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THE PRESERVING MACHINE
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156

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Apr 1969

GALACTIC POT-HEALER

A MAZE OF DEATH

Collection
FIRST EDITIONS
tpm3a.jpg (13417 bytes)   ACE, pb, 67800, Apr 1969, 317pp, $0.95, (Leo and Diane Dillon) [-A146]
tpm1971.jpg (12049 bytes)   Gollancz, hb, 00562-9, Feb 1971, 256pp, L1.80 (?) {[-A146]What The Dead Men Say}

HISTORY

    This prestigious collection of Philip K. Dick’s short stories goes back to 1965. In May of that year Dick wrote a bruised letter to his agent (copies to Don Wollheim) complaining about Wollheim’s reaction to his expansion of THE UNTELEPORTED MAN. In this  letter he is particularly irked that Wollheim wishes to tie the purchase of Dick’s story collection to the satisfactory -- to Wollheim -- completion of the expansion of THE UNTELEPORTED MAN. Dick feels "this is a club over my head…" and quasi-illegal.

    I imagine it took most of the rest of 1965 to work this one out between Dick, the Agency and Wollheim. At any rate, this proposed collection didn’t resurface until early 1968, although it is obvious that by then the collection was well along its way to publication. First mention then of THE PRESERVING MACHINE by name is in a letter from Terry Carr in February summarized here by Patrick Clark:

    Cover letter accompanying proofs for THE PRESERVING MACHINE and photocopy of the book jacket artwork. Problems with the typesetter precludes copies for advance reviews but Carr will solicit input of Brunner, Boucher and Ellison by phone.

    It would be another eight months before we hear mention of THE PRESERVING MACHINE again. This time in a letter from Marcia Howell in October that accompanied the contracts for THE PRESERVING MACHINE.

    Shortly after this Terry Carr wrote to Dick about copyrights for the stories in THE PRESERVING MACHINE and offers to

    consider any new novel Phil might want to write for Carr's Ace Specials at $2500, against 6% - 8% royalties.

    A week later Carr was writing to Dick telling him that copies of the stories in THE PRESERVING MACHINE were being sent to him separately and again renewing his offer to consider any new Dick novel for Carr’s Ace Specials.

    To these missives PKD replied in short order:

    Thank you for the memo of November 6 in which you thank me for the copyrights on THE PRESERVING MACHINE. I am glad -- god, how I am glad -- that you can finish the matter, because it's items like that that destroy my will and curdle my brain tissue.

    {...}

    As to famous persons seeing the proofs of THE PRESERVING MACHINE, in the fashion that I saw John Brunner's proofs for THE JAGGED ORBIT. I think Bob Silverberg would be a good one to send it to, and possibly Harlan (although he might excoriate it), and then Phil Farmer. Also, I have written to Roger Zelazny (with whom I am doing a collaboration for Doubleday) asking him if he has time -- he is very busy -- to read my collection. I should know very soon if he can do this. Maybe you can think up someone else. I'd trust your instincts in this matter far more than I would mine.

    Nice to hear from you, and give my love to Carol. I hope you'll keep me informed as to the progress of THE PRESERVING MACHINE. I'd like very much, for example, to see a Xerox copy of the cover, when it's ready, and see the blurbs, too.

    Dick was glad to finalize the contracts on THE PRESERVING MACHINE and he was indeed chuffed in a Dec letter to sf writer John Brunner:

    As far as my own work goes, I have sold a story collection to Ace for a special, then an outline and 3 sample chapters at $2500, then my newest novel to Doubleday... so I have made three book-length sales in less than a month. Now I can pay off all my enormous debts.

    One last letter from this period from Terry Carr asks if Dick wants to write an introduction to THE PRESERVING MACHINE and mentions A.E.Van Vogt’s interest in reading it once it is published.

    Moving into 1969 activity on THE PRESERVING MACHINE continued with Dick announcing to Peter Fitting:

    a full and successful collection of my stories, ranging from those written in 1951 up to the present, is being brought out by Ace in a week or so; I'm very proud of it (It's called THE PRESERVING MACHINE, and the editor has so carefully combed my 150 odd stories so as to make it appear that I'm a good short story writer, which I am not).

    Once the collection came out from Ace in April 1969, Dick in a letter to fellow writer, John Jakes, remarks again on his editor at Ace:

    A good deal of credit for PRESERVING MACHINE should go to Terry Carr, who rounded up all my stories (about 150), read all of them and then made what I regard as a superior choice as to what ought to go in the volume. He makes me look better than I am.

    The Ace paperback of THE PRESERVING MACHINE was published in April 1969 and the SFBC hardback followed in Jan 1970. The first edition in the United Kingdom was a hardback from Gollancz in Feb 1971.

    Many editions have followed through the years. In the UK many of the earlier editions dropped the story "What The Dead Men Say" (perhaps it was too long?) but this was restored to the collection with the 1987 Grafton edition. Foreign editions are also numerous with interesting titles like LA MAQUINA PRESERVADORA, LA TIERRA SOMBRIA and LA VOCI DI DOPO.

    With fourteen short stories one might think that there would be a few bad ones in this collection but they are all excellent stories, ones I’ve rated with four or five stars with the single exception of the title story itself, "The Preserving Machine."!

    As a collection, then, THE PRESERVING MACHINE certainly deserves . Terry Carr did, indeed, do a good job.


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


FOREIGN EDITIONS:


CONTENTS:

Upon The Dull Earth (1954)
The Preserving Machine (1953)
War Game (1959)
Roog (1952)
War Veteran (1955)
Beyond Lies The Wub (1952)
We Can Remember It For You Wholesale (1966)
Captive Market (1955)
If There Were No Benny Cemoli (1953)
Retreat Syndrome (1964)
The Crawlers (1954)
Oh, To Be A Blobel! (1964)
What The Dead Men Say (1964)
Pay For The Printer (1956)


NOTES

BGSU Papers

Dear Terry,

    Thank you for the memo of November 6 in which you thank me for the copyrights on THE PRESERVING MACHINE. I am glad -- god, how I am glad -- that you can finish the matter, because it's items like that that destroy my will and curdle my brain tissue.

    {...}

As to famous persons seeing the proofs of THE PRESERVING MACHINE, in the fashion that I saw John Brunner's proofs for THE JAGGED ORBIT. I think Bob Silverberg would be a good one to send it to, and possibly Harlan (although he might excoriate it), and then Phil Farmer. Also, I have written to Roger Zelazny (with whom I am doing a collaboration for Doubleday) asking him if he has time -- he is very busy -- to read my collection. I should know very soon if he can do this. Maybe you can think up someone else. I'd trust your instincts in this matter far more than I would mine.

Nice to hear from you, and give my love to Carol. I hope you'll keep me informed as to the progress of THE PRESERVING MACHINE. I'd like very much, for example, to see a Xerox copy of the cover, when it's ready, and see the blurbs, too.

    Cordially,

                    Philip K. Dick
707 Hacienda Way, San Rafael, Calif 94903 {PKD > Terry Carr, 11-13-68} {Thanks to Patrick Clark and the PKD Trust}
    {See: The BGSU Papers for more notes on THE PRESERVING MACHINE}
            

SL-38 246

[To Peter Fitting]                                                             Apr 29. 1969

{...}

{...} My most recent novel will be out May 9th, published by Doubleday, called, UBIK. It is a very strange one. And a full and successful collection of my stories, ranging from those written in 1951 up to the present, is being brought out by Ace in a week or so; I'm very proud of it (It's called THE PRESERVING MACHINE, and the editor has so carefully combed my 150 odd stories so as to make it appear that I'm a good short story writer, which I am not).

{...}

SL-38 262

A good deal of credit for PRESERVING MACHINE should go to Terry Carr, who rounded up all my stories (about 150), read all of them and then made what I regard as a superior choice as to what ought to go in the volume. He makes me look better than I am (...). {PKD > John Jakes, June 8, 1969}


Collector's Notes

Phildickian: THE PRESERVING MACHINE, Ace, pb, 1969. VG $15

Phildickian: THE PRESERVING MACHINE, Ace, hb, SFBC, 1970. VG/VG $45

Phildickian: THE PRESERVING MACHINE, Gollancz, hb, 1971. NF/F $75

Phildickian: THE PRESERVING MACHINE, Ace, pb, 67801, 1976.   VG $8


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