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Dr. Futurity [Paperback]

Philip K. Dick
3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Kindle Edition CDN $9.99  
Paperback CDN $12.00  
Paperback, July 1984 --  
MP3 CD, Audiobook, MP3 Audio, Unabridged CDN $13.13  

Book Description

July 1984
When Dr. Jim Parsons awakens after a car accident, he finds himself in a future populated almost entirely by the young. But for the young to keep running the world, death is fetishized, and those who survive to old age are put down. In such a world, Parsons — with his innate desire to save lives — is a criminal and an outcast. For one revolutionary group, however, he may be just the savior they need to heal and revive their cryogenically frozen leader. When he and the group journey to sixteenth-century California, what they find causes them to question what they know about history and the underpinnings of their society. With the jarring immediacy of a car crash, Philip K. Dick throws both the listener and the protagonist of Dr. Futurity into a bizarre future where healing is a crime and youth rules.
--This text refers to the MP3 CD edition.

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"The most brilliant sci-fi mind on any planet." --Rolling Stone --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

From the Back Cover

"The most brilliant sci-fi mind on any planet." --Rolling Stone --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Ingenious time paradoxes June 2 2004
Format:Paperback
Although it would have to be called one of Dick's weaker novels, Dr. Futurity, first published in 1960, is still a lot of fun. It concerns a present-day doctor who is plucked into the future by a tribe of Indians with time-travel technology. In their world the healing arts have been lost, since the ideal of dying to make room for an improved breed of humanity has displaced the value of living one's own life. The Indians, however, are inspired by a fanatical and paranoid leader, who is lying mortally wounded, on whom they wish the doctor to operate. In his effort to save the man, the doctor is thrust into a series of ingenious time paradoxes, which can be seen as a warm-up for the far richer novels Martian Time-Slip (1964) and Now Wait for Last Year (1966).
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Amazon.com: 3.1 out of 5 stars  14 reviews
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Ingenious time paradoxes June 2 2004
By Doug Mackey - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Although it would have to be called one of Dick's weaker novels, Dr. Futurity, first published in 1960, is still a lot of fun. It concerns a present-day doctor who is plucked into the future by a tribe of Indians with time-travel technology. In their world the healing arts have been lost, since the ideal of dying to make room for an improved breed of humanity has displaced the value of living one's own life. The Indians, however, are inspired by a fanatical and paranoid leader, who is lying mortally wounded, on whom they wish the doctor to operate. In his effort to save the man, the doctor is thrust into a series of ingenious time paradoxes, which can be seen as a warm-up for the far richer novels Martian Time-Slip (1964) and Now Wait for Last Year (1966).
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Doctor Futurity - Philip K Dick Jan. 11 2002
By Rod Williams - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
A rare and early foray into the subject of Time Travel from Dick, although the timeslip element is used initially merely as a device to move an objective viewpoint to a far future and therefore alien society.
Although one of the novels in which Dick was still finding his literary feet, it shows signs of the depths of his ideas and the themes which would come to dominate his work.
Dr Jim Parsons is snatched from the US of Nineteen Ninety Eight and deposited in the year Two Thousand, Four Hundred and Five. Interestingly, the US that Dick envisaged in his own near future is one in which large corporations have been nationalised and society seems to be run by the professional classes (Doctors, lawyers, etc). American politics and society is often something at which Dick takes a sideswipe, often as part of the background to the main narrative.
Parsons arrives in a post-nuclear world where the human race has become homogenised and the birth rate is strictly controlled (as is female rights).
Children are produced by a process of controlled natural selection whereby competitive `tribes' engage in various mental and physical challenges; the number of points they win determining who contributes their zygotes to `The Soul Cube', which is essentially a vast bank of reproductive material.
Death is welcomed, as when a tribe member dies, a replacement is automatically fertilised within the cube.
Being a Doctor, and somewhat politically liberal, Parsons is confused and appalled when he is arrested for saving the life of a young woman who subsequently makes a complaint against him for denying her the right to die.
Structurally, the novel follows the mythic structure in that the hero - unwillingly in this case - is taken from his world of familiarity and his happy marriage (unusually for Dick, whose heroes tend to suffer from broken or dysfunctional relationships) to an alien world of seemingly bizarre behaviour and barbaric cultural beliefs.
Dick was once quoted as having been influenced by AE Van Vogt, and if it shows anywhere, it shows in this novel which, if a little less obscure and rambling than some of Van Vogt's work, displays some of his trademarks such as `the dark city of spires', the super race, the peculiar machines, the convoluted plot and the trip to Mars. These are Van Vogt clichés which can be seen at their best in Slan (1940) and `The World of Null-A' (1948).
It's obviously hastily written, although the time-travel loops and paradoxes are well-thought out and all the ends neatly tied up, although Dick skimps on some areas where the motives of the characters are confusing. For instance, believing himself to have murdered someone by utilising time-travel equipment Parsons goes out of his way to try and ensure that he has actually done so. At that point, however, he has no motive for carrying out the murder, and has been shown earlier to be - he is a Doctor after all - someone who is dedicated to preserving life.
Not a major Dick novel, but interesting nonetheless.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not his best, but good for Dick fans to read Sept. 15 2005
By Johnboy - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This short PKD novel is not at the top of the list in execution but for Dick completists, it is an interesting time travel/paradox story. Many of us are now searching out more obscure stories by PKD, having read all his "classsics," and this novel certainly deserves a reading to compare it to his more fleshed-out novels.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars perhaps the least weird Philip K. Dick novel.. July 20 2003
By lazza - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Philip K. Dick novels are an acquired taste. He almost always has interesting things to say but often it is shrouded in some incomprehensible storyline. In one of his earlier and least known works, Dr. Futurity, we can both appreciate Philip K. Dick's imagination and not get bogged down with erroneous weirdness (albeit some would say it is this weirdness that makes his books so appealing).
Dr. Futurity has a fundamental theme of the 'Back to the Future' film series - namely, folks travelling forward/backward in time with hopes of altering the course of history. In repeated time travelling episodes they actually see themselves from their previous journeys. In Dr. Futurity the purpose of the time travel is to prevent the white supremacy era, as the author describes, which began when explorers conquered the New World. In Philip K. Dick's twenty-fifth century all the human races are blended and babies are produced through careful selection. Physically defective individuals are encouraged to get euthanised. Now how this all relates to earlier centuries of white supremacy is unclear, but Philip K. Dick certainly takes us on a fun (if rather contrived) ride.
Bottom line: readable and enjoyable. Recommended for Philip K. Dick neophytes.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars KINDA GOOD, KINDA BAD April 27 2001
By EMAN NEP - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Well, as you can probably tell, this is not a very well-known much less well-read PKD novel. It was published in 1960, hardly the height of his career. Other reviewers made this book sound as if it wasn't all that good, so I was surprised that the first third of the book was actually pretty good. Basically, there's this doctor named Jim Parsons driving down Hwy 101 when suddenly his car runs off the side of the road. And then he finds himself in the future. I like how PKD described the future: a rather primitive Bladerunner world is the closest I can compare it to. In the future, you're not supposed to heal people--i.e. doctors are bad--you just let them die. There are no elderly people and little or no disease. In a way this book is very prophetic, since the elderly are increasingly losing their status. But shortly after the doctor's arrival, the plot takes a nosedive. It reads really quickly, much more so than the Penultimate Truth, which I think is PKD at his worst. My problem with this book is this: A mystery-type book is confusing enough. Add in the element of time-travel going both ways and it's VERY easy to get confused. Stupid paradoxes. As a rule of thumb, I try and steer clear of time-travel subjects, the exceptions being the Terminator movies. Anyway, this book is okay. I'm glad that I have it in my PKD library, but if you want to read a better story with a little mystery and science fiction intertwined, read A Maze of Death by PKD instead.
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