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New Ending For The Novel Ubik English Literature Essay

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: English Literature
Wordcount: 2112 words Published: 1st Jan 2015

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Plausible new ending for the novel “Ubik” by Philip K. Dick

“Ubik” is everywhere and “Ubik” is all-knowing. Philip Dick in this book shared a side of science fiction very unique and intriguing which caught the attention of many and his reputation shot up in last quarter of the century. Although “Ubik” did not win any major awards and many failed to recognize it as a major scientific novel, it was recognized by the Time magazine among the best English novel published from the year 1923 to 2005. In this novel, he combined the uneasiness associated with life gone wrong with comedy traits to come up with such an intriguing work of fiction. The reader is given an opportunity to explore the nature of reality and the perception of the human kind regarding reality in this comedy like novel. The readers explore reality in a unique but peculiar way, as they try to differentiate between reality and imagination, fiction and physical manifestation and if not carefully read, the reader might think there is correct right direction.

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The story written in the year 1969 depicts a North American Confederation in 1992 where technology has advanced to a state allowing normal civilians to visit the moon. Glen Runciter owns an anti-psi security agency where Chip works in. the anti-psi security is hired by individuals to protect them against paranormal dirty tricks and telepathic snooping. The company in hired by a business man, Stanton Mick to protect his company’s lunar amenities from telepaths. Joe chip and Pat Conley are part of squad selected for this lunar operation. After their arrival to the moon, they found that it was a trap and the explosion kills their leader who is rushed back to the world to be place in half life, an informally known condition called “cold pack”.

The preceding shifts in reality forms the basis of this novel. The main shift is however messages they receive from Runciter including the existence of coins with his portrait, messages from television and posters; all implying that he is in fact alive. This combined with other occurrences like the premature deterioration of consumables like cigarettes and milk lead to Chip’s discovery that Runciter is alive, and themselves are the ones placed in “cold pack”. The name “Ubik” is derived from a certain substance which is being advertised in every time period they travel. Ubik gave individuals the power to survive and thrive in “Half life”. As the story ends, we are shown Glen Runciter in the living world, who receives several coins whose head shows the portrait of Joe chip. He is alarmed that this is the beginning.

Runciter starts a series of communication to the “half life” with the believe that his massages would reach Joe chip who can come for his rescue. He suspects that Jory Miller has consumed the others in his regressing world. The war with Jory is now on as he has devoured enough individuals to gain the powers to engage in the real world. The Joe Chips coins were the beginning of his messages to Runciter. The real world was now in danger and the only answer was “Ubik” which was in the “half dead’s” world with Joe Chip. After sending several messages to Joe Chip unsuccessfully, he discovered that Jory was intercepting many of them and he could not reach Joe properly. What he needed was a plan, and he needed to have one as fast as possible.

Life was taking a turn swiftly and his company was deteriorating swiftly. The prudence organization was loosing many of its employees who had power to deal with psychic powers. It all started with Pat Conley. She received several coins with Joe’s face and after a month, she started hallucinating and getting confused for nothing. Little did she discover that she was loosing her powers. After a day, she possessed no Parapsychological ability and she could not change any past events. She was later found dead and consumed by the company’s matron on her rounds after a night.

The investigation to this event was not easy. Glen Runciter convened a panel of the best investigators and also included some of the best employees he had. The panel was headed by Vincent, a loyal employee of the company who had anti-telepath powers. He first blocked all psychic powers from interfering with the panel’s minds except one psychic power. This he could not prevent and he did not know exactly who it was directed to or where it came from. Given his credentials on anti-telepath, this frightened him. After a fortnight, the only evidence the panel could get about Pat Conley’s death was that she was devoured by unknown powerful spirit which had transversed the half- dead’s world to the real world and back. The though of such an occurrence frightened Runciter.

That evening, he received a message from his wife. She was in distress as half life had been invaded by Jory Miller who had discovered that after consuming a certain number of Half-life creatures; he could gain the power to move to the real world in the spirit form unlike the normal reincarnation. They discussed a lot and brain stormed on possible strategies of capturing Jory Miller or reducing some of his powers. When Ella heard about the mysterious death of Pat, she was very sorry for her, but much infuriated for being kept outside the loop as an important person of the organization. Ella asked her husband, “Why are my being the last person to know about this death? I have always thought I mattered in the running of this organization.” Runciter replied, “It is greater than you know, I did not want to get you involved that much”.

The panel’s investigation continued and revealed with “Ubik”, it will be possible to destroy Jory for good. This can only happen in the real world. As the panel finalized the report on this finding, another thing happened. The whole panel was killed before they could pass this information to Runciter. Their bodies were found at a small distance from the company’s offices. Just like the other bodies, they were found in a gruesome state of decomposition.

“Prudence organization” was loosing employees at a high rate and within a few months, they could not do any business and had to be closed. Runciter could take long walks in the company’s premises and recall those days when every thing was working alright. He took one hall and made it his office, library and laboratory too. This was the place where he could escape to and receive all complains and reexamine the reported cases from different parts of the world. It did not take long before his wife was killed by Jory Miller in a ruthless manner. Psychic powers were overwhelming the world at an alarming rate with the most individuals who had anti-telepath powers being killed. He was tried more than he could take and he used the last resources he had to give this situation the last chance to save the world. In one of his rounds in his organization, he ran into one detail he had for many times sought to possess; he got a piece of information that the panel had discovered. This was the in information about the power of “Ubik”. He had always though that “Ubik” only had powers to protect individuals but not the powers to destroy Jory and the institution of “half life”. After the lose of his wife, he had less to loose and he was determined to destroy all the evil associated with “half life”. He needed to device another way of communicating to Joe to let him know what was happening and to get “Ubik” with which he would destroy Jory Miller. He also needed to warn Joe that he will have to make this sacrifice for the sake of the real world.

Joe received a coin with Runcifer’s face. He sprayed himself with “Ubik” and went to look for Runcifer’s message in the designated place; either through television or written messages. When he got it, he knew that Runciter needed some “Ubik” which had never existed in the real world before. He decided to do all what it takes to help his friend and former employer.

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When Runciter got the next few coins with Joe’s face, he knew what to do. He went to a company which had specialized in making time travel machines. With time travel capabilities, he was in a position to travel back in time in an attempt to meet Joe in one of the many times he traveled backward in time. With this ability, the time travel machine would allow him to get the aerosol “Ubik” which would not only make him untouchable, but also he would use it to finish Jory Miller.

The company sold him one of their best time travel machines which he took to his lab. He carefully studied materials especially significant sites he could get from specific times which he would use as land marks. He spend significant amount of time making the necessary changes and preparing for this significant occasion of his life time. He borrowed pictures from libraries and studies significant times in history which he intended to travel. With all the preparations done, he engaged his time travel and placed the appropriate imaginations in place. Lights went on from all directions and he could not see or hear anything. He floated into timelessness.

When he woke up he was in a different time in history. He looked around, but what he saw did not fascinate him. He was horrified. He had missed the intended time in history and even the specific location he intended to go. Instead he emerged in Africa deep in the jungles with lions and hostile hunters who were flabbergasted by his white skin and thought he was a god. Fortunately enough, he still had his time travel machine and all the images he had collected from libraries. He carefully loaded all the images resembling the United States in 1920 and once again tried to travel one more this time with remarkable success. When he emerged in 1920s, he climbed the top of a few buildings trying to locate the presence of Joe Chip as they had communicated. He traveled all day and sought access to the highest buildings in the city. Just as he was about to give up, he found it. He found a clue that Joe Chip had already reached this time in history. But most importantly, he got the clue of his next destination. It was in a form of a coin with the image of a common friend they had in the inception of “prudence organization”. When he reached his time machine, he located all the pictures he could get from that time and created the appropriate image. He then traveled to that particular time and luckily enough, he got it right.

After spending a few days looking for Joe Chip, he received the coins with Joe’s face once more and he knew he was near. After receiving a few more, he stationed himself at the point where he received the last coin. Here he waited for a full day until in the evening when Joe Chip showed up. He looked extremely tired and afraid too. He told him all the powers Jory Miller had been able to possess in the recent past and confessed the need for the urgency to finish him. He gave him “Ubik”, the life giving substance which he intended to finish him with. To Joe, this was like a suicide mission; he no longer had protection to survive in “Half Life.” He however gave him the real bait to trap him; he cut his hand and wrapped it for him.

Runciter was all tears as he embarked on his final destination; the trip to the real world at the current time. When he emerged in his laboratory, he quickly embarked on setting up the trap for Jory as instructed by Joe Chip. He looked for dead bodies and arranged them in an open field near his office. He then placed Joe’s hand in the middle and he waited alert to ambush him. At night fall, Jory arrived. He was snowy in looks and after throwing some bodies apart, he reached Joe’s hand. As he took hold of him, Runciter attacked with “Ubik” which he had separated into different cans. He blasted him and ran towards him spraying more “Ubik”. Jory tried to no avail to defend himself and within no time he exploded into thin air. This was a moment of relief for Runciter. He knew the battle was at last won and the world and “half life” were well protected.

After a few days, he encountered the first coin showing Jory Miller’s face. He was dumb founded.


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