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Martian Time-Slip by Philip K. Dick

Martian Time-Slip (1964)

by Philip K. Dick

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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English (29)  Spanish (2)  Italian (2)  All languages (33)
Showing 1-5 of 29 (next | show all)
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.

I truly hated the first 70-80 pages, it read like too much of the other Dick I've encountered: paranoia, despair, the disabled. Martian Time-Slip then took a few flips and I admit I was dazzled. The premise is simple an overcrowded Earth leaves many to emigrate to Mars. Colonies of Nation-States and Unions savvy about for leverage on a bleak planet, lacking water where the weather breaks down all machines---essentially, Australia or Nevada. People with autism are kept in a facility where the avarice of the elect leads them to exploit the segregated savants for purposes of time-travel. The novel is eventually better than it sounds. It is almost quaint imagining organized labor having political sway in the future . ( )
  jonfaith | Feb 22, 2019 |
Definitely not Dick at his forté. ( )
  DanielSTJ | Dec 18, 2018 |

"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 more people and things."
- Philip K. Dick, Martian Time-Slip

Dickheads 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 more 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 more we read, the more 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 more central Manfred becomes to the story, the more 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 more 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 more 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 ( )
1 vote Glenn_Russell | Nov 13, 2018 |

Mi reseña completa de "Tiempo de Marte"aquí ( )
  LuisBermer | Sep 2, 2018 |
The Mars in Martian Time-Slip doesn't require spacesuits. The air is thick enough for helicopters, water, while scarce, flows through ditches. You can have a radio conversation with someone on Earth without a noticeable delay. This is not real Mars. Like Ray Bradbury's Mars, this is the California desert with red dust -- or probably more accurately, the Australian outback, with aborigines. This is not a real future. This is the 1960's, with that era's attitudes towards social roles, foreigners, autism, and schizophrenia, that are almost as foreign now as the Red Planet. As is typical for Dick, he is both participant to and observer of these attitudes. The concerns of the novel are inter- and intra-personal more than SFnal. This novel has one of Dick's richer cast of characters, including a more sympathetic portrayal of women than was typical for the time period. Dick's trademark warping of reality is held in abeyance for about half the book, but eventually arrives, including one disorienting set of chapters worthy of Chiang's The Story of Your Life. Highly recommended. ( )
2 vote ChrisRiesbeck | Apr 22, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 29 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (17 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Philip K. Dickprimary authorall editionscalculated
Brillhart, RalphCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Foss, ChrisCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Grace, GeraldCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Nagula, MichaelÜbersetzersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rosvall, MattiTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sweet, Darrell K.Cover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Important places
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To Mark and Jodie
First words
From the depths of phenobarbital slumber, Silvia Bohlen heard something that called.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
First published in shortened version as three part serial in the Aug.-Dec. 1963 issues of Worlds of tomorrow with title: All we Marsmen
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Canonical DDC/MDS

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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0679761675, Paperback)

On the arid colony of Mars the only thing more 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.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:12:36 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

"The writing is humorous, painful, awesome in its effect on both mind and heart ... There are few modern novels to match it."'Rolling Stone On an arid Mars, local bigwigs compete with Earth-bound interlopers to buy up land before the UN develops it and its value skyrockets. Martian Union leader Arnie Kott has an ace up his sleeve, though: an autistic boy named Manfred who seems to have the ability to see the future. In the hopes of gaining an advantage on a Martian real estate deal, powerful people force Manfred to send them into the future, where they can learn about development plans. But is Manfred sending them to the real future or one colored by his own dark and paranoid filter' As the time travelers are drawn into Manfred's dark worldview in both the future and present, the cost of doing business may drive them all insane.… (more)

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