I did another version of Ubik. This one’s in the style of an ad. Long live PKD.
“I am Ubik. Before the universe was, I am. I made the suns. I made the worlds. I created the lives and the places they inhabit; I move them here, I put them there. They go as I say, then do as I tell them. I am the word and my name is never spoken, the name which no one knows. I am called Ubik, but that is not my name. I am. I shall always be.”
In 2005, Time Magazine named Ubik one of the 100 Best English Language Novels since 1923. The 1969 Doubleday printing is one of the rarest Dick first editions. Since I cannot as of yet afford this coveted item I decided to revamp the iconic cover. It is one of my favorite novels by Philip K. Dick and the original image struck me with its simplicity of design. Here’s my edit:
Sounds like the title of a sci-fi short story that Philip K Dick forgot to write but this is indeed a very real story. Just past midnight on September 26, 1983, Stanislav Petrov found himself in a very Phildickian predicament. He was the duty officer at the command center for the Oko nuclear early-warning system when the system reported a missile being launched from the United States. His decision to do ‘nothing’ and have faith that it was a false alarm changed the fate of our entire planet by preventing what would have surely spelled the beginning of WW3. Just like the main protagonist of a PKD story, he was just a regular guy who somehow found himself in the midst of an extraordinary paranoia filled situation. His Kairos moment, saving the world by doing nothing has a very nice zen koan feel to it. Phil would have had a great chuckle.. as well as a frightening moment of realization, that being, as tiny and insignificant as we humans seem to be in this infinitely strange universe, the universe sometimes plays a game with us by letting us make the ‘big decisions’ at the most random moments and watch in horror or relief as the ripples our actions or ‘non-actions’ create literally save or destroy the world.