"What will it be like when the world comes to an end and Dr. Bloodmoney's begins?"





{For the best bibliographic info in French goto: www.multimania.com/ggoullet/pkdick/frames.html Thanks for the cover pix, Gilles}

And, sure enough as Stuart watched, leaning on his broom, the furtive first nut of the day sidled guiltily towards the psychiatrist's office.

PKDS-2 10:

Publication date: June 11, 1965.

PKDS-1 4:

Five titles have been purchased by Bluejay... DR.BLOODMONEY... to be published later in 1984.

PKDS-2 8:

I don't think I need to go into the matter of Jane C. Dick and THE DIVINE INVASION at all. The whole thing is screamingly obvious, and, of course, it occurs to me as an afterthought, that fractured pairs of siblings and twins show up everywhere in PKD: the invisible brother in DR.BLOODMONEY that turns out to be a whatchamacallit-incompletely-fissioned-twin (not to mention a reincarnation of a character from earlier in the story, but that's another matter)... {Letter to PKDS from Patrick Nielsen, Toronto}

PKDS-2 13:

I enjoyed writing all of them. But I think that if I could only choose a few, which for example might escape World War 3, I wouold choose, first, EYE IN THE SKY, then THE MAN IN THE HIGH CASTLE, MARTIAN TIME SLIP (published by Ballantine), DR.BLOODMONEY (A recent ACE novel). Then THE ZAP GUN and THE PENULTIMATE TRUTH, both of which I wrote at the same time. And, finally, another ACE book, THE SIMULACRA. {PKD 1968}

PKDS-3 6:

Bluejay Books to come: DR.BLOODMONEY, Dec 1984.

PKDS-11 5:

In Japan San Rio is publishing translations of ... DR.BLOODMONEY..

PKDS-12 10:

Edhasa in Spain will publish DR.BLOODMONEY.

PKDS-16 11:

Jonathan Letham notes that David Dowling's Fictions of Nuclear Disasters (Univ. of Iowa Press, 1987) contains a 4-page analysis of DR.BLOODMONEY.

PKDS-17 11:

DR.BLOODMONEY will be reissued in a mass market paperback by Carroll & Graf in July '88 ($3.95)

PKDS-24 11:

Century/Legend has also reissued DR.BLOODMONEY.


(PKD:) ... I do  like DR. BLOODMONEY; I reread that recently, and I really thought that part where Bill is swallowed by the owl and the owl barfs him up, and he's shouting, y'know, "Write letters of protest to President Johnson!" was one of the best scenes in science fiction I've ever read. I like the whole book.

TSR 80

"Introduction" to DR.BLOODMONEY, (1979, 1985)

Well, I predicted wrong when I wrote DR.BLOODMONEY back in 1964. Events that I foresaw never came about, and as you read this novel you will see what I mean. But it is not the job, really, of science fiction to predict. Science Fiction only seems to predict. It's like the aliens on Star Trek, all of whom speak English. A literary convention is involved, here. Nothing more.

I am amused, however, to see what specifically I got wrong. Worst of all, I totally misread the future of the manned space program. But this only shows how rapidly history unfolds. In DR.BLOODMONEY I have one American circling the world forever. This is obvious nonsense, either there would be many Americans -- and many Russians, for that matter -- or none at all.

Of course, the major item that I got wrong is the End of the World. Back in 1964 I was expecting it at anytime; I kept checking my watch. Horace Gold, who edited Galaxy magazine, once chided me for anticipating global wipe-out within the next week. That was back around 1954; I anticipated it by 1964. Well, such were the fears of the times. Right now we have other worries. Our problem seems to be paying our debts with incredibly inflated dollars, finding gas for our cars -- much more mundane worries. Less cosmic.

Oddly, these are the sort of worries that assail the characters in DR.BLOODMONEY in their post-World War Three world. There are horses pulling cars. Eyeglasses are rare and treasured. A man who manufactures cigarettes is honored wherever he goes. Of supreme value is someone who can fix things. Society has reverted, but not to the brutal level that we might expect. Rather, it has become rural in nature. The vast cities are gone, and, in their place, a sort of countryside exists that is not awful at all. I must add, however, that in no sense does it resemble any world that we actually have.

But then, of course, we haven't had World War Three.

In my opinion, this is an extremely hopeful novel. It does not posit the end of human civilization aas a result of the next war. People are still around and they are still coping. Those who survive, anyhow, are fairly lucky in their new lives. What is interesting is the subtle change in the relative power status of the survivors. Take Hoppy Harrington, who has no arms or legs. Before the bomb hits, Hoppy is marginal in terms of power. He is fortunate if he can get any kind of job at all. But in the postwar world this is not the case. Hoppy is elevated by stealthy increments until, at last, he is a menace to a man not even on the planet's surface; Hoppy has become a demigod, and a complex one at that. He is not really evil but that his power is evil.

In the satellite, Walt Dangerfield is transformed from a man assisting the fragmented postwar society, giving it unity and strength, raising its morale, to a man desperate for help from it, a man who is becoming weaker day by day. He signifies isolation, which is the horror of the many down below; isolation and a loss of the objects and values that comprised their original world. As time passes, Walt Dangerfield must gain strength from those on the planet's surface, rather than giving strength to them. And into the vacuum created comes Hoppy Harrington, who epitomizes the monster in us: the person who is hungry. Not hungry for food but hungry for coercive control over others. This drive in Hoppy stems from a physical deprivation. It is a compensation for what he lacked from birth. Hoppy is incomplete, and he will complete himslef at the expense of the entire world; he will psychologically devour it.

You will note in DR.BLOODMONEY an account of a test conducted in 1972 that turned out to be a catastrophe, and, of course, there was in fact no such test and no such catastrophe. But then, there was no such person as Dr. Bluthgeld. This is a work of fiction. And yet at a certain level it is not. The West Marin County area where much of the novel is set is an area that I knew well. When I wrote the novel I lived in that area. Many of the features that I describe are real. So a great deal of the veridical is blended in with the fiction. As do some of the characters, I searched for wild mushrooms in West Marin, and I found the varieties they find (and avoided the varieties they avoid). It is one of the most beautiful areas in the United States, and is called by the Sierra Club "The Island in Time." When I lived there in the late 50s and early 60s it was set apart from the rest of California and therefore seemed to me a natural locus for a postwar microcosm of society. Already, in fact, West Marin was a little world. When I read over DR.BLOODMONEY I discover, to my pleasure, that I have captured in words much of that litle world that I so loved -- a little world from which I am now seperated by time and distance.

My favorite character in the novel is the TV salesman Stuart McConchie, who happens to be black. In 1964, when I wrote DR.BLOODMONEY, it was daring to have a major character be a black man. My God, how much change has taken place in these recent years! But what an excellent change, one we can be proud of. In my first novel, SOLAR LOTTERY, I had a black man as captain of a spaceship -- daring, indeed, for a novel published in 1955. Stuart is in my opinion the focus of the novel, and he appears first. It is through his eyes that we initially see Dr. Bluthgeld, which is to say, Dr. Bloodmoney. Stuart's reaction is simple; he is seeing a lunatic, and that is that. Bonny Keller, however, knowing Dr.Bluthgeld more intimately, holds a more complex view of the man. Frankly, I tend to see Bluthgeld as Stuart McConchie sees him. I am, so to speak, Stuart McConchie, and at one time I was a TV salesman at a store on Shattuck Avenue in Berkeley. Like Stuart, I used to sweep the sidewalk in front of the store in the early morning, noticing the cute girls on their way to work. So I do have to confess to an overly simple view of Dr.Bluthgeld: I hate him and I hate everything he stands for. He is the alien and the enemy. I cannot fathom his mind; I cannot understand his hates. It is not the Russians I fear; it is the Dr. Bluthgeld's, the Dr.Bloodmoney's in our own society that terrify me. I am sure that to the extent that they know me, or would know me, they hate me back and would do exactly to me what I would do to them.

"And, sure enough as Stuart watched, leaning on his broom, the first furtive nut of the day sidled guiltily toward the psychiatrist's office."

This is our initial glimpse of Dr.Bloodmoney: through the eyes of a man pushing a broom. I am with the man pushing the broom, here at the beginning of the novel and all the way to the end. Stuart McConchie is an astute man, and in seeing Dr.Bloodmoney he has experienced a moment of instant insight that Bonny Keller in her years of personal, intimate knowledge lacks. I admit to prejudice, here. I think the first response by the man pushing the broom can be trusted. Dr.Bloodmoney is sick, and sick in a way that is dangerous to the rest of us. And much of the evil in our world now emanates from such men, because such men do exist.

So in writing DR.BLOODMONEY in 1964 I may have erred in many of my predictions. But upon rereading the novel recently I sensed a basic accuracy in it -- an accuracy about human beings and their power to survive. Not survive as beasts, either, but as genuine humans doing genuinely human things. There are no supermen in this novel. There are no heroic deeds. There are some very poor predictions on my part, I must admit; but about the people themselves and their strength and tenacity and vitality... there I think I foresaw accurately. Because, of course, I was not predicting; I was only describing what I saw around me, the men and women and children and animals, the life of this planet that has been, is, and will be, no matter what happens.

I am proud of the people in this novel. And, as I say. I would like to number myself as one of them. I once pushed a broom on the sidewalk of Shattuck Avenue in Berkeley and I felt the joy and sense of busy activity and industry that Stuart feels, the excitement, the sense of the future.

And, as the novel depicts, despite the war -- the war that did not in fact happen -- it is a good future. I would have enjopyed being there with them in their microcosm, their postwar West Marin world.

TSR 221

The best description of this dokos-veil formation that I've read yet appears in an article in Science-Fiction Studies, March 1975, by Fredric Jameson, in "After Armageddon: Character Systems in DR. BLOODMONEY," which is an obscure novel of mine. I quote "... Every reader of Dick is familiar with this nightmarish uncertainty, this reality fluctuation, sometime accounted for by drugs*, sometimes by schizophrenia*, and sometimes by new SF powers, in which the psychic world as it were goes outside, and reappers in the form of simulacra or of some photographically cunning reproduction of the external." (p. 32) (*I hope Jameson means drugs in the writing and schizophrenia in the writing, not in me, but I'll let that pass.)

You can see from Jameson's description that we are talking about something very like Maya here, but also something very like a hologram. I have the distinct feeling that Carl Jung was correct about our unconsciousness, that they form a single entity or as he called it "collective unconscious." In that case, this collective brain entity, consisting of literally billions of "stations," which transmit and receive, would form a vast network of communication and information, much like Teilhard's concept of the no÷sphere. This is the no÷sphere, as real as the ionosphere or the biosphere; it is a layer in our earth's atmosphere composed of holographic and informational projections in a unified and continually processed Gestalt the sources of which are our manifold right brains. This constitutes a vast Mind, immanent within us, of such power and wisdom as to seem, to us, equal to the Creator. This was Bergson's view of God anyhow.

SL:38    189

Dear Scott,

        {...} Anyhow, be this as it may, we are stuck with the fact of Don's reaction; but, if you will recall my fears, you will see at once that basically  I anticipated this. I did so on the basis of two events; one {...} and two: the absurd title which I am informed he has tormented me with on my Ace novel to be released next month, something on the order of DOCTOR BLOODMONEY OR HOW WE LEARNED TO LIVE AFTER THE BOMB, a title which will ring down the chambers of time as long as I am so unfortunate as to exist.


{PKD>Scott Meredith, May 22, 1965} {note: See THE UNTELEPORTED MAN for more from this letter}

SL:38    285

Dear Sandra,


Your husband comments favorably on DOCTOR BLOODMONEY. I do not consider this a minor work of mine (although God knows I've written many minor works). It's a long novel and very complex, and is a s-f version of a straight literary novel I long ago wrote. Do you want the truth? I like DOCTOR BLOODMONEY better than  anything else I've written. Roger Zelazny said that he thought it equal to ANNA KARENINA{...}


Take care,

{PKD>Sandra Miesal, Sep 8, 1970} {note:PKD gives opinions about several of his novels in this letter.
                                                                See: UBIK, and GALACTIC POT-HEALER}

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