“Something is wrong. I don’t mean with you or me or with any person. I mean in general." --Ragle Gumm

Monday, January 2, 2012

Clans of the Alphane Moon (1964)

So here they are at the end: two people in love, who only hours ago wanted to murder each other, conversing about their new life on the Alphane moon, how they will create a new clan consisting of themselves, Chuck and Mary Rittersdorf; Chuck’s telepathic mentor, a Ganymedean slime mold named Lord Running Clam; perhaps their Terran children, if they can be smuggled off their home planet; and perhaps a few of the less insane members of the clans of the psychotic inhabitants of the moon, who have established themselves in different towns grouped according to their particular psychoses: paranoids, depressives, schizophrenics, obsessive-compulsives, manics, and the saintly untouchables. And so here they are--dreaming of their new clan, Chuck and Mary holding hands, looking up at the sky from where a fleet of space ships carrying giant Alphane insects are landing to guarantee the sovereignty of the psychotics in their self-governance through an agreement negotiated by a Terran guy named Bunny, who is a master of manipulation, TV entertainer, an ally of the Alphanes, and an aficionado of women with perfectly shaped breasts, artificially enhanced or no.

If this is the kind of stuff that makes you laugh, be careful about how hard you laugh, especially when that laughter pitches up to the  high shriek that shreds your defenses and gets you thinking about which clan you belong to, or who’s telling your story, or if that really is the ground beneath your feet. And if you are somber about these things and you find them floating randomly in the nowhere place inside you, you can start up your own clan on your own moon with a membership of one. Laughing or brooding about this novel brings you to the same place. Clans of the Alphane Moon is not about psychosis. It is psychosis.

“There is no protection. Being alive means being exposed; it’s the nature of life to be hazardous—it’s the stuff of living.”  --Annette Golding, polymorphic schizophrenic in Philip K. Dick's Clans of the Alphane Moon