"To him the future was an open book"

1st. Edition



  • wpe24.jpg (3742 bytes)
Le Masque SF, pb, 41, 1981, ?, ? (?) {tr. into French as LES CHAINES DE L'AVENIR}

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

"Do you think Hitler was a precog?" Pearson asked suddenly.
"Yes I do. Not as developed as Jones, of course. Dreams, hunches, intuitions. The future was fixed for him, too. And he took long chances. I think Jones will begin taking long chances, too. Now that he's beginning to understand what he's here on Earth for."

Ken Lopez. Bookseller catalog

. DICK, Philip K. The World Jones Made. NY: Ace, (1956). First. Signed. The author's third book, a paperback original, being an Ace Double, with another novel bound back-to-back. Near fine in wrappers and inscribed by the author to Tim Powers, "my fellow novelist." A very nice copy and an exceptional association: Powers was Dick's closest friend during the last years of Dick's life. Fittingly, as a writer, Powers has several times won science fiction's "Philip K. Dick Award"--for the best novel to be published in a paperback format in a given year. $450   {This might still be for sale, Apr 1999}

TDC 88

(PKD:) The irony was that my second novel, THE WORLD JONES MADE, was about a precognitive. And it didn't do him a damn bit of good. He couldn't avert the event. It was hell for him. He had precognition for one year ahead. And when he got within the last year of his life, he had a precognition of being dead, so it really was not a talent that gave him any options.

{For continuation see: TDC 89}

TTHC    294:    THE WORLD JONES MADE was Dick's second science fiction novel, delivered to Scott Meredith in December 1954. The sub agent liked it and recommended it for "hardcovers, Ballantine, Astounding, etc." (The mid-'50s pecking order). Again, however, it wound up at Ace, which published it in 1956, backed with Margaret StClair's Agent Of The Unknown. Wollheim says "I don't remember it save that I liked it." The title was Ace's. changed from Dick's original Womb For Another. Again, Damon Knight gave it a rave review, singling out Dick's characterization for praise. "In a field noted for cardboard characters, Dick's people are bitterly, sharply, unforgettably real."

Radio Free Albemuth    27

"I trust Valis."

"Suppose he's evil."

"Evil?" Nicholas stared at me. "He's the absolute force of good in the universe!"

"I'm not sure I'd trust him," I said, "if it were me and my life. I mean, you are talking about your life, Nick. Here you are giving up your house and your job and your friends because of a dream he shows you -- a preview. Maybe it's just precognition on your part. Maybe you're a precog." I had written several stories about precogs, in fact a novel, The World Jones made, and I tended to view precognition as a mixed blessing. In my stories, and especially in the novel, it placed the character in a closed loop, a victim of his own determinism; he was compelled, just as Nicholas seemed now, to enact later what he foresaw earlier, as if by previewing it he was destined to fall victim to it, rather than obtaining the capacity to escape it. Precognition did not lead to freedom but rather to a macabre fatalism, just as Nicholas now displayed: he had to move to Orange County because, a year ago, he had experienced a preview vision of it. Logically it made no sense. Couldn't he avoid going just precisely because he had suffered a premonition?

TSR 181

(PKD:) To understand the future totally would be to have it now. Try that, and see how it feels. Because once the future is gone, the possibility of free, effective action of any kind is abolished. This, of course, is a theme that appears in SF constantly; if no other instance crosses your mind, recall my own novel THE WORLD JONES MADE. By being a precog, Jones ultimately lost the power to act entirely; instead of being freed by his talent, he was paralyzed by it. You catchum?

SL:38 40 Dear Mr. Blish

{...} I'd like to comment on the two reviews (even though years have passed since you wrote them). First, the unsympathetic review, on the "Jones" book. {...} I agree. The "Jones" book was a failure. Let's face it. But the desire behind it was not base or ignoble. I've always been interested in the Joyce technique of starting with more than one thread and drawing these threads together at some nexus later in the book. {...} However, in my "Jones" book the threads don't come together; specifically, there is no relationship between the mutant group who open the book and the Jones political movement. Those two threads have no nexus. A is elated to B, and B to C, and C to D, but A has no relationship to D. And it should have had. I think, had there been a relationship between those two particular threads, the book would have come off. Originally, the MS was much longer. ACE agreed to publish it if I'd cut it. I cut out the mutant-thread entirely (which would have left a more unified book). But ACE demanded that I restore that thread. Without it the book was thin. This showed me that I had got off in the wrong direction in my novel writing, and the next books were based on a more unified approach.


One other thing, in connection with this book. Happens that the whole idea is a sort of transformation of the situation in Germany after World War One. A liberal government, democratic in nature, is in power. It fights against absolutist extremist elements growing from within; it tries to use its military and police power against them, and fails. Jones, as a person, is based on what I've read about Adolf Hitler. The drifters, of course, are the Jews (Damon Knight, I believe, noticed this). I tried to catch what I imagined was the zietgeist of Weimar and translate it into s-f terms. God knows what the mutants would be. Here the analogy breaks down.

{...} -- {PKD>James Blish, 10 Feb, 1958}

To THE WORLD JONES MADE an essay by Dave Hyde (taken from FDO#2)

To THE WORLD JONES MADE an essay by Barb Morning Child (taken from FDO#2)

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