a carbon copy of the same page 43. this suggests to me that Dick, having revised the story once, still was not happy with the ending -- he pulled the last page along with its carbon, and rewrote the ending into the final version as published in Dangerous Visions. {...}

{The remainder of this article delves into minute differences between the ms. and published versions of this story. See PKDS-29 -- Lord RC}

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