The Last Of The Masters by Philip K. Dick is PUBLIC DOMAIN

SFFaudio News

The Last Of The Masters by Philip K. Dick is PUBLIC DOMAIN.

Orbit Science Fiction No. 5 - Includes The Last Of The Masters by Philip K. Dick

Here is the relevant passage from the Wikipedia entry:

After the author’s death, a nonexistent story with the same title was included under the new renewal registration number RE0000190631. This created the appearance that “The Last Of The Masters” was still under copyright protection.

I have a scan of that false renewal. It is HERE.

The Last Of The Masters was not published in Imaginative Tales, November 1955 (see for yourself HERE).

The Last Of The Masters was first published in Orbit Science Fiction No. 5. And that issue of that magazine was published and copyrighted in 1954:

ORBIT Science Fiction No. 5 - Table of contents (includes The Last Of The Masters by Philip K. Dick)

As the copyright for The Last Of The Masters was not properly renewed in its 28th year The Last Of The Masters by Philip K. Dick is PUBLIC DOMAIN.

Here is a |PDF| of The Last Of The Masters.

Posted by Jesse Willis

James P. Crow by Philip K. Dick is PUBLIC DOMAIN

SFFaudio News

James P. Crow, a 1954 short story by Philip K. Dick, is PUBLIC DOMAIN.

Like many other stories by Philip K. Dick of this era, James P. Crow was thought to have had its copyright renewed. Indeed, a search of the copyright.gov records reveals a renewal claim on document “RE0000190631.”

But, this renewal is fraudulent. It has James P. Crow having been published in “Planet stories, spring 1955”.

At the time of the filing of “RE0000190631” James P. Crow was already in the public domain because it was not renewed in its 28th year.

See for yourself.

Here is all the evidence.

A photocopy of the actual renewal as filled out “Laura Coelho, Christopher Dick & Isa Dick”:
RE190631 Page 2 (back) Prominent Author, Progeny, Exhibit Piece, Shell Game, A World Of Talent, James P. Crow, Small Town, Survey Team, Sales Pitch, Time Pawn, Breakfast At Twilight, The Crawlers, Of Withered Apples, Adjustment Team, Meddler

Here is the table of contents for the issue of the magazine that the estate of Philip K. Dick claimed that James P. Crow was first published:

Planet Stories, Spring 1955 - table of contents

As you can see there is no Philip K. Dick story even in that issue.

Here is the table of contents from the original place of publication, Planet Stories, May 1954:
Planet Stories, May 1954 - table of contents (includes James P. Crow by Philip K. Dick)

James P. Crow by Philip K. Dick is therefore PUBLIC DOMAIN.

Here is a |PDF| of James P. Crow.

Posted by Jesse Willis

Review of Brick By Brick: How LEGO Rewrote the Rules of Innovation and Conquered the Global Toy Industry by David Robertson and Bill Breen

SFFaudio Review

Brick By Brick - How Lego Rewrote The Rules Of Innovation And Conquered The Global Toy IndustryBrick By Brick: How LEGO Rewrote The Rules Of Innovation And Conquered The Global Toy Industry
By David Robertson and Bill Breen; Read by Thomas Vincent Kelly
Approx. 10 Hours 23 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Random House Audio
Published: June 25, 2013
ISBN: 9780449806524
Themes: / Non-Fiction / Business / LEGO / STAR WARS / Denmark / Copyfight /

Sample |MP3|

I’m not one for business books, and this is explicitly a business book. The closest I’ve come to one, in the last decade, was Joseph Finder’s corporate espionage thriller Paranoia. On the other hand, I really am one for LEGO and Brick By Brick: How LEGO Rewrote The Rules Of Innovation And Conquered The Global Toy Industry is an audiobook about The LEGO Group.

Most of the book is about the recent history of LEGO, how it became unprofitable, and how it, through controlled innovation, recovered from that unprofitably. Along the way there is a fair amount about the company’s history – and even more importantly about the philosophy behind the “system” of The LEGO Group’s core product, the LEGO bricks themselves.

I started with LEGO in the mid-1970s, and barring a few pieces (lost, vacuumed, and stolen) along the way I still have much of it. But, similar to many other AFOLs (adult fans of LEGO) I experienced a decline in interest in LEGO as I entered my teens. As a kid I appreciated that LEGO allowed you to build your own toys, as a tween I programmed my own robotic LEGO creations (LEGO LOGO for Apple II) – but shortly thereafter the corporation seemed somehow go off track – creating products that were less LEGO sytem than LEGO branded toys. That is until around the mid-1990s. And that’s about when my re-invigoration of interest in LEGO started. No coincidence there, as this was also about the same time as the company’s financial revival. It seemed that the more I got more into LEGO the more the company became financially viable – but, of course, it was actually the reverse.

Indeed, Brick By Brick is essentially Robertson and Breen trying to figure out how the company works, where it went wrong, and how it recovered. In doing this they have looked at a number of failed projects, how they came to fail, how the company reorganized itself and how, with help from both adult LEGO fans and child LEGO fans they learned to operate without patent protection.

One of the more interesting comparisons between companies that Robertson and Breen make is that of LEGO to Apple. The parallels between the companies’ aesthetic philosophies (and cult like devotion by their customers) are many. I myself am a committed Apple iPhone user, not because I buy into the ecosystem, but rather because of the sculptured discipline of the technology. Likewise, though Megablocks and other LEGO competitors are making bricks that are 100% compatible with (and cheaper) than LEGO I am scrupulously careful to weed out MEGABLOCKS and other “fake lego” from my collection. The iPhone’s competitors aren’t really competitors, and the LEGO system’s competitors aren’t really competitors.

Back to the book, David Robertson and Bill Breen talk about a number of LEGO lines that I like, particularly the CITY, SPACE, and CASTLE lines but they also explain the thinking behind popular licensed IPs like STAR WARS, INDIANA JONES, and THE LORD OF THE RINGS. Several chapters cover the creation of the successful BIONCLE line (originally conceived as a line called “VOODOO HEADS”), the innovative board game division (that sneakily gets moms to buy more LEGO), and the massively expensive failure of the LEGO UNIVERSE project (an ambitious project aimed at disrupting LEGO’s own core market). And that last one is one of the most fascinating sections of Brick By Brick. By trying to make the experience perfect, by trying to produce a graphically rich massively multiplayer online game without bugs, then charging a whopping $40 to start playing it LEGO screwed up royally. The failure of the LEGO Universe project is all the more ironic in that a lone computer game programmer, Markus “Notch” Persson, came to create a sucessful kind of digital competitor to LEGO system, in the form of Minecraft. Peterson’s success, using almost no resources and no money, make the error of LEGO hierarchy all the clearer. But in an even more ironic move LEGO has since produced a Minecraft set!

In my view the only thing missing from Brick By Brick is talk about the very successful, collectible Minifigures line (now up to Series 10). To my ears Minifigs get very short shrift in Brick By Brick. I’d love to hear a two or three hour audiobook about that alone.

There’s very little to say about narrator. Thomas Vincent Kelly is a relatively new narrator, his reading is clear and precise, like the LEGO system. The occasional Danish place-name pronunciation, and the names of the LEGO products themselves are the only real narrative challenges. Kelly delivers.

David Robertson: The Story of LEGO from BrightSightGroup on Vimeo.

Posted by Jesse Willis

The SFFaudio Podcast #218 – READALONG: The Land That Time Forgot by Edgar Rice Burroughs

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #218 – Jesse, Luke Burrage, David Stifel and John Feaster discuss the audiobook of The Land That Time Forgot by Edgar Rice Burroughs (narrated by David Stifel) – you can get the free podcast of the audiobook HERE.

Talked about on today’s show:
This Burroughs Guy, The Caspak Series, Irwin Borges biography of Edgar Rice Burroughs, Blue Book magazine, The Lost U-Boat, the 1975 movie (The Land That Time Forgot), The People That Time Forgot, weird science ideas, evolution, this is how evolution works here (maybe?), tadpoles, the irony, Tarzan Of The Apes, dead baby ape, “And now this creature of my brain and hand had turned Frankenstein, bent upon pursuing me to my death.”, WWI Germans, The Lost World by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Journey To The Center Of The Earth by Jules Verne, navigating an underground river with a u-boat, Yellowstone Park, lost continent, high tech, necessary irony, a classic story, Jurassic Park, a UNIX system, “Californians, as a rule are familiar with jiu-jitsu.”, casual racism, Japs vs. J.A.P.s, the Huns (the Bosch), the rape of Belgium, trouble with Germans in the 1920s, Tarzan The Untamed, “full German racism”, Greenland, “imaginative idiots”, the frame story, John Carter of Mars, the tides took a thermos from the Antarctic Indian Ocean to Greenland in the space of a year, very outlandish stories, sardonic humour, Luke on framing stories, werewolves, vampires, zombies, The Player, meta self-referential recursive, we never learn the protagonist’s name until the last chapter, Bowen, the Lafayette Escadrille, Earnest Hemingway, he’s no Tarzan, a techno-geek, a romantic flop, Crown Prince Nobbler aka Nobs (an Airedale), Tintin and Snowy, was Tintin gay?, strange lands, X-Men #10, The Savage Land (of Ka-Zar), fewer dinosaurs, Plesiosaur soup, Pterodactyls, Allosaurus attack, the farther north you go the farther you go in evolution, Ahm, Cro-Magnon man, Out Of Time’s Abyss, embryology, “we’ve all got gills at that point”, flowers, “it’s always below the surface”, “we are more developed from them <- is wrong", whaddya mean kinda racist??, "the black people are below the white people on this chart", H.P. Lovecraft, one could call it evil (but fun adventure), something else, action adventure story, refining your own oil, the hero must always find a dog and a girl and exactly what he needs, the damsel in distress is a bit wet, the movie commander is sympathetic, ape like monsters, Michael Moorcock, volcanic eruptions, Baron Friedrich von Schoenvorts, shelling the fort on the way, evil bastards, shelling the lifeboats is wholly malice, soooo propaganda, Prussian honor, who was the bad guy in WWI?, proposed German peace terms if they had won WWI, domino theory, communism, let's head for Caspak, The Temple by H.P. Lovecraft, an incident blown out of proportion?, terror attacks vs. gun accidents, war crimes?, water-boarding, Otto Skorzeny, bombing dykes and dams (not a war-crime because we did it too), conducting operations while in enemy uniforms, Harry Turtledove’s alternate history, Benito Mussolini, real-life James Bond (was Austrian), Skorzeny’s smite, more Burroughs, The Mucker by Edgar Rice Burroughs, “socially relevant fiction”, yellow peril looking dudes, quite adventurey but with interesting ideas, the pre-Socratics philosophers on spontaneous generation of life, spontaneous or parallel development, again with the weird women birthing practices, Marvel Comics, The Savage Land, Tarzana’s racial segregation, white supremacy, Glenn Beck’s planned community, racists believe in races, socially constructed, genetic racism?, the monkeysphere, H.G. Wells’ work, The War Of The Worlds, Burroughs’ heroic heroes vs. Wells’ horrible people, the sympathy is in us not the book, the artilleryman, a bit of a loon, the Zulu, the Martini rifle, one day one day!, Japan’s aspirations, we need some warships, we’ve got to control our own shit, navel vs. naval, it happened to Germany too, “too cold and full of penguin’s let’s take Poland instead”, The People That Time Forgot, Out Of Time’s Abyss, more Tarzan, how long does it take?, Tarzan And The Jewels Of Opar, the Venus series, Jerry Schneider, Pirates Of Venus, invalid copyright renewals, more Mars please, Mastermind Of Mars, permission requires money, the bigger gorilla, Audible.com, Burroughsguy.com, re-writing for less racism, a blow by blow comparison, lynching, The Lost Continent by Edgar Rice Burroughs (aka Beyond Thirty), perfidy, the lost continent is Europe, a black super-state!, 30 Longitude West, prejudices, vilontely pro-capitalist in the Ayn Rand sense, Burroughs loathed the labour movement, the Industrial Workers of the World are the real bad-guy, “women don’t really want to be equal to men”?, deep down atheists really believe in God?, the mystery will be unveiled.

The Land That Time Forgot by Edgar Rice Burroughs - illustration from Amazing, January 1927

The Land That Time Forgot (ACE Books)

The Land That LEGO Forgot by Edgar Rice Blockkos

The Land That Time Forgot - illustration by K.L. Jones

Nick Cardy illustration of The Land That Time Forgot

Posted by Jesse Willis

Breakfast At Twilight by Philip K. Dick is PUBLIC DOMAIN

SFFaudio News

Breakfast At Twilight by Philip K. Dick is PUBLIC DOMAIN!

This was not previously known do to copyright fraud on the part of the Philip K. Dick estate.

In the early 1980s a number of Philip K. Dick’s short stories were claimed as a eligible for renewal under the law. But a close comparison between the actual publications in the magazines, and the copyright renewal forms used (which required notation of first publication) has turned up dozens of discrepancies.

Breakfast At Twilight is another of these fraudulent renewals.

Breakfast At Twilight was first published in the July 1954 issue of Amazing Stories. But the Dick estate claimed the story was first published in the July 1955 issue of Amazing Stories. Here is the relevant page Copyright Office renewal document:

RE190631 Page 2 (back) Prominent Author, Progeny, Exhibit Piece, Shell Game, A World Of Talent, James P. Crow, Small Town, Survey Team, Sales Pitch, Time Pawn, Breakfast At Twilight, The Crawlers, Of Withered Apples, Adjustment Team, Meddler

It was not published in that issue, as can be shown HERE (a list detailing the contents of that issue).

As more proof I offer a photograph of the table of contents of from the July 1954 issue of Amazing Stories (it shows the true first publication of Breakfast At Twilight):

Amazing Stories, July 1954 table of contents (includes Breakfast At Twilight by Philip K. Dick)

Because Breakfast At Twilight was not renewed within it’s 28th year it is PUBLIC DOMAIN.

Here is a |PDF| made from a reprint in Fantastic, November 1966. Please note the of the 1954 copyright on that printing too.

An |ETEXT| is also online.

Posted by Jesse Willis

Survey Team by Philip K. Dick is PUBLIC DOMAIN

SFFaudio News

Survey Team by Philip K. Dick is PUBLIC DOMAIN.

This fact was not previously known due to a falsification on a copyright renewal notice.

Survey Team was first published in Fantastic Universe, May 1954.

Here is the table of contents from Fantastic Universe, May 1954:

Table of contents from Fantastic Universe May 1954

But copyright renewal form submitted by “Laura Coelho, Christopher Dick & Isa Dick” (RE0000190631) states that the story was published in the May 1955 (Volume 3 Number 4) of the same magazine.

RE190631 Page 2 (back) Prominent Author, Progeny, Exhibit Piece, Shell Game, A World Of Talent, James P. Crow, Small Town, Survey Team, Sales Pitch, Time Pawn, Breakfast At Twilight, The Crawlers, Of Withered Apples, Adjustment Team, Meddler

ISFDB.org has a listing of the table of contents of Fantastic Universe, May 1955 HERE.

Note that it does not contain any stories by Philip K. Dick.

Survey Team by Philip K. Dick is PUBLIC DOMAIN.

Here is a |PDF| made from the publication in Fantastic Universe, May 1954.

Posted by Jesse Willis