PHILIP K. DICK

NOVELS

A Maze of Death

NOTES

A fast-paced and generally enjoyable trip. Despite an ending that becomes obvious much sooner than it should—the author appears to be the last to know what happens—the dynamics between the characters retains reader interest throughout.

The world that Dick paints within the forest seems otherworldly, magickal, intoxicating, terrifying and beautiful. It absolutely demands and rightfully deserves respect.

How can it be possible that we take our natural world for granted with such ease?

A Scanner Darkly

NOTES

Working on it, check back soon.

Clans of the Alphane Moon

NOT YET READ

Confessions of a Crap Artist

NOT YET READ

Counter-Clock World

NOT YET READ

Deus Irae

NOT YET READ

Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?

NOTES

Honestly, 2049 may have ruined Blade Runner for me. I find that it's safest to imagine this book living a very quiet life, surrounded by nature, isolated from the rest of the population, and as far away from the silver screen as possible.

Dr. Bloodmoney

NOT YET READ

Dr. Futurity

NOT YET READ

Eye in the Sky

NOTES

Working on it, check back soon.

Flow My Tears, the Policeman Said

NOTES

Either a colourful work of evangelical advocacy for psychedelic drugs or a stark warning label on the side of some pill bottle as big as a conapt building about possible side effects. Actually, I'm starting to think it's both at the same time, but the unmistakable moral of the story is: distrust cops and celebs in equal measure. Wait, did I read it right?

Galactic Pot-Healer

NOT YET READ

Gather Yourselves Together

NOT YET READ

Humpty Dumpty in Oakland

NOT YET READ

In Milton Lumky Territory

NOT YET READ

Martian Time-Slip

NOTES

At the time of reading, my own son—who is also diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder—was just about the same age as the Manfred Steiner character; a fact that provided a strange personal backdrop.

Much of the discussion surrounding this book is about it's portrayal of mental health, so I was surprised when it was actually the passages concerned with the role of education in this fictional Martian society that most intrigued me.

For the values of a society were in ceaseless flux, and the Public School was an attempt to stablize those values, to jell them at a fixed point—to embalm them.

Those words resonate at a frequency similiar to John Dewey's indictment of "traditional" schools in Education & Experience. Dick's Public School is an automated bureaucracy. Operations are handled by the Master Circuit. Students are taught by AI computer programs. These days it's not a far reach to imagine our own public school systems looking quite similar, but what are the risks involved? What might that kind of learning environment mean in terms of what Dewey describes as the "continuity of experience"—the ongoing influence of past experiences through which our future experiences are just accumulations of the past interacting with our present situation? Does this school structure provide ongoing positive experiences for all students? Can artifical intelligences and machinized social hierarchies give students the full spectrum of experience required to nurture and grow their interests?

Dick refers to the role of his Public School as being "not to inform or educate, but to mold, and along severely limited lines". His speculative vision of education, despite being disguised in "progressive" technology, is still very much a part of that which Dewey calls the "traditional". As our reality gets pulled more and more into Dick's dark vision of the future, we must avoid the urge to consider such issues as having only "either-or" binary solutions. There are an infinite number of points on the sliding scale of educational approaches to explore, and as our society, our values, our media and our technology change, likewise our public schools must be designed flexibly enough to respond to these changes in order to facilitate positive educational experiences to students for the benefit of our collective future(s).

Mary and the Giant

NOT YET READ

Nick and the Glimmung

NOT YET READ

Now Wait for Last Year

NOT YET READ

Our Friends from Frolix 8

NOT YET READ

Puttering About in a Small Land

NOT YET READ

Radio Free Albemuth

NOT YET READ

Solar Lottery

NOT YET READ

The Cosmic Puppets

NOT YET READ

The Crack in Space

NOT YET READ

The Divine Invasion

NOT YET READ

The Game-Players of Titan

NOT YET READ

The Ganymede Takeover

NOT YET READ

The Man in the High Castle

NOTES

If you squint your eyes at the first few pages of the first edition of this book, you may be able to decipher a few words or phrases from an English translation of a certain Borges story. Can you see it? I won't spoil it for you by giving the name of the story.

The Borges text appears to be written on some obscured layer, hidden beneath the layer containing Dick's words. The layers are bridged by a haze, making the lower layer look quite faint, out of focus. I have two theories on how this anomaly came to be, though I will not discuss them at length here: one involves a simple printing error, the other a series of 'clues' that Dick scattered throughout the work, many of which remain undiscovered today, their purpose still unknown. In either case, it doesn't seem as though the author concealed this layer from the reader intentionally—if he knew that it was there, waiting to be found, he was letting the reader in on something; if he was unaware of its presence and this is all just a mix up, any connection between the texts must exist only in the mind of the reader—the author should not be considered at fault in any way. And yet, beneath the aforementioned layers there appears to be another; a third voice, some other pen. Many times I've tried but I cannot make out any of the words to discover whose they may be. Whether or not even more layers exist beyond these which I have observed, I can only speculate. Online searches have provided little insight on the matter, but I have heard of very rare instances where ultraviolet light has been used at modulating wavelengths to attempt to bring the buried layers to the fore. One such claim boasts of having seen dozens of layers of different voices, another reports that the layer directly below the Borges story is a personal correspondence between Kant and Mendelssohn. I believe these accounts are mere rumour, but have decided that it's worth mentioning the technique that was allegedly used for the sake of encouraging further experimentation with the aim of viewing or visually restacking the layers.

Something that continues to puzzle me: Dick finished writing this book in November of 1961, it wasn't until the following year that Borges' work saw its first English language publication.

The Man Who Japed

NOTES

The sun was setting over some Great Lake. Beyond the boardwalk, sand dunes gave way to a mossy beach; it felt cool on the bottoms of my feet. I walked toward the water with ten or twelve carefully gathered stones stored in my t-shirt, having held the bottom seam out in front of me with one hand in order to create a sort of basket. The stones were round, flat, smooth. Stepping out into the water—ankle-deep—I stood with my feet apart, my knees slightly bent, and my whole body leaning to my right. One by one I threw the stones, watching them skip softly across the surface of the lake. Each created a series of radiating circles—ripple effects dancing upon some endless phone screen—as it ran off into the brilliant red-violet sunset, always getting lost in the light instead of sinking into the water.

The Man Whose Teeth Were All Exactly Alike

NOT YET READ

The Penultimate Truth

NOT YET READ

The Simulacra

NOT YET READ

The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch

NOTES

Working on it, check back soon.

The Transmigration of Timothy Archer

NOT YET READ

The Unteleported Man

NOT YET READ

The World Jones Made

NOT YET READ

The Zap Gun

NOT YET READ

Time Out of Joint

NOT YET READ

Ubik

NOTES

Working on it, check back soon.

VALIS

NOTES

Working on it, check back soon.

Voices from the Street

NOT YET READ

Vulcan's Hammer

NOT YET READ

We Can Build You

NOT YET READ