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Clans of the Alphane Moon

3.74  ·  Rating Details  ·  3,209 Ratings  ·  172 Reviews
This small habitable moon is an insane asylu. Its patients, abandoned long ago by planetary superpowers, have formed clans based on their respective psychoses. But when Mary Rittersdorf, an over-zealous social worker, attempts to rehospitalize them, all hell breaks loose.
Paperback, 269 pages
Published November 1st 1988 by Carroll & Graf Publishers (first published 1964)
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Dec 10, 2015 Lyn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
At a large corner table in a bar in San Francisco in 1962, Philip K. 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 d
The doorbell buzzed. Manny opened to find a breast-heavy young woman in a Venusian sludge-silk blouse. She had something in her hand. Without waiting for an invitation, she entered the dingy conapt and looked around her.

"Otis said to bring this," she said, holding out the package. "He thought it could be useful. If you're still unable to find an idea for the Dick review." Manny groaned inwardly: as usual, the powerful GodReads combine were making sure they stayed ahead. Having seized control of
Dec 25, 2015 Apatt rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Read in November, 2015 but the review was accidentally deleted due to bone headedness. Thank you for helping me rescue this review from the fifth dimension. Goodbye 24 Likes and nice comments and observations from my GR friends.

60s PKDs are some of the most weirdly funny sci-fi ever, not that Dick really ever set out to write comical sci-fi, but his inventiveness and odd sense of humour is always something to look forward to in these early books.

Clans of the Alphane Moon is about
Printable Tire
Feb 03, 2013 Printable Tire rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I guess this is Philip K. Dick trying to be funny, or at least as funny as a story about a suicidal unemployed loner's attempts to murder his ex-wife can be. There are parts when the main character is living in a slum with a telepathic slime mold as a neighbor and a perky girl who can turn time back five minutes as a love interest that seemed like the set up to some gloriously weird sitcom.

I love how Philip Dick's personal life manifest themselves so bizarrely in his trudging-away pulp fiction:
Aug 18, 2011 Sandy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"Clans of the Alphane Moon" was one of six books that sci-fi cult author Philip K. Dick saw published in the years 1964 and '65. Released in 1964 as a 40-cent Ace paperback (F-309, for all you collectors out there), it was his 14th sci-fi novel since 1955. This period in the mid-'60s was a time of near hyperactivity for the author. Under the influence of prescription uppers (like one of "Clan"'s central characters, Chuck Rittersdorf, who takes extraterrestrial "thalamic stimulants of the hexo-am ...more
May 19, 2015 M.liss rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Really inventive plot, totally out there characters, a weird network of partially developed symbolism – the basic elements you’d expect from PKD. It’s a fun read, but it’s not really very good. The plot is ridiculous, of course, but that’s not where I take issue. Instead, my complaint is about the writing: a good deal of the dialogue feels unnatural, and most of the characters are underdeveloped. Also the ideology: there’s some pretty ham-handed racism and sexism going on here. Now, I get that t ...more
May 21, 2016 Denis rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: softcover
Of all The PKD novels I've read so far, this is one of the most fun. Is it a masterpiece like High Castle? It would be difficult to argue, but it is an original and intelligent tale written during his most prolific period ('63 to '66). It is PKD primarily addressing mental illness (a subject he, no doubt has a unique perspective on) in the SF genre. Think "One Flew Over a Cookoo's Nest" done by Dick: Humour and utter weirdness. It has some of the best and most interesting characters of any of hi ...more
Guillermo Jiménez
Dick no perdona. Ese extraño sujeto que se cuestiona acerca de qué demonios puede significar ser humano, en esta novela explora otra vertiente, y de una manera tan extravagante que termina por volverla divertida.

¿Qué podemos entender por cordura?

¿Qué nos diría una sociedad en la cual las enfermedades sean la regla y no la excepción y en dónde la “normalidad” sea la minoría?

¿Podríamos comprender dicha sociedad? ¿Sería dable llamarle sociedad?

Entre una batalla interplanetaria potencial, una parej
Jun 24, 2013 James rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
"That splendid lovely girl, although as you noted lacking a nipple-dilation job, is entering the building, Mr. Rittersdorf..."

—Lord Running Clam, telepathic Gannymedean slime-mold and import/export dealer

Well, this is definitely one of Dick’s more berzerko efforts.

Chuck Rittersdorf, a sort of CIA public relations writer, banished to a dingy conapt where he mopes suicidally over his disintegrating marriage to Marin county’s most celebrated marriage counselor, is taken under wing by a telepathic
Bandinnelli Bandinnelli
Este libro me ha recordado a un gazpacho.
Me explico: escoges productos vistosos, los preparas con cariño, pero resulta que se te olvida probar el pepino, y éste sale agrio. A veces pasa, y se jode todo el gazpacho.
Con este libro me da esa impresión. Comencé su lectura con ganas, el primer capítulo me cautivó, las historias se desarrollaron con fluidez, unas ideas potentísimas (para mí, que me apasionan este tipo de locuras) se desplegaron... y al final toda la boca me sabía a ceniza, que se suel
Jul 13, 2016 Nick rated it it was amazing
What a wonderful universe! Well, really its quite horrific, but anyway...

I've not read that much Dick, but this was an excellent concoction even by his standards. It has all the elements you would expect: totalitarian states, men/women on the run, people with psychological disorders and psi abilities, androids, unnerving aliens with questionable motivations, and hallucinations. The only thing I didn't like was the ending.

The more interesting part of the story takes place on a moon orbiting an al
Charles Dee Mitchell
PKD spent a great deal of time in and out of psychiatrists' offices. He had bouts of agoraphobia from the time he was a teenager and went through several spells of clinical depression. He knew the psychiatric lingo and at times used it as rigorously in his personal relationships as he did in his books.

Alpha III M2 is one of the purest creations of his experiences with mental health professionals. Alpha III M2 is a small moon in the Alpha Centauri system used by Earth as a global mental facility.
Nate Hanson
Jul 02, 2015 Nate Hanson rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
As much as I love PKD's writing, I suffered through this one. It has all the deficits I've come to expect:
•Antiquated psychiatry
•Poorly realized protagonists
•1-dimensional supporting characters
•Stiff, pulpy dialogue
•Poorly paced conclusion
•Loose ends tied up hastily at best

But this one didn't redeem itself with any of the solipsistic puzzles or mind-twisting plot tinkering that makes it all well worth enduring. The plot skeleton held promise, but I couldn't sustain my optimism past hal
Oct 11, 2013 Robert added it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sf
Dick is unique in the field of SF as far as I can tell. Nobody else I've read or even heard of would have thought up the premise for this book, which I'm not going to give away. Yes, it's about a CIA propagandist caught up in an interstellar web of conspiracy, largely through his own foolishness, but no, it's not really about that, at all. It's difficult to talk about the true theme without spoiling the effect, so I will save that for the bit hidden behind spoiler tags.

Jan 20, 2016 Charlotte rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I love when SF meets Psychology, and I loved this book for it reminded me a bit of Asimov (due to its style and how the author touched the idea of robots) and of Almost Human (John Kennex and Chuck Rittersdorf have one or two things in common methinks). But I cannot say that this book impressed me too much despite having an interesting approach to Psychology in the future. Maybe it was because it was fast paced or maybe it was because it borders a bit on sexism if you ask me. I am not sure. Howe ...more
Buon romanzo di Dick dove questa volta vengono messi sotto la lente d'ingrandimento i malati di mente, ognuno con una caratteristica peculiare tale da inserirlo in una categoria.
Purtroppo la storia non presenta un grande mordente, ed il finale non lascia assolutamente nulla nello spettatore.
La sufficienza viene presa soltanto per l'idea di base nel rivalutare malati psichiatrici, ma il romanzo non è indimenticabile.
Jay Ant
Jan 02, 2016 Jay Ant rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Not my favorite. Stilted idea does not stay true to its own improbable rules, resulting in a whacky plot. Phil's worldly relationship woes spill on to the page and he once again avoids starvation. Mission accomplished.
Kilburn Adam
Sep 30, 2012 Kilburn Adam rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a good one, and I liked it a lot. Interesting plot and characters. And also quite funny in places.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Scott Holstad
This book had some good ideas, but PKD asks the reader to make too many leaps of logic to be able to give this book a decent score.

CIA agent Chuck Rittersdorf splits from his psychiatrist wife, Mary, who's a marriage counselor. She prompts this and she's really portrayed as an evil bitch, so I have no idea why he was so intent to get back together with her later in the book. Meanwhile, Chuck picks up a writing gig with famous TV comedian Bunny Hentman, and starts taking uppers to hold both jobs
Fiona Robson
Sep 08, 2013 Fiona Robson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: philip-k-dick
“No man in their rightful mind would kill their wife miles from home.
Chuck Rittersdorf has recruited some robot help, and now, in the madness and dysfunction of the Alphane moon, there seems no better place to carry out his cruel plans unless he too is part of a much larger conspiracy.
Alpha Centauri, a star within the closest star system to earth, has several orbiting moons, among which is Alpha III M2. On this remote moon, a colony, originally set up to provide respite for the mentally ill is a
Nov 06, 2011 Julie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another good one by Dick (honestly, do I ever say anything different?). The concept behind this novel is intriguing: what would an abandoned colony on a faraway planet be like, if it was inhabited solely by patients from the mental institution? One of the novel's most delicious treats is how Dick slowly reveals the different clans that the patients have divided themselves into, based on their respective illnesses. It was pretty clear to me early on that the Deps were the depressives, for example ...more
Sep 12, 2013 Onefinemess rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi, 1st-ed
Memory is a funny thing. This book was only 35% similar to the incarnation I held of it in my memory.

The characters were all there, as was the setting… but the amount of page space occupied by the various characters was pretty skewed, and man I totally forgot most of the plot points. Which kind of makes sense given how convoluted a typical PKD book is.

So, yeah, typical PKD crazy ensues. There are crosses, triplecrosses and re-uncrosses both mental and physical (and maybe spiritual too, depending
Jack Stovold
Oct 25, 2012 Jack Stovold rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My Philip K. Dick Project

Entry #30 - Clans of the Alphane Moon (written Dec. 1963-Jan. 1964, published Nov. 1964)

Clans of the Alphane Moon is one strange, wild ride.

Based on (but not expanded from like some of Dick's books) his short story, Shell Game, Clans follows two main story threads. The first follows a sort of milquetoast script writer for CIA androids, and the second follows the titular Clans of the Alphane Moon, and Chuck's estranged wife Mary's attempts to rehabilitate them.

Clans is
Philip K. Dick, historia con trastornos psiquiátricos, traducido y recomendado por mi amiga Estela: combinación perfecta para una psicóloga aficionada a la ciencia ficción.

Quizá por deformación profesional y por afición a P. K. Dick, la historia me enganchó desde el principio. ¿Por qué limitarse a los hospitales o centros psiquiátricos?¿Por qué no enviar a las personas con determinados trastornos a otro planeta?¿Y qué pasa si empiezan a organizarse entre ellos? Cada trastorno encaja con una func
Katherine Cee
A good story. Very man centric. Lots of talk about boob size in relation to how interesting the female character is supposed to be. Also, lots of talk about nipple dilation? Still, a good story.
Michael Dipietro
I think one of my favorites of PKD's books I've read yet! It had the usual shortcomings - multiple plot lines that get really convoluted and dead end here and there, twisting in a weird direction when I want them to just take one really satisfying (predictable?) one... But I just really loved a bunch of the characters and moments in this book. The ganymedean slime mold stole my heart.
Matt Payne
This was a really good book, but compared to PKDs other masterpieces I have to give this a three for being a little boring.

The coolest thing about this book was how the "clans" of the moon all represented mental "problems" which are really just reflections of pieces of ourselves. We're all a little neurotic, a little paranoid, and so we bring different strengths and weaknesses to all our social groups.

In this book each clan, defined by having a certain mental problem, works with the other clans
Aug 07, 2011 Jason rated it liked it
A planet--a moon, actually--once used as an insane asylum but long since abandoned by the folks back home, is now populated with various self-selecting communities descended from those original psychotic patients. A psychotherapist is crazy. A marriage is collapsing. Typical PKD for good and ill. The "crazy society" stuff evoked R.D. Laing, and explored some of Dick's preoccupations in a very literal way.
Sergio Andrés
May 14, 2014 Sergio Andrés rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Otra gran novela del maestro de la ciencia ficción paranoica. Como siempre sucede en -al menos todas las novelas que leí de Dick- la paranoia y cuestionamiento de la realidad son la parte esencial de la trama. Pero en este caso cobra un nuevo significado -Dick tiene eso, en el fondo todo pareciera hablar de lo extraño de la realidad y la paranoia de no saber dónde estar parado pero siempre logra mostrar eso de distintas y extrañas maneras- al ser el eje central de la narración una colonia abando ...more
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Philip K. Dick was born in Chicago in 1928 and lived most of his life in California. In 1952, he began writing professionally and proceeded to write numerous novels and short-story collections. He won the Hugo Award for the best novel in 1962 for The Man in the High Castle and the John W. Campbell Memorial Award for best novel of the year in 1974 for Flow My Tears, the Policeman Said. Philip K. Di ...more
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