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Dr. Futurity Mass Market Paperback – Jul 1984


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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 153 pages
  • Publisher: Berkley Pub Group (Mm); Reissue edition (July 1984)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0425071065
  • ISBN-13: 978-0425071069
  • Product Dimensions: 17.8 x 2.5 x 12.7 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 91 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

Product Description

Review

"The most brilliant sci-fi mind on any planet." --Rolling Stone --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From the Back Cover

"The most brilliant sci-fi mind on any planet." --Rolling Stone --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Doug Mackey on June 2 2004
Format: Mass Market 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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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 17 reviews
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
Ingenious time paradoxes June 2 2004
By Doug Mackey - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market 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
Doctor Futurity - Philip K Dick Jan. 11 2002
By Rod Williams - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market 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
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
perhaps the least weird Philip K. Dick novel.. July 20 2003
By lazza - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market 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
In one era and out the other June 5 2008
By wiredweird - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This 1960 effort starts with Dr. Parsons being swept up from his home time, something in the near future, to a strange culture of the farther future. His life-saving skills turn out not to be needed in that distant day. In fact, those who suffer day to day injuries (lots of them, they're a careless bunch) are much more likely to call for a "euthanor" than for a medic. He's convicted of saving someone's life, with charge filed by the one he saved. All of which makes the question even more impenetrable? Who, in that death-crazed era, would go through such effort to hire a doctor? Well, we find out, and then the time-hopping begins. Remember those time-travel stories where one guy could be a heck of a crowd, and where future events impose a duty on some guy to make them happen? One of them.

Not too much of this story has aged. In fact, only the doctor with black bag would seem anachronistic to today's reader, nearly half a century after the book was written. The fact that the bag contains things like a cardiac bypass pump, which can be installed under field conditions with just an hour's work, leaves one wondering: just what kind of house call was he making? "It's OK Mrs. Hausfrau, I gave little Johnny two aspirin and a cardiac bypass. He'll be fin in the morning - just don't forget to change his batteries."

I don't see this as one of Dick's finest efforts. Parts of the story seem bolted together, and individuals' motivations in the second half get murky. Lots of SF stories get off the ground using reversal of some social assumption, but the death cult seems a bit ham-handed. "Dr. Futurity" is a fun ride, but not part of the ouvre that earned Dick his reputation as master.

-- wiredweird

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