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Dr. Futurity by Philip K. Dick. New York. 1960. Ace Books. Paperback Original. Bound As An Ace Double With SLAVERS OF SPACE by John Brunner. D-421. 138 pages.

 

ace dr futurity d 421FROM THE PUBLISHER -

 

 

    DR. FUTURITY is a 1960 science fiction novel by Philip K. Dick. It is an expansion of his earlier short story ‘Time Pawn‘, which first saw publication in the summer 1954 issue of Thrilling Wonder Stories. DR. FUTURITY was first published as a novel by Ace Books as one half of Ace Double D-421, bound together with John Brunner's SLAVERS OF SPACE. Dr. Jim Parsons is a doctor from 2012, born in 1980. Abruptly, he undergoes involuntary time travel to 2405 CE, and finds that his profession is treated with disdain. In the future, the population is static, with no natural births; only a death can cause the formation of a new embryo. The result is a society ambivalent toward death, as controlled genetics ensures that each successive generation better benefits the human race as a whole. By killing off the weak, poverty and disease are eliminated, and humanity has an optimal chance for survival. Moreover, a single race derived from African Americans and Native Americans controls this future world, as caucasians have been wiped out or integrated centuries earlier. After Parsons cures a dying woman (not knowing that this is considered a heinous crime in this time period), Chancellor Al Stenog exiles him to Mars, but the spaceship is intercepted en route, and Parsons is returned to a deserted Earth far in the future. On finding a marker with instructions on how to operate the time travel controls on the spaceship, he is directed to a Native American-style tribal lodge, where he must perform surgery to save the life of a wounded time traveler, Corith, after the latter had previously died from an arrow wound. Parsons extracts the arrow, but it later mysteriously rematerializes in Corith's body. To resolve this situation, Parsons and Corith's relatives travel back to Corith's previous assignment in 1579 on the Pacific Coast of North America, where Corith was to kill Sir Francis Drake, in order to change history and preserve the Native American way of life, avoiding their subjugation by European colonial powers. While observing the assassination attempt on Drake, Parsons realizes that Drake is actually Chancellor Stenog, who is lying in wait for Corith. Parsons tries to warn Corith, but Corith discovers that Parsons is white and attacks him. In the ensuing struggle, Parsons inadvertently stabs Corith through the heart with one of the arrows that were meant for Drake. In retribution, Parsons is left stranded by Corith's relatives in 1597, a time in which the European explorers had departed. Parsons is rescued by Loris, Corith's daughter, when she learns that she will have Parson's child in the future. While briefly back in 2405, Parsons realizes that the reason the arrow mysteriously reappeared in Corith's chest after he'd removed it was because he had murdered him for a second time to cover his tracks. If Corith were to recover, he would have revealed that it was Parsons who killed him, and an unwitting Parsons from slightly earlier would have been left helpless at the hands Corith's relatives. As he stands over Corith, ready to kill him for a second time, he decides against it and tries to flee. But before he can do so, two people appear in the room from the future and kill Corith with the second arrow to the heart. Parsons quickly realizes that the murderers are the children he had with Loris, traveling back to 2405 from an even more distant future. His children take Parsons forward in time to meet with Loris again, and he struggles with the decision to return to 2012. Eventually, he does, back to the same day that he left and to the doting wife who saw him off earlier that morning. He sets about his old life, with a new task at hand. The novel closes with him constructing the stone marker that will eventually save his life on that desolate future Earth.

 

 

Dick Philip KPhilip Kindred Dick (December 16, 1928 – March 2, 1982) was an American novelist, short story writer and essayist whose published work is almost entirely in the science fiction genre. Dick explored sociological, political and metaphysical themes in novels dominated by monopolistic corporations, authoritarian governments, and altered states. In his later works Dick's thematic focus strongly reflected his personal interest in metaphysics and theology. He often drew upon his own life experiences in addressing the nature of drug abuse, paranoia, schizophrenia, and transcendental experiences in novels such as A Scanner Darkly and VALIS. The novel The Man in the High Castle bridged the genres of alternate history and science fiction, earning Dick a Hugo Award for Best Novel in 1963. Flow My Tears, the Policeman Said, a novel about a celebrity who awakens in a parallel universe where he is unknown, won the John W. Campbell Memorial Award for best novel in 1975. ‘I want to write about people I love, and put them into a fictional world spun out of my own mind, not the world we actually have, because the world we actually have does not meet my standards,’ Dick wrote of these stories. ‘In my writing I even question the universe; I wonder out loud if it is real, and I wonder out loud if all of us are real.’ In addition to 44 published novels, Dick wrote approximately 121 short stories, most of which appeared in science fiction magazines during his lifetime. Although Dick spent most of his career as a writer in near-poverty, ten popular films based on his works have been produced, including Blade Runner, Total Recall, A Scanner Darkly, Minority Report, Paycheck, Next, Screamers, and The Adjustment Bureau. In 2005, Time magazine named Ubik one of the one hundred greatest English-language novels published since 1923. In 2007, Dick became the first science fiction writer to be included in The Library of America series.

 

 

 

 

 

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