A Short Story Review: ‘The Preserving Machine’ Philip K. Dick, (1953)
July 5, 2010 § 5 Comments
THE PRESERVING MACHINE
What an odd and profoundly moving (and disturbing) little gem.
A man visits Dr. Labyrinth who, in the past, had created a machine to transform music into animals — a bach bug, a mozart bird, a beethoven beetle, a deeply colored wagner animal — after experiencing a harrowing yet uplifting vision of a music score with mole-like characteristics burrowing away from the bombs.
However, Dr. Labyrinth, in his role as Creator, forgot that animals change when released into the wild. Thus, when the metamorphosized animal scores are played back through the machine cacophony results. But, not only the sound has been transformed…
Many of the standard Philip K. Dick themes are present in this early story — grouped together succinctly, fluidly, and potently. An uncanny dread ebbs below the surface — highly highly highly recommended.
first appeared in the July, 1953 edition of F&SF….
(since I tend to read volumes of short stories rather haphazardly, these short story reviews will eventually be condensed into one review when I finish the volume, The Collected Stories of Philip K. Dick, Volume 1 by Philip K. Dick)