According to the novel, "Alphane" refers to the nearest star to our own system, Alpha Centauri. As a former satellite-based global psychiatric institution for colonists on other Alphane system worlds unable to cope with the stresses of colonisation, the inhabitants of Alpha III M2 have lived peacefully for years. But, under the pretence of a medical mission, Earth intends to take their colony back. Against this background, Chuck Rittersdorf and his wife Mary are separating. Although they think they are going their separate ways, they soon find themselves together again on Alpha III M2.
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Dick, Poul Anderson, Robert A. Heinlein, Theodore Sturgeon and Kurt Vonnegut sit having lunch and discussing novels. Phil: Guys, listen to this, I have an idea for a story. In the near future, a planet is populated from groups of mental health patients. Each category of mental health will have its own area and settlement, each representing a different clan.
There will be a clan of schizophrenics, a clan of manics, a clan of At a large corner table in a bar in San Francisco in , Philip K. There will be a clan of schizophrenics, a clan of manics, a clan of depressions, patients, etc. Bob: What is it with you and mental illness? Phil: We are all mentally unstable; it is only a matter of degree, tangent paths along our own journey towards the Godhead.
Phil: A telepathic slime mold, sounds fun, but why? Theodore: belch! Why not?! Kurt: Ted, what is that plastic ooze on your legs? Theodore: Last night while I was walking to the science fiction convention, I thought I could take a short cut across a creak and so I did, and while padding across the stream, this pearl colored gel affixed to my legs, it kind of burns.
Kurt: Hmmm, gives me an idea. Poul: Sounds good, but I think I like your fantasy more than your science fiction? Phil: When do I ever write fantasy, except for a very non-profitable venture into mainstream, I stick with science fiction?
Poul: Forays?? Some of my best work is in fantasy. Poul: NO! Kurt: Who said anything about a Christian allegory? What about that one Arthur C. Clarke did about the aliens who tried to invade medieval Europe and then the old knights turned the tide on them? Phil: So, Bob, what do you think about my idea? Bob: Sounds good, I like it, you just need to spice things up a bit. Take that attractive young woman in the next aisle Good afternoon, fraulein! What she needs are bigger breasts, you could incorporate into your sci-fi mental health colony a segment about fake breasts.
Kurt: What is it with you and breasts? Phil: Fake breasts? Like robot breasts? Bob: Excuse me, you nubile little minx, can I get some more oysters, or do I need to come back to the kitchen and spank you?
Kurt: Again with the spanking, Heinlein, what is going on with you? Phil: I see, so she could take some drugs and gain larger, more robust breasts?
Theodore: What is it with you and drugs? Also, I think it would be a great idea to put in a scene with a dangerously strong aphrodisiac where a woman goes wild and damn near kills a man during sex. Phil: He scared my cat last time he came over to my apartment, and the birds stopped singing. Kurt: Poul, you have put together some damn fine time travel stories, maybe Phil could come up with a time travel twist, instead of just straight future science. Phil: I actually do have an idea like that!
Kurt: We all do, Poul, you have great peer recognition, no doubt. I like that idea too, Phil, what kind of changes would take place in an America where the Axis had won? I mean, that opens up all kinds of imaginative concepts, how would we dress, what kind of books would we read, or NOT read? What kind of cars would we drive? Bob: Great point, Kurt, by the way, what the hell kind of car is that anyway?
The one you drove here in today? Some kind of Nazi buggy? You stay pretty straight with science fiction, Bob. What do you think about Phil doing a time travel book?
Poul: I have written a number of time travel books. Bob: I like it! He could write a sexy, racy story about sexual freedom, even from the restraints of time and morals. Hell, Phil could even write a story where the protagonist goes back in time and has sex with his mother, like there is something wrong with that. Phil: Anyway. Theodore: Would you have androids, or simulacrum in this novel?
Clans of the Alphane Moon