THE WORLD JONES MADE

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THE WORLD JONES MADE
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To Jones The Future Was An Open Book!

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92 7  

Nov-Dec 1954?

1956 March

WORLD OF CHANCE

EYE IN THE SKY

 

FIRST EDITIONS

    ACE, pb, D-150, March 1956, 192pp, $0.35, (Shulz)//AGENT OF THE UNKNOWN by Margaret St.Clair
       
1968 IMAGE451.JPG (3260 bytes)   Sidgwick & Jackson, hb, 98048-6, Aug 1968, 192pp, 18/- (?) {Levack: Bound in dark red paper boards with gold lettering on spine. No date on the title page. “This edition published 1968 by // Sidgwick and Jackson Limited” on the copyright page.}

HISTORY

    Philip K. Dick’s second science-fiction novel, written in late 1954 after SOLAR LOTTERY, was originally titled "WOMB FOR ANOTHER". The manuscript arrived at SMLA in December of 1954 and even the sub-agent at SMLA liked it and recommended it for "hardcovers, Ballantine, Astounding, etc." As biographer Gregg Rickman says, this list reflected the pecking order of book publication in the mid-50s.

    The story was purchased by Ace Books in 1955 and, as usual, they immediately changed the title. And in March 1956 THE WORLD JONES MADE came out as one half of an Ace Double, backed with Margaret StClair’s AGENT OF THE UNKNOWN.

    THE WORLD JONES MADE is a story of a precog – Jones – and the traps that precognition can bring.

    PKD, as he himself writes, see precognition as a mixed blessing:

    "In my stories, and especially in the novel {JONES}, it placed the character in a closed loop, a victim of his own determinism; he was compelled … to enact later what he foresaw earlier, as if by previewing it he was destined to fall victim to it, rather than obtaining the capacity to escape it. Precognition did not lead to freedom but rather to a macabre fatalism…"

    Dick has similar thoughts in other places.

    In responding to a review of the novel by James Blish, PKD writes that the idea for the book was

   a sort of transformation of the situation in Germany after World War One. A liberal government, democratic in nature, is in power. It fights against absolutist extremist elements growing from within; it tries to use its military and police power against them, and fails. Jones, as a person, is based on what I’ve read about Adolf Hitler. The drifters, of course, are the Jews (Damon Knight, I believe, noticed this). I tried to catch what I imagined was the zeitgeist of Weimar and translate it into sf terms. God knows what the mutants would be. Here the analogy breaks down.

    In this same letter he refers to James Joyce for his writing technique in THE WORLD JONES MADE;

    The "Jones" book was a failure. Let's face it. But the desire behind it was not base or ignoble. I've always been interested in the Joyce technique of starting with more than one thread and drawing these threads together at some nexus later in the book. {...} However, in my "Jones" book the threads don't come together; specifically, there is no relationship between the mutant group who open the book and the Jones political movement. Those two threads have no nexus. A is related to B, and B to C, and C to D, but A has no relationship to D. And it should have had. I think, had there been a relationship between those two particular threads, the book would have come off. Originally, the MS was much longer. ACE agreed to publish it if I'd cut it. I cut out the mutant-thread entirely (which would have left a more unified book). But ACE demanded that I restore that thread. Without it the book was thin. This showed me that I had got off in the wrong direction in my novel writing, and the next books were based on a more unified approach.

    The plot of THE WORLD JONES MADE revolves around Floyd Jones, a precog who can see exactly one year into the future. When giant seed-like things start floating to Earth from outer space Jones rouses the population against these drifters and they are burnt as soon as they land. This arouses the ire of the government who see the drifters as harmless and a power struggle starts between Jones and the laissez-faire government.

    An excellent follow-up to SOLAR LOTTERY this is a novel which many readers do not see as a failure. In fact, its as good as his first and THE WORLD JONES MADE rates

    See "Martians Come In Clouds"

    See THE WORLD JONES MADE by Barb Morning Child


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

 FOREIGN EDITIONS:


NOTES

See TTHC 294

See RADIO FREE ALBEMUTH, p.2

TDC 88

(PKD:) The irony was that my second novel, THE WORLD JONES MADE, was about a precognitive. And it didn't do him a damn bit of good. He couldn't avert the event. It was hell for him. He had precognition for one year ahead. And when he got within the last year of his life, he had a precognition of being dead, so it really was not a talent that gave him any options.

TSR 181

(PKD:) To understand the future totally would be to have it now. Try that, and see how it feels. Because once the future is gone, the possibility of free, effective action of any kind is abolished. This, of course, is a theme that appears in SF constantly; if no other instance crosses your mind, recall my own novel THE WORLD JONES MADE. By being a precog, Jones ultimately lost the power to act entirely; instead of being freed by his talent, he was paralyzed by it. You catchum?

SL:38 40

Dear Mr. Blish

{...} I'd like to comment on the two reviews (even though years have passed since you wrote them). First, the unsympathetic review, on the "Jones" book. {...} I agree. The "Jones" book was a failure. Let's face it. But the desire behind it was not base or ignoble. I've always been interested in the Joyce technique of starting with more than one thread and drawing these threads together at some nexus later in the book. {...} However, in my "Jones" book the threads don't come together; specifically, there is no relationship between the mutant group who open the book and the Jones political movement. Those two threads have no nexus. A is elated to B, and B to C, and C to D, but A has no relationship to D. And it should have had. I think, had there been a relationship between those two particular threads, the book would have come off. Originally, the MS was much longer. ACE agreed to publish it if I'd cut it. I cut out the mutant-thread entirely (which would have left a more unified book). But ACE demanded that I restore that thread. Without it the book was thin. This showed me that I had got off in the wrong direction in my novel writing, and the next books were based on a more unified approach.

{...}

One other thing, in connection with this book. Happens that the whole idea is a sort of transformation of the situation in Germany after World War One. A liberal government, democratic in nature, is in power. It fights against absolutist extremist elements growing from within; it tries to use its military and police power against them, and fails. Jones, as a person, is based on what I've read about Adolf Hitler. The drifters, of course, are the Jews (Damon Knight, I believe, noticed this). I tried to catch what I imagined was the zietgeist of Weimar and translate it into s-f terms. God knows what the mutants would be. Here the analogy breaks down.

{...} -- {PKD>James Blish, February 10, 1958}

For an excellent essay that explores the meaning of the mutants see "The World Jones Made" by Barb Morning Child. This essay, with others, can be found in FDO#2, 1992


Collector's Notes

Phildickian: THE WORLD JONES MADE, Ace, pb, D150, 1956. VG $22.50

Phildickian: THE WORLD JONES MADE,  Ace, pb, D150, 1956. G+ $20

Phildickian: THE WORLD JONES MADE,  Ace, pb, F429, 1967. VG $15

Phildickian: THE WORLD JONES MADE,  Ace, pb, 1975. VG $10

Phildickian: THE WORLD JONES MADE,  Gregg Press, hb, 1979. VG+ $200

Phildickian: THE WORLD JONES MADE,  Vintage, tp, 1993. NF $10


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