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On The Arid Colony Of Mars The Only Thing Precious Than Water May Be A Ten Year Old Schizophrenic Boy Named Manfred Steiner For Although The UN Has Slated Anomalous Children For Deportation And Destruction, Other People Especially Supreme Goodmember Arnie Kott Of The Water Worker S Union Suspect That Manfred S Disorder May Be A Window Into The Future In Martian Time Slip Philip K Dick Uses Power Politics And Extraterrestrial Real Estate Scams, Adultery, And Murder To Penetrate The Mysteries Of Being And Time


10 thoughts on “Martian Time-Slip

  1. says:

    Death upsets everyone, makes them do peculiar things it sets a radiating process of action and emotion going that works its way out, farther and farther, to embrace people and things Philip K Dick, Martian Time SlipDickheads of the world unite You have nothing to lose but your minds Go ahead, read Martian Time Slip and push yourself to the limit you are on Mars in the near future among colonies under the umbrella of the United Nations, colonies formed by citizens from such countries as Russia, Israel and the United States This framework is all the author needs to explore an entire range of very human topics, from the impact of technology on education to the consequences of limited water supply Since the story is too vintage PKD over the top crazy and convoluted for any simple overview or synopsis, allow me instead to highlight a number of the many colorful characters and themes Jack Bohlen An electronics machine repairman living with his wife and son out in the Martian desert, living very much like thousands of middle class suburban families back on earth All the way to Mars for this But the real action for Jack is on the inside he has to deal with his past schizophrenia While on a job at his son s public school he has a flashback of a hallucination when he was in an interview with a personnel manager in California he could see through the man s skin to his skeleton where the bones were all connected by copper wire and all his internal organs were plastic and stainless steel And this only for starters Jack s visions and hallucinations become disturbing his schizophrenia resurfaces and threatens to destroy his Martian life Arnie Kott Blustering, self absorbed business leader it s as if PKD had a flash of insight into the future and anticipated a well known current day president with the initials DT from the constant gush of harsh words issuing from his big mouth down to his fat white toes Dickheads and Dickhead wannabes should most definitely put Martian Time Slip at the top of their list for this reason alone As anybody with a shred of aesthetic sense will undoubtedly realize, having someone like Arnie on Mars quickly turns the red planet into a red hell realm And what ultimately happens to Arnie PKD couldn t hold back.Doreen Anderton Girlfriend of Arnie who comes to love Jack, a stunningly beautiful redhead who also is the novel s most intelligent, perceptive, sensitive earthling on Mars Doreen is particularly attuned to the dynamics of schizophrenia since she had a brother back on earth who suffered from the disorder and subsequently committed suicide At one point, Doreen draws on her past observations of her schizophrenic brother to warn Jack of his possible psychic collapse unless he takes the necessary steps to stop work on his current project A lovely young lady with wisdom and compassion a fabulous combination Thanks, Phil Bleakmen The tribespeople living as hunter gatherers on Mars for thousands of years prior to the arrival of anyone from earth Their lands are stolen, their mystic beliefs ridiculed and their dignity denied Some are taken on as slavelike cheap labor in homes, others to work deep underground in mines Enough to send a few shivers up an anthropologist s spine However, the we read, the we come to appreciate the power and special insights of these Bleakmen Manfred Steiner A ten year old autistic boy living at Camp Ben Gurion along with other anomalous children Manfred neither speaks nor interacts with others rather, he lives in his own world of highly accelerated time which enables him to see the future, an ability that makes him a valuable commodity for an enterprising land speculator like Arnie Kott But how to communicate with Manfred The central Manfred becomes to the story, the the plot warps in dark, eerie and even sinister ways Teaching Machines Kids are taught at public school not by real teachers but teaching machines, lifelike copies, mental capacity included, of the likes of Aristotle, Lincoln, Edison and Twain There s even one of Kindly Dad Jack resents these machines forcing sheeplike conformity on the children and tells Kindly Dad as much One of the hilarious sections I reread several times Camp Ben Gurion A special school for anomalous children, that is, children judged to have physical or mental or antisocial defects All these defectives on Mars are a major drawback to marketing efforts to get people to move to the red planet One of the proposed solutions kill off the defectives Remind you of Nazi Germany It should Time Chamber A psychotherapist at Camp B G by the name of Dr Glaub explains a new Swiss theory about autistic children like Manfred, how such children experience time speeded up and how a chamber is being constructed to slow sights and sounds down for them Remember this is science fiction and PKD squeezes the possibility of such a chamber for all its worth More Schizophrenic Visions Distortions twist space and time, occasionally replaying time, and we glimpse schizophrenia from the inside with terrifying images of things like huge meat eating birds in a decaying, rotting, death filled world Curiously, such apparitions and phantasms touch on the mystic rituals of the Bleakmen Highly recommended After all, you have nothing to lose but your mind I m not much but I m all I have Philip K Dick, Martian Time Slip


  2. says:

    Martian Time Slip by Philip K Dick, published in 1964, is one of PKDs better books Set on Mars, this is largely about Terran colonists taking care of business Dick provides a snapshot of social, political and economic life on Mars Bleekmen are the long suffering indigenous extra terrestrial native Martians, cast aside like Native Americans and called the N word by a fat cat union boss Carrying on the tradition set by Robert A Heinlein in Red Planet and Ray Bradbury s The Martian Chronicles, PKD s Mars is the remnant of an ancient, long lost civilization, and the present day Bleekmen are a shadowy vestige of a once proud race But than just a science fiction narrative about a colonist life on Mars, PKD provides close glimpses into the lives of the colonists and describes how human nature does not change The Martian colonists continue to struggle with the same issues of jealousy, guilt, greed, and self serving rationalization as people on earth do in the 60s when this was written and now, 50 years later still relevant today.This is good PKD, and a fan will notice many ubiquitous PKD elements such as schizophrenia and suicidal tendencies and yet another character as an appliance repairman Like other great PKD books, I am left amazed that he was not popular in his own lifetime This is a vibrant, well written narrative full of erudite observations and keen characterization He was truly a great science fiction writer, one of the greatest, but also transcended the genre as a good writer in any venue.


  3. says:

    Everything wears out eventually nothing is permanent Change is the one constant of life Philip K Dick, Martian Time SlipMartian Time Slip may not be one of Dick s BEST novels, but it is almost my favorite There is a huge energy and vitality in it Dick is painting with his usual themes loneliness, madness, drugs, pre cognition, time, artificial intelligence, the other, corporatism, love, etc , but there is nothing usual about what he extracts The only thing missing from this book is GOD, but Dick will delve into that later in his career He is starting to flirt with the surface with the mystical practices of the Bleekmen Martians.I was especially taken with the time he spent on autism and schizophrenia This book was written in the 60s just as Autism was starting to be distinguished and separated from schizophrenia, due to some poor phrasing in the 40s Dick who suffered from his own mental health issues was probably VERY aware of autism since he was deeply curious about mental health Anyway, he says it best Purpose of life is unknown, and hence way to be is hidden from the eyes of living critters Who can say if perhaps the schizophrenics are not correct Mister, they take a brave journey They turn away from mere things, which one may handle and turn to practical use they turn inward to meaning There, the black night without bottom lies, the pit Who can say if they will return And if so, what will they be like, having glimpsed meaning I admire them


  4. says:

    It is characteristic of Philip K Dick s rather peculiar approach to narrative incident that he chooses to focus his story of Martian time travel on the man in charge of the local Water Workers Union You can be sure that if he d ever written a book about the fateful Terra Nova Expedition to the South Pole, it would have concentrated on the travel agent that had arranged Scott s boat out of Southampton.This one begins, then, a little slowly, and also has a few awkward traces of outdated sexual and racial attitudes that made me wonder if the whole thing would be a dud But the weirdness that gradually intrudes on the plot makes it well worth a little patience it s one of the clearest expressions of Dick s fixation on disturbed mental states that I ve yet read.The novel s most essential and enigmatic character is a small boy who is described as being autistic or schizophrenic we never really understand him, or hear his voice directly in any but the most confusing circumstances It s not clear whether his diagnosis corresponds with how modern clinicians would use these medical terms, or whether it s some futuristic, sci fi equivalent but what is clear is that for Dick, these conditions are useful mainly as a shorthand for talking about alternative interpretations of reality.Instead of a psychosis, he had thought again and again, it was on the order of a vision, a glimpse of absolute reality, with the fa ade stripped away.In this case, the boy s untethering from time begins to affect those around him, with frightening results The time slip of the title is well described no controlled, organised time travel here, but something much chaotic and pathological In one memorable scene, a woman who has so far been not much than a sexy office bombshell type is suddenly seen to be a slab of inert meat, already dead, already infested Her eyes fused over, opaque, and from behind one eye the lashes became the furry, probing feet of a thick haired insect stuck back there wanting to get out Its tiny pin head red eye peeped past the loose rim of her unseeing eye, and then withdrew after that the insect squirmed, making the dead eye of the woman bulge, and then, for an instant, the insect peered through the lens of her eye Dick s rather flat, humourless style four eye s in one sentence there works well for him in these passages, coming across as a kind of sickly, morbid repetition, a sense of picking at the same few concepts over and over again until they bleed Behind all these visions and nightmares is a frank horror at the idea of entropic decay encapsulated in this novel by the concept of gubbish , a sort of metaphysical grime that represents the end point of all matter, after time has done its long work.Gubble, gubble gubble, the room said The Gubbler is here to gubble gubble you and make you into gubbish.It has strange similarities with The Crying of Lot 49 and other of Pynchon s early novels with nothing like the same hallucinatory prose style, but capturing, perhaps with even emotional immediacy, a similar terror about the inevitability of universal decomposition.You can feel that there s still some trial and error going on here in terms of how he fits his plots together, but the concepts he s playing with in this one are riveting and, you can t help sensing, of the deepest importance to the author The Red Planet has rarely been such an eerie, unstable place, even for union reps.


  5. says:

    Gubble me , she said Gubble gubble me, put your gubbish into me, into my gubbish, you Gubbler Gubble gubble, I like gubble Don t stop Gubble, gubble gubble gubble, gubble That there is some beautiful dialogue from PKD s wacky 1964 novel Martian Time Slip I remember reading this in the 80s but I have practically no memory of the plot However, I do remember all this Gubble gubble business very vividly There is a surreal hallucinatory feeling to it that I will never forget.The title Martian Time Slip is almost misleading Yes, there are Martians in this book a,d there is an element of time travelling in the story but essentially the book is concerned with psychoses, particularly autism and schizophrenia The sci fi shenanigan of the story takes a backseat to the focus on various characters mental and emotional issues I know very little about schizophrenia, but this is the interoperation of the condition by the novel s protagonist Jack Bohlen True autism, Jack had decided, was in the last analysis an apathy toward public endeavor it was a private existence carried on as if the individual person were the creator of all value, rather than merely the repository of inherited values Whether this is medically accurate or not, it fits in with our poor hero s sense of isolation after suffering a schizophrenic episode while living on Earth There is another interpretation by another character in the book, a Dr Glaub, who theorises that a fundamental disturbance in time sense is the basis of schizophrenia This means that according to this theory schizophrenic perceives time at a different rate from the rest of us Manfred, an autistic schizophrenic boy in the book, perceives most people as moving in high speed blurs, practically teleporting from one location to another, and talking high speed gibberish hence his sense of isolation from the rest of humanity.The story set in a colonized Mars, but not a realistic Mars as depicted by books like Red Mars and The Martian Mars in this book is habitable, the atmosphere is breathable, there is a severe water shortage but water is available in the legendary Martian canals Dick was not interested in the terraforming process of Mars to make it livable for humans, he is interested in Mars as a setting for the characters with mental issues.After listening to Dr Glaub s theory, ruthless businessman Arnie Kotts has the notion that a schizophrenic should be able to access information about the future as their distorted perception of time should logically give them precognition ability Later on, he further extends this notion to cover an ability to alter the past From these strange notions, Kott put into action to acquire Manfred, the autistic schizophrenic boy and to hire Jack Bohlen to build an environment that will slow down sound and vision input sufficiently to enable communication with Manfred Things, of course, do not go according to plan Martian Time Slip is quintessential 60s PKD, short, strange and surreal this is how I like my PKD, with reality warping and bending into weird shapes Dick was no stranger to mental illness and hallucinations, his characters with mental issues tend to be portrayed sympathetically The book is not in the same league as Dick s Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep or Ubik but it is an excellent read and I heartily recommend it.___________________NoteThe Martians in this book are not little green men, they look like wizened dark skinned humans I ll be darned Leo laughed So those are Martians they look like aboriginal Negroes, like the African Bushmen


  6. says:

    Paranoia, schizophrenia, greed, exploitation, suburban ennui, adultery, real estate scams, small time businessmen, robot educators, colonization of Mars, distortions of time and reality, gubble, gubble, gubbleYep, this is another of PKD s brilliant explorations of the minds of his characters, themselves extensions of his own explorations of paranoia and reality And this one takes it careful time establishing the inner lives of its fairly large caste of troubled characters It doesn t kick into vintage PDK mind bending territory until fairly late in the story, and then it plunges off the deep end, culminating in a bizarre pilgrimage to the Martian version of the aborigines Ayers Rock.A good argument could be made that this book is not really SF at all, but instead an examination of modern man s internal struggles amid the prosaic struggle to get through our daily lives The everyday life of frontier housewives on the Martian frontier doesn t seem very far from the bored suburban lives of 1950 s America.It s a telling detail that there are native Martians in this world, but they occupy a marginalized role as primitive aboriginals living on the outskirts of the human colonies, hardly worthy of attention And yet the only character in the story who can communicate with autistic boy Manfred Steiner, whose powers of seeing the future and affecting reality are central to the story, is a highly educated but bitter Bleekman aboriginal named Heliogabalus apparently a reference to Syro Roman sun god Elagabalus Some of his comments are deliciously erudite and droll, and come in stark contrast to the crude, pompous, and utterly self absorbed union head Arnie Kott.PKD returns again and again to his recurring images of death, entropy, madness and despair, known variously as kipple Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep , the Tomb World UBIK , and now the only worlds uttered by Manfred Steiner, gubble, gubble He is a master at pulling the rug out from under his characters realities, and the readers as well, and plunging us into his own introspective, humorous, ironic, and paranoid vision of the worlds we all inhabit.


  7. says:

    You really scare me sometimes, Phil.


  8. says:

    Working my way back into reading all Dick s novels again Here is some classic Dick ew the clunky exposition, the complexity of reality This one begins and ends by concerning itself with a bevy of topics and characters unions, autism, the education system, family life, marital infidelity, gentrification, small time businessmen, racism, aborigines, mental illness in children, and etcetera Martian Time Slip begins and ends as a story about modern suburban life, and the fact that it takes place on Mars hardly matters Of course, this being a Philip K Dick novel, things eventually take a sharp turn for the bizarre While Dick s explanation of autism and schizophrenia might be dubious, within the context of the novel they seem most chillingly real, and the distortion and disorientating effects of time and space in one particular section are without question haunting Our relationship between time and space, our very perception of reality, is at stake here The struggle between conforming to society s idea of reality or falling forever inward into a vacuous psychotic black hole Now I can see what psychosis is the utter alienation of perception from the objects of the outside world, especially the objects which matter the warmhearted people there And what takes their place A dreadful preoccupation with the endless ebb and flow of one s own self The changes emanating from within which affect only the inside world It is a splitting apart of the two worlds, the inner and outer, so that neither registers on the other Both still exist, but each goes its own way It is the stopping of time The end of experience, of anything new Once the person becomes psychotic, nothing ever happens to him again 170 It is a frightening struggle, but one that all but disappears as the book reaches its sort of disappointing conclusion Or I should say the struggle is transformed, hidden but still frightening, subtle and at last confronted Maybe I m being too vague, but I don t want to give anything away Suffice it to say all the weirdness falls back and at last the book offers the redemptive powers of returning to the fold, a reward that does not entirely seem genuine.There s nothing quite like a Philip K Dick character Alienating and unlikable, they are than mere cardboard characters but rather seem to be extensions of Dick s own mind, pros and cons of various inner arguments That is why, perhaps, his female characters always seem a little too feminine, a little too superficially presented One can almost imagine Dick in drag, a la Being John Malckovitch, acting out the part of a tired housewife The proletariats and small minded American cons go about their business as a never objective but still distant narrator discerns their fate, and guides them to some inner revelation they always feared and never wanted to face, while all the while we are trapped with them in their minds, experiencing all their anxiety, paranoia, fears, claustrophobia.As far as Dick novels go and keeping in mind I am reading them in order of publication this one is remarkably stylized, with some great phrases the sinister nonsense of gubble gubble, the hypochondria of the machine, and it wouldn t be a Philip Dick novel if simulacra didn t get a mention and that terrific Sound And Fury moment late in the novel in which one event is told multiple times from various distorted perspectives Dick s unintentional goofiness and sometimes over the top surrealism is probably off putting and confusing to the uninitiated, but once you start reading of him you come to appreciate what an amazing mind and imagination he had, even if it is perhaps a very bleak, depressing mind, and one too sure of itself and all too willing to believe its own paranoid madness But then again, that s part of his charm.


  9. says:

    The gubbish ran down the walls as I sat,as I sat the gubble gubble.I looked down at the gubbish where my fingers used to be, as I sat finger bones shiny with gubbish click clacked on a rusty metal framework,coloured wires slithering in and out of it like lustful worms.As I sat down to write my gubbish reviewI gubbled, I saw the wet bones click clacking on dirty metal.We re all gubbish in the end One of the surreal books I ve read by PKD Awesome


  10. says:

    2,5Este es probablemente el libro m s flojo que he le do de K Dick hasta la fecha, con este autor suele pasarme que todos los conceptos que explora y sus paranoias me flipan, pero lo que es el desarrollo de la historia y la descripci n de los personajes me dejan un poco a medias, y en este adem s opino que hay demasiada paja para ser un libro tan corto Le doy 3 estrellas y no 2 porque el final me ha gustado mucho.