A Little Something for Us Tempunauts

"A Little Something for Us Tempunauts" is a science fiction short story by American writer Philip K. Dick. It was first published in the anthology Final Stage in 1975.

"A Little Something for Us Tempunauts"
AuthorPhilip K. Dick
Country United States
LanguageEnglish
Genre(s)Science fiction
Published inFinal Stage (ISBN 0-14-004039-0)
Publication typeAnthology
PublisherPenguin
Media typePrint
Publication date1975

Plot summary

Time travelers from the United States, called tempunauts, are sent only a few days into the future rather than a century as was intended. In this near-future, they learn their return from the future was fatal to them.

Addison Doug, one of the tempunauts, believes that they are trapped with the rest of the Earth in a closed time loop, forever doomed to repeat the period between their starting their trip and their fatal return. Having found out the cause of their fatal return journey, they have to decide whether to change or not to change their return journey in order to get out of the loop. Doug decides to sabotage "reentry" unbeknownst to the others - by smuggling a mass of car engine parts into the time machine - to both at the same time (and completely contradictorily) find resolution in death _and_ close the time-loop, freezing all of humanity, and possibly the whole universe, in endless repetition of a single week.

Reception

Strange Horizons noted the story's "slipstreamish effect of contemporary strangeness".[1] The Encylopedia of Science Fiction mentioned its "grim" nature.[2]

Background

Dick said in his afterword for The Best of Philip K. Dick:

In this story I felt a vast weariness over the space program, which had thrilled us so at the start — especially the first lunar landing — and then had been forgotten and virtually shutdown, a relic of history. I wondered, if time-travel became a "program" would it suffer the same fate? Or was there an even worse possibility latent in it, within the very nature of the paradoxes of time-travel?"[3]

References

  1. ^ The Vintage Book of Amnesia: An Anthology of Writing on the Subject of Memory Loss, edited by Jonathan Lethem, reviewed by Graham Sleight, at Strange Horizons; published September 4, 2006; retrieved October 19, 2018
  2. ^ Time Loop, at The Encylopedia of Science Fiction; first published November 27, 2007; retrieved October 19, 2018
  3. ^ Dick, Philip K. (1987). The Collected Stories of Philip K. Dick, Vol 5: We Can Remember It for You Wholesale. United Kingdom: Orion Publishing Group. p. 392. ISBN 1-85798-948-1.
Autofac

"Autofac" is a 1955 science fiction short story by American writer Philip K. Dick that features one of the earliest treatments of self-replicating machines (and Dick's second, after his 1953 short story Second Variety). It appeared originally in Galaxy Science Fiction of November 1955, and was reprinted in several collections, including The Variable Man published in 1957, and Robots, Androids, and Mechanical Oddities published in 1984.

The story was adapted by Travis Beacham for an episode of the 2017 TV series, Philip K. Dick's Electric Dreams.

Mary and the Giant

Mary and the Giant is an early, non-science fiction novel written by Philip K. Dick in the years between 1953 and 1955, but not published until 1987.

Mr. Spaceship

"Mr. Spaceship" is a science fiction short story by American writer Philip K. Dick, first published in 1953 in Imagination in January 1953, and later in The Collected Stories of Philip K. Dick. It has since been republished several times, including in Beyond Lies the Wub in 1988.

Nick and the Glimmung

Nick and the Glimmung is a children's science fiction novel originally written by American author Philip K. Dick in 1966. It was first published by Gollancz in 1988. It is set on "Plowman's Planet" (Sirius Five), in the same continuity as his adult science fiction novel Galactic Pot-Healer.

Novelty Act

"Novelty Act" is a short story by Philip K. Dick. It involves a dystopian future in which the characters' lives are based on entertaining the First Lady of the United States with "novelty acts".

Paycheck (collection)

Paycheck is a collection of science fiction stories by American writer Philip K. Dick. Although the collection appears with a 2003 copyright, it was first published by Gollancz in February, 2004. Many of the stories had originally appeared in the magazines Imagination, Startling Stories, Amazing Stories, Fantasy and Science Fiction and Galaxy Science Fiction.

Second Variety (1991 collection)

Second Variety is a collection of science fiction stories by American writer Philip K. Dick. It was first published by Citadel Twilight in 1991 and reprints Volume III of The Collected Stories of Philip K. Dick with the addition of the story "Second Variety". Many of the stories had originally appeared in the magazines If, Science Fiction Adventures, Science Fiction Stories, Orbit, Fantasy and Science Fiction, Imagination, Future, Galaxy Science Fiction, Beyond Fantasy Fiction, Satellite, Science Fiction Quarterly, Imaginative Tales and Space Science Fiction.

Selected Stories of Philip K. Dick

Selected Stories of Philip K. Dick is a collection of science fiction stories by Philip K. Dick. It was first published by Random House in 2002. Many of the stories had originally appeared in the magazines Planet Stories, Fantasy and Science Fiction, Imagination, Space Science Fiction, Astounding, Beyond Fantasy Fiction, Orbit, Galaxy Science Fiction, Fantastic Universe, Amazing Stories, Rolling Stone College Papers, Omni and Playboy.

Strange Eden

"Strange Eden" is a science fiction short story by American writer Philip K. Dick. It was first published in Imagination magazine, December 1954.

The Best of Philip K. Dick

The Best of Philip K. Dick is a collection of science fiction stories by American writer Philip K. Dick. It was first published by Del Rey Books in 1977. Many of the stories had originally appeared in the magazines Planet Stories, Fantasy and Science Fiction, Space Science Fiction, Imagination, Astounding Stories, Galaxy Science Fiction, Amazing Stories, Science Fiction Stories and Startling Stories, as well as the anthologies Dangerous Visions and Star Science Fiction Stories No.3.

The Collected Stories of Philip K. Dick

The Collected Stories of Philip K. Dick is a collection of 118 science fiction stories by American writer Philip K. Dick. It was first published by Underwood-Miller in 1987 as a five volume set. See Philip K. Dick bibliography for information about the mass market reprints.

Many of the stories had originally appeared in the magazines Fantasy and Science Fiction, Planet Stories, If, Galaxy Science Fiction, Imagination, Space Science Fiction, Fantastic Story Magazine, Amazing Stories, Future Science Fiction, Cosmos, Fantasy Fiction, Beyond Fantasy Fiction, Thrilling Wonder Stories, Startling Stories, Fantastic Universe, Science Fiction Quarterly, Astounding, Science Fiction Adventures, Science Fiction Stories, Orbit, Satellite Science Fiction, Imaginative Tales, Fantastic, Worlds of Tomorrow, Escapade, Famous Science Fiction, Niekas, Rolling Stone College Papers, Interzone, Playboy, Omni and The Yuba City High Times.

The Days of Perky Pat

"The Days of Perky Pat" is a science fiction short story by American writer Philip K. Dick, first published in 1963 in Amazing magazine.

The Days of Perky Pat (collection)

The Days of Perky Pat is a collection of science fiction stories by American writer Philip K. Dick. It was first published by Gollancz in 1990 and reprints Volume IV of The Collected Stories of Philip K. Dick. It had not previously been published as a stand-alone volume. The stories had originally appeared in the magazines Galaxy Science Fiction, Science Fiction Stories, If, Fantastic Universe, Fantasy and Science Fiction, Fantastic, Worlds of Tomorrow, Escapade and Amazing Stories.

The Electric Ant

"The Electric Ant" is a science fiction short story by American writer Philip K. Dick. It was first published in Fantasy and Science Fiction magazine in October 1969.

The Eye of the Sibyl (collection)

The Eye of the Sibyl is a collection of science fiction stories by American writer Philip K. Dick. It was first published by Citadel Twilight in 1992 and reprints Volume V of The Collected Stories of Philip K. Dick, omitting the story "We Can Remember It for You Wholesale". Many of the stories had originally appeared in the magazines Worlds of Tomorrow, Galaxy Science Fiction, Amazing Stories, Fantasy and Science Fiction, Famous Science Fiction, Niekas, Rolling Stone College Papers, Interzone, Playboy, Omni and The Yuba City High Times.

The Little Black Box (collection)

The Little Black Box is a collection of science fiction stories by American writer Philip K. Dick. It was first published by Gollancz in 1990 and reprints Volume V of The Collected Stories of Philip K. Dick. It had not previously been published as a stand-alone volume. Many of the stories had originally appeared in the magazines Worlds of Tomorrow, Galaxy Science Fiction, Amazing Stories, Fantasy and Science Fiction, Famous Science Fiction, Niekas, Rolling Stone College Papers, Interzone, Playboy, Omni and The Yuba City High Times.

The Minority Report (1991 collection)

The Minority Report is a re-titled collection of science fiction stories by Philip K. Dick. It was published by Gollancz and Citadel Twilight in 1991, being a reprint of Volume IV of The Collected Stories of Philip K. Dick: The Days of Perky Pat (1987). The collection The Days of Perky Pat (collection) was published in Britain in hardback by Golancz in 1990 and in paperback by Grafton in 1991. The stories had originally appeared in the magazines Galaxy Science Fiction, Science Fiction Stories, If, Fantastic Universe, Fantasy and Science Fiction, Fantastic, Worlds of Tomorrow, Escapade and Amazing Stories.

The Pre-persons

"The Pre-persons" is a science fiction short story by American writer Philip K. Dick. It was first published in Fantasy and Science Fiction magazine, October 1974.

The story was a pro-life response to Roe v. Wade. Dick imagines a future where the United States Congress has decided that abortion is legal until the soul enters the body. The specific instant is defined by the administration, at present the moment a person has the ability to perform simple algebraic calculations (around the age of 12).

The main protester — a former Stanford mathematics major — demands to be taken to the abortion center, since he claims to have forgotten all his algebra.

Vintage PKD

Vintage PKD is a collection of science fiction stories, novel excerpts and non-fiction by Philip K. Dick. It was first published by Vintage Books in 2006.

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