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83

<Oct 18, 1954

Aug 1955

Captive Market

Minority Report

   8200 wds

FIRST PUBLICATION

HISTORY:

    Accompanying "Captive Market" in the mail delivery to the SMLA on Oct 18, 1954 was the manuscript for "The Mold Of Yancy." The story found its way to If and after slight revision was published in the Aug 1955 issue. Later, it was selected for Mark Hurst’s PKD collection THE GOLDEN MAN (1980). The idea of the story was adapted into Dick’s 1964 novel THE PENULTIMATE TRUTH and the story’s title, in a slightly amended form as "In The Mold Of Yancy" was intended as the original title for THE PENULTIMATE TRUTH.

    According to the Agency’s records, "The Mold Of Yancy" was rewritten for If and reduced from 9,500 words to 7,000 words.

    Of the story PKD had this to say:

    Obviously, Yancy is based on President Eisenhower. During his reign we all were worrying about the man-in-the-grey-flannel-suit problem; we feared that the entire country was turning into one person and a whole lot of clones. (Although in those days the word "clone" was unknown to us.) I liked this story enough to use it as the basis for my novel THE PENULTIMATE TRUTH; in particular the part where everything the government tells you is a lie. I still like that part; I mean, I still believe it's so. Watergate, of course, bore the basic idea of this story out.

    As to the story; sophisticated computer analysts on Earth detect totalitarian leanings in Callisto government. But when Earth spies go to Callisto they can find nothing wrong. The society is open and not repressive, the people enjoying life, reading, listening to music, watching TV, even complaining about the Government. The only problem is that they’re all reading, listening and watching the same thing: whatever the ubiquitous John Edward Yancy gently suggests they be interested in. But, as for real opinions on real subjects like war, the Callistotes have no opinion at all, they just think they do. Earth realises what’s going on and with the help of a disgruntled Callistote programmer they reprogram the Yancy simulacrum to encourage diversity in the populace.

    Even though Philip K. Dick wrote "The Mold Of Yancy" and based Yancy himself on President Eisenhower, as mentioned above, to a later reader the story and Yancy in particular remind one of President Ronald Reagan. In this story Dick makes the important connection between conformity and totalitarianism.

    "The Mold Of Yancy" deserves


Other Magazine and Anthology appearances.         More Cover Pix here: aaaPKDickBooks.jpg (3234 bytes)

1958 TheMoldOfYancey.jpg (15996 bytes) THE SECOND WORLD OF IF, Quinn, pb, ?,? $0.50 (?) {Ed. Quinn, Wulff}      
1964   THE PENULTIMATE TRUTH {expanded into novel}  
1980 THE GOLDEN MAN  
1987 csopkd4a.jpg (7562 bytes) THE COLLECTED STORIES OF PKD, Vol.4  
       

NOTES:

THE GOLDEN MAN story notes by PKD

    Obviously, Yancy is based on President Eisenhower. During his reign we all were worrying about the man-in-the-grey-flannel-suit problem; we feared that the entire country was turning into one person and a whole lot of clones. (Although in those days the word "clone" was unknown to us.) I liked this story enough to use it as the basis for my novel THE PENULTIMATE TRUTH; in particular the part where everything the government tells you is a lie. I still like that part; I mean, I still believe it's so. Watergate, of course, bore the basic idea of this story out.

TTHC 264

To his credit, Dick protected the integrity of his work the best he could. Once with the agency Dick seldom worked with an editor on rewriting a story, but there were exceptions. One of his seminal stories of the era, the riff on Eisenhower-era conformity "The Mold Of Yancy," was reworked for If, according to the green card. from 9,500 to 7,000 words. {...}

SRG 51

    In his personal remarks, Dick emphasizes that for him science fiction is a way of rebellion, especially against authority. The term authority covers both persons and social institutions, any group manipulating others for their own benefit and in so doing catching both individuals and the body communal in the either/or trap. In "The Mold Of Yancy", Dick inveighs against such a situation. Thought and behavior control operating under a guise of social virtue is particularly invidious, easily capturing those of us suffering from the widespread malady of intellectual laziness. While Dick's notes on "The Mold Of Yancy" does not intimate that he intended a pun, a sensitive reader cannot escape a connection. The effort to mold a national way of thought can result only in a mouldering state of mind, a decay of initiative inviting totalitarianism. This reminder invites immediate rebellion.

THE PENULTIMATE TRUTH Afterword, Carroll & Graf, 1989, p210

    According to the records of the Scott Meredith Literary Agency, the outline for THE PENULTIMATE TRUTH was received in March 1964, and the completed manuscript in May. Conceptually it represented the splicing together of two short stories Philip K. Dick had written in the earliest years of his apprenticeship. The first of these, "The Defenders," appeared in the January 1953 issue of Galaxy. It duplicates, in miniature, the Nicholas St. James portion of the plot…

{…}

The second source for the novel was published in IF (August 1955), and its title, "The Mold Of Yancy," was intended, in a slightly emended form, "In The Mold Of Yancy", as the original title of the book…

{…}

It is clear, even in that early story, that Dick’s interest in the premise is more with the secret power excersized by hidden persuaders, such as advertising copywriters, speechwriters and filmmakers, than with the moral question of the legitimacy of such persuasion. It’s less clear whether, as he wrote "The Mold Of Yancy," Dick recognized his personal fascination and identification with the yance-men of Callisto, but surely by the time he had decided to rework that old material into a novel, he knew himself to be a yance-man – albeit one employed in the lower echelons of the power structure – as a hack writer producing sci-fi paperbacks. By way of signaling that fact and of sharing it with the unhappy few who could be counted on to read his hack novels as a phantasmal form of autobiography, Dick gave the Agency that is responsible for this global deception the then-current address of his own literary agent, Scott Meredith, at 580 Fifth Avenue.

{…} {Thomas M. Disch}


Collector’s Notes

Ebay (Nov 2000): "The Mold Of Yancy" in If, 1955 (1st), 0 bids. $6


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