Doctor Bloodmoney (or: how we got along after the bomb)
Submitted by Raymond on 1 September 2013 - 10:01am
Published in 1965, this traces the story of a group of people living on the west coast of the US in the aftermath of a nuclear war. Dick paints a strange landscape in which the post-blast radiation has produced bizarre mutations like talking dogs, intelligent rats and ‘evolved’ humans with unusual skills. Meanwhile, the astronaut Walt Dangerfield is still in orbit seven years after the conflagration, growing weaker by the day but faithfully maintaining his broadcasts to the survivors. Dangerfield connects the disparate and far-flung communities as he relays messages, survival tips and advice on how to rebuild civilisation. He comes under attack from the sinister Hoppy Harrington, a brilliant mechanic (born with no arms and legs) who has developed his own servomechanism technology, along with an incredible gift of telekinesis. In a typical Dickian twist, Harrington meets his nemesis in the unlikely form of Bill Keller, sentient foetus living inside the body of his 7 year old sister.
Length of read:
Might appeal to people who enjoyed:
Fans of Philip K Dick will enjoy it, but it might also appeal to folk who enjoy exploring ideas. Dick is a deep thinker on a variety of themes: artificial life, parallel universes, theology, metaphysics and, above all else, the illusory nature of ‘reality’. And by that I don’t mean reality. Philip K Dick’s ‘realities’ are always in inverted commas.
One thing you've learned:
It's been quite a while since I've read any of his books, so I've learned (or remembered) that I still love the work of Philip K Dick. This might not be among his top three or four titles, but when Dick is on his A-game, he can cram more ideas into one book than some writers stretch over an entire career.