Beyond Lies The Wub

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Written in 1952

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Brown Oxford   Chronology The Gun

(1952 Jul): PLANET STORIES
(1969): THE PRESERVING MACHINE AND OTHER STORIES
(1972): ALPHA 3
(1977): THE BEST OF PKD
(1980): CONSTELLATIONS
(1981): FIRST VOYAGES
(1982): PETER DAVISON'S BOOK OF ALIEN MONSTERS


   (1987): BEYOND LIES THE WUB/THE SHORT HAPPY LIFE OF THE BROWN OXFORD

       The captain wants to butcher and eat the wub because of a food shortage. The wub, who is intelligent, telepathic and affable, agrees. --  Steven Owen Godersky                                                                                                         

RFPKD-3    1:

The Wub Lives!

   The idea I wanted to get down on paper had to do with the definition of "human." The dramatic way I trapped the idea was to present ourselves, the literal humans, and then an alien lifeform that exhibits the deeper traits that I associate with humanity: not a biped with an enlarged cortex -- a forked radish that thinks, to paraphrase the old saying -- but an organism that is human in terms of its soul. {...}

{... ...}

    I liked the blurbs that Planet Stories printed for "Beyond Lies The Wub." On the title page of the magazine they wrote:

Many men talk like philosophers and live like fools, proclaimed the slovenly wub, after death.

   And ahead of the story proper they wrote:

    The slovenly wub might well have said: Many men talk like philosophers and live like fools.

    Reader reaction to the story was excellent, and Jack O'Sullivan, editor of Planet, wrote to tell me that in his opinion it was a very fine little story -- whereupon he paid me something like fifteen dollars. It was my introduction to pulp payment rates.

{... ...}

{PKD: originally printed in the Introduction to "Betond Lies The Wub" in FIRST VOYAGES, Avon, pb, 1981}


FDO-5

This special issue of FOR DICKHEADS ONLY was devoted to the short story BEYOND LIES THE WUB. It's out of print right now but we hope to get most of the articles online some day... -- Lord RC

Click Here for an essay on "Beyond Lies The Wub" by Dave Hyde


SRG 41

Philip Dick does use some of the space opera formula in the early stories. Take space flight for one example. In "Beyond Lies The Wub" a space captain must deal with the nitty-grity problem of assuring sufficient food for his crew on a return trip from Mars...
    But Philip Dick's stories, even the above, are not primarily about space adventures; they are about human advanture. While the captain of "Beyond Lies The Wub" performs his space job adequately, what claims our attention is his sensitivity to the rich variety of alien life forms and their valid claims to existence. Failing to acknowledge these, the Captain has no qualms about dining on the wub, a telepathic creature who loves to eat, rest, meditate, and engage in philosophical discussions with stimulating companions. But what we eat determines what we become. The essence of the wub infiltrates and dominates the lesser clay of the captain without destroying his life. All of Dick's situations are not quite so benevolent. ...


CSVol1    403

   My first published story, in the most lurid of all pulp magazines on the stands at the time, Planet Stories. As I carried four copies into the record store where I worked, a customer gazed at me and them, with dismay, and said, "Phil, you read that kind of stuff?" I had to admit I not only read it, I wrote it.


TTHC    255:    Dick wrote in 1980 that, at the time he wrote the story, "I was a fireball radical and atheist, and religion was entirely foreign to me." But in his "casting about in an effort to contrast the truly human from what I was later to call the 'android or the reflex machine'" he hit upon the "gentle wub."


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