Beyond Lies the Wub


Beyond Lies the Wub

"Beyond Lies the Wub" is a science fiction short story by Philip K. Dick. It was his first published story; it originally appeared in "Planet Stories" in July, 1952.

Plot summary

Peterson, a crew member of a spaceship visiting Mars buys an enormous pig-like creature known as a wub from a native just before departure. Franco, his captain, is worried about the extra weight, but seems more concerned about its taste. However, after takeoff, the crew realizes that the wub is a very intelligent creature, even capable of telepathy and maybe mind control. Peterson and the wub spend time discussing mythological figures and the travels of Odysseus. Captain Franco, paranoid after an earlier confrontation with the Wub which left him paralysed, bursts in and insists on killing and eating the wub. The crew becomes very much opposed to killing the sensitive creature after it makes a plea for understanding, but Franco still makes a meal out of him. At the dinner table, Captain Franco apologises for the "interruption" and resumes the earlier conversation Peterson had been having with the Wub, it, through death and digestion, possessing the Captain's body.

Theme

The theme of the wub and immortality is revisited by Dick in his later short story "Not By Its Cover."

Allusions

2000 AD ran a story with a similar plot called "The Squonk", where the Squonk was a unique being and the consumer of the cooked Squonk turned into it after eating it.

In the computer game Spore, there is a race of beings the player may meet called the Wub.

External links

* [http://www.philipkdickfans.com/pkdweb/Beyond%20Lies%20The%20Wub.htm PhilipKDickFans.com's Details]


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