The PK Dicktionary

This is a glossary of terms used by Philip K Dick (hereafter referred to as PKD). The description of each term is based on my (or someone else’s) best guess at the meaning, with opinions, criticisms, bad jokes etc. Hopefully this approach will keep the thing interesting, instead of it being just a dry, dusty description of words that PKD used. It could be argued that some of the words here are not exclusive to PKD, but I’ve included them because I think he put a spin on the usual meaning. What I’m trying to achieve is an overview of
November '14

This is a glossary of terms used by Philip K Dick (hereafter referred to as PKD). The description of each term is based on my (or someone else’s) best guess at the meaning, with opinions, criticisms, bad jokes etc. Hopefully this approach will keep the thing interesting, instead of it being just a dry, dusty description of words that PKD used. It could be argued that some of the words here are not exclusive to PKD, but I’ve included them because I think he put a spin on the usual meaning. What I’m trying to achieve is an overview of the ideas that Dick grappled with – all of them, even the silly/trivial ones – via the terms that he used to label them. To save my blunt and bloody fingers, I’ve found it necessary to provide a reference section so I don’t keep having to type out the full title of a PKD work. References to works where a term is used are represented by a code: A number refers to the year the work was first published, followed by a sensible four-letter reduction of the title of the work. I’m trying to give brief descriptions of each story I refer to – but sometimes I ramble on a bit! – Simon Hickinbotham


The time before the war in 56JAPE. Note that Mr Spock refers to the 20th century in this way in the film Star Trek IV. Coincidence?

To quote PKD:

In a previous “dream” (truly, a vision experience) I saw the mysterious word ALBEMUTH. Maybe I mentioned this. They let me take a crack at decoding it on my own. Here’s what I got: Al is a common prefix for star names, it being from the Arabic meaning “the.” So ALBEMUTH is a star. “albe” is close to “alba” which is L. for “white.” So we have “the white.” The star we call FOMALHAUT means “Whale’s Mouth.” “Muth” is close in sound to “mouth.” MOBY-DICK was called “The great white whale.” So ALBEMUTH means “the great white way,” which is “Broadway,” so it can be finally decyphered as: “The Milky Way.” Or. “A star in the Milky Way.” Formalhaut is in the Pisces Constellation. Pisces means “fish.” The fish sign was the original secret sign of the Christians. Thus ALBEMUTH is a cypher for Jesus.

Not much more to say about this other than it makes no sense at all. Surely no one would find this “deciphering” very convincing — perhaps not even Phil. It looks like he must have already decided that “ALBEMUTH” did mean “JESUS” and then constructed this bogus logic to reach that answer. If you are prepared to root through three separate and dissimilar languages (Arabic, Latin and English — not to mention American slang) you can ultimately reach any conclusion you want. Incidentally, the English word “mouth” actually derives from the Old English word “muth.” Phil must have missed that bit of historical linguistic lore. Probably used an abridged dictionary.

Identifies each sub-form of ‘phrenia with a sub-form of religion. The primary form is heliocentric (sun worship), where the sun is seen as the patients father. Other forms include Magna mater ‘phrenia. 68WEBY

An artificial human 55SOLO. In 68DADO they are used by humans as slave labor on other planets. Sometimes they escape and get down to Earth where they are killed by bounty hunters. Technology is so advanced that the only distinguishing feature of androids compared to humans is that they are (supposedly) not able to empathize with others.

Vast underground container, acting as a refuge from nuclear holocaust, the ant part is a contraction of antiseptic. (64PENT)

A previous polyencephalic world, where we were all dolphin-like mammals in warm seas. Not at all like Delmak-O. (70MAZE)

An artificial organ. When mentioned in 64PENT, they are no longer made and are therefore reserved for the top brass in the government. In 66NWLY, they usually insert themselves. People can live for two hundred years with artiforgs- like Virgil Ackerman, who was born (like PKD) in the late 1920’s but is still alive when Dr Sweetscent travels forward in time to 2155.

covers burn scars

Chosen by the Challenge Convention, their job is to murder the Quizmaster. If an assasin succeeds he gets 1 million gold dollars and the “applause and acclamation of a whole cvilization”. Men only can apply.

a different sort of power to electronic


fully automated factory in 55AFAC. You also find autofac rockets and stores in56JAPE.

After the autonomic nervous system; It means Intelligent. PKD used it to describe a range of things, e.g. In 69UBIK, there’s an autonomic pharmacy. I think that PKD only used autonomic where (sometimes a very low level of) intelligence is implied. But that’s only my opinion. There was an interesting article in New Scientist recently (1995?), where if the ‘right’ amount of noise is introduced to artificial neural networks, they become capable of creative thought. Phil set his stories in worlds where science had defined such vague concepts as intelligence and creativity, worked out how to bottle such things, and put them into machines. 65STIG


Non – existent biological weapon invented by the Yance-men to prevent the masses from leaving their ant tanks. Symptoms: “those viruses get in and cause your head to expand until it pops like a blown up paper bag”. 64PENT

affected by radiation

A creature which “prints” or copies any item 56PAPR. Such creatures exist (but might not have the same name) in 65STIG, but the only thing they can’t copy is the skin of a certain fungus, which has to be used as money. Similar unicellular creatures are mentioned in 66NWLY, where they are the principal means of mass production used by the Tijuana Fur and Dye Co.

Unicellular organism from Callisto. 64OBLO

thrill? 69UBIK

A super-hero-genre comic book that turns out to be the source of advanced weapons design. 67ZAPG

Twitched to select the number of a power card, the owner of which becomes Quizmaster. Twitched at regular intervals unless a new Quizmaster is needed. Not really a bottle, but a complex mechanism based on Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle – the movement of subatomic particles, using a Plimp board. It’s a “socialised instrument of chance”, and part of the whole M-Game. The botle chooses random individuals at random intervals. 55SOLO

Psychoanalyst in 66NWLY

Bad Security Risk.

Ominous structure that exists outside the colonists’ compound in 70MAZE. It’s grey and large – a cube almost with odd spires from heat sources. There’s activity (machinery) within – “a factory?”. Tiny animated replicas of the building invade the compound, projecting tiny cannons and firing beams. When looked at under a microscope, these miniatures are inscribed “made at Terra 35082R”. The real building is protected by a decoy phantasm device- If you don’t approach it, it reveals itself. There’s a sign above the door that entices the reader in. Susie Smart thinks the sign says WHIPPERY. Seth Morely ready WINERY – a wine tasting room. Maggie Walsh reads WITTERY – a room of absolute knowledge. Wade Fraser reads STOPPERY – where the mentally ill are “stopped”. Mary Morley (Seth’s spiteful wife) reads WITCHERY – where control of people through formulas and incantations are learnt. Ignatz Thugg reads HIPPERY HOPPERY – “where people hop onto animals for youknowwhat”. Betty Jo Berm reads MEKISSERY – mekkis is the hittite word for power – the font of the universe. Each reader believes that only he/she should enter – the others wouldn’t understand. Seth Morley suspects later that the building is an asylum that they all escaped from (but that would be too much like 64CLAN). It seems that the building is the major manifestation of the unease among the ships crew. It wasn’t designed into Delmak-O deliberately. That’s why it has all these dream-like qualities associated with it. As Delmak-O disintegrates, Seth Moley sees everyone returning to the building, (and therefore their own psychoses?), but the building disintegrates before they enter, just as they are crossing a river. I expected the role of the building to be explained in more depth later in the book, but it’s just described as the Boeing plant on Proxima 10 where the Persus 9 was built, and where the crew boarded it. I suspect that PKD originally planned to make more of it than that.


The new Australian rocket in 68WEBY

faster than light.

Halluciogenic drug in 65STIG

a pop entertainment (e.g., a TV show) with an adventure or sci-fi theme.

(Cephscope). An electronic gadget equipped with a screen upon which graphical, coloured representations of the user’s thoughts and brain patterns are displayed. The purpose is to bring the user into a relaxing and pleasurable state of mind. Cephscopes are very expensive and considered as valuable household objects. Altec Corp. is the main manufacturer. 77SCAN

A means of challenging the quizmaster that needs to be set up to select a new assassin. The rule is “one assassin at a time, chosen by public convention” – or a violation has to be proved. You can arrange conventions to name the assassin of your choice. Teeps find out every strategy – they discover you as soon as you begin playing – so they force you to act randomly. Assasins lose the M-Game to teeps because there are 80 teeps to one assassin – even so occasionally an assassin wins. If you break the rules of the Convention you’re out of the game for life.

Halluciogenic drug in 65STIG

55SOLO brain-washing school

The male descendants of Major Strieter, the founder of morec in 56JAPE. humourless, devout as machines, dressed in drab khaki, they have a vague police-like role.

Mechanical flies that the ads agencies release in 64SIMA. They buzz out high-pitched adverts, or try to before people destroy them by swatting them, shooting them or stepping on them. Interesting idea, commercials as physical pests. They tend to be able to squeeze into people’s personal spaces, though car windows, doors and so on. One of the characters in 64SIMA develops a psychotic episode in which he believes he has a terrible body odor which nearly debilitates him after hearing one of these commercials.

A condominium-type apartment. 69UBIK

Where you are given halluciogenic drugs to induce a psychotic break and give libido fulfillment. The fugal period is then reduced with the eventual goal of removing the need for it altogether 68WEBY

A Pick-me-up for a hangover in 56JAPE

awry “if something goes creeper”

Short for a cubicle in an ANT TANK :64PENT.

In 70MAZE, according to Specktowsky, “we are prisoners of our own preconceptions and expectations”. This is a condition of the Curse in the theology of the book. The Intercessor will release us from this condition (see that entry for more).


PKD is supposed to have an obsession with a “dark-haired girl”, supposed by some to be his dead twin sister or an amalgam of his wives, or the particular appearence of girls that PKD was attracted to. It’s odd that this philosophical writer was attracted to “Dark haired girls” regardless of their personality – is this why DHGs are often spiteful evil and unpredictable?. I’ve not read of any instances where PKD says “yes, I put dark-haired girls in my books when I want a character based on…” though. In 56JAPE we see a brief early DHG as Gretchen Malparto. In 64WDMS, the DHG is the grand-daughter of a dead man who’s ghostly thoughts are picked up by a radio telescope. She is an ex-drug addict who had a near-death experience herself. In 68WEBY it’s Pris Frauenzimmer, a particularly dark DHG, who loathes Luois Rosen, her besotted admirer who even hallucinates about her. In 77SCAN, the DHG is Donna the drug dealer, whom Bob Arctor loves but is “too ugly” to have a hope with. Donna steals everything she can lay her hands on and finds ingenious ways of making money from her thefts.

The final period of time in Specktowsky’s theology, in which the heavens roll back and all creatures are reconciled with the original Deity from whose unity of being everything has come. 70MAZE

Planet on which the main events of 70MAZE took place. Later in the novel, we find that it is really Terra. Still later we find that the name was made up by drawing random letters from the ship’s computer.

An examination of an encephalogram in 56JAPE

Said of Louis Rosen’s Special-birth brother Chester, who can’t answer questions, but is damn fine with his hands 68WEBY

Fiddling 69UBIK

vague civil service that the Quizmaster is in charge of

old type of space suit in 55SOLO – can puncture on sharp rocks. replaced by Farley suits.

People believe what the group believes – therefore everyone behaves how the leader does. But one man who originated an idea would foul it up 56JAPE


Stimulates Kresy’s gland in 65STIG

Instructional pastimes for the individual (c.f. Juggle for the group) in the morec society of 56JAPE. To keep idle hands occupied.

A simulacric robot that is controlled by a reality punch-tape, not necessarily aware that it isn’t human. But if you alter the tape, who knows whose reality you will alter.. 69EANT.

A device used to merge with MERCER :68DADO

..,Japanese made, all-transistorised, is how Louis Rosen thought of his .38 pistol when threatening to shoot Sam Barrows in 68WEBY. Barrows checked and found out that the Coast Army Arsenal actually had such a thing, and wondered how Rosen got hold of one. It homes in on your (unique) brain-waves..

Gun of unspecified working. (70MAZE)


last nuclear war

To keep emigrants to Mars from going batty in their near-isolation, they take “famnexdo”s with them. Famnexdos are family replicas made of simulacra i.e., Family Next Door. The term appears in 64SIMA, but the idea crops up again in 68WEBY

a bulky space suit


10th planet in our system. Also a book by Preston. It glows green with radioactive minerals, orbits at twice the dstance of pluto. The Voices say flame disc was carried across to the sol system by them -> an anomaly

A personal flying machine. Sometimes they are AUTONOMIC, sometimes they aren’t. Described in 64PENT as “fruit-fly like”. Gives rise to such terms as “disemplappled”.

Expletive, as in “Flurk off, Zafsky!” 69UBIK


Shithead. In 67COCW, where we eat our turds through our arses, we shit out food from our mouths.

Expletive, as in “What the fork?” 68DADO or “fork off” 64SIMA.

The evil god in the theology of 70MAZE. Entropy is his “method”. The FD was called into being (“awakened”) by God’s act of creation. He entered the universe and hence time to corrupt it so that it was no longer the image of the Mentufacturer. It’s not made clear whether FD is an aspect of god, or was self-creating. Tony Dunklewelt saw the FD in his trances, and clamed that there was a god-above-god that included the FD as well as the three conventional forms of god. The FD is absolutely-not-god, but since this is a form of being and god contains all being, god EQUALS not-god. woo.

term of affection such as in “Hi, you old knurlheaded frab.” (64PENT)

Expletive 67COCW.

Does it mean to come up with a clumsy inelegant solution to a technical problem? Kind of like kludge? It’s like a combination of “fumble” and “burble” and “fudge”.


An intelligent being in 64CLAN, but a component of a tape recorder in 64SIMA. Of course, it might not be the same SPECIES of mould…. ?69GAPH

“So beautiful with its shining flame and long smooth hair.” (70MAZE)

Small car in 56JAPE. holds four people at a push. Steered by a tiller, the motor is steam-driven.

to realize or detect the presence of “have they glimmed on the bug?”

An alien 69GAPH

Snooper? term of derision in 69UBIK

Fabric in 65STIG

In 76DEUS, this was the “Great Objectless Bomb” designed by Carelton Lufteufel. Used in WWIII, this bomb detonated high in the atmosphere, spreading vast amounts of lethal radiation across entire continents. “Lufteufel” is German. “Luft” is “air”, and “teufel” is “devil”. “Lufteufel” may be an “airdemon”, but it is not to be intended as an “air elemental”, more of a winged beast, a “demonic dragon”.

planet where “non-humanoid quasi-biological ultra-sentient” life forms live – so advanced that we think of them as gods. Prayers in 70MAZE were spread via the god-worlds to the Deity (even though it makes no sense because The Deity doesn’t live on god-worlds).

used to guide cars to the ground from the air

Slang usage for being intoxicated. (70OFFF)

misnomer for Gracious Prospect Heights – one of the greatest multiple-unit housing developments in the Pacific north west. 68WEBY. Is it a coincidence that Galactic Pot Healer has the same initials?

Term of derision in 69UBIK

The accelerated entropy or rotting that Manfred Steiner saw in 64MATS



In 64WDMS and 69UBIK. When you die, it’s not the end. If you are placed in cold-pac, the death throes of your brain can be picked up by the living, allowing you to communicate. Since your brain signals decay after death, you only have a limited amount of time in half-life, but this time can be spun out if you are revived for communication rarely.

Hebephrenia 68WEBY

An industrial group that has grown so large as to be a separate economic unit – like an empire. There are five: Oiseau-Lyre; Farben (in Berlin); Westinghouse; Imperial; and Soong (in Peking) 55SOLO

A newspaper that filters the news so it only shows what you are interested in- these are beginning to exist now in the form of web robots. There’s a good description of what Phil imagined a homeopape to be in 69UBIK. Along with many SF predictions, there are anachronisms in the way the thing operates. The homeopape asks you what you want to read about. (the forefront of our technology), and then prints it on paper. It’s obvious that this was written before PCs were common.

In the manner of an android. Appears in 69UBIK even though there are no Simulacra in the novel.

a big popper

(from the latin “hubris”?) a drug that stimulates the anterior portion of the spetal region of the brain, increasing the alertness, cheerfulness and belief that everything will be OK in the taker. Approximates a setting on the Hammerstein Mood Organ (but more intense, since mood organ effects are restricted by law) close to the opening of Beethovens 16th quartet. “I can almost hum this drug” says Louis Rosen in 68WEBY.


identification papers 65STIG

Another name for an anti-psi. One who cancels out psionic ability in another. Inertials are usually members of Prudence organizations. 69UBIK

A part of the polyencephalic theology of 70MAZE. He is a Manifestation of the Deity that can stand in for us collectively. The Intercessor arose as a result of the struggle between the Deity and the Form Destroyer, which took place over a very long time. The Intercessor offered himself as sacrifice by which The Curse could be partially nullified. This satisfied the Deity that this manifestation of Himself had been a partial victory. The Deity died and re-manifested himself to indicate that he had overcome the curse and hence death. Having done this, he moved up through concentric circles back to God himself. Since then, everything’s happened so fast. Now that we are in the Specktowsky period it’s easy to contact one of the Manifestations – this time is different from the first 2000 years since the Intercessor appeared. The Curse is lifted through him – we are released from our world and condition and see reality as it really is, without the modes of perception of space and time. In Maggie Walsh’s post-polyencephalic-death hallucination, the Intercessor flutters up from the hell-world and Maggie drifts away from the red smoky lights of the “wrong wombs”, carried by the warm wind of the Intercessor to a powerful flickering yellow light. The Intercessor is the only Manifestation to appear in the real world, not the polyencephalic construct in which most of the events of the novel take place. He appears to Seth Morely as he is about to kill himself and takes Seth away to be a desert plant, asleep but “aware of the sun and myself”. I suppose the hint here is that the theology that was invented for Delmak-O is the theology of the real world.


Inter-Plan Visual Industries Corporation: monopoly that controls all aud and vid communications 55SOLO.


to take the piss out of – to make fun of a stale theme. When a theme is harped on too much, you get parody. 56JAPE

A highly addictive drug, the nature of which alters throughout 66NWLY. Early in the novel, it makes you feel like you are in control of objects; you ‘know’ them well and they serve you. As the drug wears off this control reverts to how you are normally, and then things starts to get heavy and unfamiliar. You can’t pick things up . It is first taken by Kathy Sweetscent, wife of Eric Sweetscent. The supposed manufacturer of the drug changes as well. At first, it is supposed to be Made by Tijuana Fur and dye Co, but then it could be made by the Reegs. Then we suspect that Kathy was given the drug by secret agents from Lillistar. It turns out in the end that it was made on earth as a weapon AGAINST Lillistar. It is designed as a poison and was intended to be put in the water supply. It is addictive after a single exposure, causing damage to the liver and bloodstream that cannot be cured by artiforg replacement. Later in the book JJ-180 becomes a means of traveling in time, and still later we find that it allows the user to travel to parallel universes as well.

Unspecified game in 56JAPE

Electronic snoopers that spy on ordinary folk in the Morec society of 56JAPE. 1.5 feet long, they scuttle along the ground and walls at ferocious speed – they are oddly referred to as a species. They whirr as they surrender their tapes to committee representatives. The idea is that they only report what they see, so you are safe from hysterical heresay, malice and paranoia. But when you are caught, there is certainty about your actions – it is up to the courts to decide whether those actions were criminal.


The physical and emotional junk in the lives and households of Deckard and Jack Isadore in 68DADO. It builds up so much it almost smoothers Deckard, so he is forced to deal with all this kipple – his attitude to androids; his views on electric sheep; his wife; Mercerism – and either overcome it, or succumb to it. Note, however, that it’s the intrusion of Roy Baty into his life which forces this action and self examination upon him. This theme pops up again for example in 66NWLY; Here Dr. Eric Sweetscent is also under a pile of kipple, especially in relation to his wife and relationship to his employer. The novel in some ways is his journey to remove this kipple from his life, again forced upon him by the intrusion of President Molinari into his life. Kipple is also mentioned more flippantly in 69GAPH. Joe Fernwright is on the shore of Mare Nostrum, where Glimmung is submerged and possibly dead. Phrases idly run through Joe’s head:

“Do you like Yeats?” “I don’t know, I’ve never had any.” “Do you like Kipling?” “I don’t know, I’ve never kippled.”

This is in reference to the ancient cartoon ( early 1900s New Yorker?), one of the most popular cartoons of all time. And in 70MAZE: “I’ll pile her stuff outside and then get mine aboard. I’m under no mandate to load her kipple”. James Tiptree Jr. has also used the term.

In 74FLOW, KR-3 is an experimental drug which disables the “time-binding” and “space-binding” functions of the human brain. This can result in the radical alteration of reality – and not just the reality of the user. It’s possible for someone to take the drug and place somone esle in another reality.

Human gland which controls the rate of evolution in 65STIG


literal channel. TV channel watched by the UNKS.

A brand of hash cigarette in 62HICA.

Mechanism that keeps you alive while you’re in polyencephalic doodah 70MAZE

act of giving/recieving an oath

discount space ship shark in 64SIMA.


minimax game; Minimax is the method of surviving the great game of life – invented by 20th century mathematicians Von Neumann and Morgenstern. The method was used in WWII, Korea and the Final War and became the basis of government in 2.5 centuries. It places great emphasis on the Aristotlean Golden Mean. Social situations are analogous to strategy games like poker. So a system for poker will work like a system for society. If you act randomly, you avoid acting foolishly under the deception of your opponents. You can then use regular statistical methods to succeed. Opponents are then forced to give up deception and adopt a rational proceedure. There are two parts to the M-Game (55SOLO)
The Bottle and the Challenge Convention.

MacMillan did basic stuff on robots and created witless hulks – glorified vacuum cleaners, stoves and dumb waiters – big string things to lift stuff so the unks can lie down and sleep (MacMillan was pro-unk) – no more unk slaves and labourers. e.g. MacMillan taxis “all right sir or madam” – not capable of fine descrimination. waiters, newsmachines and heavy duty weapons can all be of the MacMillan type. An early description of Autonomic?

A type of ‘phrenia according to Anderson theory where the embodiment of your consciousness is projected out onto the cosmos, where it is perceived and worshiped. Louis Rosen’s fixation with Pris Frauenzimmer is the result of such an illness. So-called after the great female deity cults of the Mediterranean at the time of the Mycenaean civilization, examples of which are Ishtar, Cybele, Attis, Athene and the virgin Mary.68WEBY

Mass-manufactured 68WEBY

Bones of which choked Seth Morley’s greedy and mendacious tom cat 70MAZE.

Unspecified law which makes it necessary for compulsory testing for mental illness because “a truly psychotic individual could on his own never seek aid” 68WEBY

Ganymedian worm and ruler of the Bale of Tenessee in 67GANY. See the entry on the Building for a possible source of the word.

another part of the Deity in 70MAZE, responsible for brining the universe into being and starting time in motion. Address a prayer to him if you want to roll back time and take a different path. Cause of coming into being unknown, but Specktowsky claimed that the Mentufacturer was self-creating, existing out of time and causality. A condensation of “firmament” and “manufacturer” ?

An entity that humans “merge” with using an empathy box. By showing that they are able to empathize with another person, they also show that they are not androids. The grim gag here is that to prove you are human, you have to empathize with a machine.68DADO

A drink from Callisto, which has a methane atmosphere. A sort of amber coloured whisky. Made by 1000’s of slaves

to miniaturize anything. Lots of spy-type devices are often minned in PKD books

MOOD ORGAN 68DADO. Developed from the brain-mapping of the mid-1960s and the discoveries about the mid-brain (hypothalamus) and depth-electrode techniques of Penfield, Jacobson & Olds. The keys of the organ trigger off different depth-electrodes in the hypothalamus, allowing one’s mood to be adjusted artificially – and even to produce entirely new emotions. The Hammerstein Mood Organ and the Waldteufel Euphoria are just such instruments, and render the conventional musical organs obsolete. (68WEBY)

where half-lifers are kept in 69UBIK

or Moral Reclamation; the delivery of moral messages and the basis of the morality of society in 56JAPE.

In 67COCW, where time flows backwards, this expletive is the equivalent of our “Asshole”. Think about it. See also FOODHEAD.

(Deliberately) mutated


A robot attendant that protects children like a huge mechanical dog. Originally from the short story 55NANN, which is obliquely referred to in 68WEBY as appearing in the fictional magazine Thrilling Wonder Stories.

Unstylish “..nebbish clothes that Mary’s collected in her jay-bird manner. Selecting whatever bright and gaudy”70MAZE. In 68WEBY, a nebbish is “..just another flunky see in downtown business sections of every city in the US”.

When you don’t see something that’s actually there 70MAZE

The most sophisticated android available in 68DADO. Rush out and get some for YOUR off-world mine…

higher-order cogitative methods used by the evolved NewMen. Beyond comprehension of Unusuals, Under Men and Old Men. So there. 70OFFF

Contraction of Neuro Psychiatric. An inhabitant of Other World in 56JAPE

Cheap pod-like spacecraft (and handy plot device) that only carries enough fuel for one-way trips. There’s one called the “Morbid Chicken” in 70MAZE.

swanky piece of furniture

Expletive in 69UBIK


Joel Smith was tickled to find that the police title is “Occifer”. This is definitely not a typo and pops up frequently. 70OFFF

The name of the project to rehabilitate the colonists of the Alphane moon. So – called because American psychiatrists in the ’50’s and ’60’s used to charge an hourly rate for a fifty minute session 64CLAN.

Martian trader in 52BWUB. Wears a cloak that Captain Franco steps on in an early bit of slapstick.

loonies who remain on the planet-wide “aviary” of earth, “shut up in the sand-pile because they can’t take the pressure of emigrating from the planet” 70MAZE

The off-world sanitarium of the health resort in 56JAPE, on Vega 4. It is the antithesis of the morec society.


Pacific Peoples. One side in the war that preceeded the events in 64PENT

the android Keith Pellig, young, thin, blonde. An assassin picked by the convention. Controlled remotely by a group of people and switches randomly from person to person so that teeps can’t follow him. (when all minds leave, Pellig is a vegetable) A single person can only run Pellig for 2 hours – then claustrophobia sets in. You have to be hooked up to implementation machinery. Has a thumb-gun – fires energy on a heat beam principle. Can fly and travel in deep space. The personality twitch isn’t random so Moore can decide who is inside Pellig when he dies.

The stranded ship in 70MAZE. Each crew member is tatooed with this name somewhere on their bodies – I dunno why.

drop a dime in one for a sedative.

Schizophrenia 68WEBY

An inebriated state of some sort that loosens up one’s wallet. You can get pizzled on papapot 69UBIK, or by “pizzling away at the bottle 70MAZE. Alternatively, from55AFAC, a survivor of the Total Global Conflict attempts to confuse a robot factory representative by rejecting a product as pizzled, describing the word to mean “the condition of a product that is manufactured when no need exists. It indicates the rejection of objects on the grounds that they are no longer wanted.”

device for preserving corpses

Pocket-sized boards which turn up random combinations by which any complexity of decision can be made. Used in the bottle and by assassins.

A sort of communal virtual reality. Used for recreational purposes 70MAZE

crazy “what is this poop place?” 70MAZE

Unspecified form of Gun

A monetary unit in 69UBIK

A sort of lottery ticket given to everyone on the planet. If your’s is selected by the bottle, you become Quizmaster. There is a 1 in six billion chance of a p-card coming up. You give it up when you take a fealty oath to a Hill, but it must be returned if an oath is severed from above. Unks either give p-cards to Hills or sell them on the black market for 2 dollars. You lose your power card if you assasinate the Quizmaster unsanctioned by the challenge convention.

A mutant with precognition powers 65STIG

The whole Prestion thing in 55SOLO shifts about so much it’s difficult to describe coherently …John Preston wrote crazed/prophetic books about a 10th planet in our solar system called “Flame Disc”. Preston was an odd-ball astronomer – when observations couldn’t find this planet, he set off to look for it in his ship and died. The goal of the society is to send a ship beyond the “colony planets” – beyond the regions controlled by the Directorate. And to find Flame Disc. Next to the society building is the crypt of Preston, a dummy of whom is sealed in a plasti-cube there. The Plasti-cube is vacuum-sealed – if opened (and if Preston’s corpse was actually in there), Preston’s body would be pulverised. The real Preston is alive on Flame Disc. He gives a clue about this in his books (one is called “Unicorn”) when he speaks of the voices that will guide us. The voices speak in your mind – this happens even though when people arrive at Flame Disc Preston would be 150ish. Preston really just wanted a society where everyone had a real chance of winning. On Flame disc, there’s a spherical building that contains a Preston in a nourishing suspension bath. The sphere is one of 1000’s of buouys acting as guides to flame disc. put there by Preston. The bath is a volatile substance to project a vid image onto the Preston replica. The real Preston died a few years after finding Flame Disc. See what I mean about being vague?

A creature that can make exact replicas of objects. Biltongs 56PAPR, Tench and unicellular organisms in 66NWLY all print things. In 65STIG, everything but Skins can be printed. In 70MAZE there is a flea-sized printer that just produces copies of Specktowsky’s book.

also encephalogram, gram – examination of the brain in 56JAPE

Who you swear an oath to. Has power of life and death over escaped serfs. Not supposed to send a classified to his death – that’s reserved for unks

a foodstuff – not a natural algae, a mutant that started out in culture tanks in the Middle East and gradually spread over fresh water surfaces – even the wash tub and drain pipes and great lakes.

class of inorganic artificial construct. The autopilot of the squib in 70MAZE is one such.

a portable device that enables one to communicate with those in half-life 69UBIK

An alien from Proxima Centauri. No-one has ever seen one. 65STIG

A large hairy beast with beating wings (what wlse would they do?) and protruding composite eyes. The mechanical singing flies of Delmak-O look like them. 70MAZE

Organizations of individuals with anti-psionic powers that allow them to annul the abilities of (for example) telepaths and precogs 69UBIK

a less common form of ESP. There are some hilarious tests for this in 56JAPE

army psych division in the war preceeding 56JAPE which became the Health Resort. The old link to the army is why juveniles aren’t allowed there.

Yanks you out of polyencephalic fusion if things go awry – but it didn’t this time…70MAZE

a moon base for mentally ill recuperation. A big balloon with entrance and exit sphincters..

Malformed. Said of objects made by the Biltong that began to decay 56PAPR

unspecified organisation reffered to by a sticker on a getabout in 56JAPE


to lose out in an M-game.

Goat-like sub-organisms at the Tekkel Upharsin Kibbutz that smell like the Form Destroyer’s last years underwear. You can get a very poor quality cheese from them.70MAZE.

a running-around-type team game in 56JAPE. see juggle and edufacuture also.

Inhabitants of the radioactive ruins of Hokkaido could be saved by it. We are not told how. 56JAPE

Boss of Earth. Maximum 13 year term. position 1. In early 20th century underconsumption plagued society – things were burned because people couldn’t afford them. But they could win them in a quiz. Eventually it became possible to win power and prestige in the quiz. The top position became quizmaster – the dispenser of power.


55SOLO – shifting swirls of random colour that decorate the Quizmasters office – symbolic of the society he rules?

Another biological weapon (this time of unknown symptoms) 64PENT

A bureaucratic authority in 64PENT

Crawls across the table towards the sound source

Insectoid aliens that are supposed to be our enemies but are actually quite nice. They communicate with humans via an electronic decoding box 66NWLY

renders a teep a non-teep.

to kill an android. You can’t say you’re killing them because then you would have to admit that they were once alive. And if they were alive, they must ave been sentient beings….68DADO

very tough material used to reinforece the quizmasters office.

robot servant in 66NWLY, used to help an old woman in 53IMPL.


?symbolic channel. watched by the classifieds

Opium-based drug, named after Wade Scenara the drug’s inventor. 70OFFF

worn by Bob Arctor in 77SCAN as a means of concealing his identity whilst giving a lecture. The scramble suit is a thin membrane which displays different features of different faces etc. to blur your own features. The face of it’s inventor appears once every twenty (?) odd years.

Substance between matter and anti-matter which can absorb either. Morgo the Frolixian in 70OFFF claimed to be made of this.

An edufacture building project in 56JAPE

A Synthetic human “I always thought of as a robot” in 68WEBY. Used for Lunar exploration originally, but if the ruling monad guidance system is fed an entire body of data pertaining to a character (UCLA transcribes the data into instruction punch-tape for you), then a Simulacra can take on the personality of that person. A prototype of Edwin M Stanton cost 6000 dollars to build. Then they built an Abraham Lincoln. Sam K Barrows, entrepreneur wanted to populate new towns on the moon with simulacra so that the first human colonists wouldn’t be lonely (see also famnexdo).

A form of currency- the skin of a fungus- the only thing that cannot be reproduced by replicating organisms (see printers), and therefore the only thing that can be used as money. Must get awful smelly…65STIG

Orbits Delmak-O with taped instructions of the colonists mission. But the tape fails70MAZE.

Interplanetary ship in 56JAPE

Expletive (“Snirt it!”) 69UBIK

Humans who’s genes have deteriorated due to radiation in 68DADO. They are considered sub-human by non-specials and are not allowed to emigrate off-planet. A typical Dickian Underclass – note that this underclass is called SPECIAL and not disabled/mutants etc- very PC! In 68WEBY, Special birth persons are similar radioactive mutants – Chester Rosen’s eyes and mouth have swapped places for example. Sometimes an embryo is born in pieces – a jaw, an arm, teeth, fingers, like a kit that no glue in the world would stick together. Eeeeeugh!

Egon Specktowsky was the captain of the Persus 9, but was killed in the unspecified accident which stranded the ship forever 70MAZE. His crew name him as the author of the book “How I rose from the dead in my spare time and so can you”, but change his initials to A J (an example of PKD not cross-checking things?). In the crew’s polyencephalic world, AJS was a 21st century theologian and is cited as discovering the true nature of the Deity in that world. He specifies five time periods: the first was the period of purity before the Form Destroyer was awakened; the second is the period of the curse when the Deity was weakest and FD the most powerful; Then there was the birth of God-on-Earth; Currently god walks the world redeeming the suffering now and all life later through the Intercessor; Lastly, there is the period of the Final Audit. PKD defined this theology with William Sarill from Judaism, Christianity, Mohammedism, Zoroastrianism and Tibetian Bhuddism based on the postulate that God Exists.

unauthorised colonists

In 70OFFF, it’s a kind of hover car, steered with a tiller and has a boat-like description. In 70MAZE, it’s a planet-bound flying ship “size B” with an autopilot, that can be guided to land by an RK beam

In 65STIG, The three Stigmata are the physical alterations to Palmer Eldritch’s body- metal teeth, Metal eyes with slit-lenses, and a metal arm. Originate in PKD’s father’s WWI gas mask

Non-existent weapon of biological war. Like the BAG PLAGUE, but with the opposite effect “your head diminishes in size, features included, to the circumference of a marble”64PENT

slower than light.

Part of the brain that allows telepathy

some kind of device to control the ‘politically correct behavior’ of citizens. It’s “an artificially evolved telepathic metazoan.” It’s purpose was to stop war by ensuring that everyone maintained the same ideology 55SERV. Swibbles are undefined household devices in 64PENT.

Tony Dunklewelt obtains this from the Deity through meditation and slays the Form Destroyer with it. But we find that it was Bert Kosler he killed in reality 70MAZE


see ant tank.


part of the Directorate – telepaths. The corps is a family, above man. Teeping is like hearing – if people within range think, you’ll pick it up. Teeps all come from San Fransico because during the Final War a soviet missile hit research installations at Livermore – survivours badly BATHED. Teeps are all descendants of Earl and Verna Phillips…teeps find out every strategy devised to beat minimax. Teeps find assassins and make his job very difficult. Have a SUPRALOBE which if destroyed nulls their power.

Colony from which Seth Morley and his wife set off for Delmak-O 70MAZE. PKD tells us that Tekkel Upharsim means “he has weighed and now they divide” in Aramaic, but I’ve no idea what the significance of this is. It’s a reference to the biblical story of (some king) who saw, literally, the handwriting on the wall. What the hand wrote was “Mene Mene Tekkel Upharsim”. I’d be grateful for any further information from any bible-readers out there…

Strange creatures which inhabit Delmak-O. The less feeble of which are capable of printing (cf 56PAPR) .If a tench prints a pen, the copy decays (“puddles”), but the ink in writing remains ok. Questions to the Grand Tench can be asked by placing pieces of paper in front of it. An answer is exuded from the body on a similar piece of paper (Tench have no vocal organs). Back on the Persus 9, TENCH 889B is the ship’s computer 70MAZE.

Weapon of terror (obviously enough) 67ZAPG?

some sort of telepathic measure of stress

presumably a thing that is best described as a thing; cruel, cold and sterile Pris Frauenzimmer is described as such in 68WEBY.

Process of using a hot iron to melt deeper grooves into the bodies of already bald tires. Occupation of Nick Appleton in 70OFFF. Outlawed by Gram in this novel.

An example of a small thing that isn’t a toy in 70MAZE. Compared with the mechanical flies and bees that monitor the colonists.

we don’t find out what turrets are – but Cartwright worked at a turret factory as a mechanic.


Ubik itself is a spray to stop objects regressing to a form they had in earlier time, e.g. a TV goes back to a valve radio. Trouble is, Ubik itself regresses to a point where it’s magic ingredient isn’t there. It’s a contraction of ubiquity 69UBIK

Unclassifieds – the masses

MacMillan-operated turbine-driven airborne taxi



very large “window” with a variable translucent filter

Used by the Russians to test for mental illness – you have to classify the blocks correctly.68WEBY

like a video disc for 3D films. A film of a Tolkien story is watched in 70MAZE.

The test that is used to differentiate androids from real human beings. 68DADO

Alien invaders in 63GAME


The manifestation of the Deity (in 70MAZE) that travels the universe helping folk in the Specktowsky period. He advises Seth Morely that the Morbid Chicken will not get them to Delmak-O. A kind of “anti-person from Porlock, instead of interfering with a good process or event, he…”

The Martian replica of 1935 Washington DC which Kathy Sweetscent’s Artiforg-supported boss Virgil Ackerman maintains as a hobby to remember his boyhood. Note that PKD was a small boy in 1935, so Virgil’s memories of this time were probably adapted from PKD’s.

Western Democracies? one side in the war that preceded the events in 64PENT

Type of car in 66NWLY

The robot in 69GAPH who insists you always say “Willis, …” when addressing it

An alien/Martian 400lb pig-like organism in 52BWUB. But when killed, it seems to take possession of your mind – so the 400lb pig might just be a victim of the wub. The Wub also appears in 68NOCO, which deals with a Wub and the Water Union and the power struggle that plays large in 64MATS. Wubs are mentioned but never seen in 69GAPH

A commonly encountered (sometimes) expensive material (used as mink would be used, I guess). A wub is a creature that invades/takes the form of other creatures 52BWUB, so it shouldn’t really have a “fur”…this is a typical PKD in-joke….wubfur is used to make carpets and slippers in 64PENT. There’s also a short story (Vol 5 I think) in which the Wubfur is used to bind books and the Wubfur alters the text of the book to suit it’s idealogical standpoint. So they decide to bind a bible in it. Also found in 65STIG.


(from Yahweh, or Jehovah, “God”) The Supreme Being as featured in 81DIVI. A pagan deity who has great plans for a theological overtaking of Earth by appearing on the little planet of CY30-CY30B, secretly impregnating the Terran emigrant Rybys Rommey, instructing her emigrant colleague Herb Asher to marry her and sending them to Earth so that He will be reborn there as a human being (talk about mysterious ways).

President. And when he died, they made a robot to do his job 64PENT. President Yancy is also discussed in 55YANC.

sex 70MAZE ✪


Frank Zappa: Statement To Congress, September 19, 1985


[Timothy C. May] The Crypto Anarchist Manifesto