When Genius Goes Poof!

With High Castle, and Martian Time-Slip, I thought I had bridged the gap between the experimental mainstream novel and science fiction. Suddenly I’d found a way to do everything I wanted to do as a writer. I had in mind a whole series of books, a vision of a new kind of science fiction progressing from those two novels. Then Time-Slip was rejected by Putnam’s and every other hardcover publisher we sent it to. My vision collapsed. I was crushed. I had made a miscalculation somewhere, and I didn’t know where. The evaluation I had made of myself, of the marketplace, went poof! I reverted to a more primitive concept of my writing. The books that might have followed Time-Slip were gone.

Philip K. Dick in the Rolling Stone, 1975. (via, via)

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One thought on “When Genius Goes Poof!

  1. Read A scanner Darkly by PK Dick quite recently, plus re-read Diary of a Crap Artist – both actual if not major masterpieces. The former compares interestingly with Naked Lunch by Borroughs and other explorations of addiction – bset done of course by addicts such as Dick and Borroughs. (Just been reading “Wildest Dreams: An anthology of drug related literature” by Richard Rudgely) The second is not science fiction at all on the face of it – exactly the kind of book mentioned in your blog, I would think). But delve deeper and the boundaries around the genre become fairly meaningless. Similarly with Borroughs and the more wonderful Vonnegut.

    To finish my meaderings – recall a quote from Johnson about the most biting satire I have ever read, the original Gullivers Travels by Swift- something like “Once you have thought of little and big people you have the whole story”. That remark does expose somthing iffy about the science in sceince fiction that has always bothered me, where it is not a vehicle for something else – not true in the case of Swift of course.

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