Sunday, February 13, 2005

Confession: I like Dick

While perusing the company library, I stumbled across Philip K. Dick's The man in the High Castle. Dick was a sci-fi author in the 50s and 60s who is now widely known for his work being turned into movies such as: Blade Runner, Total Recall & Minority Report. He spent a long period of his life in San Francisco, so it comes to no surprise that he writes often of the city.

TMITHC takes place in 1962. FDR's assassination led to a serious change of events: the US doesn't enter WWII, allowing the Germans to whoop the Allies and the Japanese to whoop the US; and now America has been divied up by the conquerers. Along the way, those oh-so-lovable Nazis emptied the Mediterranean for farmland, wiped out the blacks and the Jews of the lands they controlled, sent astronauts to the moon and Mars, and take control of the world economy.

In the US, marijuana cigarettes are smoked for pleasure (legally...remember, he's from SF and he wrote this in 1962...wishful thinking on his part), Americana (antique Zippo lighters and Mickey Mouse watches) is desired by rich Japanese collectors, and people are starting to read a book that tells of an alternative where England and the US were the victors of WWII. The book is banned in German controlled areas, but freely read in the Middle West of America and the Pacific States of America.

I am now inspired to add Dick to my writers-I-should-read-more-of list. What do you think...which of his works should I read next?

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