Thursday, September 27, 2007

Library of America Announces A Second Volume of PKD Novels!

In a lecture tonight at Coopers Union, Jonathan Lethem dropped a bombshell: the Library of America will be releasing a second volume of PKD novels. What's more, rather than releasing a volume of later work, the second volume collects novels from the 60s and 70s:

Martian Time-Slip
Dr. Bloodmoney, or How We Got Along After the Bomb
Now Wait For Last Year
Flow My Tears, The Policeman Said
A Scanner Darkly

I can't help but notice Lethem's left himself room to release a third edition. There's certainly much more to debate in this list of titles than the first volume's. Now Wait for Last Year is an interesting selection. Gabriel McKee over at SF Gospel would have preferred Maze of Death (I know Techgnosis author Erik Davis would agree). Maybe I would have argued for The Penultimate Truth, as it provides a very strong road map for Dick's meta-themes. Whatever, Mr Lethem, you've done it again.

I guess the first volume sold well enough to warrant a second. Is that how things work over at the LoA? Because, if so, it kind of undercuts the notion that they are selecting "the most significant writing" and instead publishing the most profitable - which as long as it's PKD is fine with me. I wonder how much the LoA pays for titles. Is it more or less than other publishers? If some effete, dieheard LoA snob got palpitations over one PKD volume you're going to have put a tablet of nitroglycerin under his tongue after he finds out about the second one.

Thanks Gabriel McKee!


Darryl Mason said...

Excellent news. Outstanding. How proud Phil would (must?) be to be honoured this way. Twice!

Out of all PKD's books, Dr Bloodmoney and Flow My Tears are the novels I've read more often than any others. They're in my Top Five (along with Timothy Archer, Three Stigmata and The World Jones Made).

The hardcover of the first LoA sells in Sydney for about $70. One store I checked with sold five in only a couple of days. Not bad considering it was an import and there have been no reviews or publicity here in Australia. Dickheads are everywhere.

The third volume would have to include The World Jones Made and Counter Clock World. Of course.

umberto rossi said...

Is there anything new in all this? The American artist is always misunderstood and neglected. How many years did it take to realize who Melville really was and had reall done? Dickinson? Even Fitzgerald died a failure (sort of).

Now it's Dick's turn. I knew it would happen. It's no surprise. I never doubted he deserved more attention.

As for the 3rd book, I hope they'll put some of his manistream novels there, such as Confessions of a Crap Artist, Puttering About in a Small Land or The Man Whose Teeth Were All Exactly Alike.

Anonymous said...

This is good news. Now Wait for Last Year is the book of his that I've reread the most frequently over the past 20 years. I'm glad that LoA readers not previously exposed to it will now read it; it does tend to fall between the cracks, as it were.

If they were to produce a non-SF volume, I'd hope they would include In Milton Lumky Territory and Mary and the Giant, my favorites of the bunch (I own Lumky in the original 1980s hardcover, also a trade paperback of Puttering About.)

Anonymous said...

"Now wait for last year" was always my favorite of the science fiction novels (and I have read them all). Glad someone else agreed.

Anonymous said...

can see the cover here now...

Maury Souza said...

Maury Souza weighs in on the upcoming LOA release over at the new PKD (etc.)-related blog Dick in a Box.

Check it out...

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