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THE CRACK IN SPACE
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"My first task will be to find an equitable disposition of the tens of millions of sleeping."

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139

35  

Sep 1963 to Mar 1964

Feb 1966

CLANS OF THE ALPHANE MOON

THE 3 STIGMATA OF PALMER ELDRITCH

See "Cantata-140"

FIRST EDITIONs

1966 ACE, pb, F-377, Feb 1966, 190pp, $0.40 (Jerome Podwil)
    Sidgwick & Jackson, hb, 48450-0, Oct 1970, 424pp, L1.95 (?) {in A PKD OMNIBUS, Levack:  Bound in blue paper boards with silver lettering on the spine. No date on the title page. “This omnibus edition copyright 1970 by // Sidgwick and Jackson Limited” on the copyright page.}

HISTORY

    PKD’s novelette "Cantata 140" formed the first half of what would become the novel THE CRACK IN SPACE. The manuscript for "Cantata 140" (see same) reached the SMLA on Sep 9, 1963 and that for the finished novel, THE CRACK IN SPACE, on Mar 17, 1964. THE CRACK IN SPACE was first published by Ace Books in Feb 1966. The novel also draws on three short stories,
Prominent Author", "Stand-By" and "What'll We Do With Ragland Park?"

    Unfortunately, this novel fell through the cracks as far as commentary by PKD and almost anyone else. In a Jun 1964 letter to James Blish, PKD refers to "Cantata 140" which had just been published as "a cut down version of a 60,000 word novel, hence somewhat aborted…"

    Terry Carr, an editor at Ace Books at the time, talks of the title change:

    My favorite story about Ace’s title-changes has to do with another Phil Dick book which he called Cantata 140. It concerned, among other things, a whorehouse in orbit around Earth. When I saw the memo that said the title had been changed to THE CRACK IN SPACE, I rushed into Don’s office and explained the double0entendre to him (he’d intended the title to refer to a leakage between dimensions in the novel). Don said, "Oh, well. No one will notice."

    And that is all I have found comments-wise on THE CRACK IN SPACE. However, PKD’s biographer Gregg Rickman selected this as PKD’s worst novel in the FDO fan poll, saying:

    Worst novel, at least unique, is THE CRACK IN SPACE.

    The story itself incorporates almost wholesale the short story "Cantata 140". In an overpopulated world people are coerced into being frozen with the promise that they will be awoken at a later date when conditions improve. But do they merely become the supply of organ parts for the ruling geriatric generation?

    Against this backdrop top news-clown Jim Briskin is running for president, using a satellite whorehouse run by two-bodied George Walt as his whipping boy. But when a crack is found in space that leads to a parallel world, Briskin finds a solution to overpopulation as well as his failing opinion polls. A fun novel that occasionally falls apart, THE CRACK IN SPACE deserves .

    See also the short stories: "Prominent Author" and  "Cantata-140"    and   "Stand By"   and  "What’ll We Do With Ragland Park?"


OTHER EDITIONS                              For Cover Pix Click Here mylogoInv[1].jpg (3234 bytes)  PKDickBooks.com

FOREIGN EDITIONS:


NOTES

See: SL-38 79: PKD to James Blish, Jun 7, 1964

PKD OTAKU #11, Sep 2003, p9. (Source: from an interview with Terry Carr in Speaking of Science Fiction: The Paul Walker Interviews; Luna Publications: 1978, p207)

FDO#6. 1996 ‘PKD Horserace.’


Collector's Notes

Phildickian: THE CRACK IN SPACE, Ace, pb, F377, 1966. G $25

Phildickian: THE CRACK IN SPACE, Ace, pb, 12126, 1974. VG- $15

Phildickian: THE CRACK IN SPACE, Berkley, pb, 1983. VG $25

Phildickian: THE CRACK IN SPACE, Severn House, hb, 1989. VF/VF $25


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