Dr. Futurity

Dick, Philip K.

Published by Ace Books, 1960
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Bibliographic Details

Title: Dr. Futurity

Publisher: Ace Books

Publication Date: 1960

Binding: paperback

Book Condition: Very Good In Wrappers

Edition: 1st Edition.


New York. 1960. Ace Books. 1st Book Publication. Very Good In Wrappers. 48. 138 pages. D-421. paperback. keywords: December 16. inventory # 24626. FROM THE PUBLISHER - DR. FUTURITY is a 1960 science fiction novel by Philip K. Dick. It is an expansion of his earlier short story ‘Time Pawn‘, which first saw publication in the summer 1954 issue of Thrilling Wonder Stories. DR. FUTURITY was first published as a novel by Ace Books as one half of Ace Double D-421, bound together with John Brunner's SLAVERS OF SPACE. Dr. Jim Parsons is a doctor from 2012, born in 1980. Abruptly, he undergoes involuntary time travel to 2405 CE, and finds that his profession is treated with disdain. In the future, the population is static, with no natural births; only a death can cause the formation of a new embryo. The result is a society ambivalent toward death, as controlled genetics ensures that each successive generation better benefits the human race as a whole. By killing off the weak, poverty and disease are eliminated, and humanity has an optimal chance for survival. Moreover, a single race derived from African Americans and Native Americans controls this future world, as caucasians have been wiped out or integrated centuries earlier. After Parsons cures a dying woman (not knowing that this is considered a heinous crime in this time period), Chancellor Al Stenog exiles him to Mars, but the spaceship is intercepted en route, and Parsons is returned to a deserted Earth far in the future. On finding a marker with instructions on how to operate the time travel controls on the spaceship, he is directed to a Native American-style tribal lodge, where he must perform surgery to save the life of a wounded time traveler, Corith, after the latter had previously died from an arrow wound. Parsons extracts the arrow, but it later mysteriously rematerializes in Corith's body. To resolve this situation, Parsons and Corith's relatives travel back to Corith's previous assignment in 1579 on the Pacific Coast of North America, where Corith was to kill Sir Francis Drake, in order to change history and preserve the Native American way of life, avoiding their subjugation by European colonial powers. While observing the assassination attempt on Drake, Parsons realizes that Drake is actually Chancellor Stenog, who is lying in wait for Corith. Parsons tries to warn Corith, but Corith discovers that Parsons is white and attacks him. In the ensuing struggle, Parsons inadvertently stabs Corith through the heart with one of the arrows that were meant for Drake. In retribution, Parsons is left stranded by Corith's relatives in 1597, a time in which the European explorers had departed. Parsons is rescued by Loris, Corith's daughter, when she learns that she will have Parson's child in the future. While briefly back in 2405, Parsons realizes that the reason the arrow mysteriously reappeared in Corith's chest after he'd removed it was because he had murdered him for a second time to cover his tracks. If Corith were to recover, he would have revealed that it was Parsons who killed him, and an unwitting Parsons from slightly earlier would have been left helpless at the hands Corith's relatives. As he stands over Corith, ready to kill him for a second time, he decides against it and tries to flee. But before he can do so, two people appear in the room from the future and kill Corith with the second arrow to the heart. Parsons quickly realizes that the murderers are the children he had with Loris, traveling back to 2405 from an even more distant future. His children take Parsons forward in time to meet with Loris again, and he struggles with the decision to return to 2012. Eventually, he does, back to the same day that he left and to the doting wife who saw him off earlier that morning. He sets about his old life, with a new task at hand. The novel closes with him constructing the stone marker that will eventually save his life on that desolate future Earth. Bookseller Inventory # 24626

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