The Electric Ant


The Electric Ant

The Electric Ant is a science fiction short story by Philip K. Dick. First published in Fantasy and Science Fiction magazine in October 1969.

Garson Poole wakes up after a flying-car-crash to find that he has lost a hand. He then finds out that he is in fact an 'electric ant' - an organic robot. He further finds out that what he believes is his subjective reality is in fact being fed from a micro-punched tape in his chest cavity. He experiments on this tape by adding new holes, which adds things to his reality. Convinced that his entire reality is constrained by the tape, he makes a major change to it, with a major effect on his reality. The change affects everyone else he interacts with, which raises the question of whether any of them - or he himself - are "real" at all.

Dick said of the story:

"Again the theme: How much of what we call 'reality' is actually out there or rather within our own head? The ending of this story has always frightened me ... the image of the rushing wind, the sound of emptiness. As if the character hears the final fate of the world itself."

Frank Miller's comic "Hard Boiled" was inspired by "The Electric Ant".

Marvel Comics plans to adapt "The Electric Ant" as a limited series to be released in 2009. The comic will be produced by writer David Mack ("Daredevil") and artist Pascal Alixe ("Ultimate X-Men"), with covers provided by artist Paul Pope. [http://www.philipkdick.com/media_pr-072408.html]

External links

* [http://www.philipkdickfans.com/pkdweb/The%20Electric%20Ant.htm The Electric Ant on philipkdickfans.com]
* [http://dekku.blogspot.com/2006/12/all-gates-open.html All Gates Open, a short movie based on The Electric Ant]
*isfdb title|53526


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