The Secret Ascension or,
Philip K. Dick is Dead, Alas

 

The U.S. has a permanent moonbase, Richard M. Nixon is in the fourth term of the "imperial Presidency", and an obscure novelist named Philip K. Dick has just died in California.  Dick was the author of such well-regarded works as In Milton Lumky Territory and Confessions of a Crap Artist, but late in his life a number of strange manuscripts by him, unpublished, rejected everywhere, get into samizdat circulation,works of science fictional satire and social allegory that mean a great deal to their underground audience.  Dick is a hero to them -- and now he's dead.

And then he returns, lacking his memory, walks into a psychiatrist's office in small town Georgia asking for help, just in from the airport, with a cab waiting outside, meter running.  Lia Pickford, M.D., is nonplussed, especially when Dick fades into nothingness and disappears, leaving the fare unpaid on the taxi.  But Cal Pickford, a fan stunned by the news of his hero's death, is electrified when his wife tells him about it.

So begins a sequence of events that involves Cal in the repressive politics of the Nixon regime, the affairs of an aging movie queen, a hip but frightened Vietnamese immigrant and an old black man who works as a groom, leading up to a fateful meeting with Dick, Cal and Nixon himself on the Moon.

Dedication:
This book is for the heirs, biological and literary, of Philip K. Dick

Epigraph:
It is the essence of moral responsibility to determine beforehand the consequences of our action or inaction. -- Richard Nixon, No More Vietnams

 
The Secret Ascension, First Edition / Carol RussoNew York: Tor [Tom Doherty Associates]
[ISBN 0-312-93031-3] [hc] ($16.95),
Nov 1987; 341 pp.
[cover: Carol Russo]
PKD is Dead, Alas, First British Edition / Luis Rey[as Philip K. Dick is Dead, Alas]

London: Grafton
[ISBN 0-586-20151-3] [pb] (£3.99),
Nov 1988; 411 pp.
[cover: Luis Rey]
The Secret Ascension, 1st US PB / Carol RussoNew York: Tor [Tom Doherty Associates]
[ISBN 0-812-53157-4] [pb] ($4.50),
Jul 1989; 341 pp.
[cover: Carol Russo]
Dieser Mann ist leider tot, 1st German Edition / Barclay Shaw[as Dieser Mann ist leider tot]
[German translation by Rainer Schmidt]

Munich: Heyne (#4785)
[ISBN 3-453-04494-0] [pb] (DM 12.80),
1991; 495 pp.
[cover: Barclay Shaw; afterword by Uwe Anton]

La ascension secreta, First Spanish Edition / Barclay Shaw[as La ascensión secreta o Llorad, Philip K. Dick ha muerto]
[Spanish translation by Eduardo G. Murillo]

Barcelona: Alcor (Narrativa Fantástica)
[ISBN 84-270-1549-6] [trade pb] (1792 pta),
Sep 1991; 363 pp.
[cover design:Romi Sanmartí; illustration: Barclay Shaw / Thomas Schlück]

PKD is Dead, Alas, US Reprint / Tom Canty[as Philip K. Dick is Dead, Alas]

New York: Orb [Tom Doherty Associates]
[ISBN 0-312-89002-8] [trade pb] ($12.95),
Jan 1994; 341 pp.
[cover: Tom Canty]

[Note: a photographic reprint of the first Tor edition]

L'alternativa, First Italian Edition / Oscar Chichoni[as L'alternativa]
[Italian translation by Delio Zinoni]

Milan: Mondadori (Collana Uraniargento #3)
[no ISBN] [trade pb] (7000 L),
May 1995; 334 pp.
[cover: Oscar Chichoni]

Philip K. Dick is Dead, Alas, First French Edition[as Requiem pour Philip K. Dick]
[French translation by Paul Villon]

Paris: Editions Denoël (Présences #B24551.7)
[ISBN 2-207-24551-9] [trade pb] (160.00 FF),
Feb 1997; 514 pp.
[no cover art]

The Secret Ascenscion [1st Polish Edition][as Tajemne wniebowstąpienie czyli Philip K. Dick niestety przestal żyć]
[Polish translation by Grażyna Grygiel and Piotr Staniewski]

Poznañ: Zysk i S-ka Wydawnictwo
[ISBN 83-7150-357-1] [pb] (29 zlotych),
1998, 378 pp.
[cover: David Martin]

Philip K. Dick is Dead, Alas / First Hebrew Edition[as פיליפ ק דיק מת, זה נורא / Filip K Dik met, zeh nora]
[Hebrew translation by David Hanokh]

Tel Aviv: Zmora-Bitan, Publishers
[ISBN ?] [trade pb] (Price: ?),
1999, 384 pp.
[cover: ?]

Philip K. Dick is Dead, Alas, Second French Edition[as Requiem pour Philip K. Dick]
[French translation by Paul Villon]

Paris: Editions Gallimard (Folio SF #86)
[ISBN 2-07-042235-6] [pb] (€5,80),
Feb 2002; 528 pp.
[cover: Benjamin Carré]

Philip K. Dick is Dead, Alas, Second Spanish Edition[as Desgraciadamente, Philip K. Dick ha muerto]
[Spanish translation by María Sánchez Salvador]

Madrid: La Factoría de Ideas (Solaris #118)
[ISBN 978-84-9800-441-0] [trade pb withflaps] (€19,95),
Jan 2009; 310 pp.
[cover: Tom Canty]

Philip K. Dick Is Dead, Alas / Gateway Ebook Edition[as Philip K. Dick is Dead, Alas]

London: Gateway/Orion
[ISBN 978-0-575-12300-7] [ebook] (£4.99),
Sep 2011; reissued Jun 2013

Philip K. Dick Is Dead, Alas / Kudzu Planet Edition / Patrick Swenson[as Philip K. Dick is Dead, Alas]

Bonney Lake WA: Kudzu Planet Productions / Fairwood Press
[ISBN 978-1-933846-54-5] [trade paperback] ($17.99),
Nov 2015
[cover: Patrick Swenson]

 

Compiled by Michael H. Hutchins