Chapter Five: Fighting The Power Of Deception
Philip K. Dick's The Three Stigmata Of Palmer Eldritch (1964) and
The Unteleported Man (1966) Or Lies, Inc. (1984)
by Aaron Barlow
Manipulation on the Sly
In The Man Who Japed (1956), one of Dick's early novels, Allen Purcell japes a statue of Major Streiter, the founder of the Earth regime Morec (for "Moral Reclamation"). The next morning, he does not remember doing so—having been drunk at the time. Hearing about the incident, he goes to see the now boxed-over statue. An elated woman tells him what has been done to it:
"The criminal, or japer, or whatever he is, painted the statue red.... And," she smiled brightly. "Well, frankly, he severed the head, somehow.... Removed the head and placed it in the out-stretched hand."
"I see," Allen said, listening intently.
"Then," the girl continued, in a quiet monotone, "the individual applied a high-temperature pack to the forward leg—the right leg. The statue is a poured thermoplastic. When the leg became flexible, the culprit reshaped its position. Major Steiter now appears to be holding his head in his hand, ready to kick it far into the park...." (The Man Who Japed 37; ch. 5)
Later, Purcell, having taken control of the media of the Morec world, presents another satire: he shows Major Streiter as having engaged in "active assimilation," a euphemism for cannibalism, during the hard times after a catastrophic war. Streiter, his family and followers, Purcell claims, ate their enemies, thereby allowing the borning Morec system to survive and expand. No outrage accompanies the claim; Purcell's media discussions present the act as a serious and natural part of the evolution of Morec, a religio-political system bent on controlling the morals of the world.
Purcell, rather than trying to remove the mask of Morec (which he secretly hates), has created another mask for it, one that will appear so ludicrous that people will see through it on their own—and laugh. Purcell hopes that, after laughing at one mask, the populace will take the other less seriously, thereby reducing its power.
Like Purcell, who decides not to make full use (or, as Dick would say, abuse) of the propaganda machine he has come to control, Dick saw mass media as potentially dangerous forces, ones that could be unscrupulously used to form people and their opinions. That, in itself, is not so unusual, but Dick saw mass media, even the fiction he wrote, as dangerous—even if and when he would be in control of them himself. Mass media do not offer an obvious method of dealing with others that is not manipulative. Thus, their danger.
Of course, Dick knew that his fiction would not lead to emulation directly, to actions based on what he has written. No one becomes a rebel because Dick presents rebels as "good guys" any more than anyone would eat people, in the world of The Man Who Japed, because the television says Major Streiter did. The existence of these particular masks is too evident—and so removed from deception. But possibilities for manipulation remain, and these scared Dick.
The immediate problem, for both Dick and Purcell, lies in finding a way to use media for their purposes—but in non-manipulative manners. Rejecting manipulation through media, both find methods based on manipulation of media. By turning the media against themselves, they cause contradictions to appear within them and, thereby, arouse suspicion about them. As the message of both is, in part, that media should not be trusted to act in the interest of any but the media, their method becomes their message.
Purcell uses satire to accomplish his end. Get people laughing at Morec, he decides, and maybe they will stop believing in what it has been telling them, in the mask it wears. Though he did turn to satire, Dick, as he matured as a writer, most often chose another technique.
By disrupting the continuity of his novels, by breaking the "rules" of verisimilitude and consistency in fiction and by making questions of the role and responsibility of the author part of the work, Dick tries to force consciousness of "fictionality" to the forefront of the reading experience. Through this, he would be keeping his readers from being lulled by his soothing authorial voice, from accepting the "truth" of the mask, of what the author "says" on the surface.
Dick worried about the internal "truth" of the fiction itself and about the reader’s act of "suspension of disbelief" and its concomitant, acceptance of the author as temporary leader or wise person. That, to Dick, could be the start of a willingness to accept, or submit to (even if only temporarily), the beliefs of another—itself the start of all totalitarianism.
Only by denying the possibility of belief within the presentation itself, Dick finally decided, could the danger of creeping totalitarianism be avoided. Only by turning a system, be it Morec or preconceptions about the novel, against itself, could his somewhat libertarian political point be made—without the making becoming, itself, another move toward totalitarianism.
In his early works, Dick evidently had not yet come to his conclusion that any attempt at manipulating public opinion—even in fiction, even only in and for the course of a fiction—is fraught with danger, with the looming despotism of the power of manipulation. Nor was he yet willing to show that the act of rebellion is more important than the level of success, that integrity lies in the doing only, never in the result. He still believed in those results, and showed positive ones in his fiction, as in The Man Who Japed and "The Mold of Yancy," as demonstrations of the positive value of questioning. Purcell's act of satire may be the first step toward the destruction of Morec and its stifling, hypocritical morality, a morality completely at odds with any idea that differing perceptions may each have their own "truths." The new utilization of the Yancy, in "The Mold of Yancy," it is hoped, will move the citizens of Ganymede to think for themselves.
Dick made sure, as he began to grow as a writer, that his sensitivity to totalitarianism was translated into his novels and into his presentation of them. Ultimately, Dick wanted his novels to be a part of change in the world, change that would make totalitarianism impossible. As Kim Stanley Robinson, in speaking of The Man Who Japed, explains it:
We can understand this novel as a meta-narrative, a work that describes—once again wishfully—the process of Dick's own fiction. For what Purcell is doing with his satires is no more or less than what Dick is doing with his: and Purcell's actions have toppled his government and changed his world. Expressed here is a wish to change the world by the creation of engaged, critical fictions. (14-15)
Later, Dick began to recognize a totalitarian aspect in even this kindhearted belief: it set him and his ideas above others. Consequently, he changed his focus, making his later novels presentations only of the possibilities inherent in the human individual—even when faced with a totalitarian situation. Only this would fit into his growing belief that even he could fall prey to totalitarian temptations.
At the same time, Dick was making his novels less argumentative, turning them instead, or so he hoped, into presentations of possibilities, choices awaiting reader decision. No longer wanting to directly convince people that his way was "right," he added normal fictional "verities" to his work only to the extent made necessary by constraints placed on him by his publishers and readers.
As he became convinced that any complete vision of a world smacks of totalitarianism, Dick also discarded presentations of consistent (and, therefore, knowable) worlds. The worlds presented in his novels become increasingly fragmented and subjective. They become more ludicrous—and more obvious—masks. Or, more accurately, they become collages of pieces from a number of different masks. Through this, Dick further weakened his control, as author, over reader perception of his work.
It often seems, especially in the works of the sixties, that Dick lost his own control of his work. Perhaps because of drugs or by writing too fast, Dick could not see his novels as wholes or, needing money, was merely stringing together old short stories in order to cash in on the success of The Man in the High Castle. But something else was going on: Dick, whatever his personal situation might have been, was now purposely rejecting the traditional idea of the novel as a complete and consistent whole. Though coming to this point from an essentially political line of reasoning, Dick was beginning, perhaps even with Confessions of a Crap Artist, to become something of an experimentalist.
Even as he started to experiment, though he often spoke of Joyce and Proust, using the two as bench-marks of what he saw as "intellectual" writing, Dick seems to have been little concerned with either the theory or the fact of twentieth-century experimental fiction. Nowhere in his interviews does he mention Samuel Beckett or Iris Murdoch, let alone John Barth, Gertrude Stein, Thomas Pynchon, Robert Coover, Flann O'Brien, Lawrence Durrell, John Hawkes, or Doris Lessing, all writers whose attempts to overcome what they see as the limitations of the novel have a great deal in common with what Dick was doing by 1960. Had his concern solely been fiction itself or the words within creations, he would have known of them—or, at least, he would have mentioned them when speaking of his own work.
Though Dick did, occasionally, play with the idea of "the word"—Ragle Gumm's contemplations in Time Out of Joint are but one example—Dick was little interested in Linguistics or Semiotics. The fact that people tend to respond in predicable ways to word usage was apparently enough for him. Much more interested in worlds than words, he tried to deconstruct the former rather than the latter.
Any intersection between Dick and experimentalists comes within the fictions themselves. A sometimes neurotic mistrust of power led Dick to alter his approach to fiction. Consideration of the position of meaning in the language experience has led many experimentalists to similar alterations. Both, though coming from different directions, become concerned with control and worlds within a fictional frame, and with the acts of creation that bring them about.
The World Jones Made (1956), another early Dick novel, presents six "worlds." Jones, the title character, experiences everything twice, once a year ahead of time. From this comes the power that makes many see him as a savior and a prophet.
Earth, as so often in a Dick novel, has come through a great war, one fought over ideologies not mentioned. A new and totalitarian power has arisen since, based on "Relativism," explained through a conversation between narrative focus Doug Cussick and his wife, Nina. She has asked him why he stays with the Security forces that control Earth:
"Because Security is the lesser of two evils. I say evils. Of course, you and I know there's no such thing as evil. A glass of beer is evil at six in the morning. A dish of mush looks like hell around eight o'clock at night. To me, the spectacle of demagogues sending millions of people to their deaths, wreaking the world with holy wars and bloodshed, tearing down whole nations to put over some religious or political 'truth' is—" He shrugged. "Obscene. Filthy. Communism, Fascism, Zionism-they're the opinions of absolutist individuals forced on whole continents. And it has nothing to do with the sincerity of the leader. Or the followers. The fact that they believe it makes it even more obscene. The fact that they could kill each other and die voluntarily over meaningless verbalisms.… " He broke off. "You see the reconstruction crews; you know we'll be lucky if we ever rebuild."
"But secret police... it seems so sort of ruthless and-well, and cynical."
He nodded. "I suppose Relativism is cynical. It surely isn't idealistic. It's the result of being killed and injured and made poor and working hard for empty words. It's the outgrowth of generations of shouting slogans, marching with spades and guns, singing patriotic hymns, chanting, and saluting flags." (33; ch. 4)
The secret police of the Relativism system keep people from forcing their beliefs on others, though, ironically, they insist on enforcing this with brutality. The problem is that the system offers no hope for improvement, no idealism. This is the first of the "worlds."
What Relativism does is close to what Dick may have believed, later, he might be doing himself through his own fiction. That is, he might be reducing everything to the advantage of nothing. The belief may be right, but the execution, in life as in fiction, may be as dangerous as a rigorous system of belief. In response to this possibility, Dick later removed viable systematic thought to the level of immediate interpersonal relations only.
Though Cussick rejects what he sees as "naive" idealism in favor of that other idealism, Relativism, most of humanity, including his wife, does not. The individualism of Relativism is as sterile to them as Deconstruction can be to many readers. Neither gives anything but a text—and there are many who want meaning provided for them. Lacking other options, the people in The World Jones Made turn to Jones, who leads a successful popular rebellion against the Relativism system.
Jones, though, fails to provide what he has promised. Recognizing his failure, he arranges for Cussick to kill him, making him a martyr, the dead savior of a new world, "the world Jones made." Giving meaning to his life through his death, he makes it impossible for Relativism to continue.
In this book, Dick spells out a political dogma that would remain with him throughout his career. Worlds may be what they may be, but human beings live in them and interact through them, and it is that—only that—giving words importance. Everything else being unstable, it is necessary to focus on human interactions. Though individually different, as a class they remain constant. As the only thing that we can depend on, they should be the center of our lives. They provide the meaning.
Dick, though he probably did not recognize this, presents a Skinnerian view of the world and of communication. Meaning does not rest in any word thing itself, but in the interaction between utilizers of the word or thing. Just as B. F. Skinner, in Verbal Behavior, reduces the word to expectation and response, Dick sees nothing as more important than interpersonal interaction. When the meanings of "chair" for you and me only intersect through relative response to utilization, "chair" itself becomes irrelevant, becomes nothing more than an agreed-upon marker.
By the same token, political systems are only useful, to Dick, as long as they can be completely understood by those involved in the transactions they represent. And "understanding," in this situation, means also a concurrence, an acceptance not imposed by the system, but by the individual.
Like Willard Van Ormand Quine, Dick apparently believed that discussion of "meaning" devolves into synonymy. He ignores, then, the beginnings of language, exploring it, instead, as a political tool, as a means by which some place their own visions of the world on others. The mask, in this case, is the topic, not the maker.
Dick's simplest presentation of the importance of recognizing some shared "reality" appears in the 1969 story "The Electric Ant," an otherwise complicated story that Patricia Warrick and Martin Greenburg see as an example of Dick's "exhaustion and weariness" (Robots, Androids, and Mechanical Oddities 214) at the time of composition. Certainly, Dick's life at that point was hard, but he, as his fiction from the time shows, had not lost his sense of humor or his willingness to examine "the real" in extreme situations.
The story presents an android who has been led to believe himself human. He discovers the truth as the result of an accident, finding that all of the sensory data he receives comes from a tape in his abdomen.
The premise behind the story is nonsense. If the tape is discovered, the android was meant to be able to learn about it—for it, too, would have to be on the "reality tape." But that does not matter: Dick's point in this story has nothing to do with logic—and, to make that point, he presents a mask so obvious in its ridiculousness that it will never be taken seriously.
The android starts to experiment with the tape. By the end of the story, he has decided to disconnect it, so that he can experience what he thinks will be "all" (true "reality"). The tape is a punch tape. By disconnecting it, he decides, he will no longer have the blanked-out portions "protecting" him.
As he reaches the point when he questions the reality of anything at all, he tries to explain his attitude to his secretary, who has come to his house. She responds:
"I am real."
"I want to know you completely," Poole said. "To do that I must cut the tape."...
"You make me wish I had gone to the office after all." (The Stories of Philip K. Dick 5, 237)
She thinks that, as a human, she need not be involved in the problems of this machine. Dick, to destroy her arrogance and to jolt his readers from their own, plays a rather grim joke on her at the end of the story.
After the android has cut the tape, the secretary calls their office, and refers to the android as "it"—not as the thinking being she had pretended it was before. After all, "it" was only a machine. Now, in the words of the man she calls, they are "finally free of it" (The Stories of Philip K. Dick 5, 239).
But she, too, is part of the "reality tape" of the android. Soon, she notices her hands becoming translucent. Finally, she disappears.
In this story, Dick attacks the arrogance of the Cartesian cogito, ergo sum. He establishes the android as a thinking being, as the most "human" of any of the characters of the story, and then demolishes the complacency of the humans around him, who know of him as just a machine.
Thinking only, perceiving everything, as the android, perhaps, finally does, proves a dead end. But so does being, in the sense we normally see as "human." The android fights to come to terms with a world suddenly strange to him, a world in which he is an artifact, not, apparently, an actor, but a tool for others. And the human secretary, still smug within her solipsistic "humanity," ends of as shocked as the android must have been—more so, for she had further to go, never having questioned at all.
"The Electric Ant" also reflects Dick's desire to escape the "logic" he saw being foolishly demanded, by readers and editors, of science fiction. Here, he parodies the "what if?" type of story that so often appears in the genre. Normally, some thing, even an absurd thing, is posited in this type of story, and the implications of the proposition are explored. By positing something self-contradictory and following it with a result completely illogical, even given the initial proposition, Dick makes the form look foolish.
By doing so, Dick challenges his readers to open themselves up to non-traditional ways of looking at things—without, however, providing his own new view. The contradictions in the story indicate quite clearly that this is no scenario Dick would ever want to see taken seriously. What it does, even so, is raise questions that Dick would want taken seriously. Here, then, more obviously than elsewhere, Dick breaks the rules of fiction in order to keep his readers from accepting what he says, yet to nudge them toward asking the questions he asks.
In The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch Dick presents a "reality" that can interface directly with drug-induced "realities" that should be at least spatially separate from it. In this book, then, no "reality" can supercede any other. No Jones can say for sure what will happen tomorrow. The only thing one can do is forget "realities" and look to relationships.
At one point, Leo Bulero, trapped in a drug-induced state and not even on Earth, "goes" to New York via a hallucination. There, he asks one of his employees, Barney Mayerson, to help him. Mayerson does not. Later, Bulero chastises Mayerson for his inaction, and Mayerson accepts responsibility for it. The "fact" of the impossibility—or "irreality"—has nothing to do with the underlying situation: Mayerson did do nothing to help his boss.
The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch begins on a comedic note. It also ends with comedy, sandwiching its more serious statements between the absurd. Dick, like Purcell in The Man Who Japed, uses this technique to keep readers from accepting the worlds of his books at face value—even for the time of reading.
Essentially, The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch centers on the struggle for the future of humanity. On one side are Bulero, an "evolved" Earthman, and Mayerson, a "pre-cog" (able to see possible futures) employee of Bulero's company. On the other is Palmer Eldritch, who has returns to the Sol system after years away, bringing with him the apparent capability to disrupt each individual human's ability to join in a common reality.
At the beginning of the book, Mayerson awakens with a hangover, next to a woman whose name he cannot remember. He asks his "suitcase, that of his psychiatrist Dr. Smile" (1; ch. 1) where he is and who he is with. The suitcase tells him, but gets Mayerson's name wrong, calling him Mr. Bayerson.
Not only, it develops, is Mayerson's psychiatrist a suitcase making jokes about hangovers and aspirin brands, but it acts not for his mental health, but his mental undoing—and purposely so. Mayerson has been served with a draft notice, meaning he will have to go to Mars as a colonist—unless he can prove himself mentally unfit. The "psychiatrist" suitcase will, supposedly, help him become so.
Though humorous in intent, this passage does hint toward some of the issues that will become important as the novel progresses, bringing into the novel the ideas of sanity, perception and interaction that will become crucial upon the return of the insane Palmer Eldritch with his perception-altering drug. It also presents a situation, in which one being is willingly manipulated by another, though that other is a suitcase psychiatrist. Later, in one of the two triumphs Dick presents in the book, Mayerson will accept his personal situation, thereby rejecting those who, at that point, attempt to control him.
At the end of The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch, Bulero, who has won a rather strange battle with the returned Eldritch (becoming Eldritch, and vice versa, for a time), talks to one of his subordinates. One of the "stigmata" of Eldritch, which appear on those he "becomes" for a time, is artificial eyes:
"Stick around for a while. There'll be action. I may be looking at you through a couple of Jensen luxvid artificial-type eyes but it's still me inside here. Okay?"
"Okay," Felix Blau said, "Anything you say, Leo."
"Leo? How come you keep calling me 'Leo'?"
Sitting rigidly upright in his chair, supporting himself with both hands, Felix Blau regarded him imploringly. "Think, Leo. For chrissakes think."
"Oh yeah." Sobered, he nodded; he felt chastened. "Sorry. It was just a temporary slip. I know what you're referring to; I know what you're afraid of. But it doesn't mean anything." He added, "I'll keep thinking, like you say. I won't forget again." He nodded, solemnly promising. (277-278; ch. 13)
Bulero has nearly been killed through his personality "transfer" with Eldritch and something of Eldritch, who has himself died, remains with him. Still, Leo cannot take it all completely seriously. He could lose himself, lose completely, but it is merely, now, a matter of remembering not to.
And that, of course, is ridiculous. Given what has happened in the book, especially so. Though caught up in cosmic battles, Leo finds himself unable to face them as more than a normal small-time businessman. It is all part of what one goes through in life. One does what one can.
A memo Bulero wrote after his return, after his defeat of Eldritch, a cosmic character, far beyond the intellectual reach of Bulero, who, himself, is beyond "normal" mankind, prefaces the book. In it, Bulero tries for an explanation of his own cosmic vision but makes something of a fool of himself, thus setting up the book as a depiction of the victory of the well-meaning, but limited, over the cosmic, yet totalitarian, vision of Eldritch. In this memo, Bulero also makes Dick's point about human interaction. He is talking about people interacting, and ends with a question, a demand for a response. Instead of telling, he begins a dialogue:
I mean, after all; you have to consider we're only made out of dust. That's admittedly not much to go on and we shouldn't forget that. But even considering, I mean it's a sort of bad beginning, we're not doing too bad. So I personally have faith that even in this lousy situation we're faced with we can make it. You get me? (Preface)
Though the novel presents problems of vast scope, the man who overcomes them can only see things in a muddled, cliche-ridden manner. He cannot even write well. In this memo, he is more of a Jack Isidore than he is a world-saver. That is probably Dick's point: the brilliant do not always triumph, but the little men generally managed to muddle through—as long as they remain unwilling to submit to the powers attempting to corrupt them, as long as they retain their concern for others.
Mayerson, at the novel's end, elects to stay on a barren Mars where he will attempt to grow vegetables. That, he believes, is better than continuing involvement with the greater problems facing humanity. And he is right. For he now must deal only with individuals.
The importance of this belief is brought home earlier, though Bulero, of course, does not realize it, through an incident in which Bulero "appears" in the future, and confronts two men even more "evolved" than he. They may be smarter, it turns out, but they are no less prone to human foibles than "normal" humans.
A monument, in this particular vision of the book’s "future," has been set up in memory of Bulero's killing of Eldritch. Eldritch had been an agent, if not something more, of those of the Prox system who wanted to take over the Solar System. One of the two further-"evolved" guards explains to Bulero why they are there:
"The Proxers," Alec said over his shoulder, "always seek to—you know. Desiccate this."
"Desecrate," his companion corrected. (124; ch. 6)
Soon after, a dog comes up (Eldritch in the shape of a dog):
As the three of them watched, the dog halted at the monument, seemed to gaze up at the plaque for a brief interval, and then it-
"Defecation!" Alec shouted, his face turning bright red with rage. He ran toward the dog, waving his arms and trying to kick it, then reaching for the laser pistol at his belt but missing its handle in his excitement.
"Desecration," his companion corrected. (125; ch. 6)
The memorial to a "world saver" becomes appropriately ridiculous. Heroes, after all, have little real importance within individual lives.
This comes at the end of an extremely difficult scene in which relationships between "reality" and "hallucination" become scrambled. The scene includes a good number of passages that must be read slowly and carefully if any sense is to be made of them at all—if sense, in our traditional terms, can be made of them. Included, at one point, is the reappearance of the "real" Dr. Smile, that suitcase psychiatrist, in a "hallucinatory" world. Through this scene and the following one concerning the memorial, Dick tries to show both the reader and Bulero that no real heroism exists in grand things like saving mankind—or even in getting through a number of difficult pages.
The humor present in Leo's encounter with the guards at the monument further emphasizes the point of the memo preceding the book. Though a conqueror, Leo never manages to become a totalitarian leader. Not even a memorial to him can be taken quite seriously, indicating his lack of control over the world he has saved.
Evidently, judging by the evidence provided by the endings of his stories and novels of the period, by the time of The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch Dick had completely rejected the idea of total victory over the controllers (evil through the totalitarian act of controlling) of the world. Total victory, after all, would put the victors in total control.
Even in the earlier novels and stories Dick did temper the successes of his heroes, sometimes forcing them into exile, as in The World Jones Made, or in some other way making one wonder if the characters would in fact live happily ever after. Even Purcell, in The Man Who Japed, faces a long, hard struggle against the still-powerful Morec forces.
In Vulcan's Hammer (1960) a computer, and those who tend it, control the world, doing so ‘for its own good,’ forgetting the needs of those it was meant to assist. Here, as often happens in Dick novels and stories, education, a cultural tool too easily turned to totalitarian ends, has once again been perverted. At one point, a teacher contemplates the role of a school then chastises her students:
After all, it was the task of the schools, and especially the grammar schools, to infuse the youth of the world with the proper attitudes. What else were schools for? ...
" ... I suppose if you had your way you'd be reading those commercial comic books that teach adding and subtracting and other business crafts." (16; ch. 2)
Later, the leader of the rebels puts this in perspective: "There are slow murders and fast murders.... And body murders and mind murders. Some you do with evil schools" (76; ch. 8). And murder, as Dick would point out, is the final totalitarian act.
The schools in Vulcan's Hammer operate only to perpetuate the Unity system that helps the computer, Vulcan III, control the world. Learning has given way to the furthering of a specific world view. Dr. Smile, by trying to upset Mayerson's sanity in The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch, is attempting to do something of the same thing. Education, psychiatrists, polemical novels, state-controlled propagandistic media: all of these attempt to change people. Though he would like to see people change, Dick rejects the methodology of those who would act on others—for he also rejects the idea that any individual or group can define "good" for others. Change has to come from within.
A cab, like the one that gives Eric Sweetscent such profound advice about how to deal with his wife at the end of Now Wait for Last Year, appears in The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch. This one tells Mayerson he was right, finally, to volunteer for the draft he was faced with anyway:
"It's patriotic to go into the service," the cab said.
"Mind your own business," Barney said.
"I think you are doing the right thing," the cab said, anyhow. (140; ch. 7)
The cab's reasoning is wrong, Dick had no respect for patriotism. But the taxi's conclusion is right on the money. Still, Mayerson knows better about what he is doing, though even he has no idea what the consequences will be.
But the idea of a machine giving moral advice to a human? Mayerson takes it seriously, though he does not want to hear its trite talk. Sweetscent takes it very seriously indeed, and heeds the advice, though he clearly would have chosen the course he does take anyway.
Like everyone, as Dick sees things, Sweetscent must make his own decision and live in his own world. And both Sweetscent and Mayerson must interact with whatever their worlds present-even if that might be a cognizant machine.
Manipulation of the Rules
Two, or one, of the most significant examples of Dick's breaking the rules of fiction are, or is, The Unteleported Man and/or Lies, Inc. —depending on whether one wants to call them (or it) one or two novels. Or three, for The Unteleported Man has been published in two versions—not to mention its initial magazine appearance—the second being something of an expansion of the first. The magazine version appeared in 1964. The first novel, The Unteleported Man, followed in 1966. The expanded version came out in 1983. Lies, Inc. was published in 1984.
Possibly, the discrepancies in the manuscripts would have delighted Dick. Unfortunately, they only became apparent toward the end of his life; he was dead before the situation had been adequately explored and the novel adjusted. Taken as a whole, the various manuscripts present an enlightening glimpse into Dick's method of creation, especially since he had, by the times of composition, become leery of the power of the story-teller.
The various versions of this novel also illustrate, as no other Dick work does, the way all of his looks at totalitarianism can come together. In these—or this—books—or book—Dick attacks "viewpoint" and "preconception" from most every angle imaginable.
Here, I will examine the "complete" The Unteleported Man, even though the "cuts" editor Russel Galen refers to when talking of the 1964 edition in a note preceding the revised 1983 edition may have met with Dick's approval—or may have been later additions, and not cuts. Even though it contains blanks representing missing manuscript pages. Lies, Inc., published a year later, contains additions, restructurings and amendations so distinctive that it may be considered as a different, though related, novel.
Never content with the standard vision of the novel, especially as manifested in science fiction, Dick would probably like the confusion this novel—or novels—has caused its readers.
The Unteleported Man begins with a presentation of Rachmael ben Applebaum as he is pursued by a "creditor jet-balloon" (1; ch. 1) that reminds him of his debts. He escapes into the offices of Lies Incorporated, a "security" organization whose agents might be able to help him regain something of the financial empire his bankrupt father has left. A Freya Holm speaks with him there.
Ben Applebaum is initially told, as he already knows, that his late father's transportation empire is bankrupt, thanks to a teleportation device owned by Trails of Hoffman Limited (THL) that makes the old interstellar ships obsolete. Ben Applebaum admits, to the Lies Incorporated agent, that all he has left is one interstellar ship, the Omphalos. He needs certain parts in order to make an eighteen-year trip with the ship, and wants Lies Incorporated to get them for him.
Though ben Applebaum has no money, Lies Incorporated has instructions from its owner, Matson Glazer-Holliday, to help him, even though everyone knows that the one-way teleportation to ben Applebaum's destination, the new colony, Newcolonizedland on Whale's Mouth in the Fomalhaut system, takes years less time—no time, in fact, through the new THL technology.
For, like ben Applebaum, Lies Incorporated has noticed certain inconsistencies in the THL claims about its technology and the colony.
Lies, Inc., purportedly the same novel, or the "real" version of the same, begins with a consideration of the output of a Lies Incorporated computer "which was not a lie" (5; ch. 1). The data, concerning a rat, a Lies Incorporated technician discovers, has been subliminally transmitted to Rachmael ben Applebaum.
The scene shifts to ben Applebaum's apartment, where its occupant, while shaving, contemplates seeing a psychiatrist because of a dream he has of being a rat. He has found himself wondering if he were a man dreaming of being a rat or a rat dreaming of being a man. At the end of the chapter, it occurs to him that the dream might be trying to tell him something.
For a long time he stood without moving, the razor held away from his face. Tell me what? That I'm living in a garbage dump where there's dried scraps of food, rotting food, other rats? (9; ch. 1)
The rat sequences, which appear off and on through the early chapters, may have been cut by Dick—or an editor—because of space considerations—the Ace science fiction novel at the time of initial publication (as half of an Ace "double") of The Unteleported Man was notorious for its 60,000-word limit. But, it is also possible that Dick decided to scrap this strand of his narrative as an unnecessary foreshadowing of the multiple worlds that later become so important in the novel. After all, the questions ben Applebaum asks are asked again later.
The Unteleported Man, in its second chapter, presents Glazer-Holliday in his satellite villa, where he and his mistress, the same Freya Holm who had spoken with ben Applebaum, discuss ben Applebaum and THL, whose colony at Whale's Mouth can communicate with Earth only through electronic media.
The two have decided that there is something peculiar and sinister about the set-up THL and its putative United Nations collaborator have established. Among other things, both are controlled by Germans—a bad sign, to those who remember the Nazi mentality of World War II. A two-pronged investigation is decided upon: Lies Incorporated will send one of its own agents to Whale's Mouth through THL, and it will back ben Applebaum in an attempt to reach it in his remaining ship. Ben Applebaum, if he gets the parts he needs, will spend the years in suspended animation.
Chapter Two of Lies, Inc. is an expanded version of the first chapter of The Unteleported Man, though it lacks the opening scene of credit balloons hounding ben Applebaum and includes a sequence in which Freya and the rat appear to ben Applebaum as one. And Chapter Three is the same as chapter two of The Unteleported Man.
Except for a return to the "rat" story strand, through a dream sequence in which ben Applebaum is told by another rat that the other is really a computer repairman trying to correct the situation, Chapter Four of Lies, Inc. is substantially the same as Chapter Three of The Unteleported Man. In it, a Lies Incorporated pilot comes to him, to put the Omphalos into hiding. They take a smaller ship to the Omphalos, but are intercepted and immobilized by a ship carrying what appears to be Theodoric Ferry, head of THL. Ferry, on boarding their ship, offers ben Applebaum a deal: he will let him keep the Omphalos as long as ben Applebaum guarantees that it will never leave the Sol system, thus confirming to ben Applebaum, whose suspicions of THL were as great as those of Glazer-Holliday, that immigration to Whale's Mouth is not as advertised.
When Ferry and his henchmen attempt to leave ben Applebaum's ship, the henchmen are destroyed by Lies Incorporation agents who have been alerted by lack of communication with the ship. They flood it with a gas for which the pilot has an antidote. Only Ferry, of the invaders, remains unaffected. He proves to be a "sim," a duplicate through which the real Ferry communicated. Now free, ben Applebaum and the pilot continue on to the Omphalos.
Chapters Four and Five are, again, quite similar. In them, Freya tries to give Rachmael the parts that will make it possible for him to go into deep freeze for the trip. The transfer is foiled by THL agents. Later, from a hint given by Matson-Holliday, ben Applebaum learns that a satellite put in orbit seventeen years ago still circles Whale's Mouth, though it has not sent signals for fifteen years. The chapter ends with a passage presenting the difficult decision of a family regarding emigration to Whale's Mouth.
In Chapters Five and Six, the action is identical. Al Dosker, the pilot who remained with the ship while ben Applebaum tried to get the parts he needed, tells ben Applebaum about the Lies Incorporated plan. Matson, at the same time, has decided to send his agent "over" with a device that can activate the satellite, information from which could lead to the recall of ben Applebaum, who has decided to make the trip without the parts allowing him to make the trip in suspended animation.
Chapters Six and Seven are, again, identical. A warhead destroys the satellite transmissions from Whale's Mouth. Holm is soon told, by the pilot who has hidden the Omphalos, that her lover and boss is now going to attempt a massive infiltration of Whale's Mouth. It will be an attempt at a military take-over.
The next chapter in each book opens with similar passages, with only minor differences. Then, though much remains similar, it is Matson, in The Unteleported Man, who is crossing over to Whale's Mouth in disguise. In Lies, Inc., Rachmael does so. Complicating matters, both characters use the fictitious identity "Mr. Trent" to get through the THL bureaucracy.
As all of the preceding information has placed ben Applebaum in a space ship instead of a teleportation device, the events of the chapter—beyond even the LSD-like "alterations"—test reader willingness to continue to follow the writer's lead. Offering no explanations, no excuses, Dick barrels from here into a description of a drug experience, into a sequence as confusing as that other drug sequence—Leo Bulero's in The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch.
In The Unteleported Man, Matson, with Freya, attempts to coordinate the invasion of Whale's Mouth by Lies Incorporated Agents. She identifies the civilization set up on Whale's Mouth as a Spartan type, with the addition of Soviet-style work camps. The invasion does not go well—how could it, against an armed camp—and Matson is killed. At chapter's end, Freya encounters a potentially deadly nerve gas, and falls to the ground, unconscious.
Soon after the chapters diverge, Rachmael, in Lies, Inc., thinks to himself that he will get Freya back. Nowhere, earlier in Lies, Inc., has Rachmael had Freya to lose, let alone to get her back. At first, this may seem, to some, to be part of the disastrous authorial "mistake" of the role switch. For the words themselves, for a part of the chapter, makes it appear as though Dick has merely replaced Matson with Rachmael—especially when compared to the early version of the novel.
Dick does, however, make changes other than in the names. At one point, immediately after arriving at Whale's Mouth, Rachmael responds to a solicitous question from an official:
"I'm-all right," Rachmael said. Abba! he thought in panic. Did they destroy you within me? Are you gone? Do I have to face this alone, now? Silence within him.
He made his way unsteadily to his clothing. Hands shaking, he dressed, then stood uncertainly.
"Here are your two items of luggage," the bureaucrat said, without looking up. (Lies, Inc. 84; ch. 8)
Rachmael discovers that Abba, the rat presence which had been with him so long, has disappeared. The comparable passage, in the other book, runs as follows:
"I'm-all right," Matson Glazer-Holliday said, and made his way unsteadily to his clothing; he dressed, then stood uncertainly.
"Here are your two items of luggage," the bureaucrat said, without looking up. (The Unteleported Man 68; ch. 7)
Since the only real difference, besides stylistic changes, is the addition of the rat, it appears that Dick was aware of what he was doing by not changing the rest of the scene—including the reference to Holm. As the evidence, from the stylistic changes, is that Lies, Inc. is the later of the versions of the novel, we can also conclude that the differences resulted not from cuts, but additions.
Instead of paring the work down to Ace standards, Dick had expanded an older work, altering it to better reflect his purpose. The early rat sequences, then, were not cut so that space requirements could be met, but were added to insure that later scenes of various realities would not be taken as gratuitous or accidental. This point becomes particularly significant in this chapter, where disjunction within Lies, Inc.—let alone the differences between the two novels—becomes so significant. Ben Applebaum's thoughts about Holm are only the tip of this iceberg of frozen red herring.
The last scene of the chapter, in Lies, Inc. is much longer than that of The Unteleported Man, incorporating material appearing later in the latter novel. In the former, Rachmael is quickly shot by an "LSD-tipped dart." The rest of the chapter details his attempt to negotiate the drug and the "changing" world it has placed him in. Faced, finally, with an awesome, "oceanic" creature, he asks, in Latin, for God's help.
Here, we are introduced to the question of just what world, in this novel, is the "real" one-the question hinted to in the Abba rat sequences. The various perceived "worlds" interact in an even more confusing manner than they do in The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch. Dick continually offers explanations for these "worlds" but undercuts them afterwards.
Chapter Eight of The Unteleported Man is identical with Chapter Sixteen of Lies, Inc., a jump from center to end. Al Dosker, The Lies Incorporated pilot, receives a message from Freya Holm on Whale's Mouth. He interprets it and takes the chance of contacting ben Applebaum who, with the Omphalos, has begun his long trip. On hearing of the situation on Whale's Mouth, with its implication that the teleportation is actually two-way (why have an armed camp, but to attack someone—and who to attack, but Earth?), ben Applebaum decides to turn back.
Dosker though he and his own ship had been far from Earth, near Pluto, is intercepted by UN ships. The broadcast had been monitored. He is taken to New York, where UN Secretary General Horst Bertold interviews him, addressing him as the senior Lies Incorporated left on Earth. Bertold informs Dosker that there is no UN presence on Whale's Mouth, and that the UN has been as surprised as Dosker and ben Applebaum as to the true state of affairs there.
Chapters Nine and Seventeen remain identical up to the last three paragraphs of Lies, Inc., which are new. A remaining section in the chapter in The Unteleported Man is the LSD experience that appears in Chapter Eight of Lies, Inc.
In the identical passages, ben Applebaum, like Dosker, is escorted to New York and the UN Secretary General's office. There, Bertold points out to him one of the flaws in the logic that had led both ben Applebaum and Lies Incorporated to assume that the UN was in league with THL. Because both groups were dominated by Germans, they had assumed that the two were in league, and that both reflected the old German totalitarian mentality.
"'Sein Herz voll Hasz geladen,'" Horst Bertold said to Rachmael. "You speak Yiddish? You understand?"
"I speak a little Yiddish," Rachmael said, "but that's German. 'His heart heavy with hate.' What's that from?"
"From the Civil War in Spain," Bertold said. "From a song of the International Brigade. Germans, mostly, who had left the Third Reich to fight in Spain against Franco, in the 1930s. They were, I suppose, Communists. But-they were fighting Fascism, and very early; and they were Germans.... We fought the Nazis, too, we 'good' Germans; verges' uns nie." Forget us never, Bertold had said, quietly, calmly. (The Unteleported Man 88; ch. 9/Lies, Inc. 217; ch. 17)
The point Dick makes here, of course, is that one ought not trust any preconceptions—for they are all masks. And that is what Dick has been saying from his earliest stories: remember the fates of the dog in "Roog" and the wub in "Beyond Lies the Wub." By moving this scene to the end of the novel, Dick accents what he may have seen as the middle of an earlier muddle, bringing the novel clearly into line with the rest of his work.
Having heard Bertold, ben Applebaum, the one who was to be the "unteleported man," prepared to teleport to Whale's Mouth. He now feels the obligation of error—and he wishes to attempt to save Holm, whose fate is unknown on Earth.
After showing a family about to cross over but stopped by a UN raid on the THL facility, Dick, in The Unteleported Man now presents ben Applebaum's crossing and the drug experience. Lies, Inc. includes this scene, with several additional paragraphs describing the family which had wanted to teleport now leaving the THL facility.
Chapter Ten of The Unteleported Man, then, follows directly after the LSD experience. As does Chapter Nine of Lies, Inc. Not surprisingly, the two chapters, for the most part, are identical. Ben Applebaum finds himself in a building with others who have seen visions, some of the aquatic face he saw. They are in a controlled environment, and attempt to discern the reality, or lack thereof, of their world. The following chapter, in each novel, again the same in each, continues the discussion. The people try to make sense of what they have seen, to come to terms with the new and strange world they inhabit, a world each sees somewhat differently—or, perhaps, each inhabits a "paraworld" that only interconnects to a certain degree with the others. Ben Applebaum's original vision remains with him, though it is changing. By the end of the chapter it is eating its own eyes.
Here, Dick presents a horrific version of his own vision of the world of individual interaction-the only "real" world he ever accepts. Here, however, one individual has the power of destroying-with the other's "consent" (a signature that cannot, really, be refused). This one takes on, thereby, the role of the author of a fiction.
The next chapter in each book presents Sepp von Einem, the scientist who has developed the THL teleportation device. After dealing with a man "out of phase in time" (The Unteleported Man 135; ch 12/Lies, Inc. 131; ch. 11), von Einem talks to the operator of a "spy" housefly, then thinks about the situation, now under control on Whale's Mouth, "except for the unhappy weevils and their destroyed, ridiculous crypto-perceptions" (The Unteleported Man 138; ch. 12/Lies, Inc. 133-134; ch. 11). These, of course, are ben Applebaum and his fellows—even the woman who has been given "control" of the others in their situation.
Both chapters then turn to Gregory Gloch, the man out of phase with time. Like von Einem, Gloch is something of an eccentric genius caught up in plans to control both Earth and Whale's Mouth—though not exactly the same plans as von Einem's. Gloch, among other things, is involved in tinkering with time—as, he discovers, is the UN, which attempts to change von Einem's youth. But, like an author faced with an editor who would change the work, Gloch discovers that what he has developed is not his alone.
Again, the next chapters are the same, with an initial return to ben Applebaum, who is shown—by the creature which chews its eyes—a book called The True and Complete Economic and Political History of Newcolonizedland, by a Dr. Bloode. Seeing the book, ben Applebaum wonders once more about his situation.
Could this actually be the authentic underlying reality? he wondered. This macro-abomination that resembled nothing ever witnessed by him before? A grotesque monstrosity which seemed, as he watched it devour and consume-to its evident satisfaction-the remainder of its eyes, almost a parody of the Aquatic Horror-shape?
"This book," the creature intoned, "demonstrates beyond any doubt whatsoever that the plan to colonize the ninth planet of the Fomalhaut system is foolish. No such colony as the projected Newcolonizedland can possibly be established. We owe a great debt to Dr. Bloode for his complete elucidation of this complex topic." It giggled, then. A wet, slurred, wobbly giggle of delighted mirth.
"But the title," he said. "It says-"
"Irony," the creature tittered. "Of course. After all, no such colony exists." It paused, then, contemplatively. "Or does it?" (The Unteleported Man 148; ch. 13/Lies, Inc. 144; ch. 12)
Rachmael cannot answer.
Suddenly, he and the creature are confronted with a creditor balloon of the type that had hounded ben Applebaum on Earth. This one, however, starts to rail at the monster, calling it, of all things, Mr. Trent—the name Matson-Holliday and ben Applebaum had used when teleporting to Whale's Mouth. It also tells the monster that it owns Lies Incorporated.
"I don't own Lies Incorporated any more," the eye-eater broke in gloomily. "It belongs to Mrs. Trent, now. Mrs. Silvia Trent. I suggest you go and bother her."
"There is no such person as 'Mrs. Silvia Trent,'" the creditor balloon said, with wrathful condemnation. "And you know it. Her real name is Freya Holm, and she's your mistress."...
Rachmael said to [the monster], "You're Matson Glazer-Holliday."
"Yes," the eye-eater admitted. (The Unteleported Man 149-150; ch. 13/Lies, Inc. 146; ch. 12)
Later, the Matson monster explains Rachmael's situation to him:
" ...Rachmael, you've got the illness. Telpor Syndrome. Right?"
"Right," he admitted.
"So it's S.A.T. for you. Good old therapy by Lupov's psychiatrists ... Lately you've been, um, a weevil; part of that class and seeing Paraworld Blue..." (The Unteleported Man 151; ch. 13/Lies, Inc. 147; ch. 12)
Rachmael, still unconvinced, wonders if even this is "real." "Did nothing actual lie at hand?" (The Unteleported Man 151; ch. 13/Lies, Inc. 147; ch. 12). The Matson monster goes on trying to convince Rachmael, finally returns to the subject of the book, suggesting Rachmael read it. He finds a section telling him that zygotes "formed between the indigenous inhabitants of Fomalhaut IX and Homo sapiens" (The Unteleported Man 154; ch. 13/Lies, Inc. 150; ch. 150). From this, he realizes that the monster is actually both Glazer-Holliday and his offspring.
A moment later, ben Applebaum looks up Freya Holm the book, and reads the passage, word for word from earlier in The Unteleported Man and Lies, Inc., in which she encounters the nerve gas. After that, the book tells ben Applebaum what happened to Freya afterwards: she has been caught in a similar situation to that of ben Applebaum, but has been told by Dr. Lupov that it has all been done by gadgets.
The scene then shifts to Dr. Lupov and an assistant watching the previous scene on a "vid" screen. As they watch, ben Applebaum reads how he will die. Lupov and his assistant comment that they have done a good job, and Lupov thinks further about Freya Holm, thinking that he had so far failed with her.
We then discover that Lupov is preparing a version of the text for Theodoric Ferry, the head of THL, when he once again crosses to Newcolonizedland. This version will drive Ferry crazy.
By making the lines of the book within the book identical with some of those of the novel itself, Dick also asks reader to draw a parallel between Lupov, the evil manipulator, and Dick, as author, himself. Both watch what happens-and can change it. Dick warns his readers not to trust him.
The chapters continue on their parallel lines, now moving to Freya, who, recovered from the gas, is making her way through Newcolonizedland. She finds a hidden teleportation terminal and ends up in a gunfight with the technicians there. Unable to kill both, she activates a bomb implanted in her skin—and discovers herself in the same place, except that the world is now that of the fake THL transmissions from Whale's Mouth—the ones meant to convince people on Earth that Whale's Mouth is a paradise. The hoax has come to life.
After being taken into custody by THL officials, she, too, is shown the book about Newcolonizedland. She now, in Lies, Inc. (the corresponding place in The Unteleported Man is, appropriately enough, a blank representing a manuscript omission), reads a passage identical to one in the two "real" novels, one in which Rachmael is reading the book and talking to the monster. She continues reading.
Insanity bubbled up within her. It isn't a book, she kept thinking. It's real.
"It's only a book," she said aloud. "A version of the text. not necessarily the right version. It says so, right here, where Lupov and Jaime Weiss are watching Rachmael on a vid screen—" (Lies, Inc. 163; ch. 13)
Realizing she is completely caught in something she cannot conquer, Freya tries to kill herself, to use a suicide implant. The THL agents stop her. Here, The Unteleported Man picks up once more.
Later, Freya turns to the book again, and reads of her meeting with Theodoric Ferry, a meeting, she has been told by the THL agents, toward which they are now heading. It tells her that she tells Ferry that she knows what he is, one of the creatures like Matson, that he had infiltrated Earth decades before, soon after the first teleportation to Whale's Mouth.
The words she has read in the book are the ones we read—again—when she does confront Ferry. After she believes she has established, independent of what she has read, Ferry's "true" nature. Soon, Freya manages to attack Ferry, with another of her hidden weapons. Gears and wiring and other mechanical pieces erupt from his head. "He's not a deformed, non-Terran water-creature; he's a mechanical assembly—I don't understand. She shut her eyes, moaned in despair" (The Unteleported Man 173; ch. 14/Lies, Inc. 170-171; ch. 13).
To make matters worse, she now remembers that one of the "paraworlds" is called "The Clock"—the manifestations akin to those ben Applebaum has seen are, there, mechanical. She believes she is now in that paraworld—and remembers:
the original encounter between the black space-pilot, Rachmael ben Applebaum and the sim of Theodoric Ferry-that, back in the Sol system, had been a manifestation-not a Ferry-simulacrum at all-but, like this, of the paraworld called The Clock.
The delusional worlds somehow active here at Whale's Mouth had already spread to and penetrated Terra. It had already been experienced-experienced, yes; but not recognized.
She shuddered. (The Unteleported Man 174; ch. 14/Lies, Inc. 172; ch. 13)
The next chapter, in each book, returns us to Sepp von Einem and the man out of phase, Gregory Gloch. Von Einem has been listening in on a communication with Gloch. He does not recognize the voice, but thinks he should. He, therefore, orders a tracer on the transmission and the death of the speaker.
The action turns to Theodoric Ferry, who is attempting to teleport to Whale's Mouth, using the pseudonym Mike Hennen to fool the UN, which has taken partial control of the THL apparatus on Earth. Once in Newcolonizedland, he buys a book from a mechanical vendor—The True and Complete Economic and Political history of Newcolonizedland. In it, he reads that he has crossed as Mike Hennen.
On impulse he looked up a citation regarding Dr. Lupov; a moment later he found himself engrossed in that particular section of the text, even though admittedly it did not deal with himself at all.
Peering tautly into the small vid screen, Dr. Lupov said to the sharp-featured young man beside him, "Now is the time, Jaime. Either Theo Ferry examines the Bloode text or else he never does. If he turns to page one-forty-nine, then we have a real chance of—" (The Unteleported Man 185-186; ch. 15/Lies, Inc. 184; ch. 14)
Of course, Ferry turns to that page, and Lupov and Weiss exult. They are interrupted by word that a destructive device is headed their way. It is, of course, the one von Einem had loosed through his order, for they had been the ones in touch with Gloch. It will take time, they realize, for the book to complete its impact on Ferry. Too long, for their destruction will alter the pattern, and that will happen before the time is up. Weiss thinks about the situation:
What a waste, he thought; what a dreadful, impossible waste, if not. Everything we set up: the pseudo-worlds, the fake class of 'weevils,' everything-with no result. (The Unteleported Man 187; ch 15/Lies, Inc. 185; ch. 14)
The device then hits them.
Ferry, studying the text, gets a message from von Einem, telling him to get rid of the book. He throws it down. When he jumps on the book, it squeals—alive.
Realizing he has now triumphed over almost all of his foes, Ferry thinks about other enemies, particularly ben Applebaum, and gloats over anticipated annihilation of even him.
The next chapter is the last of The Unteleported Man. In Lies, Inc., it is followed by the two chapters similar to two earlier ones in The Unteleported Man, those in which Dosker and ben Applebaum are brought to Earth from their space ships, in which ben Applebaum decides to go to Whale's Mouth. In this chapter, the vehicle Freya Holm and the THL agents are riding on after the destruction of the clock-work Ferry breaks down, leaving them off on the huge ship that had brought the Ferry.
They get inside, only to face—Theodoric Ferry. He demands to know ben Applebaum's location. When she cannot tell him, she is fired upon.
Again, she does not die. Time has stopped for everything but Freya—and some tiny creatures in water, watching a tiny "vid" screen. She comes into telepathic contact with one of the character's there, one of those in ben Applebaum's group, with the suggestion that the tiny creatures are, in fact, that group. The creature tells Freya that she is caught in Paraworld Silver, that Freya, herself, knows how to get out.
She throws an autodestruct switch for the ship, knowing it will not be activated until time starts again. So, she resumes her place in the line of fire and gives permission for time's resumption. She is destroyed, and the ship blows up.
The scene now switches back to ben Applebaum and the Matson monster. Ben Applebaum asks for the book again, to see what happens to Ferry. The monster tells him to get it from within his middle. Rachmael tries, but the monster turns into another from his discussion group, a woman—but still a monster. The rest of the group is there—also as monsters.
Rachmael, searching his pocket for a pen with which to sign the orders, held out to him by the member of the group who had instructed Freya, for his own destruction, comes out with a tin he had forgotten, one containing a "time-warp" device developed by the UN. All he has to do is open it.
Which he does.
In Lies, Inc., time returns to the initial entry into Whale's Mouth. But this time it is Matson and Freya, not ben Applebaum and Freya, who appear. In The Unteleported Man, it is ben Applebaum and Freya, not Matson and Freya. In The Unteleported Man, ben Applebaum uses his device again, and returns to the restaurant where Freya had tried to give him the devices for his ship. He attempts to explain to Freya what has happened, to show her the device. But she does not understand—and the device is gone, somehow lost.
But, knowing how those other devices, the ones for his ship, were kept from him before, he manages to get them-even though he now knows his trip is, really, useless.
Lies, Inc., instead, now presents the last section of Chapter Seven of The Unteleported Man, in which Glazer-Holliday is killed and Freya Holm attempts to direct the Lies Incorporated attack. The book ends with the chapters described above, ones that appear earlier in The Unteleported Man. After returning to Earth—having learned from Dosker what the situation on Whale's Mouth "really" is, ben Applebaum talks with Bertold then prepares to teleport to Newcolonizedland.
Each ending promises something of a circularity in continuing events—as though the future, in each novel, would be something of a replay of the past. Thus, Dick presents no conclusion in either, no success and no failure. Only a continuing saga of people negotiating worlds that just won't stay put.
Though often over-looked, The Unteleported Man and Lies, Inc. contain fractured narrative, multiple "worlds," and anti-totalitarianism work in tandem—and more obviously than elsewhere. All, in fact, of what has come to be identified as "Phil-Dickian" appears in these—or this—novel.