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The Crack in Space

3.44 of 5 stars 3.44  ·  rating details  ·  1,566 ratings  ·  125 reviews
"Dick's best books always describe a future that is both entirely recognizable and utterly unimaginable."--"The New York Times Book Review"

When a repairman accidentally discovers a parallel universe, everyone sees it as an opportunity, whether as a way to ease Earth's overcrowding, set up a personal kingdom, or hide an inconvenient mistress. But when a civilization is foun
ebook, 192 pages
Published January 24th 2012 by Mariner Books (first published 1966)
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The Crack in Space by Philip K. Dick deals with social and political issues, especially racial issues.

I wrote a review of Farnham's Freehold by Robert A. Heinlein where the grandmaster explored elements of racism. True, both writers go about the business clumsily and with not a small bit of racism themselves, but I would remind a gentle twenty-first century reader that these writers put their thoughts down in the 1960s and the effort was courageous in and of itself. This also examines sexual, m
In a future, overpopulated world, a technician discovers a portal to an alternative earth. Jim Briskin (campaigning to be the first black president) sees settling this alternative world as solution to the problem of the seventy-or-so million cryogenically suspended people warehoused throughout the country. Called ‘bibs’, they have chosen to sleep until the world’s population problem can be resolved.

The dominant hominid on this alt-earth it turns out is “Peking Man”—it appears as though evolutio
Although he displayed remarkable prescience in many of his books, cult author Philip K. Dick was a good 72 years off the mark in his 18th sci-fi novel, "The Crack in Space." Originally released as a 40-cent Ace paperback in 1966 (F-377, for all you collectors out there), the novel takes place against the backdrop of the 2080 U.S. presidential election, in which a black man, Jim Briskin, of the Republican-Liberal party, is poised to become the country's first black president. (Dick must have like ...more
Charles Dee Mitchell
Regular readers of Philip K Dick would not expect him to write a novel exploring social issues, but in this case that is what he seems to think he is doing. The result is a muddle of ideas that try to stay topical while medium level PKD weirdness circles around them.

The setting is the late 21st century, and overpopulation, combined with a shortage of jobs, has become the major problem facing the human race. The solution has been to warehouse those who request it in suspended animation with the p
The more PKD I read, and the more I learn about him and about literature theory, the more impressed I am with what he was able to accomplish, albeit mostly posthumously.

Some observations:
PKD was a genius, that has been stated over and over. Philosophical, imaginative, social commentary about a future that varies book to book. Common threads, sure, but all intrinsically different by a massive degree.

That being said, when you really step back and take a look, his writing is SHIT.

Technical shit. Re
Jun 20, 2008 Aaron rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Philip K. Dick fanatics
I won't even bother to describe the plot. Suffice it to say that the elements include the first black President of the United States and pre-industrial ape men from another dimension. The plot is wildly inventive, but the typical Philip K. Dick flaws are all on full display. Too much dialogue? Check. Too many characters resulting in dissipation of focus? Check. Omniscient narrator with no clear point of view? Check. Still, if you're a fan -- which I am -- it's not completely bad. There are bette ...more
Even when he is not at his very best, as with The Crack in Space, Philip K. Dick is eminently worth reading. Somehow, half a century ago, he anticipated several key facets of life in our time, starting with a black president and a racist society. Over 100 million Cols (Coloreds?) have volunteered to be frozen until the socioeconomic situation for them has improved -- so many, in fact, that the number of BiBs ("Bottled in Bond") is threatening the national budget.

As a result of an accident to a J
Alex Telander
There’s a unique style to Philip K. Dick’s work that can perhaps be called unforgiving: his writing isn’t easy and straightforward; you have to work at it and make sure you keep up, because he’s just going to throw you in the middle of his complex world and drag you along for one crazy ride. The Crack in Space is a perfect example of this, recently released in a minimalist-looking new edition from Mariner Books, where the world is at a distant point in our future and all is not well. While techn ...more
Dustin Reade
Philip K. Dick is awesome. Most of the time. Here, he is just good. Not great. It was surprisingly tame for a Dick book, and the usual themes (Psionic Abilities, Reality Shifts, Hellish Introspection) were all sadly lacking. The most we get by way of toying with reality is a barely visited "alternate earth" and a single mutant pimping out women that are sort of half-women or something. Less than human anyway.

Worth reading if you already like Philip K. Dick's work, but if you are unfamiliar I wou
Stuff I Read - The Crack in Space by Philip K. Dick Review

Man, Philip K. Dick has written some rather odd stuff. This is the second of three books of his that I'll be reading this year, and while Eye in the Sky was rather messed up, this one has it's own brand of weird. Of course, both stories are at least a bit about race, with The Crack in Space being much more direct and hitting. It's also about difference and about responsibility, about overpopulation and poverty and a whole lot of other thi
Andrea Blythe
In an overpopulated world, millions of people have elected to become bibs (cryogenically frozen until the job market opens up), abortion centers are prospering, and prostitution has been made legal on orbiting satellites (to ease "frustrations", while preventing pregnancy). It's a huge problem faced by the presidential candidates, who must present solutions to this problem if they are to be elected.

Jim Briskin announces in a public speech a possible solution. A company has stumbled upon a porta
Kat  Hooper
ORIGINALLY POSTED AT Fantasy Literature.

In Philip K. Dick’s The Crack in Space (1966), American technology and civilization has advanced so far that citizens can easily take a spaceship to make daily visits to an orbiting satellite whorehouse, personal Jifi-scuttlers are used to warp space/time so that people can quickly travel from home to work in a distant city, and overpopulation is such a public concern that millions of dispossessed Americans have chosen to be put in cryogenic storage until
Jack Stovold
My Philip K. Dick Project

Entry #31 - The Crack In Space (written Sep. 1963-Mar. 1974, published Feb. 1966)

Jim Briskin, everyone's favorite news clown, is back for Round III, and this time, he's black! More accurately, in The Crack in Space, Briskin is a former news clown, and in the running to become America's first black president (sorry, Obama!)

One of the more depressing thing about PKD's stories is how long he often (not always) predicted that flagrant and public racial discrimination would
Scott Holstad
Not one of Dick's better books, but still an interesting read and, occasionally, a fun one at that. I found it a bit shocking that in the 1960s, Dick was writing about issues that are very relevant today, such as abortion, a black president, etc. Before either was possible, in other words. The book is about a parallel earth, and our attempts to populate it with 70 million bibs, or people who had been frozen due to overpopulation. Most of them are black. As far as a standard Dick novel, I thought ...more
I've definitely read better PKD books but The Crack in Space is by no means horrible. It's a creative plot that ends sort of abruptly; it kind of seems like Dick got bored right at the tail end of the novel and decided to wrap it up as quick as possible. Nonetheless, it's a good read for PKD fans, but is probably not the best recommendation for someone just getting into Dick.
I can see, sociologically, where Dick was headed with this one. As always, his novels are daring and ahead of their time. The Crack in Space was enjoyable, but it wasn't unforgettable enough to pick up again. Dialogue was a little heavy and vaguely droning sometimes. The storyline took a while to accomplish anything with. The amount of characters also never really paid off, they all felt similar except for Jim Briskin in style. It's classic paranoid Dick though, and the same personality is retai ...more
Phillip K. Dick was a working writer and this book has that feel. I would be surprised if it took him more than a couple of weeks to write the thing. It has a muddled, hurried feeling to it. It is still an good book, though. P.K. Dick is still more imaginitive and amazing on his worst day than most sci-fi writers are in a life time. I have read many of his books and even though this one was mediocre it was still completly original. It raises some interesting moral questions and touches on import ...more
pas grand chose a en dire sinon que j'ai passé un bon moment :-)
This Is Not The Michael You're Looking For
A rather straight-forward, for Philip K. Dick, science fiction book about a futuristic election involving the first (potential) black president of the United States, overpopulation, racism, and what happens when one encounters the unexpected. The characters in the book are all flat and dimensionless, while the message underlying message is somewhat ham-handed and doesn't resonate the way it should. Despite this, I found it a nice read, perhaps because it is more approachable and less confusing t ...more
Richard M.
The first black President is about to be elected, hopefully. A small-time repairman discovers a rent into a parallel universe, one which everyone sees as an opportunity to solve many problems, including the big one: overpopulation of the current world. However, this parallel universe has problems of its own. Ultimately, the story is one of the age-old dilemma: do I try something new or stick with the old-tried-and-true? Is the grass really greener on the other side?

The story is mildly interestin
A guy discovers a hole in the jiffi-scuttler(which are never properly explained or described) that goes to another dimension. Then a lot of characters are introduced and political stuff happens for most of the book. For some reason people are racist even though it's supposed to be almost 100 years in the future. By then minorities will vastly outnumber Caucasians so the racism makes no sense and is never explained.

I understand that Philip K. Dick is supposed to be a visionary author, but this is
Philip K. Dick did not get paid much for the books he wrote. To make up for the low pay, he wrote many books, often composing as he typed(he was a very fast typist) and taking amphetamines to stay awake long hours.

And frankly, this books shows it. The first half is a meandering, jumbled social commentary on race relations and politics. In the dystopian United States of 2080, overpopulation and unemployment are so severe that the government sponsors a program where excess workers (mostly black a
A mid-period PKD novel (written in 1963 and published in what I assume to be an abridged version as “Cantata-140” (1966).

A humorous novel is packed with many unique ideas and interesting themes including over-population, politics and racism.

Initially, unlike with the majority of PKD’s other works, I didn’t find this novel as interesting as others I’ve read. It seemed to lacked something that I couldn’t quite put my finger on... Too conventional? But by the second half, my opinion on that change
In the future, overpopulation has created an Earth in which seventy million people are cryogenically frozen until room can be found for them. When a crack in space is found by a Jiffi-scuttler repair man, Jim Briskin, candidate for presidency, announces his plan to relocate the excess population to the alternate Earth where they can live out their lives. Almost immediately, the alternate Earth is found to be sparsely populated with different descendants of early hominids, severely complicating t ...more
Grady McCallie
So much going on in this book: social and political consequences of overpopulation; the 'browning' and 'graying' of America; celebrity divorce; an unhinged and ultimately murderous do-gooder; the relationship between politicians and their key advisors; parallel worlds; time travel paradox; contingency in evolution; and the experience of the phantom twin (PKD had one, himself).

On one level, it is certainly pulp, at least in its plotting. But the quality and clarity of the writing, and the deft wa
Not one of his better efforts. Too short for the ideas it contains, not to mention an implausible take on social morays. That said, some of the ideas are first-rate and would have been wonderful at a decent length.
Not one of Dick 's best, but still highly entertaining and very enjoyable!
Matthew Lloyd
In 2010 I interviewed for (and got) a job at the Centre for Alternative Technology near Machynlleth. In the interview for this job, I was asked what I thought was the most pressing emergency regarding climate change and how it should be tackled. I answered "education", but this was not correct. What I thought then, and still believe, is that the biggest threat to the climate is over-population - the stress placed on the planet by the number of human beings who exist, continue to come into existe ...more
I really wanted to read this one before the presidential election, since it's a story about a black man running for president. And finding an opening to a parallel/alternate Earth, which isn't happening right now, but you can't have everything. This being Philip Dick, it's also a story about amazing technology, a universe whose workings we don't really understand, and human nature. The writing, as usual, is workmanlike but that also means it's very readable. Philip Dick may be one of the only au ...more
Daniel (Attack of the Books!) Burton
There's a good chance that you know Philip K. Dick, if not by name, then by the movies his books and stories have spawned. He's that rare author with as manyten of his stories or novels adapted for the big screen, albeit posthumously. Think Blade Runner , starring Harrison Ford, an adaptation of Dick's brilliantDo androids dream of electric sheep?orTotal Recall,with Arnold Schwarzenegger, fromWe Can Remember It For You Wholesale. More recent movies include The Adjustment Bureauand Minority Repor ...more
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Philip K. Dick was born in Chicago in 1928 and lived most of his life in California. In 1952, he began writing professionally and proceeded to write numerous novels and short-story collections. He won the Hugo Award for the best novel in 1962 for The Man in the High Castle and the John W. Campbell Memorial Award for best novel of the year in 1974 for Flow My Tears, the Policeman Said. Philip K. Di ...more
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