Orpheus with Clay Feet


Orpheus with Clay Feet

Orpheus with Clay Feet is a science fiction short story by Philip K. Dick originally published in 1964 in Escapade magazine. The story has a self referential time travel theme, and was published under the pen name "Jack Dowland".

Synopsis

The main character is Jesse Slade, a bored man living in 2040 who visits a time travel tourism agency for a vacation. The agency offers him a trip to the past where he can act as the muse for a famous artist of his choice. Slade chooses to inspire his favorite science fiction author of the 1960s, Jack Dowland, who is said to be universally acclaimed as the greatest of the three master science fiction authors of his time, the others being Isaac Asimov and Robert A. Heinlein.

Slade travels to Purpleblossom, Nevada, in 1956, where he is to inspire the writing of Dowland's masterpiece, The Father on the Wall. On his arrival, he has difficulty communicating, and is so unable to impress Dowland that he desperately discloses his identity as a time traveller. Dowland is so irritated at this that he becomes cynical about science fiction altogether, and never becomes the master that he might have been.

Self reference

The story makes several references to itself and its author. Dowland's masterpiece, The Father on the Wall, has a title very similar to Dick's masterpiece, The Man in the High Castle. Jack Dowland, the fictional author featured in the story, was the pen name used by Dick when the story itself was published. In the story, Dowland takes Slade's tale about time travelling muses and publishes it as a science fiction short story called Orpheus with Clay Feet under the pen name "Philip K. Dick". After Slade's return to the future, Slade and the time travel agent read Dowland's published story. The agent (who calls it a "wretched story") decides what to do with Slade after he reads about his own actions in the published story, saying "that's how he resolved it in the end".


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Philip K. Dick — Born Philip Kindred Dick December 16, 1928(1928 12 16) Chicago, Illinois, U.S. Died March 2, 1982( …   Wikipedia

  • Dr. Bloodmoney, or How We Got Along After the Bomb —   …   Wikipedia

  • Phil K. Dick — Porträt Philip K. Dicks von Pete Welsch Philip Kindred Dick (* 16. Dezember 1928 in Chicago, Illinois; † 2. März 1982 in Santa Ana, Kalifornien) war ein US amerikanischer Science Fiction …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Philip Dick — Porträt Philip K. Dicks von Pete Welsch Philip Kindred Dick (* 16. Dezember 1928 in Chicago, Illinois; † 2. März 1982 in Santa Ana, Kalifornien) war ein US amerikanischer Science Fiction …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Philip K. Dick — Porträt Philip K. Dicks von Pete Welsch Philip Kindred Dick (* 16. Dezember 1928 in Chicago, Illinois; † 2. März 1982 in Santa Ana, Kalifornien) war ein US amerikanischer Science Fiction Autor …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Philip Kindred Dick — Porträt Philip K. Dicks von Pete Welsch Philip Kindred Dick (* 16. Dezember 1928 in Chicago, Illinois; † 2. März 1982 in Santa Ana, Kalifornien) war ein US amerikanischer Science Fiction …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Philip dick — Porträt Philip K. Dicks von Pete Welsch Philip Kindred Dick (* 16. Dezember 1928 in Chicago, Illinois; † 2. März 1982 in Santa Ana, Kalifornien) war ein US amerikanischer Science Fiction …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • A Scanner Darkly — For the 2006 film adaptation, see A Scanner Darkly (film). A Scanner Darkly   …   Wikipedia

  • The Man in the High Castle —   …   Wikipedia

  • Martian Time-Slip —   Cover of first edition …   Wikipedia


Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.