SOLAR LOTTERY                            

"First prize was Earth itself!"

In the GSM Collection ACE, pb, D-103, May 1955, 188pp, $0.35, (Valigursky) // THE BIG JUMP by Leigh Bracket.

UK 1st.: Rich & Cowan, hb, , Jun 1956, 160pp, 9/6d (?) {as WORLD OF CHANCE} {Levack: "Bound in blue paper boards with silver lettering and spaceship logo on the spine. 'First published 1956' on the copyright page. No date on the title page. {...}}



{For the best bibliographic info in French goto: Thanks for the cover pix, Gilles}

"That's why teeps forced us to take up Minimax," Moore put in. "You can't have a strategy against telepaths: you have to act randomly. You have to not know what you're going to do next. You have to shut your eyes and run blindly. The problem is: how can you randomize your strategy, yet move purposefully toward your goal?"

Vote for your Fave PKD Story! SOLAR LOTTERY. So true to life, happiesh ending; prefigures use of I Ching and Chance in such later works as MAN IN THE HIGH CASTLE. -- Michael Field, Manitoba

Ken Lopez, Bookseller catalog

PKDS-1 2:

I seem to recall (in 1974) he also said at the time that EYE IN THE SKY may have been written before SOLAR LOTTERY.

{note: To shed some light on this, see the Eye History page. But it's unlikely that EYE was written before SOLAR LOTTERY as the manuscript for SOLAR LOTTERY was received at the SMLA on Mar 23, 1954 and the Novel published by Ace on May of 1955. The manuscript for EYE was received on Feb 15, 1955   -- Lord RC}

PKDS-2 6:

The Oakland Tribune, Jan 10, 1955 : "...he has a pocket book novel Quizmaster Take all readied for Fall, US publication.

PKDS-3 5:

PKD was honored with hardcover publication in Great Britain for two of his first books A HANDFULL OF DARKNESS and SOLAR LOTTERY (WORLD OF CHANCE), foreshadowing the greater respect and recognition he was to receive throughout his career in other countries than his own. He didn't see a US hardcover of one of his books until 1959 when TIME OUT OF JOINT, his seventh US book, was published by Lippincott.

PKDS-4 8:

Figures are not available on SOLAR LOTTERY, but Phil used to say it had sold over 150,000 copies, which then allowed him to say that his first book was his most successful and it had been downhill from there. (SOLAR LOTTERY benefited from being published at a time when fewer sf books were published and print runs were larger)

PKDS-5 6:

"I wasn't writing novels when I started out. I was writing stories, but the second I switched to novels, this inner template based on the French realistic novels just turned on like a circuit board. You can see that SOLAR LOTTERY, my first novel, is literally like the French novels in that respect: all manner of people in all walks of life... portrayed as best I could. It never occurred to me when I did this that these books would be published abroad..." {PKD-APEL & BRIGGS 1977}

PKDS-8 8:

The Afterword {to ONLY APPARANTLY REAL} is the product of new research and turns up a large amount of fascinating new information about the chronology of Dick's books. For instance, the first sf or fantasy novel he wrote in the 50s was not SOLAR LOTTERY but THE COSMIC PUPPETS.

PKDS-13 14:

Denoel, a leading French publisher, has issued a special double-issue of their periodical Science Fiction (#7,8 Nov 1986) dedicated to PKD.
Contents include Thomas M. Disch's essay on SOLAR LOTTERY which appeared as an introduction to the 1976 Gregg Press edition of that book.

PKDS-17 6:

...& why, I wonder, haven't I seen any of the long Dicks in MS? If I'd liked A GLASS OF DARKNESS We'd've paid exactly twice Satellite's $400. I'd certainly have bought EYE & probably SOLAR LOTTERY -- either (depending on our publisher's variable policy of the moment) as a serial or to be condensed into a one-shot -- wh wd've meant anywhere fr $600 to $1600 according to the length used.
{Letter from Tony Boucher to PKD, June 5, 1957}

PKDS-22 19:

Here I am, almost forty years old. Seventeen years ago I sold my first story, a great and wonderful moment in my life which will never come again. By 1954 I was known as a short story writer; in June 1953 I had seven stories on the stands, including one in Analog, Galaxy and F&SF, and so on down. Ah, 1954. I wrote my first novel, SOLAR LOTTERY; it sold 150,000 copies of itself and then vanished, only to reappear a few years ago. It was reviewed well, except in Galaxy. Tony Boucher liked it; so did Damon Knight. But I wonder why I wrote it -- it and the 24 novels since. Out of love, I suppose; I love science fiction both to read it and to write it. We who write it do not get paid very much... {PKD: from: Notes Made Late At Night By A Weary SF Writer.}

PKDS-24 9:

SOLAR LOTTERY, Philip K. Dick's first published novel, is back in print in the USA in a $3.95 mass-market paperback from Collier-Nucleus Books, the new MacMillan imprint (edited by Jim Frenkel) which last year {1990} reissued EYE IN THE SKY.

PKDS-24 11:

Legend (UK) has also reissued {1990} DR.BLOODMONEY and SOLAR LOTTERY.

PKDS-26 17:

Kevin Thacker and someone else supplied copies of a feature article by Mike Ashley from Britain's Book Collector, May 1990, entitled "Cult Sci-Fi Novelist Philip K. Dick." ... The 9-page piece includes a decent summary of Dick's life and work, and then some pages of juicy discussion of prices and variant first editions, etc. The highest listed values are for the first hardcover editions of WORLD OF CHANCE (L400), A HANDFULL OF DARKNESS (L250-L400), and THE 3 STIGMATA (L300), with half a dozen books in the 150 pound range.

PKDS-29 7:

"... The problem is that I am bogged down in work, right now; I'm completing a long novel that has had me tied up off and on for several years; this final revision at my agent's request has been on my work desk for nine months. I'm hoping to get it out of the way once and for all..."
{PKD to Mr. Hass, Sep 16, 1954}

PKDS-29 19:

Lazer in Czechoslovakia will issue SOLAR LOTTERY... In France, Presses de la Cite will reissue all of the 29 sf novels PKD wrote through 1970 in four omnibus editions (includes SL.)

"If that's protine," Benteley said to her, "it's the best job of adulteration I've smelled."

TTHC 105:

A.E.Van Vogt... was far and away the most important of the Campbell group to Dick. His critics... found Dick's first novels derivative of Van Vogt, and as Van Vogt had fallen out of fashion by 1955 both Damon Knight then and Thomas Disch now found books like SOLAR LOTTERY superior.

TTHC 267:

When he reviewed Dick's first novel, SOLAR LOTTERY, the very influential Damon Knight had to remind his readers just who he was talking about: "Philip K. Dick is that short-story writer who for the past five years or so has been popping up all over... with a sort of unobtrusive and chameleon-like competence... Dick creates a blurred impression of pleasant, small literary gifts, coupled with a near-sighted canniness about the market -- he writes the trivial, short, bland sort of story that amuses without exciting, is instantly saleable and instantly forgettable."

TTHC 203:

When Phil Dick sat down to write SOLAR LOTTERY he had already written and failed to sell two straight literary novels. (VOICES FROM THE STREET and GATHER YOURSELVES TOGETHER)


SOLAR LOTTERY, Phil's first published novel, tells the story of Ted Benteley, a biochemist who works his way up from unemployment to the key position of "Quizmaster" in a future world governed by "Games Theory". Games Theory, a prefatory note tells us, was then a popular mode of strategy, used by both the US and the Soviet Union "as I sit here." Dick told Williams that he read an article on it "and I thought, that'd make a neat novel!" He'd been looking for an idea and the concept sparked it. In an essay on the novel Thomas M. Disch had downgraded the theory as "a bit of legerdemain calculated to give the guileless reader a sense that the book is about Something Important."{fn: Disch:"Toward The Transcendent."} But there is more to Dick's use of "minimax" than that. Games of chance that aren't really -- such means of divining reality as the I Ching, with its random casting of yarrow stalks -- will play a major role in Dick's future work and life.

...SOLAR LOTTERY has several fathers: Dick's own talent leaping into flame, of course, but also the advice given him by Will Cook, and the examples of other novelists. A.E.Van Vogt's influence has been widely remarked; Thomas Disch says simply that SL was "Van Vogt's best novel." {fn:ibid}... Brian Aldiss says "Dick began as a smart imitator of Van Vogt and ended up as a wizard. Most carreers in SF flow the other way about." {Aldiss: "A Whole New Can Of Worms."} [For a look at a Will Cook cover, click here The Wranglers]

Another less recognised influence on Dick at this time was Kurt Vonnegut. Dick considered the young Vonnegut "smarter than me," and while he was repelled by his later work, Vonnegut's first novel PLAYER PIANO (1952), greatly influenced him... He told Paul Williams in 1974, "I thought it was a masterpiece, and nobody knew who Vonnegut was."...

When in 1974 Dick spoke to Paul Williams he told him that Van Vogt was not his model in writing SOLAR LOTTERY (a flat contradiction to what he was to tell me in 1981); instead "what I really based it on was the French realistic novels I was reading, and Maupassant, the short stories, not on science fiction at all."
"It's a slice-of-life thing. I had about 45 characters in the original version. My agnt made me throw most of them out. I wanted to do Dos Passos' USA right off the bat, see?" The manuscript of Quizmaster Take All {Dick's original title for SL} reached the SMLA in March 1954. A note on the novels green card says "I had the author do some rewriting to give it depth," implying the revisions Dick spoke of.

The Agency then sent the revised manuscript not to ACE but to the most prestigious sf paperback house, Ballantine Books. It was rejected, as it was at two other houses before it landed on Don Wollheim's desk. Dick wrote in 1969 that "Don Wollheim was the only editor who risked buying SOLAR LOTTERY; no one else would take it, and if Don hadn't, you wouldn't have been able to identify me as a novelist at all. Had SL not sold, I would have abandoned the attempts to write novels, and would have gone back to stories."...
"I had no contact with him (Wollheim)," Dick told me in 1981, "until my agent sent SL to him. And then he sent it back for major revisions." He told me {Rickman}, as he told others, that "ACE Doubles were very very precise as to how long those books were... It had to be exactly 6,000 lines long. That was a marketing thing and I understood that." Wollheim, asked about this, denies it: "Bullshit! Baloney. That was never true of us. We had a certain page-range -- 320 pages to begin with. You know lengths by rules of thumb. After a few years (ACE doubles were made up of) one book of 50-60,000 words, the other 35,000-45,000 words, perhaps a novella in a general sense. Or you could pace it out with a short story collection, which we did many times." {see: IHOW}

According to SOLAR LOTTERY's green card the books original version was 63,000 words long, while the revision the Agency received and sent on to ACE in December was "cut to 60,000 words." This certainly sounds like a book that was "6,000 lines long, " a cut of 3,000 words, although the cut could well have consisted instead of the revisions the Agency wanted -- the record is unclear. Kleo remembers reading different versions of the book. Wollheim says he doesn't remember requesting a rewrite.


Why were Phil's books accepted by ACE, supposedly the low-brow pulp house, and rejected by the up-market Ballantine? ... Wollheim admits that Dick's work was "a bit of an innovation" for ACE. "I don't know if Ballantine ever saw the Dick novels. He came to us. Basically Dick told a good action story as well as clever stunts, and I think Wyn appreciated it."

Once ACE had bought a book its author was promptly paid. Wollheim is quite proud of this policy. "We paid $1500 for a Double, split in half. The author got $750 and half of the royalties. In those days that was good money -- $3,000 in today's money." Once bought and paid for ACE copyrighted the novel in its name, and began its packaging. Wollheim says that while "he did all the reading, Wyn insisted on doing the titling. He had a pulp mind, so I gave him a whole long list of titles and he picked that one (SOLAR LOTTERY)," a title which replaced Dick's original Quizmaster Take All. ...

SOLAR LOTTERY was issued in a different form in Britain, as WORLD OF CHANCE (1956). The Meredith Agency apparantly circulated a copy of Dick's original manuscript to Rich & Cowan, in England, and when they accepted it they wrote Meredith asking for an overhaul. Dick wrote back pridefully, in May 1955, "They can have a copy of the ACE edition, which will be out in a day or so. They can print from that." {PKD-Scott Meredith, May 16, 1955} {..}

Once published, SOLAR LOTTERY received excellent reactions: from fans, from critics and from readers. We have seen how the novel seemed to readers of Dick's short stories a miracle of literary growth. Damon Knight's rave review noted its liveliness, tension, and the way it was like a Van Vogt novel in its inventiveness but unlike a Van Vogt novel "miraculously made sense." (Knight: "In Search Of Wonder", 228)

The book, says Wollheim, "sold very well. We printed 100,000 or more." ... "SOLAR LOTTERY or something like that sold 85,000 - 90,000 copies. We didn't get the figures." ACE books were marketed so that if they got only 10% of the books back from the dealers, who couldn't sell them, it "was utopia. We had a break-even figure of 60%-70% on the Doubles. These days a 50% return is break even. The standard is 30%. If you sell 40% you're making money. In those days you did big printings and you sold them. It was quite a time to get into. As things went on, as paper changed and prices went up and other people got in the business, it slowly grew more and more dificult."
"I didn't have access to sales records. Once a year A.A.Wyn would tell me which books had barely covered their costs. We never lost money. That's incredible. The standard printing order was 90,000 - 100,000. We don't print that many these days."

TTHC 297:

He (PKD) told James Blish in 1958 that JAPED was written in part to dispel the notion that SOLAR LOTTERY had been written from "an extreme left position," referring to some response he'd recieved to it in Berkeley. Twenty three years later he was still maning this point, asserting that Thomas Disch (in his Foreward to SOLAR LOTTERY) had called him "the only Marxist science fiction writer there is," but that "anyone who understands... MAN WHO JAPED would never make the error of thinking that I was a communist or Marxist. Because there is a very, very sincere attempt to show the very dangerous trends in Communism, the communist state." {see: IHOW 128}

{Disch's actual statement is that "SOLAR LOTTERY, along with most of its successors (in Dick's ouvre) may be read as self-contained social allegories of a more-or-less Marxist bent." (Disch: Toward The Transcendent)}

Benteley slowly followed the party, the copper taste of horror thick in his mouth. He knew, now. It was being shrilled on all sides of him, screamed out by the excited mehanical voices of the public newsmachines.

DI 35ff:

... from 1954 on, there was a distinct shift: From this point, Phil would devote his main energies to writing novels. In his 1968 Self Portrait he confessed:

"With only a few exceptions, my magazine-length stories were second rate. Standards were low in the early-50s. I did not know many technical skills in writing which are essential... the viewpoint problem, for example. Yet, I was selling; I was making a good living, and at the 1954 SF World Convention I was very readily recognized and singled out... I recall someone taking a photograph of A.E. Van Vogt and me and someone saying, "The old and the new." But what a miserable excuse for "the new"! {...} Van Vogt in such works as THE WORLD OF NULL-A, wrote novels; I did not. Maybe that was it; maybe I should try an sf novel.
"For months I prepared carefully, I assembled characters and plots, several plots all woven together, and then wrote everything into the book that I could think up. It was bought by Don Wollheim at ACE Books and titled SOLAR LOTTERY. Tony Boucher reviewed it well in the NY Herald Tribune; the review in Astounding was favorable, and in Infinity, Damon Knight devoted his entire column to it -- and all in praise.
"Standing there at that point I did some deep thinking. It seemed to me that magazine length writing was going downhill -- and not paying that much.You might get $20 for a story and $4000 for a novel. So I decided to bet everything on the novel; I wrote THE WORLD JONES MADE, and later on, THE MAN WHO JAPED. And then a novel that seemed to be a genuine breakthrough for me: EYE IN THE SKY..."

So Phil Dick the sf writer became Phil Dick the sf novelist. The above account includes the usual Phildickian inaccuracies and omissions: The Meredith Agency had recieved the manuscript for SL in March, before the 1954 WorldCon and Phil's meting with Van Vogt. But the essence is true. From 1954 on it was novels that he wrote and as a novelist that he identified himself.

DI 292:

... The 1955 British hardcover, titled WORLD OF CHANCE differs slightly in form due to editorial changes... Until DO ANDROIDS DREAM OF ELECTRIC SHEEP?, retitled BLADE RUNNER, was reissued as a tie-in to the movie, SOLAR LOTTERY -- at over 300,000 -- was Phil's biggest seller...

Verrick pointed to his great barrel chest. "There are no sissy-kissing charms hanging around my neck. No rose petals and ox dung and boiled owl spit. I play a game of skill, not chance and maybe not strategy, when you pin me down. I never did go by a lot of theoretical abstractions. I go by rule of thumb." He displayed his thumb. "I do what each situation demands. That's skill. I've got it."

TDM 147:

"I got married when I was nineteen, and it wasn't until a little later when I really began to write. I got married again when I was twenty-one. A point came when I began to feel that science fiction was very important. Van Vogt's THE WORLD OF NULL-A -- there was something about that which absolutely fascinated . It had a mysterious quality, it alluded to things unseen, there were puzzles presented which were never adequately explained. I found in it a numinous quality; I began to get an idea of a mysterious quality in the universe which could be dealt with in science fiction. I realise now that what I was sensing was a kind of metaphysical world, an invisible realm of things half seen, essentially what medieval people sensed as the transcendent world, the next world. I had no religious background. I was raised in a Quaker school -- they're about the only group in the world that I don't have some grievance against; there's no hassles between me and the Quakers -- but the Quaker thing was just a lifestyle. And in Berkeley there was no religious spirit at all.

"I don't know if Van Vogt would agree that he's essentially dealing with the supernatural, but that's what was happening in me. I was begining to sense that what we perceived was not what was actually there. I was interested in Jung's idea of projection -- what we experience as external to us may really be projected from our unconscious, which means of course that each person's world has to be different from everybody else's..." {PKD in interview with Charles Platt}

"Fragile Earthmen, venturing out here, go back to your own system! Go back to your little orderly universe, your strict civilization. Stay away from the regions you do not know! Stay away from darkness and monsters!"

OAR 6:

1954: Twenty eight stories published. Sells first novel, SOLAR LOTTERY. (finished in March, sold in December). Attends SF convention, August.

OAR 178:

6. SOLAR LOTTERY, received by SMLA Mar 23, 1954... ACE, May 1955.

OAR 80:

Phil had a pat story about why he started writing novels -- by the time he related it to me it was like a parody of his own story: "In '54 I went to my first convention. And they said, 'You oughta write novels!' You'll never make it writing stories.' (because the financial return was so small; novels brought in more income for the time and effort involved) "So I says, 'Oh? Is that how you do it? And they say, 'Yeah. Have a martini.' And I say, 'What's a martini?'"

In fact Phil had already completed SOLAR LOTTERY before he went to that convention. And he had written a fantasy novel earlier, THE COSMIC PUPPETS, but he thought of it as a long story and his agent was trying to sell it to the magazine market...
But Phil's awareness of himself as a sf novelist began when SL was sold at the beginning of 1954, and it had a dramatic effect on his short story production. On just over 3 years, from November 1951 to the end of 1954, Phil Dick had written eighty two short stories. In the next eight years, 1955-62, Phil wrote exactly four stories, two in 1955 and two in 1958. When he made the decision to change forms he didn't look back.

A wavering figure hovered within the mirror. An empty, lifeless insect-thing caught momentarily, suspended in the yellowed watery depths. He gazed mutely at it, at the waxen hair, the vapid mouth and lips, the colorless eyes. Arms limp and boneless at its sides; a spineless, bleached thing that blinked vacantly back at him, without sound or motion.


After hitting peaks of 30 and 28 stories respectively published in 1953 and 1954, he moved into novel writing with the very successful SOLAR LOTTERY (1955).

IHOW 66:

(GR:) Was SOLAR LOTTERY your first contact with him?
(PKD:) The first science fiction magazine I read was a Donald Wollheim magazine, Stirring Science Stories. But I had no contact with him until my agent sent SOLAR LOTTERY to him. And then he sent it back for major revisions.
(GR:) You followed his advice?
(PKD:) (laughs) Listen, he was the only market. That was it.
(GR:) How did he change it?
(PKD:) Oh, I don't remember now. Except it had to be exactly 6,000 lines long. But that was a marketing thing and I understood that. ACE Doubles were very very precise as to how long those books were. But he did want a lot of changes made in that book, and a lot in THE WORLD JONES MADE, and we had a lot of fights about that. He wanted that to be much more commercial. I put in some of what I call literary elements.
(GR:) Like characterization.
(PKD:) Characterization! All the good things. He couldn't see any point in that...
... And he retitled most of them, SOLAR LOTTERY, WORLD JONES MADE...

IHOW 84:

(PKD) You've got to realise that they [most of his literary novels] were written before TIME OUT OF JOINT, they were written before that. They came around the time that I wrote THE WORLD JONES MADE [and dating back to his first plunge into writing in 1951]
They're really very early novels, and I had no control over viewpoint then. I only got control over viewpoint because of a chance remark, a friend of mine, a Western writer named Will Cook...[see: Will Cook cover
But he found out that I varied my viewpoint, and I didn't even know of the concept "viewpoint". I was so naive and so amateurish. So I asked him what my viewpoint was, he says, sometimes its third-person interior, something like that. It's like suddenly being equipped for the first time with such concepts as ontology. And I said, "Gollee!" I just fathomed what he was saying. So I said, well, are there any other kinds of viewpoints? He said, Oh, yeah! there's first-person, you know, and he explained to me all about viewpoint.
And I really just memorized everything he said. I thought "Goddamn! This is really great! I can do all kinds of things I didn't know." In SOLAR LOTTERY, there's a scene in the first chapter, where I could not fathom how to handle the viewpoint. I literally did not know about interior third person versus omniscience. So I was having a hell of a time. So he clued me in to all that stuff.
So once I got into the viewpoint problem as a problem, I decided to explore all the possible viewpoints that might exist, not just the ones that were conventionally used. Like he said, there's just three viewpoints, really. There's third-person omniscient, there's first person -- there's actually first person interior . like James Joyce did in ULYSSES. I knew that. Like your almost getting down in the unconscious. And then there's third person interior, versus third-person external. And he explained the difference to me... ...

IHOW 112:   SOLAR LOTTERY was my first novel. No it wasn't, it was my first published novel. Yeah, I had written a bunvh before that. It was my first science fiction novel. I had written unpublished literary -- allegedly literary, what I thought was literary -- novels.
    When I wrote SOLAR LOTTERY, I modeled it on A.E. Van Vogt, and I modeled it deliberately on Van Vogt, and I have no shame, because he was my hero as a writer and as a person. I wrote a Van Vogtian novel. I was not an original writer at that time, I was a very derivative type of writer. I had heroes and I tried to write like they wrote. He was my idee fixe as far as a writer.
    So it does resemble a Van Vogt novel, which Damon Knight pointed out. When you read it now -- when Tom Disch did the Gregg Press novel, he really couldn't see anything good in this novel [Disch wrote the Introduction to theGregg Press hardcover edition of SOLAR LOTTERY, 1976]
    But Tom is forgetting the time in which it was written... 1954. Well, shit! There was nothing good then. There was one novel, one science fiction novel that had been written that was good. And that was Bester's The Demolished Man(1952). And I cribbed from that, the Telepathic corps.
    I mean Disch doesn't have to live those pulp years. It's really easy, in the late 70s and early 80s, to talk about quality. But if he thinks that he could sell a quality science fiction novel in 1954, he doesn't realise that there was one market only, and that was Ace Books. And that books were "Doubles", two novels for 35 cents. And that yo had no latitude. It had to be 6,000 lines and it had to be an adventure novel. There was no latitude. You were told exactly what to write. And if we didn't write it for Don Wollheim, we didn't sell it.
    I really cannot take responsibility for the state of the art. Science fiction was rapidly devolving into very poor stuff. By 1959 the total readership had sunk to 100,000. And when you consider that SOLAR LOTTERY had sold over 300,000 copies you realise what a commercial success it was. The readership wasn't even there for SOLAR LOTTERY and it sold very well.
    I'm very defensive about SOLAR LOTTERY. In terms of the field at the time it was a hell of a good novel. And Damon Knight saw it as what he called an architectural plot in the structure [see Knight's In Search Of Wonder, 1967]. But in relationship with later stuff, it sucks. But I was a novice.
    I'm shouting! I'm becoming hysterical. [laughs] I'm defending my first novel. Vonnegut's first novel Player Piano (1952), was a masterpiece, and mine wasn't. He's smarter than me...

IHOW    121: In many ways I was an anti-capitalist, but that didn't make me a Marxist. I was very, very suspicious, terribly suspicious of totalitarian states, whether right or left wing. I would say the real enemy, the enemy which to me is the paradigm of evil, is the totalitarian state, and it can be religious, it can be left wing, it can be right wing. I was just horrified at what I saw during the eisenhower period in this country, at what appeared to me to be a great movement toward a totalitarian state in the United States. A right wing totalitarian state. Where anybody who is a dissenter is labelled a traitor. That is of course the mark of a totalitarian society, when any dissent is regarded as treason.
    The moment you know dissent is regarded as treason, you know right away you've got totalitarianis, and then its incumbent on you to dissent your ass off. Just protest everything. At that point, a really moral person, once he notices that trend, of the equating of dissent and treason, has a moral obligation to oppose the authorities.
    My real stance was opposing authority. And I opposed the communist authorities as much as I opposed the American authorities...

OnPKD    154: But if Dick was appreciated by his fellow writers, what did the critics think of him? From 1953 to 1973, Dick published 32 novels and short-story collections and had 110 reviews in sf magazines. These reviews covered first editions and re-editions seperately in all cases but two: CLANS OF THE ALPHAN MOON and OUR FRIENDS FROM FROLIX 8. From 1974 to 1979, dick got 95 reviews of 25 novels and collections. SOLAR LOTTERY, for example, had 5 reviews in 1955, 1 in 1968, and 8 more when it was reissued in 1968; FLOW MY TEARS was reviewed 16 times; A SCANNER DARKLY, 13... {R. Bozzetto}

OnPKD    159: Curiously, Dick found himself following the traces of another who had a great influence of French SF: A.E.Van Vogt. The World of Null-A had the same kind of impact in France as UBIK and SOLAR LOTTERY subsequently enjoyed...{R.Bozzetto}

Twilight Zone, Jun 1982    51: "By the year 1957 the sf had totally collapsed. The readership had shrunk down to 100,000 total. Now, to show you how few readers that is, SOLAR LOTTERY alone had sold 300,000 copies in 1955 "{PKD in Interview with John Boonstra}

SF EYE, Vol.1 #2, Aug 1987    40:

(PKD): In June of 1953 I published 27 stories and about as many the next year. In June 1953 I had seven short stories on the stands simultaneously, but no American publisher had approcached me to do a collection this was before i had done any novels and Rich & Cowan in England approached me with the idea of putting out a collection of stories.

(RL): How did they contact you? Did they come through your agent?

(PKD): Yeah, through Scott Meredith. they bought SOLAR LOTTERY, my first novel, and brought it out as WORLD OF CHANCE. But they brought it out in a truncated form. They insisted that a great deal be deleted from it. I did, in fact, make a different version of SOLAR LOTTERY for them. It's quite different from the U.S. version. But they just simply contacted me through Scott, which was easy enough." {PKD Interview by Richard Lupoff}

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