New Releases: Upon the Dull Earth and Other Stories by Philip K. Dick

New Releases

Available through OverDrive, NetLibrary, and – or you can request your library get a give them this “ISBN 9780983089872”!

ELOQUENT VOICE - Upon The Dull Earth And Other Stories by Philip K. DickUpon the Dull Earth and Other Stories
By Philip K. Dick; Read by William Coon
Digital Download – Approx. 4 Hours 18 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Eloquent Voice, LLC
Published: January 31, 2012
When an interviewer asked Phillip K. Dick “What is the most important quality for a writer to have?” he replied “A sense of indignation… A writer writes because it’s his response to the world. It’s a natural process, like respiration… The capacity for indignation is the most important thing for a creative person. Not the aesthetic capacity but the capacity for indignation… And especially indignation at the treatment afforded other people. To see some of the things that are going on in the world and to feel indignant…That is the basis of the writer.” Whatever it was that stimulated his creative juices, we are the lucky beneficiaries, as demonstrated in this collection of five stories, all first published in 1954. In “Exhibit Piece” a long-suffering museum worker becomes a little too attached to his display of mid-twentieth century lifestyle. In “Upon the Dull Earth” a young man refuses to let go of his soul mate, and he creates a chain reaction that he couldn’t have anticipated. In “Progeny” one man’s idea of how to raise a child is challenged by new, more scientific techniques. “The Last Of The Masters” explores a post-apocalyptic world, where anarchists don’t just occupy Wall Street, they occupy the entire planet. Finally, in “Breakfast At Twilight”, a family awakes to find theirs is the only house left on their street, and they are forced to make the most important decision of their lives.

Posted by Jesse Willis

3 thoughts to “New Releases: Upon the Dull Earth and Other Stories by Philip K. Dick”

  1. I see these stories are all public domain in the US where my local library is located. This public library would have closed about two or three years ago if a special levy for the library had not been added to property tax in my county by public vote. The special levy created a new tax dedicated to supporting the library. About 2/3s of my “property tax” is actually special levys and other fees or assessments which are usually dedicated to specific purposes that are underfunded and the reasons for this are debated and politically controversial but not relevant here. I just want to be clear the public library is so financially threatened it required a special tax to stay open even with reduced hours, reduced services and reduced budget for new aquisitions.

    Is there any chance of a recording of these stories from Librivox or another such organization that donates their derivative works to free public use? I’d much rather recommend a free recording to the library unless the quality of this reading is extremely superior. Or maybe I could burn dedicated to Public Domain/Free Use audio material to CD and donate the CD to the library.

    Also, my library uses Overdrive for lending ebooks and some other internet resources that have time and “return” restrictions. Lately, I’ve been reading about libraries having contractual, licensing, loss of service and/or cost problems with Overdrive. I don’t recall much about the specifics but believe they include things like libraries getting in situations where they’ve paid for use of DRM digital materials but lost the ability to deliver them to patrons because they’ve lost use of Overdrive for some reason. I’m not sure that Overdrive is the only such digital lending delivery service for libraries though I gather any such services have different DRM standards so aren’t interchangeable if that’s relevant. This increases my concerns about libraries using digital materials and services with restrictions and fees or requiring use of special software. (I’m cool with the library using Freegal which has tight download restrictions but no DRM so the mp3 downloads don’t require use of special software on my computer, are permanent and legal for personal uses including transfer to mp3 players or new computers. Let’s me sample music before deciding whether to buy CDs of music I don’t have or download mp3s of some music that are better quality than the mp3s made by ripping them from my old vinyl albums or cassette tapes, for example).

    Excellent author quotes and comments in this announcement. BTW, my take on “Progeny” which I probably first read in the 60s has largely remained that it was an attack on the pro-technocracy stand common in many 30s-60s SF stories, an attack on the influence of Behavioral Science in American child-rearing practices which seems to have been very wide-spread before Dr. Benjamin Spock’s post-WWII Baby Book and a warning about authoritarian/totalitarian government.

    “Breakfast at Twilight”, among other things, is an anti-war story and a warning to readers combined with the message it’s not too late to influence government behavior and the likelihood of atomic war. I’ve read some interesting speculation that post-WWII, post-apocalyptic SF was influential in detering the further use of atomic weapons by creating or increasing and sustaining a public awareness that atomic war was likely to be a losing situation for everybody on the planet. If so, PKD certainly did his part for public education about the possible consequences of atomic war and the importance of individuals attempting to influence government policies.

  2. David,

    Its seems likely that eventually that LibriVox will get all the PUBLIC DOMAIN stories of PKD recorded. But it may be years.

    I must state that Bill Coon is an excellent narrator and handles PKD’s stories terrifically.

    It is my belief that libraries should dump Overdrive and NetLibrary. The DRM causes me to be unable to use the service – more MP3-CDs may be the solution.

  3. I never use any library resources that require Overdrive because I’m not willing to install the Overdrive software on my computer that is required. I’m not very trusting about some things.

    Regardless, I very much favor libraries, to the extent possible and reasonable, giving budget priority to materials they will actually own, materials that require minimal use of proprietary systems for access, extremely longterm retention policies and a bunch of other things that reflect an “old thinking” mindset, desire for near universal patron access and love of depository libraries and cultural-historical-political-“long laundry list of etc.” information/material/knowledge preservation.

    And I have a belt and suspenders attitute towards preservation and verifiability of such information. In the course of historical research I’ve found all sorts of gaps as well as extremely interesting conflicting information. An example that particularly sticks in my mind is when I found end of fiscal year reports for a state agency and a federal agency where the head of the federal agency wrote a “guest” section in the state reports directly conflicting with what he wrote in the federal reports. This was done by the master propagandist Harry Anslinger who probably wrote such “guest” sections in the appropriate agency reports of all 48 states. Reading California Bureau of Narcotics Enforcement end of fiscal year reports I read Anslinger praising the state’s Spadra Narcotic Hospital very highly and comparing it to the federal narcotic hospitals at Lexington and Fort Worth (prisons). Reading end of the fiscal year reports from the Federal Bureau of Narcotics (the agency Anslinger was head of for decades) for the same years I read Anslinger praising the federal narcotic hospitals and saying these were the only such hospitals/farms/prisons in the United States. I was researching “California’s Forgotten Narcotics Hospital” and only read the FBN reports for comparison but this provided me with documentable evidence of domestic political progaganda and disinformation. The more ways and places information is preserved and publicly accessable the harder it is to cover-up, alter or otherwise manipulate. This example has similarities with the brewing Copyright Renewal Registration Number RE0000190631 scandal which you are documenting. Both are nonfictional examples of matters which are addressed in career spanning themes of PKD’s novels and short stories.

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