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Mr. Spaceship

3.52  ·  Rating details ·  1,112 Ratings  ·  80 Reviews
A human brain-controlled spacecraft would mean mechanical perfection. This was accomplished, and something unforeseen: a strange entity called . . . Mr. Spaceship
Kindle Edition
Published (first published 1953)
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Bill  Kerwin

Seven years before the coining of the word "cyborg," eight years before the publication of Anne McCaffrey's short story "The Ship Who Sang," Philip K. Dick published "Mr. Spaceship" in the magazine Imagination (1953). It tells the story of how, during a war with the planet of the "Yuks", a people who use highly sophisticated life-forms as weapons, a research team headed by engineer Philip Kramer attempts to craft a spaceship capable of comparable subtlety and maneuverability, a spaceship united
...more
Peter Derk
Apr 23, 2014 rated it liked it
Philip K. Dick.

The Pluses:
-Tons of great ideas.
-Still mined for movies on the regular.
-One of the better beards.

The Minuses:
-Prose a little weak.
-Dialogue downright tough.


I drove to PKD's grave not that long ago. It's an hour, maybe 90 minutes from my house. I took my brother's car because my own car wouldn't make it. Or, even worse, would make it and then not make it back, leaving me stranded in eastern Colorado where I'd have to find a new life either farming or working at the Dairy Queen. THE
...more
Michael
Apr 27, 2012 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: SF Fans
This is one of those stories that is written in such a way that, although it seems simple, it captures your imagination right away. Not a lot of detail or description is necessary, because you fill them in yourself as you read; a sign that the storyteller is a true master.

The setting is an undetermined point in the future. Earth has made contact with aliens on a planet orbiting the nearby Proxima Centauri. However, these aliens are not friendly, and mankind is soon at war. We find we are at a di
...more
Tristram
Brain Teaser

Mr. Spaceship sounds like an avuncular enough title, but this short story, which was published in 1953 in the magazine “Imagination” – a title that does full justice to Philip K. Dick – is very unsettling and probably one of the first to feature the idea of cyborgs, i.e. hybridizing man and machine.

The inhabitants of Terra, i.e. we, are, once again, at war, this time with a species of extraterrestrials called the Yuk. Now, the Yuk are a culture in which technological progress is not
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Mike Walmsley
Creates a powerful and emotive image in the mind, but is spoiled by a forced final act. A book which might have been better without explanation.
Emre Han Ata
Sep 26, 2016 rated it really liked it
enfes.
John
Apr 25, 2012 rated it liked it
Earth is at the losing end of a war with an alien race, called Yuks, who are able traverse the universe without spaceships. To turn tides, Earth's military engineer Kramer devices a method of installing a human brain into a man made mechanical spaceship.

Professor Thomas, who is in the declining years of his life, volunteers to transplant his brain into the spaceship and to strike at the emeny. However, after brain transplant, Professor Thomas kidnaps Kramer and Kramer's ex-wife Dolores.

Instead o
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Erik Angle
May 27, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Pretty early on you can guess where the central premise of the story is headed, and I was happy to be along for the ride...then Philip K. Dick really surprised me by getting the twist out of the way early and moving into territory that I had failed to foresee. The social commentary was very interesting (tho I have the bias of already agreeing with the message), and I appreciated the usage of the human-brain-in-a-robot-body schtick in a new, non-humanoid context.

I reserve 5-star status not just f
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Scott Harris
Jun 21, 2012 rated it really liked it
One of Dick's short stories, Mr. Spaceship is a fitting account of the idea of merging man and machine, which has subsequently reoccurred in various science fiction pieces. In this case, it is an observation about the extension of the human lifespan and the god-like status accorded to one in charge of significant technology. Lots of interesting themes but the ending is a little underdeveloped
Estelle
Very nice short story, well paced and dealing with interesting themes, but the ending kinda threw me off. I didn't expect PKD to pull the cheesy card on us, but he did! While I would have prefered a more ambiguous and thought provoking conclusion to the story, being totally surprised was refreshing. Yay for happy endings and second chances... I guess!
Velma
"Open the pod bay door, Hal."
"I can't do that Dave."

Kinda like that, but kinda not. OK, not very much at all, just one scene reminded me of 2001.

Interesting, but (probably due space limitations; ha, get it? I made a pun), a bit of a weak ending. Readable, with a modicum of the PKD wit to boot.
Irene
Nov 24, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: sci-fi
Siempre me pasa lo mismo con este autor: presenta grandes ideas, pero la ejecución final me deja completamente fría, como si se le hubiera ido de las manos... De todos modos sigo leyendo obras suyas únicamente por sus ideas.
B.C. Young
It's a good story, but the ending is weak. I get the metaphorical context, but I just didn't find it satisfying.
Margaux
Jan 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I've found a new favorite author! Cleaver, original, and beautiful.
torque
Jan 08, 2013 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Seemed it was written by a teenager. Thin plot, poor conversations. Important decisions of war are made in spur of the moment.
M0rningstar
Apr 03, 2014 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: abandoned
The writing is so bad that I cannot finish this. Reads like something thrown together by a disinterested high school student for English class.
Josh Elam
Nov 12, 2013 rated it it was ok
Loved it up until the end.
Paul Jr.
Jun 25, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
An entertaining little piece, but I give this one only three stars because the interior logic of the story just doesn't track for me. The lead suggests a particular old man for an experiment because he remembers him well. But later, when thongs go awry, he states he didn't really remember that much about the old man. It just didn't make sense to me. Still an enjoyable read and while the ending may seem predictable today, it was far from such when first published.
Edwin Lowe
Jun 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A Neat Science Fiction Story, With A Twist!!!!

Phillip K Dick is among the giants in the science fiction writers. However, not many readers of science fiction have heard of him. He is best known for his realistic characters and for placing them into incredibility, strange, dangerous, or paradoxical situations. In this selection the protagonist is trapped in deep space, aboard a ship with a human brain!! It"s a great read for readers of science fiction!!!
Chris
Oct 16, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
An interesting idea, especially for the time. The characters were pretty dumb in choosing their subject, and the prof was likewise undiscerning in choosing his own subjects, but still an interesting short story.
Sean Leas
Dec 22, 2016 rated it liked it
Mr. Spaceship feels like a good creative writing project. I really wanted to delve deeper into the process of the ship construction and more backstory into the professors past. A fun short read.
Horst
Feb 27, 2017 rated it really liked it
Five star plot, one star ending.
Lucian
Jun 10, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: e-book
Started with an interesting premise, given it was published in 1950's, but the end faltered.
Nutmeg
Feb 28, 2017 rated it really liked it
I'd say the outcome was predictable, but that's because this story was the first of its kind. I've seen it reimagined in everything from 2001: A Space Odyssey, Knight Rider, My Mother the Car, Star Trek and Christine. But this was first. Very enjoyable.
Forreste
There was an unexpected depth to this story that I appreciated.
Jeff Daly
Dec 31, 2016 rated it really liked it

finished: 2016-12-01.Dec.Thu 08:33:44
Pants
Apr 15, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Don Henwood
Aug 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A wild tale that entertains the imagination with a twist
Vanellope
Well was that weird.

The writing was way too simple and basic, and I though it was too short- many of the things mentioned there would have been super cool to read more in depth about and it would even make a pretty cool short novel.

Also some things didnt make much sense. Even if you ignore literally everything we know about the brain and just roll with the cringy non-existence science, I couldnt understand how someone can say they were so super close to a teacher that they spent so much time i
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Venky
Aug 04, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: bibliocase
Mankind and outer space are at a constant and embittered war and as a result of superior technology and artificial intelligence the beings from Proxima Centauri are close to bringing the earthlings down to their knees. Since the ships of Mother Earth relying on a mechanical control termed Johnson's Control are being shot to submission by thought triggered space mines, a radical solution needs to be found, and found quickly.

The ideal man to devise a solution is the intelligent Kramer, a divorced
...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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“The human society has evolved war as a cultural institution, like the science of astronomy, or mathematics. War is a part of our lives, a career, a respected vocation. Bright, alert young men and women move into it, putting their shoulders to the wheel as they did in the time of Nebuchadnezzar. It has always been so.” 0 likes
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