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Clans of the Alphane Moon

3.75 of 5 stars 3.75  ·  rating details  ·  2,589 ratings  ·  124 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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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
Printable Tire
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:
"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
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
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
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.

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
“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
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.
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
"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
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
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
Of all The PKD novels I've read so far, this is the most fun. Is it a masterpiece like High Castle? It would be difficult to argue, but it is an original and intelligent tale wriitten during his most prolific period ('63 to '66). It is PKD 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 his previous and l ...more
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
Perry Whitford
On Alpha III M2, a moon in a system three light years from Earth which had been colonized and then left to itself for a generation, a community of seven mentally imbalanced clans has grown from the seeds of the original hospital established there.
The clans cover a diverse spectrum of psychotic types, such as the hyperactive, violent 'Mans' (manics), morose 'Deps' (depressives), the visionary and impractical 'Skitz' (schizophrenics), and the apathetic but saintly 'Heebs' (hebephrenics).

Earth ha
Sergio Andrés
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
Jess Nauright
I've never been into sci fi---in fact I've always officially disliked it---but all of a sudden I find myself reading Philip K. Dick novels like it's my job. I've read about ten over the past two weeks! Not sure why exactly---maybe it's a weirdo summer reading impulse. Even when these books are serious, they're mostly zany and mostly fun. Though the paranoid misogyny sometimes gets in the way of the fun and zaniness.

I'd say that Clans is one of his more egregiously misogynist novels (that i've r
This was a lot of fun, interesting aliens, interesting "mentally ill" folks, a little bit of sex, a little bit of paranoia, on and on. I was expecting more of a downbeat vibe but that really wasn't the case.
David Anderson
A weird ride that plays out like screwball comedy or farce. Mix one part King of Hearts (the Alan Bates film in which residents of an insane asylum take over a village after the villagers flee during WWI, only here the inmates take over a moon of Alpha Centari) with one part composed of those Alec Guiness/Ealing studios comedies involving murder plots (like The Lady Killers or Kind Hearts and Cornets) with another part spy spoof involving the CIA, toss in simulacra (human androids) and telepaths ...more
Kilburn Adam
This is a good one, and I liked it a lot. Interesting plot and characters. And also quite funny in places.
Nuno Miranda Ribeiro
This might be a messed up alegory (or projection) about marriage and its outlandish tribulations, mutual agressions, alienish paranoia, about how a divorce is still the skeletal ghost by which the (now) oponents try to negotiate what is now a warfare. Or maybe this is "just" a work of science fiction about a CIA agent that persecutes his wife to the Moon of the planet of another start system. And lands in what is a clan society. With the curious detail that every clan is made up of individuals w ...more
Ted Child
I've read so many of Dick's books that I really enjoyed this one since it was so bizarre, even for Dick, and because it was so quintessentially SF, with laser guns, slime glob aliens and interstellar space travel, without losing the familiar phildickian elements.
Dick clearly had problems with the various women he was married to in his personal life and this translates quite clearly into how the various wives of his protagonists are depicted in his books. Mary Rittersdorf is no exception, show
Rodrigo Cesáreo Pampin
Second book of Philip K. Dick i read, being the first Ubik, and im finding i love this guy. He is just CRAZY. The ideas are very original, but it isnt just the idea... it's the history that surrounds it; i really hook to you.
I also noticing his books are very hard to describe without spoiler... so, i will just talk about how much i enjoyed.
I think, the best think about this one, are the characters, they are just to weird, i dont think there is one who i'll qualify as "normal". And this is amazin
Carlos Lavín
Very interesting insight into how a society of completely mentally insane people would work like, how the tasks would be distributed based on each disorder's own symptoms, from the Heebs (hebephrenia schizos) being in charge of the menial jobs up to the Manses (maniacs) being in charge of defense and the Pares (paranoids) in charge of statemanship. And also, into how the work division and each people's own ambition in our current society relate to these mental illnesses. The fact that he added t ...more
Roddy Williams
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Felix Zilich
Война между Альфой и Землей несомненно закончилась триумфом последней. В своем победном марше земляне загнали своих врагов на их родную планету и даже конфисковали у хитиновых альфанцев один из их спутников. Повод для этого у победителей был вполне благородный – необходимость срочно организовать лечебницу для земных солдат, сошедших с ума в процессе этой звездной войны. В результате, земляне эту лечебницу, разумеется, построили, оставили в ней своих психов, а после этого торжественно вернулись д ...more
Raro de Concurso
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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Philip K. Dick was born in Chicago in 1928 and lived most of his life in California. He briefly attended the University of California, but dropped out before completing any classes. 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 Memo ...more
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