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From the Publisher
Jonathan Lethem, editor
"The most outre science fiction writer of the 20th century has
finally entered the canon," exclaimed "Wired Magazine" upon The
Library of America's May 2007 publication of "Philip K. Dick: Four
Novels of the 1960s," edited by Jonathan Lethem. Now comes a
companion volume collecting five novels that offer a breathtaking
overview of the range of this science-fiction master.
Philip K. Dick (1928-82) was a writer of incandescent imagination
who made and unmade world-systems with ferocious rapidity and
unbridled speculative daring. "The floor joists of the universe,"
he once wrote, "are visible in my novels." "Martian Time-Slip"
(1964) unfolds on a parched and thinly colonized Red Planet where
schizophrenia is a contagion and the unscrupulous seek to profit
from a troubled child's time-fracturing visions. "Dr. Bloodmoney,
or How We Got Along After the Bomb" (1965) chronicles the
deeply-interwoven stories of a multi-racial community of survivors,
including the scientist who may have been responsible for World War
III. Famous, among other reasons, for a therapy session involving a
talking taxicab, "Now Wait for Last Year" (1966) explores the
effects of JJ-180, a hallucinogen that alters not only perception,
but reality. In "Flow My Tears, the Policeman Said "(1974), a
television star seeks to unravel a mystery that has left him
stripped of his identity. "A Scanner Darkly" (1977), the basis for
the 2006 film, envisions a drug-addled world in which a narcotics
officer's tenuous hold on sanity is strained by his new
surveillance assignment: himself. Mixing metaphysics and madness,
phantasmagoric visions of a post-nuclear world and invading
extraterrestrial authoritarians, and all-too-real evocations of the
drugged-out America of the 70s, Dick's work remains exhilarating
and unsettling in equal measure.