Martian Time-Slip

Martian Time-Slip☉ [PDF / Epub] ☆ Martian Time-Slip By Philip K. Dick ❤ – Heartforum.co.uk On the arid colony of Mars the only thing more precious than water may be a tenyearold schizophrenic boy named Manfred Steiner For although the UN has slated anomalous children for deportation and des On the arid colony of Mars the only thing precious than water may be a tenyearold schizophrenic boy named Manfred Steiner For although the UN has slated anomalous children for deportation and destruction, other peopleespecially Supreme Goodmember Arnie Kott of the Water Worker's unionsuspect that Manfred's disorder  may be a window into the future In Martian TimeSlip Philip K Dick uses power politics and extraterrestrial real estate scams, adultery, and murder to penetrate the mysteries of being and time.

Philip K Dick was born in Chicago in and lived most of his life in California In , he began writing professionally and proceeded to write numerous novels and short story collections He won the Hugo Award for the best novel in for The Man in the High Castle and the John W Campbell Memorial Award for best novel of the year in for Flow My Tears, the Policeman Said Philip K Di.

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    Import EPUB to the Program Import EPUB be a window into the future In Martian TimeSlip Philip K Dick uses power politics and extraterrestrial real estate scams, adultery, and murder to penetrate the mysteries of being and time."/>
  • Paperback
  • 262 pages
  • Martian Time-Slip
  • Philip K. Dick
  • English
  • 05 October 2019
  • 9780679761679

10 thoughts on “Martian Time-Slip

  1. Lyn says:

    Martian Time Slip by Philip K. Dick, published in 1964, is one of PKDs better books.

    Set on Mars, this is largely about Terran colonists taking care of business. Dick provides a snapshot of social, political and economic life on Mars. “Bleekmen” are the long suffering indigenous extra-terrestrial native Martians, cast aside like Native Americans and called the N word by a fat cat union boss.

    Carrying on the tradition set by Robert A. Heinlein in Red Planet and Ray Bradbury’s The Martian Chronicles, PKD’s Mars is the remnant of an ancient, long lost civilization, and the present day Bleekmen are a shadowy vestige of a once proud race. But more than just a science fiction narrative about a colonist life on Mars, PKD provides close glimpses into the lives of the colonists and describes how human nature does not change. The Martian colonists continue to struggle with the same issues of jealousy, guilt, greed, and self-serving rationalization as people on earth do in the 60s when this was written and now, 50 years later – still relevant today.

    This is good PKD, and a fan will notice many ubiquitous PKD elements such as schizophrenia and suicidal tendencies and yet another character as an appliance repairman. Like other great PKD books, I am left amazed that he was not more popular in his own lifetime. This is a vibrant, well-written narrative full of erudite observations and keen characterization. He was truly a great science fiction writer, one of the greatest, but also transcended the genre as a good writer in any venue.

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  2. Glenn Russell says:




    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

  3. Darwin8u says:

    “Everything wears out eventually; nothing is permanent. Change is the one constant of life.”
    ― Philip K. Dick, Martian Time-Slip

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    Martian Time-Slip may not be one of Dick's BEST novels, but it is almost my favorite. There is a huge energy and vitality in it. Dick is painting with his usual themes (loneliness, madness, drugs, pre-cognition, time, artificial intelligence, the other, corporatism, love, etc), but there is nothing usual about what he extracts. The only thing missing from this book is GOD, but Dick will delve into that later in his career. He is starting to flirt with the surface with the mystical practices of the Bleekmen (Martians).

    I was especially taken with the time he spent on autism and schizophrenia. This book was written in the 60s just as Autism was starting to be distinguished and separated from schizophrenia, (due to some poor phrasing in the 40s). Dick who suffered from his own mental health issues was probably VERY aware of autism since he was deeply curious about mental health. Anyway, he says it best:

    “Purpose of life is unknown, and hence way to be is hidden from the eyes of living critters. Who can say if perhaps the schizophrenics are not correct? 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.”

  4. Warwick says:

    It is characteristic of Philip K Dick's rather peculiar approach to narrative incident that he chooses to focus his story of Martian time-travel on the man in charge of the local Water Workers Union. You can be sure that if he'd ever written a book about the fateful Terra Nova Expedition to the South Pole, it would have concentrated on the travel agent that had arranged Scott's boat out of Southampton.

    This one begins, then, a little slowly, and also has a few awkward traces of outdated sexual and racial attitudes that made me wonder if the whole thing would be a dud. But the weirdness that gradually intrudes on the plot makes it well worth a little patience – it's one of the clearest expressions of Dick's fixation on disturbed mental states that I've yet read.

    The novel's most essential and enigmatic character is a small boy who is described as being ‘autistic’ or ‘schizophrenic’; we never really understand him, or hear his voice directly in any but the most confusing circumstances. It's not clear whether his diagnosis corresponds with how modern clinicians would use these medical terms, or whether it's some futuristic, sci-fi equivalent – but what is clear is that for Dick, these conditions are useful mainly as a shorthand for talking about alternative interpretations of reality.

    Instead of a psychosis, he had thought again and again, it was more on the order of a vision, a glimpse of absolute reality, with the façade stripped away.


    In this case, the boy's untethering from time begins to affect those around him, with frightening results. The ‘time-slip’ of the title is well described – no controlled, organised time-travel here, but something much more chaotic and pathological. In one memorable scene, a woman who has so far been not much more than a sexy office bombshell type is suddenly seen to be a slab of inert meat, already dead, already infested:

    Her eyes fused over, opaque, and from behind one eye the lashes became the furry, probing feet of a thick-haired insect stuck back there wanting to get out. Its tiny pin-head red eye peeped past the loose rim of her unseeing eye, and then withdrew; after that the insect squirmed, making the dead eye of the woman bulge, and then, for an instant, the insect peered through the lens of her eye…


    Dick's rather flat, humourless style (four ‘eye’s in one sentence there!) works well for him in these passages, coming across as a kind of sickly, morbid repetition, a sense of picking at the same few concepts over and over again until they bleed. Behind all these visions and nightmares is a frank horror at the idea of entropic decay – encapsulated in this novel by the concept of ‘gubbish’, a sort of metaphysical grime that represents the end point of all matter, after time has done its long work.

    Gubble, gubble gubble, the room said. The Gubbler is here to gubble gubble you and make you into gubbish.


    It has strange similarities with The Crying of Lot 49 and other of Pynchon's early novels – with nothing like the same hallucinatory prose style, but capturing, perhaps with even more emotional immediacy, a similar terror about the inevitability of universal decomposition.

    You can feel that there's still some trial and error going on here in terms of how he fits his plots together, but the concepts he's playing with in this one are riveting – and, you can't help sensing, of the deepest importance to the author. The Red Planet has rarely been such an eerie, unstable place, even for union reps.

  5. Apatt says:

    “Gubble me more, she said. Gubble gubble me, put your gubbish into me, into my gubbish, you Gubbler. Gubble gubble, I like gubble! Don't stop. Gubble, gubble gubble gubble, gubble!”

    That there is some beautiful dialogue from PKD’s wacky 1964 novel Martian Time-Slip. I remember reading this in the 80s but I have practically no memory of the plot. However, I do remember all this “Gubble gubble” business very vividly. There is a surreal hallucinatory feeling to it that I will never forget.

    The title Martian Time-Slip is almost misleading. Yes, there are Martians in this book a,d there is an element of time travelling in the story but essentially the book is more concerned with psychoses, particularly autism and schizophrenia. The sci-fi shenanigan of the story takes a backseat to the focus on various characters’ mental and emotional issues. I know very little about schizophrenia, but this is the interoperation of the condition by the novel’s protagonist Jack Bohlen:
    “True autism, Jack had decided, was in the last analysis an apathy toward public endeavor; it was a private existence carried on as if the individual person were the creator of all value, rather than merely the repository of inherited values.”

    Whether this is medically accurate or not, it fits in with our poor hero’s sense of isolation after suffering a schizophrenic episode while living on Earth. There is another interpretation by another character in the book, a Dr. Glaub, who theorises that a fundamental disturbance in time-sense is the basis of schizophrenia. This means that— according to this theory—schizophrenic perceives time at a different rate from the rest of us. Manfred, an autistic/schizophrenic boy in the book, perceives most people as moving in high-speed blurs, practically teleporting from one location to another, and talking high-speed gibberish; hence his sense of isolation from the rest of humanity.

    The story set in a colonized Mars, but not a realistic Mars as depicted by books like Red Mars and The Martian. Mars in this book is habitable, the atmosphere is breathable, there is a severe water shortage but water is available in the legendary Martian canals . Dick was not interested in the terraforming process of Mars to make it livable for humans, he is more interested in Mars as a setting for the characters with mental issues.

    After listening to Dr. Glaub’s theory, ruthless businessman Arnie Kotts has the notion that a schizophrenic should be able to access information about the future as their distorted perception of time should logically give them precognition ability. Later on, he further extends this notion to cover an ability to alter the past. From these strange notions, Kott put into action to acquire Manfred, the autistic schizophrenic boy and to hire Jack Bohlen to build an environment that will slow down sound and vision input sufficiently to enable communication with Manfred. Things, of course, do not go according to plan.

    Martian Time-Slip is quintessential 60s PKD, short, strange and surreal; this is how I like my PKD, with reality warping and bending into weird shapes. Dick was no stranger to mental illness and hallucinations, his characters with mental issues tend to be portrayed sympathetically. The book is not in the same league as Dick’s Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep or Ubik but it is an excellent read and I heartily recommend it.

    ___________________

    Note
    The Martians in this book are not little green men, they look more like wizened dark-skinned humans.
    “I'll be darned.” Leo laughed. “So those are Martians…they look more like aboriginal Negroes, like the African Bushmen.”

  6. Diane says:

    I usually like, no, love PKD stories, but this one made me shake my head so many times. I admit to being pretty disappointed. I have loved nearly everything I’ve read by PKD, but not this one. I find it unbelievably dated. Especially when it concerned mental health or what we now call neurodiversity and even racism and cultural bias. And why didn’t any SF writers from the 50s and 60s anticipate digital?!? I don’t normally fault authors for that, because it’s so widespread.

    I didn’t hate it, mind you. There’s other stuff to appreciate that almost redeem the novel. how Jack and Sylvia find their way back to one another and the Bleekmen’s role.

    Edit - after thinking about it and discussing it with my Buddy Readers on the SpecFic Buddy Reads group I've decided to raise my rating to 3.5 stars rounded up. PKD is a brilliant writer and I think I was too struck by the racism, sexism and general nastiness of one character and rather than take it as a criticism by the author, I took it as perhaps the author's view, which I'm pretty sure is incorrect.

  7. Stuart says:

    Paranoia, schizophrenia, greed, exploitation, suburban ennui, adultery, real estate scams, small-time businessmen, robot educators, colonization of Mars, distortions of time and reality, gubble, gubble, gubble...

    Yep, this is another of PKD's brilliant explorations of the minds of his characters, themselves extensions of his own explorations of paranoia and reality. And this one takes it careful time establishing the inner lives of its fairly large caste of troubled characters. It doesn't kick into vintage PDK mind-bending territory until fairly late in the story, and then it plunges off the deep end, culminating in a bizarre pilgrimage to the Martian version of the aborigines' Ayers Rock.

    A good argument could be made that this book is not really SF at all, but instead an examination of modern man's internal struggles amid the prosaic struggle to get through our daily lives. The everyday life of frontier housewives on the Martian frontier doesn't seem very far from the bored suburban lives of 1950's America.

    It's a telling detail that there are native Martians in this world, but they occupy a marginalized role as primitive aboriginals living on the outskirts of the human colonies, hardly worthy of attention. And yet the only character in the story who can communicate with autistic boy Manfred Steiner, whose powers of seeing the future and affecting reality are central to the story, is a highly-educated but bitter Bleekman (aboriginal) named Heliogabalus (apparently a reference to Syro-Roman sun god Elagabalus). Some of his comments are deliciously erudite and droll, and come in stark contrast to the crude, pompous, and utterly self-absorbed union head Arnie Kott.

    PKD returns again and again to his recurring images of death, entropy, madness and despair, known variously as kipple (Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep), the Tomb World (UBIK), and now the only worlds uttered by Manfred Steiner, gubble, gubble. He is a master at pulling the rug out from under his characters' realities, and the readers' as well, and plunging us into his own introspective, humorous, ironic, and paranoid vision of the worlds we all inhabit.

  8. Printable Tire says:

    Working my way back into reading all Dick's novels again. Here is some classic Dick (ew!): the clunky exposition, the complexity of reality. This one begins and ends by concerning itself with a bevy of topics and characters: unions, autism, the education system, family life, marital infidelity, gentrification, small-time businessmen, racism, aborigines, mental illness in children, and etcetera. Martian Time-Slip begins and ends as a story about modern suburban life, and the fact that it takes place on Mars hardly matters.

    Of course, this being a Philip K Dick novel, things eventually take a sharp turn for the bizarre. While Dick's explanation of autism and schizophrenia might be dubious, within the context of the novel they seem most chillingly real, and the distortion and disorientating effects of time and space in one particular section are without question haunting. Our relationship between time and space, our very perception of reality, is at stake here. The struggle between conforming to society's idea of reality or falling forever inward into a vacuous psychotic black hole:

    Now I can see what psychosis is: the utter alienation of perception from the objects of the outside world, especially the objects which matter: the warmhearted people there. And what takes their place? A dreadful preoccupation with- the endless ebb and flow of one's own self. The changes emanating from within which affect only the inside world. It is a splitting apart of the two worlds, the inner and outer, so that neither registers on the other. Both still exist, but each goes its own way. It is the stopping of time. The end of experience, of anything new. Once the person becomes psychotic, nothing ever happens to him again. (170)

    It is a frightening struggle, but one that all but disappears as the book reaches its sort-of disappointing conclusion. Or I should say the struggle is transformed, hidden but still frightening, subtle and at last confronted. Maybe I'm being too vague, but I don't want to give anything away. Suffice it to say all the weirdness falls back and at last the book offers the redemptive powers of returning to the fold, a reward that does not entirely seem genuine.

    There's nothing quite like a Philip K Dick character. Alienating and unlikable, they are more than mere cardboard characters but rather seem to be extensions of Dick's own mind, pros and cons of various inner arguments. That is why, perhaps, his female characters always seem a little too feminine, a little too superficially presented. One can almost imagine Dick in drag, a la Being John Malckovitch, acting out the part of a tired housewife. The proletariats and small-minded American cons go about their business as a never-objective but still distant narrator discerns their fate, and guides them to some inner revelation they always feared and never wanted to face, while all the while we are trapped with them in their minds, experiencing all their anxiety, paranoia, fears, claustrophobia.

    As far as Dick novels go (and keeping in mind I am reading them in order of publication) this one is remarkably stylized, with some great phrases (the sinister nonsense of gubble gubble, the hypochondria of the machine, and it wouldn't be a Philip Dick novel if simulacra didn't get a mention) and that terrific Sound-And-Fury moment late in the novel in which one event is told multiple times from various distorted perspectives. Dick's unintentional (?) goofiness and sometimes over-the-top surrealism is probably off-putting and confusing to the uninitiated, but once you start reading more of him you come to appreciate what an amazing mind and imagination he had, even if it is perhaps a very bleak, depressing mind, and one too sure of itself and all too willing to believe its own paranoid madness. But then again, that's part of his charm.

  9. Nate D says:

    The action opens on mars, but the circumstances are purely prosaic: colonization has been mostly successful, but on the arid martian surface humanity is eking out an existence with rationed water, failing equipment with replacements from Earth costly to ship out, bills to pay, power to hunger after, petty business conflict, domestic boredom, etc. As the main plotline emerges from the stories of a handful of initially disparate characters, it resolves into one of real estate speculation. Circumstances change, humanity doesn't. In the meantime, there's colonialism, eugenics, racism, appropriation of indigenous lands. So classic new wave sf concerns, and classic Dick in that this is more ambitiously psychotropic than its initial terms but also rather messy about getting there. Particularly around the most ambitious, most hallucinatory aspects, which deal with the altered time sense of schizophrenics. This was probably based on some kind of an actual theory of the 60s, but neuroscience has come a long way since then (and was Austism actually ever classed as a type of schizophrenia?!) so this comes across as a total muddle now, and even somewhat fetishizing of mental health issues. As plotting and formal devices these elements elevate the novel into stranger and less predictable territory, but they really show the novel's age. On the other hand many of the social concerns remain sadly evergreen.

  10. Jonfaith says:

    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 .

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