"He Who Waits"

Written in March 1952

Previous 4 Next
Project: Earth   Chronology The Little Movement

1953 JUL: F & SF    (1953 JUL): F & SF

1954 JAN: F & SF, Vol.1 #4 (UK)    (1954 JAN): F & SF, Vol.1 #4 (UK)

(1955): A HANDFUL OF DARKNESS, Rich & Cowan, hb,
(1959): SF SHOWCASE {ed.: Mary Kornbluth}  Doubleday, hb, $3.95
(1969): SF SHOWCASE, Curtis
(1977): THE BEST OF PKD, Ballantine, pb, 25359,
(1988): THE MONSTER BOOK OF MONSTERS {ed.: O'Shaughnessy} Xanadu, ?
(1990): RIVALS OF WEIRD TALES {ed.: Weinberg, Dziemianowicz, Greenberg} Bonanza, ?

CSVol1  403:

I loved to write short fantasy stories in my early days -- for Anthony Boucher -- of which this is my favorite. I got the idea when a fly buzzed my head one day and I imagined (paranoia indeed!) that it was laughing at me. (PKD>1976)

SL:38 19


    I'm glad  that "Roog" pleased you. Certainly the new title is alright.


     Now, the story which is enclosed with this letter is long, about 6,700 words. Too long? I hope not. It is, I think, a strong story, and there is a lot in it. I will try it on you, and I hope that you will not be offended by receiving it so quickly.  I am very interested in your reaction.*
    Thank you very much for all your kindness and help. I appreciate it a very great deal.

Very truly yours,

Philip K. Dick

{PKD> Anthony Boucher and J. Francis McComas,  8 Nov 1951}

{*note: I think this is referrring to "He Who Waits" renamed "Expendable" -- Lord RC}
{note: There is more from this letter in the "Roog" file}

SL:38 21

Dear Mr. Boucher,                                                        

    Here is a new page 11 for "He Who Waits." I hope it does. Also on page 7 there should be two re-paragraphings so the meaning is clear. Should be:

    The spider slid down beside him onto the desk top. "Sorry. Hope you aren't frightened, as in the poem."
    The man stared. "Are you the same one? The one at the corner? The one who warned me!

Otherwise  it's unclear who is talking. As to the title: how about "Protection." Or: "The Protectors." Or: "Protection Agency." etc., etc. I like the last. We seem to have plenty of time to decide, if the first "Dick" is coming out in August. I wonder if perhaps this yarn wouldn't be the best "first." "Roog" is more ordinary; its kind is common. This one (and "Little Movement") is more my own kind of story. I'll leave it to you.


{PKD> Anthony Boucher, Mar 5, 1952}

SL:38 29

Dear Mr. Boucher,                                                        


    One more item. I have received a check from your NY office for foreign rights to "Left Shoe, My Foot." I am pleased-surprised-thankful. But I am puzzled by the new title "Expendable." What does it mean? How does it fit the story? Who put it on? And -- is there any way I can get hold of the foreign edition it appears in? I've never had this experience, and would like to see how I look in non-American format (Herr Philip K. Dick, etc.) If you know where or how I can get the foreign edition copy, I'd appreciate it.

Very truly yours

Philip K. Dick

{PKD> Anthony Boucher, May 18, 1953} {note: Perhaps PKD is mistaken here and he received a check for his story "Expendable" (or "He Who Waits" which he may not have known yet had been retitled to "Expendable.") -- Lord RC}

Return to philipKdick.com