The first two-thirds of the book is an interesting story originally published as The Unteleported Man. It’s set in 2014. As a solution to Earth’s overcrowding humans have built unsuccessful colonies on the Moon and Mars before they discover an Earth-like planet eighteen lightyears away. This planet can be reached by a teleportation device in only fifteen minutes, but unfortunately it’s a one-way trip.
Millions emigrate there, but Rachmael ben Applebaum suspects that the messages from the planet, claiming how perfect the new settlement is, are faked. He decides to travel eighteen lightyears in his space freighter to find out the truth.
After this we have one-hundred pages of LSD-inspired craziness which Dick wrote as a part two that was inserted into the original story. If you’re wondering why Rachmael is suddenly at the settlement on Whale’s Mouth this is why. It’s fun to read as a lot of Dick’s drug-fueled paranoid visions are, but ultimately it has nothing to do with the end of the book. Rachmael returns just as suddenly to his freighter for the conclusion which wraps up the Unteleported Man story.
Cast of characters
- Rachmael ben Applebaum – son of Maury Applebaum who founded the now-defunct Applebaum enterprises
- Freya Holm – employee of Lies, Inc. assigned to protect Rachmael
- Theodoric Ferry – chairman of the board of THL
- Matson Glazer-Holliday – owner of Lies, Inc.
- Dr. Sepp von Einem – while financed by THL, he built the teleportation device capable of sending humans to Whale’s Mouth in only fifteen minutes
- Herr Horst Berthold – Secretary General of the UN
- Al Dosker – pilot provided by Lies, Inc. to get the Omphalos off of its hiding place on Luna and on its way to Whale’s Mouth
- The Weevils (Shiela Quam, Hank Szantho, Miss de Rungs, Gretchen Borbman) – the group, all supposedly sick with Telpor Syndrome and waiting to be cured, that Rachmael finds himself a part of when he gets to Whale’s Mouth
- Gregory Arnold Gloch – former UN wep-x technician. Defected to THL. Described as “being out of phase in time”
Other things to know
- Lies, Incorporated – Listening Instructional Educational Services. Some sort of police agency
- Applebaum Enterprises – company that provides travel on space freighters. Rendered obsolete after Dr. Einem built his teleportation device
- THL – Trails of Hoffman Limited. They sell Dr. Einem’s Telepor construct at retail stores on Earth
- Whale’s Mouth – the Earth-like ninth planet of the Fomalhaut system. Eighteen light years away
- Omphalos – Applebaum Enterprises sole remaining space freighter
- The True and Complete Economic and Political History of Newcolonizedland by Dr. Bloode – a multi-edition book on Whale’s Mouth that can somehow predict the future I think… not entirely certain