April 13, 2003

Martian Time-Slip, by Philip K. Dick

I must be missing something. This guy's books have a huge cult following and I DON'T get it. This one was just plain bad. It's dated, the premise is stupid and the characters bored me to tears. I finished it, but only because it wasn't too long and I was too lazy to get up and get something else to read. A co-worker of mine loves Dick and tells me he's right out of the 60's drug culture which may explain it. My co-worker, from what I can tell, is still halfway back in the 60's drug culture which somehow is interesting face to face but doesn't really work very well on paper.

The story is that Mars has been colonized by Men. All of Earth's political and national divisions have been brought along to Mars. They are using the canals dug by the, get this, indigenous Martians to transport the precious little water they have up there. Everyone is paranoid about mutations that have shown up due to the gamma ray exposure during the long trip to Mars and autism and schizophrenia are seen as manifestations of a mutation rather than as a neurological condition. The native Martians are called Bleekmen and are sort of like the Australian Aborigines in appearance except really small and kind of dried up. They have a kind of mystical shamanist culture as well. And they are able to communicate on some other mental plain that's not really explained except that that is where the autistic children and the schizophrenic's minds are really at.

That is the setting. I won't go into the plot except to say that the 50's bored housewife messing around with the milkman comes into it, tediously, and that it tries to imitate the social climate of the post war years, badly.

Skip this one. Hated it. Hated it. Read something a little more developed or thought out.

Posted by Deb English at April 13, 2003 03:03 PM