The Plot

(Critical Survey of Science Fiction and Fantasy)

Jack Bohlen is an immigrant to Mars living there with his family and working as a repairman for the Yee Company. He is assigned to do a small job for Arnie Kott, Supreme Goodmember of the Water Workers Local, Fourth Planet Branch. This assignment places Jack in the middle of a power struggle over a parcel of apparently worthless land that is to be developed by the United Nations.

Unlike Bohlen, Supreme Goodmember Kott is ruthlessly committed to the acquisition of power and material wealth at any cost. He uses people without hesitation or shame. He uses Dr. Glaub, a psychiatrist at the local camp for mentally disturbed children, to learn about a contemporary school of Swiss psychotherapists and their recently developed theory. They believe that autism and other forms of schizophrenia are caused by a discrepancy in the time sense of the sufferers. They believe that autistics and schizophrenics experience the world as running either much faster or much slower than do others. If their time is much faster, they would speed ahead into the future and get stuck there, isolated from the rest of humanity. From this vantage point, though imprisoned in their own heads, they might have special knowledge of the future. Establishing communication with such a person could be a profitable means of obtaining information.

Kott comes to believe that one particular autistic child, Manfred Steiner, not only is able to perceive time in this expanded fashion but also...

(The entire section is 477 words.)

Historical Context

(Novels for Students)

Science Fiction
Although science fiction was a form used by nineteenth-century European and English authors, most...

(The entire section is 719 words.)

Literary Style

(Novels for Students)

Three symbols in Martian Time-Slip are of particular note. First of all, is the Martian deserts. They...

(The entire section is 832 words.)

Compare and Contrast

(Novels for Students)

  • 1962: The Civil Rights Act prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, creed, national origin, or sex, but this...

(The entire section is 335 words.)

Topics for Further Study

(Novels for Students)

Martian Time-Slip is largely concerned with schizophrenia. What is schizophrenia? Manfred is autistic. What is autism? Divide the...

(The entire section is 247 words.)

Techniques / Literary Precedents

(Beacham's Encyclopedia of Popular Fiction)

Dick's dry language, functional to the limits of triviality, his rejection of any kind of lyricism and decorative description, is at the...

(The entire section is 133 words.)

Related Titles

(Beacham's Encyclopedia of Popular Fiction)

Reality breakdown is the central experience of Dick's fiction. Indeed, it would be hard to find a story of his, no matter what elements of...

(The entire section is 183 words.)

Media Adaptations

(Novels for Students)

The official website of the estate of the late Philip K. Dick is, the former...

(The entire section is 43 words.)

What Do I Read Next?

(Novels for Students)

A story about hunting down renegade artificial human life forms, “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?”, written by Dick in 1968, was the...

(The entire section is 211 words.)

Bibliography and Further Reading

(Novels for Students)

Abrash, Merritt, “Elusive Utopias: Societies as Mechanisms in the Early Fiction of Philip K. Dick,” in...

(The entire section is 450 words.)


(Critical Survey of Science Fiction and Fantasy)

Apel, D. Scott, ed. Philip K. Dick: The Dream Connection. San Diego: Permanent Press, 1987.

Carrere, Emmanuel. I Am Alive and You Are Dead: The Strange Life and Times of Philip K. Dick. Translated by Timothy Bent. New York: Metropolitan Books, 2003.

Lem, Stanislaw. Microworlds: Writings on Science Fiction and Fantasy. San Diego: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1984.

Mackey, Douglas A. Philip K. Dick. Boston: Twayne, 1988.

Mason, Daryl. The Biography of Philip K. Dick. London: Gollancz, 2006.

Olander, Joseph, and...

(The entire section is 167 words.)