“What the Dead Men Say” is a science fiction novella by Philip K. Dick first published in Worlds of Tomorrow magazine in June 1964. The manuscript, originally titled “Man With a Broken Match”, was received by Dick’s agent on 15 April 1963.
Death is followed by a period of ‘ half-life ‘, which may be long-lived, potentially, long-lived. When Louis Sarapis fails, it’s clearly more than negligent. Sure enough, Sarapis is starting from beyond the grave. From outer space , in fact. Yet no-one seems terribly bothered, other than those directly concerned in the plot mechanics. Eventually entire communications networks (phones, TV, radio) are blocked by Sarapis’ broadcasts.
The concept of ‘half-life’ was used again and developed in Dick’s 1969 novel Ubik , which even re-uses a page of the novella verbatim.
“Do not try to solve serious matters in the middle of the night.”
“Do you think Gam has a chance this time?” Kathy asked.
“No, not really, but miracles in politics do happen, look at Richard Nixon’s incredible comeback in 1968.”