08 February 2010

PKD

After i got home after watching the Superbowl i finished the last couple chapters of Martian Time-Slip by Philip K Dick. It's a 60's sci-fi novel set on Mars, which has been pretty lackadaisically colonized. The novel starts off so mundane; we follow a few characters about their daily lives. Jack Bohlen is a repairman making his rounds. I thought for a while that the time slip was literally going to be his time card for work! His father Leo is traveling to Mars to buy land that Jack thinks will be worthless. Jack is also struggling with a returning schizophrenic episode. During all this he meets Arnie Kott, the leader of a Union community. Arnie wants to learn the future and has decided that an autistic boy, Manfred Steiner, can see the future. He hires Jack to make contact with the boy to get information or make changes to the past.

The setting is so weird. It really seems to be a Western or could have taken place in rural Australia as it was colonized. The science of Mars is all wrong of course; one character makes a living smuggling foods to Mars by rocket! The expenses would be so enormous that there's no way that would work, even with much faster travel. I think Dick just sets it on Mars to help it qualify as sci-fi for his readership. It wasn't bad at all but not what i was expecting. a 5 from me.

4 comments:

  1. I'm really wanting to read more PKD. The only stories I have read are Minority Report and Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep. I enjoyed them both enough to be interested in trying some of his other novels. Glad you enjoyed it somewhat despite its flaws.

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  2. I've read Do Androids Dream, A Scanner Darkly, and now this one. I'm going to start The Man in the High Castle soon. I like his stuff but it is really weird and trippy.

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  3. "Weird and trippy" is correct! I am wanting read Man in the High Castle as well. I also saw a copy of The Penultimate Truth in the bookstore the other day. I had not heard of it but it looked really interesting.

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  4. I read and enjoyed Do Androids Dream. The only other work of his I have read was the collection-The Golden Man. Both were very good.

    Like many other books, I have this one on my shelf to read. A least you enjoyed some of it. The worst feeling is reading a whole book and not enjoying any of it.

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