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Unteleported Man Mass Market Paperback – May 5, 1955

3.2 out of 5 stars 9 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 202 pages
  • Publisher: Berkley; Exp Sub edition (July 1, 1983)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 042506252X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0425062524
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 1 x 5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,332,362 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Mass Market Paperback
Phillip K. Dick's novel deals with the dueling theme of the perils of the modern media society and the psychedelic experience in this must read novel for science fiction fans. The novel is most likely unpublished today because of a few pages missing from the final manuscript; however the overall plot line remains intact. The story is set on a future Earth where one corporation controls the technology which can teleport people to a far away planet, billed as an ultimate paradise. The only problem is no one can ever teleport back. The story begins when someone discovers the films of happy crowds cheering their newfound existence sent back from the planet are faked -- the cheering and applause are "canned". The "unteleported" man and others decide to investigate, and invent a list of the various possible worlds that might await them at their destination. The psychedelic side of thing comes in later, and I don't want to ruin it for you, (although you quantum physics buffs might be able to make a guess), let's just say the twists and turns, from the author behind "Total Recall", are very original. This novel is not to be missed if you can find a tattered copy of the unabridged version at a used book store.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
An explanation is necessary. As far as I can tell, there are no fewer than four versions of this book:

1) The first publication was one half of an Ace Two-in-one paperback (paired with Howard L. Cory's The Mind Monsters). This version is about 40,000 words in length. Originally, it appeared in the December 1964 issue of the magazine Fantastic. Ace Books originally requested additional material to extend the story to standard paperback novel length, but they didn't like what Philip K. Dick sent them.

2) Berkley Books published the entire book, including the additional material (which was written in 1965), in 1983. However, there was a catch: when Dick was reviewing this additional material, he saw that some pages were missing from the manuscript. To be exact, there were three brief gaps near the end of the work; the Berkley Books version (which is the one I read) included all of the additional information, noting where the gaps occur in the text.

3) Philip K. Dick did make an effort to make the two parts fit together a little better. In 1979, he rewrote Chapter 1, and made other minor changes, in an attempt to provide more continuity. However, he did not complete the three "gaps" near the end of the novel before his death in 1982. Dick's UK publisher, Gollancz, published a third version of the novel, hiring s/f writer John Sladek to write material to "bridge the gaps" in the novel's last pages. Gollancz published this book with the title Lies, Inc. in 1984.

4) The American version of Lies, Inc. was published after Dick's literary executor, Paul Williams, found the missing pages of The Unteleported Man / Lies, Inc. in 1985, while perusing some of Dick's other manuscripts.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
There are books with surprise twists and turns, that make for enjoyable reading. This is one of those books. Then there are books that seem to actually change genres mid-stream. It might remain science fiction but be of such a different sort that a reader who enjoys the first half of the book would be repulsed by the second half. This is one of those books.

I really enjoyed the first half. People are being teleported to a planet that has an ominous feel to it, and their return broadcasts are being digitally altered. Our hero steps in to save the day by taking an eighteen-year journey in a spaceship, to find out what's really going on. Written in 1966, Dick makes some very prescient predictions for life in 2014, at the same time, understandably, unable to predict elements like the world wide web or the the lack of need for paper.

Then, our hero gets his by an LSD dart, and honestly, I have no idea what happened in the second half of the book. It's not just because of the three missing pages, that Dick didn't get to correct before his death. It's because he writes as if the hero is *in* a drug trip. Maybe this was exciting reading in '66. It's not in '07. I don't like reading about what it's like to be on a drug trip. If I did, I'd do LSD. And this goes on for page after page- so long, that altered reality merges with the possibility of alternate reality, and it's never fully explained which is true. Indeed, all of the answers never get explained, and the bulk of the second half of the book is this drug trip. Or something else. Who knows.

I don't like books that start off one way and their whole approach to the reality of the book.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
This review is of the original version of The Unteleported Man, which I've read in the Ace Double version that reproduces Phillip K. Dick's original published story (in Fantastic magazine in December 1964). As I understand it, this is the only version of the story that Dick saw to publication. Some requested additions were rejected by the publisher and the expanded versions were only published posthumously, cobbled together from fragments. I tend to stay away from works published after an author's death that have not received his/her final approval. It's a a kind of literary grave robbing that may be excusable as an academic exercise only.

Anyway, as to the book itself, I have to say I enjoyed it tremendously but thought it wrapped up very abruptly (which was probably what the publisher wanted Dick to expand, rather than the mid-story acid trip he turned in). Briefly, it is about an overcrowded future Earth (of 2014…heh!) in which one monopolistic corporation teleports colonists to a seemingly edenic planet 24 light years away. The catch: the teleportation doesn't work in reverse so it's basically a one-way trip. Also, the corporation controls all transmissions back from the colony, and these are all "come join us in paradise" propaganda pieces.

The "unteleported man" of the title is Rachmael ben Applebaum, the heir to the now-bankrupt company that had previously transported colonists to other planets (in the solar system) and been driven out of business by the new device. He is hounded by creditors (including miniature flying robots that accost him on the street and loudly harangue him about paying up, similar to devices in Dick's slightly earlier The Simulacra, where the mini robots accost people with commercial messages).
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