Friday, February 22, 2008

PKD: Five Novels of the 1960s & 70s (Library of America)

This July Library of America will release its second volume of PKD. The volume will include such classics as Martian Time Slip, Dr. Bloodmoney, Now Wait for Last Year, and A Scanner Darkly.

I'm very pleased that Dr. Bloodmoney was included as it is one of my favorite PKD novels. I think this one has a strong sense of lightness, optimism, and humor that sometimes gets overlooked when people think of PKD. You'd never know that the book is such a light-hearted affair (for PKD) given the first Ace cover. One of my favorites. Little Bill floating in the sky. Is this before or after he was in the Owl?

It also contains one of my favorite novel endings, with the vermin device hopelessly chasing after the evolved Bulldogs. I always laugh when I think of this scene. Any idea if this one will ever be made into a movie?

As regards to the other choices, I agree with Mr. Gumm that The Penultimate Truth could (should for me) have been included rather than (or in addition to!) Now Wait For Last Year. I think The Penultimate Truth speaks to so much more that's going on in our day and age than Now Wait For Last Year. I view it as a lens through which we can look at the "War on Terror," or maybe the "War on Terror" is a lens through which we can read Penultimate Truth. I intend to flesh that argument out, as well as others regarding the Penultimate Truth's continuing relevance, in future posts.

However, you can't really go wrong with any of these picks. Especially A Scanner Darkly, which I find continually haunting.

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