Dayworld, p.1Philip José Farmer
From Philip Jose Farmer, award-winning author of the bestselling Riverworld novels, comes Dayworld, the first book in a completely new series even more dazzling and innovative.
Centuries from now, man has come up with a strikingly simple answer to overpopulation: A person is given one day a week to live, work and play. For the other six days, he is “stoned”—placed in suspended animation until his day rolls around again. In effect, his body lives for seven times a lifetime in a world that has seven different realities. All seven are worlds of plenty and peace; yet even in paradise the dark side of human existence is not far below the surface. There is still passion, ambition and crime, including the major new crime of the 35th century, “day-breaking.” Because they possess a substance that prolongs life seven times the normal span, a few men and women are able to “break day,” or live seven different lives, one on each day of the week.
Jeff Caird is typical of these near-immortal day-breakers. On Tuesday his legal personality is that of a police officer; on Thursday he is a fencing instructor in a group marriage; on Friday a writer; and on Sunday he is Father Tom, a celibate priest in a wacky, cosmic religion that practices marathon sessions of therapeutic “confession.” But Caird realizes that life in these best of all possible worlds is not all it’s made out to be. When he discovers that the authorities are on to him and that his fellow day-breakers are more than willing to kill him if he endangers their secret, a chase ensues, treating the reader to an astonishing variety of life-styles in a Manhattan far different from today’s. As Jeff is pursued, one entity dissolves into another, and as he juggles his seven roles, he finds they are juggling him.
One of America’s finest science fiction writers, Philip Jose Farmer has written a brilliant novel of speculation about the future and man’s talent for solving new problems that is both visionary and rooted in modem dilemmas. Dayworld will become a new classic of ideas and high adventure.
Also by Philip Jose Farmer
THE RIVER WORLD SERIES
To Your Scattered Bodies Go
The Fabulous Riverboat
The Dark Design
The Magic Labyrinth
Riverworld and Other Stories
Gods of Riverworld
Night of Light
Inside * Outside
The Book of Philip Jose Farmer
A Woman a Day
The Unreasoning Mask
A Barnstormer in Oz
G. P. PUTNAM’S SONS
Publishers Since 1838
200 Madison Avenue
New York, NY 10016
Copyright © 1985 by Philip Jose Farmer
All rights reserved. This book, or parts
thereof, may not be reproduced in
any form without permission.
Published simultaneously in Canada by
General Publishing Co. Limited, Toronto
LIBRARY OF CONGRESS CATALOGING IN PUBLICATION DATA
Farmer, Philip Jose.
PS3556.A 72D34 1984 813'.54 84-17978
Printed in the United States of America
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
To my latest grandchild, Thomas José Josephsohn, born March 25, 1983. May he live to be old and be always as bright, friendly, outgoing, cheerful, curious, and healthy as he is now.
My thanks to Father James D. Shaughnessy of Peoria for his counsel and stimulating ideas re future popes. Any opinions and conclusions herein about seven simultaneous popes are, however, my responsibility, not his.
About the Author
The Sliced-Crosswise Only-on-Tuesday World
The basis or springboard for this novel is my short story “The-Sliced-Crosswise-Only-On-Tuesday-World.” This took place in A.D. 2214 (old style) or N.E. 130 (new style): N.E. stands for New Era, and N.E. 130 indicates the one hundred and thirtieth year after the official beginning of the “stoner” society.
The events of Dayworld occur in A.D. 3414 or N.E. 1330. Thirteen hundred and thirty years have passed since the start of the New Era, N.E. 1.
Though there are twelve hundred years between the events of the short story and the novel, only seven and a half generations (arithmetically speaking) have been born. The reason for this will become apparent during the course of the novel.
In the future, the U.S.A. will have to adopt the metric and twenty-four-hour time systems. I use the present systems for the convenience of the American reader.
Some contemporary English words have different meanings in the New Era culture. These changes should be obvious.
Do not be confused because some of the male characters have female names and some females have male names. Times change; customs die.
The protagonist of Dayworld is an outlaw, a daybreaker. He lives by the horizontal calendar.
For an explanation of the horizontal and vertical calendars, refer to the illustration on the next page.
The calendar is “vertical,” not our present-day “horizontal” calendar. Our calendars present the seven days of the week as if we moved through time horizontally. Sunday precedes Monday, and Monday precedes Tuesday, and by the time we have reached next Sunday, we have stepped off onto another horizontal chronological path.
The New Era or “stoner” society uses a “vertical” calendar. Reason: One-seventh of the world’s population lives on only one day of the week. To put it another way, six-sevenths of the world’s population is in a “stoned” or “suspended-animation” state for six days of each week. Sunday’s people live on Sunday only; Monday’s, on Monday, and so forth.
At the end of one passage of Earth around the sun, a Sunday citizen has lived only fifty-two days. If born in, say, N.E. 100, that person has been on Earth two hundred years by N.E. 300. But that person is not quite twenty-nine years old in physiological development. If that person has been on Earth for six hundred years, he or she is not quite eighty-six years old in terms of aging.
The stoner culture greatly reduces the demand for food and goods, amount of pollution, and living space required. If the global population is, say, ten billion, then, on each day, only a little over one billion, four hundred and twenty-eight million, five hundred thousand people are eating food, drinking, using space, and adding trash, junk, and waste matter for disposal.
The New Era government decreed a new calendar for two reasons. One, it wanted to make a clean break with the past. T
The year was divided into thirteen months of four seven-day weeks. The end of the year was followed by a zero or lost day to ensure that there were three hundred and sixty-five days in the year. During leap years, an extra zero or lost day was added. Everybody except a minimum number of firefighters, police, administrators, and so on was kept in the stoned state.
The citizens would, of course, refer to two different types of time. Objective time, that is, time as measured by the annual circling of the Earth around the sun and Earth’s spinning, would be termed obyears, obmonths, and obweeks. Subjective time, that is, the actual number of days, weeks, months, and years a person has lived, would be subdays, subweeks, submonths, and subyears.
The names of the months are, in order of succession, Unity, Variety, Joy, Hope, Comradeship, Love, Freedom, Plenty, Peace, Knowledge, Wisdom, Serenity, and Fulfillment. These are also the Thirteen Principles upon which the New Era society is supposedly based.
Organic Commonwealth of Earth
North American Ministering Organ
Manhattan total population: 2,100,000
Manhattan daily population: 300,000
Greenwich Village District
House on corner of Bleecker Street
and Kropotkin Canal (formerly the
Avenue of the Americas)
VARIETY, Second Month of N.E. 1330
D5-W1 (Day-Five, Week-One)
Time Zone 5, 12:15 A.M.
When the hounds bay, the fox and the hare are brothers.
Today, Jeff Caird, the fox, would hear the hounds.
At the moment, he could not hear anything because he was standing in a soundproof cylinder. If he had been outside it, he still would have heard nothing. Except for himself and a few organics, firefighters, and technicians, he was the only living person in the city.
A few minutes before entering the cylinder and closing its door, he had slid back a small panel in the wall. Behind the control panel in the wall recess was a tiny device he had long ago connected to the power circuits. He had voice-activated the device, thus ensuring that “destoning” power would not be applied to the cylinder he now occupied.
Though power was absent, the city monitoring computer would receive false data that power had been turned on in his cylinder.
His cylinder or “stoner” was like those of all other healthy adults. It stood on one end, had a round window a foot in diameter in the door, and was made of gray paper. The paper, however, was permanently “stoned,” and thus was indestructible and always cool.
Nude, his feet planted on a thick disc set in the middle of the cylinder, he waited. The inflated facsimile of himself had been deflated and was in the shoulderbag on the cylinder floor.
The figures in the other cylinders in the room were nonliving things whose molecules had been electromagnetically commanded to slow down. Result: a hardening throughout the body, which became unbreakable and unburnable, though a diamond could scratch it. Result: a lowering of body temperature, though it was not so low that it caused moisture to precipitate in the ambient air.
Suddenly, in one cylinder in the room and in hundreds of thousands of others in the silent city, automatically applied power surged from the discs and through the statuelike bodies. Like a cue stick slamming into a group of billiard balls, the power struck the lazy molecules of the body. The balls scattered and kept on moving at the rate determined by Nature. The heart of the destoned person, unaware that it had been stopped, completed the beat. Exactly fifteen minutes after midnight, the people of Tuesday’s Manhattan were no longer uneatable and unrottable pumpkins. For the next twenty-three hours and thirty minutes, they could be easily wounded or killed.
He pushed the door open and stepped into a large basement room. He bent slightly from the waist, causing the ID badge hung from a chain around his neck to swing out. As he straightened up, the green disc surrounded by a seven-pointed star settled back against his solar plexus.
The sourceless light had come on when destoning power had been applied. As he did every Tuesday morning, he saw the shadowless light-green walls, the four-foot-wide TV strips running from ceiling to floor, the thick brown carpet with a swirling green pattern, the clock strip, and twenty-three cylinders and coffin-shaped boxes, the “stoners.” Twenty frozen faces were framed by the round windows. Twelve seniors (adults) in the vertical cylinders. Eight juniors, young children, lying horizontally in the boxes and facing the ceiling.
A few seconds after he had left his stoner, a woman stepped out of hers. Ozma Fillmore Wang was short, slender, full-breasted, and long-legged. Her cheekbones were broad and high on her heart-shaped face. Her large black eyes had slight epicanthic folds. Her long hair was straight, black, and glossy. Large white teeth shone when she flashed a wide-lipped smile.
She wore nothing except her ID disc-star, lipstick, eye shadow, and a great green grasshopper painted on her body. It was standing up on its back legs, and her black-painted nipples formed the centers of the black staring eyes. Sometimes, when Jeff was making love to his wife, he had the feeling that he was coupled with an insect.
She came to him, and they kissed. “Good morning, Jeff.”
“Good morning, Ozma.”
She turned and led him into the next room. He reached out to pat her egg-shaped buttock, then withdrew his hand. The slightest encouragement would inflame her. She would want to make love on the carpet in front of the unseeing witnesses in the cylinders. He thought that it was childish to do this, but she was, in some ways, childish. She preferred to call herself childlike. OK. All good artists were childlike. To them every second birthed a new world, each more astonishing and awesome than the previous. However…was Ozma a good artist?
What did he care? He loved her for herself, whatever that meant.
The other room contained chairs, sofas, tables, a Ping-Pong table, an exercising machine, a pool table, TV wall strips, a door to a bathroom, and a door to the utility room. Ozma turned just outside this door and went up the steps to a hail. On their left was the kitchen. They turned right, went down a short hall, and turned right to the steps. The upstairs held four bedrooms, each with a bathroom. Ozma preceded him into the nearest bedroom, which lit up as they entered.
At one end of the large room, by some shuttered windows, was a king-size bed. At another wall, by a large round window, was a table with a large mirror. Nearby were shelves holding big plastic boxes containing brushes, combs, and cosmetics. Each box bore the name of its owner.
Along one wall was a series of doors with name-plaques. Jeff inserted a point of his ID star into a hole in the door bearing his name and Ozma’s. It slid open, and a light came on, revealing shelves holding their personal-property clothing. From a shelf at eye level, he picked out a crumpled ball of cloth, turned, placed a section between his thumb and first finger, and snapped the ball. It unrolled with a crack of electrical sparks from its hem and became a long, smooth Kelly-green robe. He put it on and tied a belt around his waist. From another shelf he took two socks and a pair of shoes. After putting these on, he sealed the tops of the shoes with a firm pressure of fingers.
Ozma straightened up from her inspection of the bedclothes.
“Clean and done according to specifications,” she said.
“Monday’s always been good about house duties. We’re luckier than some I know. I only hope Monday doesn’t move to another house.”
She spoke a codeword. A wall sprang into light and life, a three-dimensional view of a jungle composed of gigantic grass blades. Presently, some blades bent, and a thing with bulging black insect eyes looked at the two humans. Its antennae quiver
“For God’s sake,” Jeff said. “Tone it down.”
“It soothes me to sleep,” she said. “Not that I feel like sleeping just now.”
“I’d like to wait until we’ve had a good rest. It’s always better then.”
“Oh, I don’t know,” Ozma said. “Why don’t we give it a scientific test? Do it before sleep and after and then compare notes?”
“That’s the difference between forty and twenty-five. Believe me, I know.”
She laughed and said, “We’re not a December-April match, darling.”
She lay down on the bed, her arms and legs spread out.
“The Castle Ecstatic is undefended, and its drawbridge is down. Charge on in, Sir Galahad, with your trusty lance.”
“I’m afraid I might fall into the moat,” he said, grinning.
“You bastard! Are you trying to make me mad again? Charge on in, faint-hearted knight, or I’ll slam the portcullis down on you!”
“You’ve been watching reruns of The Knights of the Round Table,” he said.
“They turn me on, all those violent men on their big horses and maidens ravished by three-headed ogres. All those spears thrusting. Come on, Jeff! Play along with me!”
“I seek the Holy Grail,” he said as he eased down. “However, it’s more like the Holy Gruel.”
“Can I help it if I overlubricate? You keep this up, and I’ll paint you brown and flush you down the toilet. Don’t spoil it for me, Jeff. I have to fantasize.”
He thought, Whatever happened to good old unimaginative sex? But he said, “I’ve just taken a vow of silence. Think of me as the mad monk of Sherwood Forest.”
“Don’t stop talking. You know I love it when you talk dirty.”
Fifteen minutes later, she said, “Did you apply for a permit?”
“No,” he said, breathing hard. “I forgot.”
She rolled over to face him. “You said you wanted a child.”
“Yes. Only…you know I had so much trouble with Ariel. I wonder if I really want another child.”
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