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Whatever the government's actual motive, she had one clear intuition about it: the motive was a good, hard, selfish one.
And, in addition, she had one more intuition.
She would probably never know what that motive was.

Num

N S

Writing Date

Pub. Date

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Notes

138

34  

Dec 1963 to Jan 1964

Nov 1964

THE ZAP GUN

THE CRACK IN SPACE

See "Shell Game"

FIRST EDITIONS

  wpe13.jpg (4478 bytes)   ACE, pb, F-309, Nov 1964, 189pp, $0.40, (Valigursky)
  wpe14.jpg (4319 bytes)   Panther, pb, 04159-1, Mar 1975, 205pp, 50p (Peter Jones)

HISTORY

    Andrew Butler and Perry Kinman have CLANS OF THE ALPHANE MOON completed by Jan 16, 1964. As yet I am unable to confirm this date. We only know for sure that it was first published as a full-size novel by Ace Books on Nov 12, 1964.

    PKD’s 1954 short story "Shell Game" is similar to CLANS OF THE ALPHANE MOON in that it too deals with a group of stranded mental patients on their way to a hospital planet.

    Surprisingly for such a popular novel there has not been much in the way of solid comments on it. Philip K. Dick had only a few occasions to mention the novel that I can find. For instance, in conversation with Briggs & Apel:

    (PKD:) I love CLANS OF THE ALPHANE MOON, because the whole entire thing works up to this one funny scene where they call off the attack on the rocket ship and the robot hasn't been told and he goes and hammers on the door.
    (DSA:) I really love that book too, for a number of reasons, not the least of which is the scene near the end where the relations among all the characters get so complex that the main character has to just sit down for about 3 pages and try and untangle who is on who's side. He finally realises that its an impossible equation to solve; there is just too many people doing too many illogical things, some entirely on their own!
    (PKD:) That's a funny book in many ways...

    Dick, in the same conversation, mentioned CLANS OF THE ALPHANE MOON in connection with his French publishers and editions:

    (PKD:) In comparison to, like ACE books... I used to hold the French edition in one hand and an ACE edition in the other... CLANS OF THE ALPHANE MOON is the one I used...
    (DSA:)(sarcastically) Yeah... Great cover for that book... The guy with the gun...
    (PKD:) (also sarcastically) Yeah, right. It's a book about guns (laughter). So I said, "Holy smoke! I can see a tremendous difference in the physical qualities of the two books. And they say they're gonna publish all of my novels." Well they didn't publish all of my novels because other French publishers bid on them and outbid them for a large number of novels. So Opta just published the ones they had acquired title to. Someone told me I have like 26 to 29 novels in print in France.

    After PKD’s death some of his friends got together to talk about their departed companion. Parts of this were selected for print in the Philip K. Dick Society Newsletter in 1985. They weren’t too happy with Barry Malzberg’s ‘Afterword’ to the Bluejay edition of CLANS:

    (TP:) It's easy to do, as Barry Malzberg did in his really surprisingly misinformed and error-filled essay in whichever Bluejay book that was (CLANS OF THE ALPHANE MOON), to jump to the conclusion that Phil was nuts. I think Malzberg says that Phil was living at some focus of God's attention and couldn't leave his shabby apartment because that's where God's speakers were. (Laughter) (a). it wasn't a shabby apartment; and (b). God talked to him all over the place -- in Fullerton, several addresses in Fullerton. Everything Malzberg says is wrong! He's got wrong Phil's age at death, by I think more than one year. He's got wrong the number of days Phil was in a coma. He's got wrong -- everything! Details that a newspaper could have cleared up.
    (JBR:) Or maybe that the newspaper got wrong.
    (TP:) Well, it's really shockingly careless from a writer of Malzberg's stature. He was just shooting for cheap, quick, uninformed color. Which may be fine in fiction, but if you write about a guy who actually lived, it's...
    (AW:) Glib?
    (JBR:) And disappointing?
    (TP:) Glib, disappointing and very unprofessional.
    (AW:) I think a lot of people had that same reaction. A lot of informed people anyway. I'm surprised that it was accepted for publication. Just because it was solicited and then written doesn't mean that it had to end up between covers.
    (TP:) I really expected better
    (JBR:) I don't know. Maybe because its an Afterword, it is sort of quick editorialism, and should be taken in that light.
    (TP:) If you simply want to dismiss the subject and move on to something else, that's a good way to go, but if you really want to understand what propelled Phil, and what was the fuel that kept him moving, it was a whole lot more subtle than that. And more rational than that. It's the same way with saying he's paranoid: superficially that sounds correct and can cover most of the facts, but it won't really work in the long run. Too many screwy things really did happen to him, and too many of his outlandish dreads turned out to be all too well-founded.

And that’s all as far as comments go. Of course, there’s lots of criticism of this novel but that will not concern us here.

    The story takes place on Terra and the third moon of the Alphane System. A group of mental patients on their way to a hospital planet have diverted to the Alphane System and have been forgotten by Earth authorities. When they are rediscovered many years later, the nuts have established a viable society that is separated into ‘clans’. These clans fall along the lines of psychiatric classification: ‘Manses’ (manics), ‘Pares" (paranoids), ‘Heebs’ (Hebephrenics), ‘Ob-Coms’ (Obsessive-Compulsive), ‘Deps’ (Depressives), and so on. Feeling the threat from Earth the clans organize for defense, led by the Manses and Pares. But Chuck Rittersdorf and his wife Mary, sent to investigate and vet this crazy society, have problems of their own. Mary is PKD’s prototypical ‘bitch wife’ always egging her husband on and no matter what he does it doesn’t satisfy her. Chuck himself feels he’s going crazy but with the help of a friendly telepathic slime mold from Ganymede named Lord Running Clam, he finally realises that he’s not nuts; it’s his wife who’s crazy. He is ‘normal’ and in the end he moves to the Alphane moon and establishes his own clan, that of the ‘Norms.’

    From this description one can sense that this is a loose and imaginative novel and that is so. Dick, familiar with psychiatrists from his own life, smacks the ‘profession’ in the face with a cold, wet haddock. It should be mandatory reading in the ‘colleges’ where they teach such pseudo-scientific nonsense.

    As a novel CLANS OF THE ALPHANE MOON gets different ratings depending on which clan you talk to. In Da Vinci Heights it gets zero stars from the Manses who don’t read fiction. The Pares, of course, give it because they know the truth when they see it. The Ob-Coms dither between and while the Heebs and Deps couldn’t be bothered to vote. In the normal world it gets .


OTHER ENGLISH EDITIONS.             For Cover Pix Click Here: aaaPKDickBooks.jpg (3234 bytes)


FOREIGN EDITIONS


"Listen," he said futilely. "Are you my mother or just my wife? I mean, is it your job to keep goading me on? Do I have to keep rising? Is it becoming TERPLAN President, is that what you want?"


NOTES

PKDS-2 10:

Publication date: Nov 12, 1964.

PKDS-1 4:

Five PKD titles have been purchased by Bluejay. THE PENULTIMATE TRUTH is scheduled to be published in Jan 1984 followed later in the year by CLANS.

PKDS-4 10:

CLANS OF THE ALPHANE MOON (Bluejay, tp, April 1984, 269pp, $6.95)
This is a mass-marketed trade paperback, featuring an Afterword by Barry Malzberg, a frontispiece by Matt Howarth and cover art by Barclay Shaw.

PKDS-8 5:

(JB:) I love the idea that all of that stuff is paranoia, until you see the photographs of his exploded apartment. Then it certainly becomes something besides paranoia.
(TP:) It's easy to do, as Barry Malzberg did in his really surprisingly misinformed and error-filled essay in whichever Bluejay book that was (CLANS OF THE ALPHANE MOON), to jump to the conclusion that Phil was nuts. I think Malzberg says that Phil was living at some focus of God's attention and couldn't leave his shabby apartment because that's where God's speakers were. (Laughter) (a). it wasn't a shabby apartment; and (b). God talked to him all over the place -- in Fullerton, several addresses in Fullerton. Everything Malzberg says is wrong! He's got wrong Phil's age at death, by I think more than one year. He's got wrong the number of days Phil was in a coma. He's got wrong -- everything! Details that a newspaper could have cleared up.
(JBR:) Or maybe that the newspaper got wrong.
(TP:) Well, it's really shockingly careless from a writer of Malzberg's stature. He was just shooting for cheap, quick, uninformed color. Which may be fine in fiction, but if you write about a guy who actually lived, it's...
(AW:) Glib?
(JBR:) And dissappointing?
(TP:) Glib, dissappointing and very unprofessional.
(AW:) I think a lot of people had that same reaction. A lot of informed people anyway. I'm surprised that it was accepted for publication. Just because it was solicited and then written doesn't mean that it had to end up between covers.
(TP:) I really expected better
(JBR:) I don't know. Maybe because its an Afterword, it is sort of quick editorialism, and should be taken in that light.
(TP:) If you simply want to dissmiss the subject and move on to something else, that's a good way to go, but if you really want to understand what propelled Phil, and what was the fuel that kept him moving, it was a whole lot more subtle than that. And more rational than that. It's the same way with saying he's paranoid: superficially that sounds correct and can cover most of the facts, but it won't really work in the long run. Too many screwy things really did happen to him, and too many of his outlandish dreads turned out to be all too well-founded. {J.B.Reynolds, Tim Powers, Serena Powers, Andy Watson, Jim Blaylock 1985}

PKDS-13 15:

1986 saw Japanese publication of CLANS translated by Yasuko Tomoeda.

PKDS-15 10:

Gary Walkow, who has been prowling Hollywood looking for financing for his proposed film of CLANS OF THE ALPHANE MOON (he has an option and has completed a screenplay), has discovered among other things that work still proceeds on "Second Variety".
Walkow, incidentally, would like to hear from PKDS members with any contact in the world of film production and financing. He's very serious about his CLANS project, and his credentials are good. his first film "The Trouble With Dick" has received good reviews and was winner of the Grand Prize at the United States Film Festival, 1987... Walkow says he's deeply committed to capturing the essence of PKD on film, and believes CLANS is a good vehicle for it. Write: Frolix productions, 2501 Beverly Ave, Ste. 2, Santa Monica, CA 90405.

TDC ?

(PKD:) In comparison to, like ACE books... I used to hold the French edition in one hand and an ACE edition in the other... CLANS OF THE ALPHANE MOON is the one I used...
(DSA:)(sarcastically) Yeah... Great cover for that book... The guy with the gun...
(PKD:) (also sarcastically) Yeah, right. It's a book about guns (laughter). So I said, "Holy smoke! I can see a tremendous difference in the physical qualities of the two books. And the say they're gonna publish all of my novels." Well they didn't publish all of my novels because other French publishers bid on them and outbid them for a large number of novels. So Opta just published the ones they had acquired title to. Someone told me I have like 26 to 29 novels in print in France. {PKD - A & B 1977}

TDC :

(PKD:) I love CLANS OF THE ALPHANE MOON, because the whole entire thing works up to this one funny scene where they call off the attack on the rocket ship and the robot hasn't been told and he goes and hammers on the door.
(DSA:) I really love that book too, for a number of reasons, not the least of which is the scene near the end where the relations among all the characters get so complex that the main character has to just sit down for about 3 pages and try and untangle who is on who's side. He finally realises that its an impossible equation to solve; there is just too many people doing too many illogical things, some entirely on their own!
(PKD:) That's a funny book in many ways... {PKD - Apel & Briggs 1977}

TDC ? . {PKD mentions CLANS OF THE ALPHANE MOON and implies an edition from the French publisher Editions Opta. But Editions Opta never published an edition of CLANS as far as I can tell. The first French edition was from Albin Michel in 1973 (Albin Michel, pb, SF 18, 1973, 249pp, ?, ? (?) {tr. Into French by Francois Truchaud as LES CLANS DE LA LUNE ALPHANE} - Lord RC}

PEPKD 43. Sutin in DI has the novel written in 1963-64. And Perry Kinman in Rouzleweave #1 has it written on 16 Jan 1964.


COLLECTOR'S NOTES            

Powells: CLANS OF THE ALPHANE MOON, Ace, pb, F-309, 1964. $45

Antiqbook: CLANS OF THE ALPHANE MOON, Ace, pb, F-309, 1964. NF. with spine straight, tight, clean, bright, unbroken, and without creases. Very clean tight pages that indicates that this book may not have been read. Clean, bright covers with a faint line on front cover that appears to be a near incident of a crease. $55

Simon Finch Rare Books: CLANS OF THE ALPHANE MOON, Ace, pb, F-309, 1964. VG+. $22

Simon Finch Rare Books: CLANS OF THE ALPHANE MOON, Ace, pb, F-309, 1964. NF. #29

Priscilla Juvelis, Inc.: CLANS OF THE ALPHANE MOON, Ace, pb, F-309, 1964. VG. Browning. $20

Duga's Books: CLANS OF THE ALPHANE MOON, Ace, pb, F-309, 1964. VG. Store stamp on inside cover, crease on back. $15

Massoglia Books : CLANS OF THE ALPHANE MOON, Ace, pb, F-309, 1964. $25

The Elder Tree Book Shop: CLANS OF THE ALPHANE MOON, Ace, pb, F-309, 1964. G+. Light creasing to the spine, a slight slant to the binding which is still tight, there is a tiny peel to the lower right corner of the rear panel, and a few spots. $15

The Elder Tree Book Shop: CLANS OF THE ALPHANE MOON, Ace, pb, F-309, 1964. VG+. A very tight copy showing faint rubbing, and the only other flaw is moderate browning to the pages. $24

Phildickian: CLANS OF THE ALPHANE MOON, Ace, pb, F-309, 1964. VG+. A very bright copy with the only flaw being the price being inked out. $35

Rudy’s Books: CLANS OF THE ALPHANE MOON, Ace, pb, F-309, 1964. VG+. $25

Biblion: CLANS OF THE ALPHANE MOON, Ace, pb, F-309, 1964. VG. wear at the top and bottom of spine, a tight split between 'L' and 'P' in spine, edge and corner wear and light sutface wear. It remains glossy, tightly bound and square. $8.99

Phildickian: CLANS OF THE ALPHANE MOON, Ace, pb, 11036, 1972. G. This is a solid good reading copy. There is scuffing to the panels, a chip to the upper right corner of the front panel, creasing down the spine, and the pages are lightly browned. $5

Phildickian: CLANS OF THE ALPHANE MOON, Ace, pb, F-309, 1964. VG. A clean and tight copy showing light reading stress. $20

Phildickian: CLANS OF THE ALPHANE MOON, Ace, pb, 11036, 1972. VG. A clean copy with no reading stress and minor yellowing to the pages. $10

Phildickian: CLANS OF THE ALPHANE MOON, Ace, pb, 11036, 1972. G. This is a solid good reading copy. $5

Robert Gavora: CLANS OF THE ALPHANE MOON, Gregg Press, hb, 1979. VF. $250

Lion & Phoenix Books: CLANS OF THE ALPHANE MOON, Dell, pb, 11084, 1980. VG/F. Light shelf wear. $15

The Elder Tree Book Shop: CLANS OF THE ALPHANE MOON, Dell, pb, 11084, 1980. VG+. light crease to the spine, light rubbing to the edges, and a fold crease to the upper right front corner. Internally, the pages are lightly browned as is fairly common. $8

The Elder Tree Book Shop: CLANS OF THE ALPHANE MOON, Dell, pb, 11084, 1980. VG+. light crease to the right edge of the spine but not down it, rubbing to the bottom spine end, otherwise a very clean copy on the face of it. $10

Phildickian: CLANS OF THE ALPHANE MOON, Dell, pb, 11084, 1980. VG+. A clean & tight copy showing very light reading stress. $10

Phildickian: CLANS OF THE ALPHANE MOON, Bluejay, tp, 1984. VG. A solid copy showing moderate reading stress. $20

Buck Creek Books: CLANS OF THE ALPHANE MOON, pb, Carroll & Graf, 1988. VG. $6


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