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4

<Dec 1951

July 1952

Roog

The Little Movement

2650 wds

HISTORY:

   "Roog" may have been Philip K. Dick’s first short story sale but it wasn’t the first of his stories published, that honor goes to "Beyond Lies The Wub" which appeared in Planet Stories in July 1952.

    "Beyond Lies The Wub" was written no later than Dec 1951 and was published in, as PKD himself called it, "the most lurid of all pulp magazines on the stands at the time, Planet Stories.

    The evidence for placing "Beyond Lies The Wub" in late 1951 is found in PKD’s 1968 ‘Self Portrait.’

    "I began to mail off stories to other sf magazines, and lo and behold, Planet Stories bought a short story of mine. In a blaze of Faust-like fire I abruptly quit my job at the record shop, forgot my career in records, and began to write all the time (how I did it I don’t yet know; I worked until four each morning). Within the month after quitting my job I made a sale to Astounding (now called Analog) and Galaxy. They paid very well, and I knew then that I would never give up trying to build my life around a science fiction career.{TSR 14}

    This informative passage dates the time it refers to as Jan 1952 (PKD having quit his job at the record store in December 1951). The sale to Planet Stories would be "Beyond Lies The Wub", placing the writing of this story perhaps as early as November 1951.

    The story itself, the tale of a piggish Captain Franco (named after the Spanish dictator) who gets his just desserts at the hands of the gentle Wub, was one of PKD’s first efforts at defining what is human:

    "The idea I wanted to get down on paper had to do with the definition of "human." The dramatic way I trapped the idea was to present ourselves, the literal humans, and then an alien lifeform that exhibits the deeper traits that I associate with humanity: not a biped with an enlarged cortex -- a forked radish that thinks, to paraphrase the old saying -- but an organism that is human in terms of its soul.

{... ...}

    I liked the blurbs that Planet Stories printed for "Beyond Lies The Wub." On the title page of the magazine they wrote:

    Many men talk like philosophers and live like fools, proclaimed the slovenly wub, after death.

    And ahead of the story proper they wrote:

    The slovenly wub might well have said: Many men talk like philosophers and live like fools.

   Reader reaction to the story was excellent, and Jack O'Sullivan, editor of Planet, wrote to tell me that in his opinion it was a very fine little story -- whereupon he paid me something like fifteen dollars. It was my introduction to pulp payment rates.{Radio Free PKD, Newsletter (Ed. Greg Lee) RFPKD #3, p1. Also in the Introduction to "Beyond Lies The Wub" in FIRST VOYAGES, Avon, pb, 1981}

    PKD was perhaps not too surprised at the reaction "Beyond Lies The Wub" got from his peers in Berkeley:

    As I carried four copies into the record store where I worked, a customer gazed at me and them, with dismay, and said, "Phil, you read that kind of stuff?" I had to admit I not only read it, I wrote it.{CS Vol1 p403}

    Over the years this story has proven to be a popular one, appearing in two of Dick’s major collections, THE PRESERVING MACHINE and Other Stories (1969) and THE BEST OF PHILIP K. DICK (1977) as well as giving its name to the title of the first volume of THE COLLECTED STORIES OF PHILIP K. DICK (1987).

    "Beyond Lies The Wub" rates  


Other Magazine and Anthology Appearances.          For Cover pix click here:  aaaPKDickBooks.jpg (3234 bytes)

1969 xpres-machine3.jpg (13582 bytes) THE PRESERVING MACHINE, Ace, pb, 67800, Apr 1969, 317pp, $0.95 (Leo and Diane Dillon) [CG: - A146]
1972   ALPHA 3, Ballantine, pb, 02883, Oct 1972, ?,  $1.25 (?) {Ed. Silverberg}
1977 THE BEST OF PHILIP K. DICK, Ballantine, pb, 25359, 1977, ?,? (?)
1980 const1.jpg (7350 bytes) CONSTELLATIONS, Gollancz, pb, ?, 1980, ?, ? (?) {Ed.Edwards}
1981 fv1a.jpg (7248 bytes) FIRST VOYAGES, Avon, pb, ?, May 1981, ?, ? (?) {Ed. Knight, Greenberg, Olander} ISBN:0-380-77586-7
1982   PETER DAVISON'S BOOK OF ALIEN MONSTERS, Sparrow, pb,?, 1982, 126pp, L0.95 (?) {Ed. Peter Davison} 0-09-928300-X
1987   BEYOND LIES THE WUB/THE SHORT, HAPPY LIFE OF THE BROWN OXFORD
     


NOTES:

RFPKD-3 1:

The Wub Lives!
    The idea I wanted to get down on paper had to do with the definition of "human." The dramatic way I trapped the idea was to present ourselves, the literal humans, and then an alien lifeform that exhibits the deeper traits that I associate with humanity: not a biped with an enlarged cortex -- a forked radish that thinks, to paraphrase the old saying -- but an organism that is human in terms of its soul. {...}
    {... ...}
    I liked the blurbs that Planet Stories printed for "Beyond Lies The Wub." On the title page of the magazine they wrote:

    Many men talk like philosophers and live like fools, proclaimed the slovenly wub, after death.

    And ahead of the story proper they wrote:

The slovenly wub might well have said: Many men talk like philosophers and live like fools.

    Reader reaction to the story was excellent, and Jack O'Sullivan, editor of Planet, wrote to tell me that in his opinion it was a very fine little story -- whereupon he paid me something like fifteen dollars. It was my introduction to pulp payment rates.
    {... ...}
{PKD: originally printed in the Introduction to "Beyond Lies The Wub" in FIRST VOYAGES, Avon, pb, 1981}

SRG 41

    Philip Dick does use some of the space opera formula in the early stories. Take space flight for one example. In "Beyond Lies The Wub" a space captain must deal with the nitty-gritty problem of assuring sufficient food for his crew on a return trip from Mars...
    But Philip Dick's stories, even the above, are not primarily about space adventures; they are about human adventure. While the captain of "Beyond Lies The Wub" performs his space job adequately, what claims our attention is his sensitivity to the rich variety of alien life forms and their valid claims to existence. Failing to acknowledge these, the Captain has no qualms about dining on the Wub, a telepathic creature who loves to eat, rest, meditate, and engage in philosophical discussions with stimulating companions. But what we eat determines what we become. The essence of the Wub infiltrates and dominates the lesser clay of the captain without destroying his life. All of Dick's situations are not quite so benevolent. ...

CSVol1 403

    My first published story, in the most lurid of all pulp magazines on the stands at the time, Planet Stories. As I carried four copies into the record store where I worked, a customer gazed at me and them, with dismay, and said, "Phil, you read that kind of stuff?" I had to admit I not only read it, I wrote it.

TTHC 255:
   
    Dick wrote in 1980 that, at the time he wrote the story, "I was a fireball radical and atheist, and religion was entirely foreign to me." But in his "casting about in an effort to contrast the truly human from what I was later to call the 'android or the reflex machine'" he hit upon the "gentle wub."

SL:38 42

[To Anthony Boucher]
Dear Tony,                                                                         Oct 29, 1958

    It occurs to me that if you're looking for a story of mine to include in the treasury of s-f, in my opinion my story FOSTER, YOU'RE DEAD is about my best. It appeared in the Star S-F Anthology Number Three.
    By the way -- the above mentioned story was picked up by Ogonek, the largest circulation Soviet weekly (1,500,00). They even drew a number of archaic, foul illustrations for it ... so I have more readers in the USSR than in this country. An odd situation. I never got a cent for the reprint; I wrote to Ogonek, asking for a copy of the magazine, but they didn't answer the letter.
    What about some of those short fantasies that you printed of mine? Or is this a strictly s-f collection? If I live to be 100 I'll never write anything as good as those, again. Especially LITTLE MOVEMENT. When I read that, I marvel that I could have written it. Ah, the inspiration of youth ...

    Cordially, PKD

PS. How about "Beyond Lies The Wub?" Planet Stories, July 1952. Never been reprinted, & virtually unknown. Not a half-bad story.


Collector's Notes

Monroe Bethea Books: "Beyond Lies The Wub," PLANET STORIES, July 1952. G. . The paper is brittle and the cover is missing two corners one is a 1 1/2 lengthwise. $65.99

Alibris: "Beyond Lies The Wub" in CONSTELLATIONS ed. Malcolm Edwards, Puffin, pb, 1983. VG+. $4.95

Alibris: "Beyond Lies The Wub" in ALPHA 3, Ballantine, pb, 02883,  1972.  VG $7


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