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Mr. Spaceship Tekijä: Philip K. Dick
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Mr. Spaceship (1952)

Tekijä: Philip K. Dick

JäseniäKirja-arvostelujaSuosituimmuussijaKeskimääräinen arvioMaininnat
1027266,417 (3.5)3
Fiction. Science Fiction. Short Stories. HTML:

Imagine an advanced spacecraft powered by the human brain. That's the remarkable technology at the heart of this fascinating short story by science fiction mastermind Philip K. Dick. A professor nearing the end of his natural lifespan donates his brain to the cutting-edge research effort??but will he ultimately follow along with the plan?… (lisätietoja)

Jäsen:quavmo
Teoksen nimi:Mr. Spaceship
Kirjailijat:Philip K. Dick
Info:Publisher Unknown, Kindle Edition
Kokoelmat:Oma kirjasto
Arvio (tähdet):****
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Mr. Spaceship (tekijä: Philip K. Dick) (1952)

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Näyttää 1-5 (yhteensä 7) (seuraava | näytä kaikki)
Interesting idea. ( )
  Arkrayder | Mar 22, 2022 |
It's PKD at his gotta-pay-the-bills finest. Interesting idea but concepts haven't aged well in the face of modern science. ( )
  KrakenTamer | Oct 23, 2021 |
Mr. Spaceship is a complex short story. It introduces us early to the familiar Terrans, who are at war with The Yucconae of the neighbouring Proxima Centauri system. The Terrans are trying to create a spaceship that is able to navigate through an area of space packed with Yuk mines, with the goal to end the war. To achieve this the terrans have to take a novel approach. They replace the ship's guidance circuitry, the commonly used Johnson system, with a radical alternative.

The story stands up to modern times, for the most part, with the exception of the protocols normally associated with developing such a technology. We could assume these were bypassed to get their prototype out as fast as possible, being under the threat of war and all that.

Characters and their relationships develop rapidly without feeling rushed. And there is a nice twist at the end.

Dick explores a couple of themes in this work. You could enjoy it as a good piece of science fiction, or you could dig into it and uncover layers of symbolism. Either way you look at it, this is a good, quick read for fans of science fiction. Highly Recommended!

A brief summary of themes in this work, and open to interpretation, are:



Boundary of Consciousness

It is repeatedly stated that the brain would not retain consciousness, however this clearly turns out otherwise. This resembles the Brain in a Vat thought experiment, which postulates that a disembodied brain connected to a computer that simulates the senses (input), would experience normal consciousness. In Dick's story, the professor's brain is placed in the ship, its sensors become his senses, its engine and thrusters, his limbs. However Dick's work predates the Brain Vat experiment [1] by two decades. That idea is not new however. Descartes proposed a similar concept through a different tale: an evil demon projects life as an illusion, we the targets of this spell, are thus unable to tell it apart from reality. This thought experiment makes us question the nature of reality, and the boundary where consciousness ends.

1: Harman, Gilbert 1973: Thought, Princeton/NJ, p.5

Incomprehensible Power

Their creation, the ship, did not turn out as they hoped. The professor's brain had its own agenda, and the makers of this sentient ship were at its unpredictable mercy. The moment they realised they created something beyond their control, they bailed, leaving the machine to its own devices. During times of war, humans have dabbled with powers and consequences beyond our comprehension: The chemical weapons of World War I; the nuclear weapons of World War II. This theme highlights the dangers inherent in such risky ventures, and if we keep on this destructive path, a day will come that will be our last.

Omnipotence and Benevolence

The professor's brain, with its grass roots mentality, decides to kidnap his student (Phil) and ex-wife (Dolores). The brain wants to start a new world, seeding it with a man and a woman, guiding the new civilisation with hopes of not repeating the same mistakes our ancestors made. This theme posits the idea that our world may have begun in a very similarly way. In fact, this work may even be the creation story of Earth in an alternate universe. Granted this is a polarising theme, and Dick was pretty brave to explore it at the time. It leaves us with a hopeful feeling at the end, knowing that this powerful ship chose an enlightened path. It also raises the question that a powerful entity (Mr. Spaceship) was itself created by imperfect beings, and that omnipotence and benevolence are choices; the professor could very well have followed the destructive path which he was built for.

( )
  wez | Sep 12, 2021 |
What happens when you operate a spaceship with a human brain ( )
  Saraishelafs | Nov 4, 2020 |
Synopsis: 'The story is set in the distant future, where humanity is at war with "Yuks", an alien life form which does not use mechanical spaceships nor constructions. Instead, it relies on life forms. The war has been going on for a long time, and humanity has not been able to come up with a solution against the life-form based ships and mines that the Yuks use. One day, a team of researchers led by Philip Kramer decide to build a spaceship which is powered by a human brain. They find the ideal candidate, Kramer's old professor, a dying man who volunteers to donate his brain to the project.

The spaceship is built and on the first test run into outer space, the team discovers that the professor made some changes to the ship, giving him—or rather, his brain—full control over the ship. Sensing trouble, the team flees the ship, leaving the empty ship, piloted by the professor, into outer space. Later, the spaceship returns and kidnaps Kramer and his wife, and on board the ship, the professor's brain informs them that they'll be looking for a new planet to colonize, to start over, as the professor sees no hope in humanity and what it has become- a species which desires, above all else, war.'
Review: I wasn't impressed, but at the time it was published it was innovative. ( )
  DrLed | Nov 20, 2018 |
Näyttää 1-5 (yhteensä 7) (seuraava | näytä kaikki)
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Fiction. Science Fiction. Short Stories. HTML:

Imagine an advanced spacecraft powered by the human brain. That's the remarkable technology at the heart of this fascinating short story by science fiction mastermind Philip K. Dick. A professor nearing the end of his natural lifespan donates his brain to the cutting-edge research effort??but will he ultimately follow along with the plan?

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