Introduction

Written in 1962 and titled Goodmember Arnie Kott of Mars then serialized in Worlds of Tomorrow as “All We Marsmen” in 1963, Martian Time-Slip was finally published as a paperback book in 1964. Although not initially a commercial success, it came to be considered one of the best books of Philip Dick’s peak period in the 1960s when the author wrote sixteen novels. Martian Time-Slip was reprinted several times as Dick’s reputation grew and as hit movies were made from his stories, such as Blade Runner (1982), Total Recall (1990), and Minority Report (2002).

Set on the deserts of Mars in 1994, the story is a satire of the business world and suburban life on Earth. In addition, Dick was fascinated with schizophrenia, and in this novel, he explored the nature of reality as a central theme. In Martian Time-Slip, Dick shows how what is real is determined by how it is perceived; the same scene is repeated from the points of view of three characters. Union leader Arnie Kott calls upon a repairman, Jack Bohlen, to develop a device for communicating with the nonverbal, autistic child, Manfred Steiner, who has precognition abilities. Kott wants to get the edge in a business deal, but the child projects schizophrenic vibes onto the two men that skew everyone’s reality. The “time-slip,” therefore, is the nonlinear timeframe. The native Martians, called Bleekmen, recognize the malleability of time and...

(The entire section is 305 words.)