1. Why does Quail want to go to Mars?
The unknown world of another planet attracted him very much. Douglass was obsessed with the idea of trudging among its valleys again because he had already visited the planet as a secret Interplan agent.
2. Why does Quali’s wife always try to discourage his interest in Mars?
Douglas himself stated that it was a wife’s job to bring him down to Earth. In fact, Kirsten knew about his previous trip to Mars.
3. How does REKAL, INC. provide trips to Mars?
They incorporate extra-factual memory implant and provide with various material proofs of having visited mars such as postcards, tickets, film, etc.
4. What problem arises in the service REKAL tries to provide to Quail?
Quail had already visited Mars before coming to REKAL, INC. and had very vivid recollections about his trip under sedation. The technicians doubted whether it would be right to graft a false memory-pattern over the real memory.
5. Why do the Interplan Police decide they have to kill Quail?
Doug remembered partially his trip to Mars but enough to be difficult for the Interplan Police because he told everything to McClane and his people. Moreover, Douglas remembered his mission on Mars.
6. How does Quail prevent them from killing him?
Quail had been trained by Interplan to be a professional killer, thus he remembered how to take out armed policemen and did it.
7. What fantasy does Quail request to cover over his memory of being a secret agent for Interplan?
He requests to cover over his memory with the deepest false memory from the childhood.
8. What is the fantasy the Interplan psychiatrist discovers in Quail's mind?
When Quail was nine years old, he halted the invasion of some unknown creatures by showing mercy and kindness to them. The creatures will not invade again until Quail is alive.
9. What is the surprise ending of the story?
The reality mixed with the fantasy, and what was considered to be a false memory revealed to be a real one.
Response to the story
In the short story “We Can Remember It for You Wholesale”, the author depicts a world that can be relatable to ours. The protagonist, Douglas Quail, is an average man with a boring and low-paid job and a nagging wife. He is obsessed with the idea of visiting Mars but has too little money to make it come true. Mars is not the only futuristic element of the story; the author mentions hover-cars, traffic channels, aquatic resorts at the bottom of the ocean, and artificial gill-outfit. Doug’s inability to visit mars is ironic because he has already visited it as an assassin who killed a man. His memory was erased because of the government’s order, and this vision of the society is similar to ours because nowadays, the government has control over the citizens with the help of technology. Experiences and memories are what make a person an individual thus, any interruption in person’s mind causes his inner changes. In my opinion, such memory and mind alterations are similar to the changes after using drugs that have become a common practice in the society. Philip K. Dick focuses on the idea of memory implants that change person’s recollections but the outcome of such experience is not always positive. Nevertheless, such technology can be used is a positive way in the future, for example, in training. What if a person would become a doctor or an engineer by spending several hours in the specific machine? Or using memory implants to expedite the trauma recovery. In general, the story is absorbing and keeps a reader in tension who is eager to find what will happen in the end. However, in my opinion, the ambiguous past and future of the character cause some confusion because sometimes it is difficult to understand where the reality ends and fantasy begins.
What is the mission of the convent of St. Martha of Bethany?
Nuns help people who were injured by the universe. The mankind is very busy to take care of such outcasts because people expand the boundaries of the explored space.
Where is it located?
On the Moon
What is the mission of the Supernova Sagittarii expedition?
What are the ‘jumps’ the Raven undertakes?
The Raven was able to jump through the space and time.
What skill does Eloise Waggoner bring to the expedition?
Telepathic communication with Lucifer.
What is Lucifer, the Aurigen, like?
It is a highly intelligent plasma-based being in the form of a big fireball
What is the nature of the relationship between Eloise and Lucifer?
Thoughts, feelings, memories.
What is the time dilation effect in an intense gravitational field?
A kind of time distortion when the processes are slower than in the open space.
What are the time and distance limitations of telepathy?
There are no limitations for telepathy.
What danger arises after the last jump?
The danger of being destroyed by the radiation
What happens to Lucifer?
He was absorbed by the supernova remnant
Why will Lucifer ‘always be with’ Eloise even though he has been destroyed?
She will forever hear his screams because there are no time or space boundaries for telepathy
Response to the story
In my opinion, “Kyrie” is a combination of a sophisticated science-fiction story and a romantic tale of sacrifice for love. In an opening scene, we get acquainted with a nameless nun who prays for becoming dead as soon as possible. Her name is Eloise Waggoner, and later we get to know her story. The author uses such elements of science fiction as the settlement on the Moon, the ships can travel by means of hyperspace jumps and explore the supernova remnants, the phenomenon of telepathy and communication with plasma-based non-human creatures. Actually, it was a bit difficult to understand the things connected with astronomy. But I really enjoyed the story despite the fact that it is full of astronomical terms and phenomena. The love story between Eloise and a fireball was really touching and heartwarming because they were doomed to remain only in memories and never come true. The author’s style is very convincing, and he managed to convey the girl’s sufferings very skillfully. The death of Lucifer is also very tragic because he disappeared in a black hole with the purpose to save his beloved. In fact, it was difficult to understand the nature of this fireball creature but I know for sure: it has little to do with the devil. Telepathy was another interesting thing to read about. The author described the communication by means of telepathy between not only human being but also between human and non-human creatures. The images they transmitted were extremely vivid, and the reader himself could see them. The idea of the outcasts who are rejected by the mankind is original and inventive. The author emphasizes that people are selfish and egocentric, they think only about themselves and how to expand their authority but forget about those who need help, care, and attention.
Science Fiction Questions for "Dolphin's Way"
1. What is the purpose of the research facility?
2. Why does Mal dislike Corwin Brayt?
Brayt was not a person who dealt with dolphins but a person from the organization who decided to stop funding.
3. Why has Jane come to the facility?
She introduced herself as a reporter who wanted to cover the dolphin story.
4. Why is Mal so intensely attracted to Jane?
Jane was extremely beautiful and caused very deep emotions and feelings within Mal.
5. Why is Jane so interested in Mal's theory about a communication "test"?
She wanted to hint at the possibility of communicating with other species by means of intellectual understanding.
6. What are some of the communications problems between intelligent species?
People and dolphins can find ways of mechanical communication but not intellectual.
7. How does Mal finally achieve a communications breakthrough?
Dolphins copied his rhythmic speech in the inaudible range.
8. Why does Jane tell Mal that her species and humans will have no further contact with each other?
In my opinion, aliens had already chosen dolphins to communicate with because they considered those animals to be the smartest creatures on Earth.
9 . What point is the author making about humanity by having the story end the way it does?
In my opinion, the author criticizes humanity for its selfishness and egocentrism, people consider themselves the most intellectual and developed species on the planet but the author is sure that this is untrue.
Response to the story
The story can be called as one of the finest stories of Dickson because it is powerful, clear, and detailed. The romantic scientist who tried to communicate with dolphins caused my favor for his persistence and sincerity. The author wanted to emphasize the fact that a person should continue obstinately the process of achieving his goals because finally, the efforts would be rewarded. This thought was similar to my recent experience, and I understood that a person should never give up and in the end, he will achieve success. The main idea of the story that people could understand and communicate with other species was extremely interesting to me. Another element of science fiction was the presence of the very beautiful alien who was named Jane. Mal immediately fell for her and experienced deep emotions and affection for the attractive young lady. Instinctively, the man understood the huge difference between them; however, he tried to establish relations. In my opinion, the main theme of the story is that communication with aliens as well as dolphins is possible but the process is more difficult than people used to think. The idea of intellectual communication rather than mechanical seems to be realistic and applicable; people just should take into account the environment, gestures, signals, etc. the ending of the story was unexpected for me because I wanted the story to have a happy ending when Mal achieves success in communicating with dolphins and gets new funds, and Jane decides to stay with him because he seemed to be kind and cute. To my mind, the author intentionally chooses such ending. He hints at the fact that people should not consider themselves as the supreme species on the planet. Moreover, the author states that unlike dolphins people are too cruel and revengeful. People kill a lot of dolphins but the intelligent animals do not react in a similar way.
Science Fiction Questions for "The Jigsaw Man"=====================================================================What does the discovery of blood typing have to do with the story?The story is based on the concept of organ donation that became possible after the discovery of four types of blood.Why does the organlegger decide to blow himself up?He did not want to be cut into pieces.
What is the science-fiction means of keeping people jailed in the future?To donate their organs.How does Knowles escape?The explosion made the hole in the wall, and the bars of the prison ward became flexible. Why does Knowles destroy the organ bank that he finds in the building he escapes to?He wanted to commit the real crime, for which he could get the punishment.What are Knowles= crimes?Repeated traffic rules violations.Which one is the most serious?Drunk driving.Why is the punishment so severe in this society?Because there was a high demand for organs.Is the premise of this story a reasonable one?
Yes. Is the story more cautionary or predictive?
I find the story predictive. The human population increases as well as the number of crimes.
Response to the story
The short story “The Jigsaw Man” is a fascinating narration that impressed me by its simplicity and originality. The main idea of the story is future immortality that can be achieved by means of organ donation of the criminals doomed to capital punishment. Some people may consider such situation as the limit of cruelty; however, in my opinion, it is not so bad. The population growth is inevitable, and the consequences of it will not be pleasant. Such policy will bring good for law-abiding people who do no harm and regularly pay taxes. Obviously, there will always be people who support and oppose certain ideas, and it is normal. In my opinion, the author predicts that the future will bring its novelty but his ideas are not far from the possible reality. The society with new rules and laws, new technology such as calming vibration are the elements of science-fiction in this story. “Organlegger” is a very relevant and appropriate term for such operations that is the corruption of the word “bootlegger”. In my opinion, this term implies the attitude of the author to this scheme that he does not approve it and consider illegal to cut people into pieces for small crimes especially for violations of the traffic rules. The strongest point of this short science fiction story is its intellectualism and logical ideas the author makes. Niven’s fantasy becomes the reality due to his usage of scientific facts and reasonable conclusions. The author also states that people themselves establish rules and create laws, which are sometimes cruel and weird. Throughout the narration, I felt the constant question “What if?” that doubted every action. What if an innocent person is sentenced to death? Is it right and who will help him? I find this question to be sensible but, nevertheless, the idea, depicted in the story, has the place to be.