Discussion in 'Phillip K Dick' started by biodroid, Feb 24, 2009.
Got this one on a sale that was 50% off the sale price. Lucky me. Has anyone read it? Any good?
I tried to read it a while ago but got bored with it. That was probably down to me more than the book tho. Might give it another go next time I see it in the library.
This is quite possibly next on my list of books to read by PKD.
Was it your first ? Have you finished reading a PKD book ?
Yes I've read a few of his including Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep and The Simulacra i think it was called. But his SF tends to be inward looking and I normally read outward looking SF. What I used to call proper SF but I learned was not right to say!
Since i have more PKD books than even RAH you can geuss which type i like.
The reason i like PKD is that he is so inward.
Always when i read space,hard sf etc i need a PKD to bring something different.
Really there are few if any kind of sf i dont like. Maybe those military sf that are only action oriented,look like some online game.
I had an omnibus edition of Valis on my bookshelf for ages and never got round to reading it. Part of me feared it as I was told it can be difficult to read. In the end I left it behind when I moved and had to sell most of my books.
So Biodroid and Fried Egg, did you read it? I just finished it and thought it was pretty cool. Whilst the martian setting is kind of naive by today's standards, it is integral to the story in that it is a frontier environment, bleak (hence the Bleekment) and sufficiently wierd for the story to unfold in. The story itself is pretty typical of PKD, dealing with schizophrenia, obsession, greed, etc. I'd give it a 3.5/5.
I really liked this book.
The way Dick describes these schizophrenic / autistic / alternate mental states and experiences are brillint and really vivid. Totally gripping book.
It's probably not for everyone, and really the only flaw I have with P. K. Dick's novels are that they're too short, and quite often there is a strong anti-Russia/Communism/Socialism/Unionism vibe in there which is really hard to come to terms with.. It's a victim of it's time, I suppose, but having intelligent literature with such a uncomprehensible and alien bias can be challenging.
It's a while since my last reading of Martian Time-Slip, so I can't comment directly on the vibe you mentioned. On the one hand, I know what you mean about Cold War paranoia, the arms race, etc., or I suppose I do. On the other hand, I think nowadays some people are inclined to pooh-pooh the whole thing a little too breezily. I think of the leading leftist commentator Susan Sontag, who said, "Imagine the preposterous case of somebody who read only the Reader's Digest between 1950 and 1970, and somebody else who read only The Nation between 1950 and 1970. Who would be getting more truth about the nature of Communism? There's no doubt it would have been the Reader's Digest reader, and for a specific reason, which I'm sorry I didn't explain, because that too has been misunderstood. It's because the Reader's Digest was open to a lot of immigrant writers and their testimony about life in the Soviet Union."
SUSAN SONTAG - PAST, PRESENT AND FUTURE - NYTimes.com
Thanks for the link..
I think it's a pretty interesting aspect to P. Dick's stories.. Especially those written during the '50s. MTS, for example, is about a colony on Mars and there's no wars or any of that, but the Unionists are made out to be the 'bad guys' hoarding all the resources for themselves, which is essentially capitalist behaviour and the opposite of what any left-wing Union types have ever done on Earth.
I just suppose it's an interesting situation. In the '50s and '60s America was seen as "the good guys" in many places around the world, but half a decade later, through politics, wars for oil, and a death toll of civillians and non-combatants measured in the millions, and so on.. It's just now it is America who is seen by many as the bad guys around the world.
It just makes people under thirty from outside the US border who are reading these books written in the '50s, who are unfamiliar with the concept of America being the 'good guys' and the Russians being the 'bad guys', well it makes the books not only containing whatever craziness the book usually has, but they're all set in an alternate universe where the Americans are the good guys..
Obviously it's not something that really effects the more recent stuff like A Scanner Darkly, the VALIS trilogy, and well other books and stories where there is no war going on in the background..
This is one of my favorite PKD books that I reread every few years, along with High Castle, Ubik, Dr. Bloodmoney, Three Stigmata, DADOES, and Flow My Tears.
The only real disappointment I have ever had was while trying to get through the valis trilogy. I got through the first book, skipping through it, and gave up on the other two. I don't like his autobiographical books. I like his books about alternate realities and people in unimagineable circumstances like Ubik, Three Stigmata etc.
Separate names with a comma.