UBIK (/ˈjuːbɪk/ EW-bik ) is a 1969 science fiction novel by American writer Philip K. Dick . It is one of Dick's most acclaimed novels. It was chosen by Time magazine as one of the 100 greatest novels since 1923. In his review for Time, critic Lev Grossman described it as "a deeply unsettling existential horror story, a nightmare you'll never be sure you've woken up from."
* 1 Plot * 2 Interpretation
* 3 Adaptations
* 3.1 Videogame
* 3.2 Attempts to produce a
* 3.2.1 Original attempt - Gorin * 3.2.2 Screenplay publications * 3.2.3 Optioning in the 2000s - Pallotta and Celluloid Dreams * 3.2.4 Production in 2010s - Gondry
* 4 See also * 5 References * 6 Further reading * 7 External links
The novel is set in the year 1992, by when humanity has colonized the Moon and psychic powers are common. The protagonist, Joe Chip, is a debt-ridden technician working for Runciter Associates, a "prudence organization" which employs "inertials", people with the ability to negate the powers of telepaths and "precogs ", to enforce privacy of clients. The company is run by Glen Runciter, assisted by his deceased wife Ella, who is kept in a state of "half-life", a form of cryonic suspension that allows the deceased limited consciousness and ability to communicate. While consulting with Ella, Runciter discovers that her consciousness is being invaded by another half-lifer, Jory Miller.
When business magnate Stanton Mick hires Runciter Associates to secure his lunar facilities from alleged psychic intrusion, Runciter assembles a team of 11 of his best inertials, including Pat Conley, a mysterious girl with the unique psychic ability to undo events by changing the past who has just been hired by the company. Runciter and Chip travel with the group to Mick's Moon base, where they discover that the assignment is a trap, presumably set by the company's main adversary, Ray Hollis, who leads an organization of psychics. A bomb blast apparently kills Runciter without significantly harming the others. They rush back to Earth to place him into half-life, but they cannot establish contact with him and his body is set to be buried.
From the moment of the explosion, the group begins to experience strange shifts in reality. Many objects they come into contact with are much older than they should be, some of them being older types of the same object, and they gradually find themselves moving into the past, eventually anchoring in 1939. At the same time, they find themselves surrounded by "manifestations" of Runciter, for example as his face appears on their money. Furthermore, members of the group one by one begin to feel tired and cold, then quickly wither away and die. Chip attempts to make sense of what is happening, and discovers two contradictory messages from Runciter, one stating that he is alive and they are dead, and another claiming to have been recorded by him while he was still alive; the latter message advertises Ubik, a product which can be used to temporarily reverse deterioration. He deduces that they may have all died in the blast, now linked together in half-life, and unsuccessfully tries to get hold of Ubik.
After receiving another message, Chip accuses Conley of working for
Hollis and causing the deterioration with her ability, and while he
himself is withering away, she confirms this. As she leaves him to
die, he is saved by Runciter, who sprays him with
Each chapter is introduced by a commercial advertising
Dick's former wife Tessa remarked that "
Cryo Interactive Entertainment released Philip K. Dick’s
Ubik, a tactical action/strategy videogame very loosely based on the
book. The game allowed players to act as Joe Chip and train combat
squads into missions against the Hollis Corporation. The game was
ATTEMPTS TO PRODUCE A UBIK FILM
Original Attempt - Gorin
In 1974, French filmmaker
Jean-Pierre Gorin commissioned Dick to
write a screenplay for a
Dick's screenplay differs from the source material, featuring numerous scenes that are not in the novel. According to the foreword of Ubik: The Screenplay (by Tim Powers , a friend of Dick's and fellow science fiction writer), Dick had an idea for the film which involved "the film itself appearing to undergo a series of reversions: to black-and-white, then to the awkward jerkiness of very early movies, then to a crookedly jammed frame which proceeds to blacken, bubble and melt away, leaving only the white glare of the projection bulb, which in turn deteriorates to leave the theater in darkness, and might almost leave the moviegoer wondering what sort of dilapidated, antique jalopy he'll find his car-keys fitting when he goes outside."
Optioning In The 2000s - Pallotta And Celluloid Dreams
Tommy Pallotta , who produced the film adaptation of Dick's A Scanner
Darkly , said in a July 2006 interview that he "still the option for
Production In 2010s - Gondry
In 2014, however, writer/director Gondry told French outlet Telerama (via Jeux Actu) that he was no longer working on the project. "The book is brilliant," Gondry told Telerama, "but it's good as a literary work. Having tried to adapt it with several screenwriters... at the moment I don't feel up to doing it. It doesn't have the dramatic structure that would make it a good film. I received a script that disheartened me a bit, and that was it. It was a dream, but in life you can't always have what you want."
An audiobook version of
Secret Chiefs 3 created an auditory adaptation on their "The
Electromagnetic Azoth -
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