Липар 82 (2023) (стр. 107-121)

АУТОР(И) / AUTHOR(S): Mirko Ž. Šešlak


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DOI: 10.46793/LIPAR82.107S


The article aims to explore whether the text of Philip K. Dick’s Ubik constructs a natural (physi- cally possible) or a supernatural (physically impossible) fictional world. According to Darko Suvin, one of the fundamental traits of science fiction is that its texts construct natural, physically possible fictional worlds. Readers of science fiction have often complained of Ubik, regarding it a confusing work, riddled with supernatural impurities and a lack of precise explanations. The betrayal of these expectations often casts doubt on whether this novel is science-fictional or a work of fantasy. If we aim to determine whether the fictional world of Ubik belongs to the possible worlds of science fiction, the theoretical framework for such a task can be found in Lubomir Doležel’s possible worlds theory. To do this, we must analyze the alethic constraints of the given fictional world, for those narrative modalities govern the formation of the fic- tional world’s physical laws and determine what is possible, impossible and necessary within its boundaries. If our analysis shows that the alethic constraints present in Ubik are analogous to the physical laws of the real world, we will prove that this fictional world is physically pos- sible and therefore possesses one of the fundamental traits of science fiction, naturalness. If our analysis shows otherwise, the fictional world of Ubik can be relegated to the supernatural, physically impossible worlds of fantasy.


Ubik, Suvin, science fiction, Doležel, natural possible worlds, supernatural worlds


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