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Philip K. Dick
Philip K. Dick
sold approximately fifteen short stories himself before becoming a client of literary agent Scott Meredith (through the Scott Meredith Literary Agency). "Roog" was Dick's first sale but not his first published story.[1]

Contents

1 Story 2 Publication 3 Interpretation 4 Trivia 5 References 6 External links

Story[edit] "Roog" is a story told from the point of view of a dog named Boris, who observes his master's carefully stored food in containers outside of their house day after day. Unbeknownst to the dog, these are the human's trash cans for garbage. The dog is later horrified to witness some food being 'stolen' by garbagemen who the dog knows are predatory carnivores from another planet. The dog comes to know these beings as 'Roogs', and tries to warn his master of each 'theft' with cries of 'Roog!' 'Roog!'. The humans, unable to comprehend the hound's message, think the dog is just being rowdy. Thus they attribute the sound the dog makes to be the sound that all dogs make when they are excited: 'Roog!' 'Roog!' The tale concludes with the animal being somewhat distraught, barking "ROOG!" very loudly at the garbagemen before they make off once more with trash in their garbage truck. Publication[edit] "Roog" was written in November 1951[1] and appeared in The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction November 1953 without illustration.[2] During this time Dick worked in a record store. In an essay prefacing a collection of his short stories published in 1978, Dick recalled the story's gestation, as well as discussing its plot, its general themes and his reaction at the time. Dick relates that he contacted Anthony Boucher, a sci-fi/fantasy publisher, editor and fellow writer whom Dick recalls as a kind friend. Dick wrote, "Without [Boucher's] help I'd still be in the record business. I mean that very seriously." As a young man, Dick was very pleased with the publication, and wondered if he could quit his job at the record store and work full-time as an author, while the older Dick (27 years on) dismissed that aspiration as delusional.[citation needed] Soon after "Roog"'s original publication, Boucher attempted to get it published once more, in a science fiction anthology being compiled by a person Dick refers to as "Ms. J.M." (Judith Merrill Interview with Lupoff). However, she disliked the story, finding it obscure and hard to understand. She also criticized Dick's description of the garbagemen as inaccurate, apparently unable to see that the description is from the protagonist dog's perspective. Despite Dick explaining the story in a letter to J.M. regarding the themes of the work, she rejected the story. Anthony Boucher, however, proceeded to publish it, and it remains in print today, at one time even appearing in a high school literature textbook. Interpretation[edit] Dick regarded Roog
Roog
as "quite a serious story". Dick explained in the introduction to The Collected Stories of Philip K. Dick
Philip K. Dick
that Roog "tells of fear, it tells of loyalty, it tells of obscure menace and a good creature who cannot convey knowledge of that menace to those he loves".[3] Furthermore Aaron Barlow suggests an insightful connection of the story to the nature and themes of his writings:

“ By the end of “Roog,” however, Dick has encouraged speculation that the “garbagemen” really might be aliens held off by dogs the aliens call “Guardians.” Boris faces two problems. First, though he barks that “Roogs” are coming, no one understands. He cannot communicate his warning. Second, his “Roogs” may be a delusion instead of a real danger. Boris cannot tell which; he doesn’t even know that he could, in fact, be wrong. He has seen the paperboy and barked at him, taking him, without any evidence, as a Roog. [...] Dick gives no hint of any “truth” behind Boris’s subjective perceptions. Whatever the case, Boris’s inability to communicate his concern leaves the matter moot and leads him to fear the breakdown of his world of suburban dog-life—and leads Dick to think about Boris’s situation in human terms. [...] As a dog, Boris views the human world through the blanket distortion of canine point-of-view. Yet what he sees subjectively may be “real”—just as it may be a mask or a deception created through his own limited perceptual abilities. That these “may“s exist concerned Dick a great deal. Perhaps the blanket distortion of human point-of-view makes experience as difficult for us to decipher as for Boris. Perhaps Boris, finally, is something like the poor fantasy writer no one listens to. Like, hmm, Phil Dick. Like any struggler for communication, particularly for communication that transcends individual, varied perception.

— Aaron Barlow, Reality, Religion, and Politics in the Fiction of Philip K. Dick, Perception and Misperception and the Role of the Author: An Introduction To The Writing And Philosophy Of Philip K. Dick.

He also compares the short story with a quote of Dick on the subjective realities of humans:

“ Maybe each human being lives in a unique world, a private world different from those inhabited and experienced by all other humans. [...] If reality differs from person to person, can we speak of reality singular, or shouldn’t we really be talking about plural realities? And if there are plural realities, are some more true (more real) than others? What about the world of a schizophrenic? Maybe it’s as real as our world. Maybe we cannot say that we are in touch with reality and he is not, but should instead say, His reality is so different from ours that he can’t explain his to us, and we can’t explain ours to him. The problem, then, is that if subjective worlds are experienced too differently, there occurs a breakdown in communication … and there is the real illness. ”

— Philip K. Dick

Trivia[edit]

The dog in "Roog," Boris, was based upon a real dog called Snooper, who belonged to a neighbor of Dick.[3][4] Snooper became very alarmed every time the garbagemen arrived to pick up trash, and this inspired Dick to write the short story.

References[edit]

^ a b Rickman, Gregg (1989), To The High Castle: Philip K. Dick: A Life 1928-1963, Long Beach, Ca.: Fragments West/The Valentine Press, p.388 ISBN 0-916063-24-0 ^ Levack, Daniel (1981). PKD: A Philip K. Dick
Philip K. Dick
Bibliography, Underwood/Miller, p. 121 ISBN 0-934438-33-1 ^ a b RC, Lord. Pink Beam: A Philip K. Dick
Philip K. Dick
Companion. p. 12. ISBN 9781430324379. Retrieved 27 June 2015.  ^ The Collected Stories of Philip K. Dick, Volume 1, The Short Happy Life of the Brown Oxford, (1990) Citadel Twilight p. 401 ISBN 0-8065-1153-2

External links[edit]

The full text of Roog
Roog
on Google Books Roog
Roog
title listing at the Internet Speculative Fiction Database 1971 Interview With Philip K. Dick
Philip K. Dick
about Roog

v t e

Philip K. Dick
Philip K. Dick
(works)

Novels

Gather Yourselves Together
Gather Yourselves Together
(1950) Voices from the Street
Voices from the Street
(1952) Solar Lottery
Solar Lottery
(1954) Mary and the Giant
Mary and the Giant
(1954) The World Jones Made
The World Jones Made
(1954) Eye in the Sky (1955) The Man Who Japed
The Man Who Japed
(1955) A Time for George Stavros (1956) Pilgrim on the Hill (1956) The Broken Bubble (1956) The Cosmic Puppets
The Cosmic Puppets
(1957) Puttering About in a Small Land
Puttering About in a Small Land
(1957) Nicholas and the Higs (1958) Time Out of Joint
Time Out of Joint
(1958) In Milton Lumky Territory
In Milton Lumky Territory
(1958) Confessions of a Crap Artist
Confessions of a Crap Artist
(1959) The Man Whose Teeth Were All Exactly Alike
The Man Whose Teeth Were All Exactly Alike
(1960) Humpty Dumpty in Oakland
Humpty Dumpty in Oakland
(1960) Vulcan's Hammer
Vulcan's Hammer
(1960) Dr. Futurity
Dr. Futurity
(1960) The Man in the High Castle
The Man in the High Castle
(1961) We Can Build You
We Can Build You
(1962) Martian Time-Slip
Martian Time-Slip
(1962) Dr. Bloodmoney, or How We Got Along After the Bomb
Dr. Bloodmoney, or How We Got Along After the Bomb
(1963) The Game-Players of Titan
The Game-Players of Titan
(1963) The Simulacra
The Simulacra
(1963) The Crack in Space
The Crack in Space
(1963) Clans of the Alphane Moon (1964) The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch
The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch
(1964) The Zap Gun (1964) The Penultimate Truth (1964) The Unteleported Man
The Unteleported Man
(1964) The Ganymede Takeover
The Ganymede Takeover
(1965) Counter-Clock World
Counter-Clock World
(1965) Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?
Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?
(1966) Nick and the Glimmung
Nick and the Glimmung
(1966) Now Wait for Last Year
Now Wait for Last Year
(1966) Ubik
Ubik
(1966) Galactic Pot-Healer
Galactic Pot-Healer
(1968) A Maze of Death
A Maze of Death
(1968) Our Friends from Frolix 8
Our Friends from Frolix 8
(1969) Flow My Tears, the Policeman Said
Flow My Tears, the Policeman Said
(1974) Deus Irae
Deus Irae
(1976) Radio Free Albemuth
Radio Free Albemuth
(1976; published 1985) A Scanner Darkly
A Scanner Darkly
(1977) VALIS
VALIS
(1981) The Divine Invasion
The Divine Invasion
(1981) The Transmigration of Timothy Archer
The Transmigration of Timothy Archer
(1982) The Owl in Daylight (unfinished)

Collections

A Handful of Darkness
A Handful of Darkness
(1955) The Variable Man (1956) The Preserving Machine
The Preserving Machine
(1969) The Book of Philip K. Dick
Philip K. Dick
(1973) The Best of Philip K. Dick
Philip K. Dick
(1977) The Golden Man
The Golden Man
(1980) Robots, Androids, and Mechanical Oddities
Robots, Androids, and Mechanical Oddities
(1984) I Hope I Shall Arrive Soon (1985) The Collected Stories of Philip K. Dick
Philip K. Dick
(1987) Beyond Lies the Wub
Beyond Lies the Wub
(1988) The Dark Haired Girl
The Dark Haired Girl
(1989) The Father-Thing (1989) Second Variety (1989) The Days of Perky Pat
The Days of Perky Pat
(1990) The Little Black Box (1990) The Short Happy Life of the Brown Oxford (1990) We Can Remember It for You Wholesale (1990) The Minority Report
The Minority Report
(1991) Second Variety (1991) The Eye of the Sibyl (1992) The Philip K. Dick
Philip K. Dick
Reader (1997) Minority Report (2002) Selected Stories of Philip K. Dick
Philip K. Dick
(2002) Paycheck (2004) Vintage PKD
Vintage PKD
(2006) The Exegesis of Philip K. Dick
Philip K. Dick
(2011)

Short stories

"Beyond Lies the Wub" (1952) "The Gun" (1952) "The Skull" (1952) "The Little Movement" (1952) "The Defenders" (1953) "Mr. Spaceship" (1953) "Piper in the Woods" (1953) "Roog" (1953) "The Infinites" (1953) "Second Variety" (1953) "Colony" (1953) "The Cookie Lady" (1953) "Impostor" (1953) "Paycheck" (1953) "The Preserving Machine" (1953) "Expendable" (1953) "The Indefatigable Frog" (1953) "The Commuter" (1953) "Out in the Garden" (1953) "The Great C" (1953) "The King of the Elves" (1953) "The Trouble with Bubbles" (1953) "The Variable Man" (1953) "The Impossible Planet" (1953) "Planet for Transients" (1953) "The Builder" (1953) "Tony and the Beetles" (1953) "The Hanging Stranger" (1953) "Prize Ship" (1954) "Beyond the Door" (1954) "The Crystal Crypt" (1954) "The Short Happy Life of the Brown Oxford" (1954) "The Golden Man" (1954) "Sales Pitch" (1954) "Breakfast at Twilight" (1954) "The Crawlers" (1954) "Exhibit Piece" (1954) "Adjustment Team" (1954) "Shell Game" (1954) "Meddler" (1954) "A World of Talent" (1954) "The Last of the Masters" (1954) "Upon the Dull Earth" (1954) "The Father-thing" (1954) "Strange Eden" (1954) "The Turning Wheel" (1954) "The Hood Maker" (1954) "Foster, You're Dead!" (1955) "Human Is" (1955) "War Veteran" (1955) "Captive Market" (1955) "Nanny" (1955) "The Chromium Fence" (1955) "Service Call" (1955) "The Mold of Yancy" (1955) "Autofac" (1955) "Psi-man Heal My Child!" (1955) "The Minority Report" (1956) "Pay for the Printer" (1956) "A Glass of Darkness" (1956) "The Unreconstructed M" (1957) "Null-O" (1958) "Explorers We" (1959) "Recall Mechanism" (1959) "Fair Game" (1959) "War Game" (1959) "All We Marsmen" (1963) "What'll We Do with Ragland Park?" (1963) "The Days of Perky Pat" (1963) "If There Were No Benny Cemoli" (1963) "Waterspider" (1964) "Novelty Act" (1964) "Oh, to Be a Blobel!" (1964) "The War with the Fnools" (1964) "What the Dead Men Say" (1964) "Orpheus with Clay Feet" (1964) "Cantata 140" (1964) "The Unteleported Man" (1964) "Retreat Syndrome" (1965) "Project Plowshare (later "The Zap Gun")" (1965) "We Can Remember It for You Wholesale" (1966) "Faith of Our Fathers" (1967) "Not by Its Cover" (1968) "The Electric Ant" (1969) "A. Lincoln, Simulacrum" (1969) "The Pre-persons" (1974) "A Little Something for Us Tempunauts" (1974) "The Exit Door Leads In" (1979) "Rautavaara's Case" (1980) "I Hope I Shall Arrive Soon" (1980) "The Eye of the Sibyl" (1987) "Stability" (1987)

Adaptations

Films

Blade Runner
Blade Runner
(1982) Total Recall (1990) Confessions d'un Barjo
Confessions d'un Barjo
(1992) Screamers (1995) Impostor (2002) Minority Report (2002) Paycheck (2003) A Scanner Darkly
A Scanner Darkly
(2006) Next (2007) Screamers: The Hunting (2009) Radio Free Albemuth
Radio Free Albemuth
(2010) The Adjustment Bureau
The Adjustment Bureau
(2011) Total Recall (2012) 2036: Nexus Dawn (2017) 2048: Nowhere to Run (2017) Blade Runner
Blade Runner
Black Out 2022 (2017) Blade Runner
Blade Runner
2049 (2017)

TV series

Total Recall 2070
Total Recall 2070
(1999) The Man in the High Castle
The Man in the High Castle
(2015–present) Minority Report (2015) Philip K. Dick's Electric Dreams (2017)

Related

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