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


"I can't put you under," the voice of the ship sounded inside Kemming's head. "The malfunction is too elaborate; I can't correct it and I can't repair it. You will be conscious for ten years." -- I HOPE I SHALL ARRIVE SOON

PKDS-8    9

Doubleday's new collection of PKD stories, I HOPE I SHALL ARRIVE SOON, was published in late June{...}

When Mark Hurst and I put together this collection, I told Doubleday I would supply story notes and asked them to give me a deadline. I never heard from them and, I'm sorry to say, I didn't nudge them until it was too late.

By way of apology, then, here's a little bit of background: the introduction "How To Build A Universe That Doesn't Fall Apart Three Days Later", was clearly written as a speech, in early 1978. I'm fairly certain it was never delivered, and it seems likely it was written for an appearance scheduled at the University of Missouri in Rolls, May 5, 1978, that Phil cancelled at the last minute.

"The Short, Happy Life Of The Brown Oxford" (title via Hemingway) features the same Doc Labyrinth who's in "The Preserving Machine". "Explorers We" is a thematic precursor to "A Little Something For Us Tempunauts", and was reprinted as a limited edition booklet to commemorate Phil's appearance at the Second International Festival of Science Fiction at Metz, France, September 1977. It was written in 1958, one of only two short stories that Phil wrote in the seven years between 1956 and 1962.

"Holy Quarrel" is one of those fascinating mid-1960s PKD stories that seem to be trial balloons -- I'll start writing this and see if there's enough going on for it to become a novel. "What'll We Do With Ragland Park?" is a sequel to "Top Stand-By Job", a variation on the classic theme of the prophecy that always comes true. The manuscript title was "No Ordinary Guy."

"Strange Memories Of Death" was written in early 1980, after Phil's apartment became a condominium; "SMoD" is Phil's original title, but his agent tried (unsuccessfully) to market it under the title "Blessing In Disguise." The story was first published in Interzone # 8, Summer 1984. "The Alien Mind," the last story Phil ever wrote, was done at the request of a high school student Phil met while buying cat food at the grocery store. It first appeared in the Yuba City High Times, Feb 1981, and was later reprinted in F&SF.

"The Exit Door Leads In" was written for Rolling Stone College Papers, a short-lived publication. It's unusual among PKD's stories in that it was written at the request of the editors. That assignment seemed to spur a brief flurry of stories -- "Exit Door" was received by Phil's agent 6/21/79, followed by "Chains of Air" 7/9/79, "Strange Memories" 3/27/80, "I Hope I Shall Arrive Soon" 4/24/80, and "Rautavaara's Case" 5/13/80. Prior to "Exit Door" Phil had not written a short story for publication since 1974. (He wrote a couple of unusual and/or humorous pieces for friends in 1975 and 1977)

"Chains of Air, Web of Aethyr" served as the basis for the first few chapters of THE DIVINE INVASION; it was definitely written before Phil submitted the outline and got a contract for that book (so novel follows story rather than vice versa). The original title was "The Man Who Knew How To Lose."

"Exit Door" earned Phil a large fee, but "I Hope I Shall Arrive Soon" was really his first sale to a recognized major short story market (Playboy), closely followed by "Rautavaara's Case" (Omni). "I Hope I Shall Arrive Soon" was Phil's original title; the story appeared in Playboy as "Frozen Journey". It later won the Playboy Award for best short story of the year by a new contributor, and appeared in Terry Carr's "Best Of The Year" collection. Ray Torrence is a real person, a PKDS member. The bee story and the bird story are from Phil's childhood. {Paul Williams}


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