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Now Wait for Last Year
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Now Wait for Last Year

3.88 of 5 stars 3.88  ·  rating details  ·  3,379 ratings  ·  122 reviews
Dr. Eric Sweetscent has problems. His planet is enmeshed in an unwinnable war. His wife is lethally addicted to a drug that whips its users helplessly back and forth across time -- and is hell-bent on making Eric suffer along with her. And Sweetscent's newest patient is not only the most important man on the embattled planet Earth but quite possibly the sickest. For Secret ...more
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Published September 16th 2009 by Vintage (first published 1966)
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Kat  Hooper
ORIGINALLY POSTED AT Fantasy Literature.

Earth is allied with the planet Lilistar against the alien Reegs. Gino Molinari, the leader of Earth’s forces, has just hired Eric Sweetscent as his personal physician. For his new job, Eric has to leave his wife Kathy, who has just become addicted to a new hallucinogenic drug. Eric is glad to leave, though, because he and Kathy aren’t getting along.

When Eric arrives at Gino Molinari’s side, he finds that the man has some strange health issues. At first Er
A virtual compendium of many of Philip K. Dick's pet themes, tropes and obsessions, "Now Wait For Last Year," the author's 17th published sci-fi novel, originally appeared as a Doubleday hardcover in 1966. (As revealed in Lawrence Sutin's biography on Dick, the novel was actually written as early as 1963 and rewritten two years later.) Phil was on some kind of a roll at this point in his career, having recently come out with the masterpieces "The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch" and "Dr. Blood ...more
It's a strange feeling when you think you have an author pegged and then they go ahead and publish something straight out of left field. It's like Michael Jordan playing baseball, Lou Reed making a record with Metallica, or Michael Bay directing a Victorian drama. It just seems odd, like you've awakened in a world that is not entirely yours any more. This was entirely my feeling for the first hundred pages or so of Dick's Now Wait for Last Year, the third entry in his Library of America collecti ...more
Jayaprakash Satyamurthy
Dick's misogyny is at full-bore here (PKD's works are so bound up in his own life and experiences that it helps, if you plan to read a considerable amount of his work, to get hold of a good biography like Lawrence Sutin's Divine Invasions and try and correlate the themes and issues in his books with what was going on in his rather messy and chaotic life at the time). So are his explorations of the nature of reality and time, the effects of weird drugs and his deep engagement with ethics, somethi ...more
Sep 24, 2014 Ubik rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone
Recommended to Ubik by: Just going through the PKD bibliography-about the 5th one that I
Shelves: own
Absolute favorite PKD. Experimental drugs, lucid (non physical) time travel, mental institutions, ahhh greatness. I would give a more thorough review, but its been a few years since Ive read it + someone perma-borrowed my copy
It is pretty remarkable that I can say that this is my least favorite Philip K. Dick novel of the six I've read, but still give it four stars. My primary criticism is that it just takes too long to get rolling. For the first few chapters, it was hard to get a feel for the novel or really know where it was headed. It was until about the 80 page mark that it started to really find its feet, and become another really good Philip K. Dick novel.

Now Wait for Last Year tells the story of Eric Sweetscen
Charles Dee Mitchell
I hate it when this happens. I try out a brand new hallucinogenic drug only to find out that it is addictive after a single use. Then, while suffering withdrawals, I'm offered help only if I agree to spy on my estranged husband who is now special physician to the ailing Sec. Gen of the United Nations, Gino Molinari. I take more of the drug to get me through the trip to the White House in Cheyenne, Wyoming, only to discover that the drug messes not only with my sense of time but with time itself. ...more
Dave Lefevre
This isn't one of my favourite PKD works. In fact, I believe this is the 2nd time I have read it and the first time it made little or no impression on me.

There are a lot of problems in this one. One of the criticisms of PKD's overall body of work is his trouble with female characters. The complaints range from that he simply doesn't do them well to that he is a total misogynist. This is probably because of characters like this book's Kathy Sweetscent. She has no redeeming features at all and rea
Come poteva non piacermi? Da brava fissata con i viaggi nel tempo, il tema del passato, i mondi paralleli... Beh, il mio ragazzo non è certo uno stupido e anche stavolta mi ha consigliata benissimo. La storia è perfetta. Perfetta, in ogni minimo dettaglio, sfumatura e parola. La trama non è la solita zolfa sul viaggio temporale (lasciamo stare che è un romanzo di Dick per il momento), o meglio, non c'è uno dei soliti meccanismi visti e rivisti (che io da brava fissata apprezzo comunque eh). No, ...more
I've spent a day, basically, trying to determine what I make of this one. I read a lot of Philip K. Dick when I was in my late teens, and I specifically remember trying to read this one twice - and giving up before I got very far in at all. In fact, I'm pretty sure video evidence exists of me reading this book at community college. This time, more than a decade later, I decided to try it again as one of Brilliance Audio's rapidly-expanding range of PKD audiobooks - and although I finished it, an ...more
David Anderson
Suppose there was an hallucinogenic drug that allowed you to travel through time. Most travel into the past but a select few can travel into the future. But better than this, the drug allows some access to alternate realities, alternate universes, alternate space-time continuums with different histories. The only problem is this drug is highly addictive and highly toxic. Still, how might a savvy world leader use this drug to his advantage in an 3-way intergalactic war in which Terra seems to be ...more
Janelle Dazzlepants
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
While Dick is no stranger to deconstructing conventional notions of time he does it threefold (at least) in this novel. It is one of his more action-packed endeavors (like his short story "The Variable Man") while dealing with temporal perception in an extremely thoughtful and playful way.
He also manages to place the earth in an incredible bind that begs the reader's compassion and stimulates the intellect: Which alien race can we trust when two appear, bringing their ancient fight to our plane
Every few months for the past several years, I pick up a Philip K. Dick book to read. I've read the major works by this time and I've begun to piece together his evolution of interests through his career. This book is smack in the middle in terms of themes. There are the old themes (downtrodden man looking for something new, shrewish or boring wife, dystopic society, alternate realities) and some of the newer themes (drug use, more colorful and humorous characterizations). As usual, it's a wild ...more
Classic Dick-- intriguing, weird, and never entirely resolved. I definitely enjoyed this book. Not too far out to follow, but far enough off the beaten path to require some strenuous mental hiking.

Quote of note: " 'If you or I ever realy accepted the moral responsibility for what we've done in our lifetime-- we'd drop dead or go mad.' " - Teagarden, p 64-5

I'm also very interested by the following language bit of usage: "No one could tell Mrs. Sweetscent anything [in the sense of correcting or ch
Very good book. I will try to find time to write a more complete review in the next few days.

Tammy Witzens
As a Philip K. Dick fan, I found this book in a book exchange store and had to buy it. I really enjoyed this one. Dick takes you into a world where things aren't perfect, and introduces you to a character whose life is certainly less than perfect. Dick captures the essence of humanity when it is at its worst, and how the decisions of a single man in a difficult situation can effect everything, even if it's just relative to a single man's perception. I thoroughly enjoyed how Dick played around wi ...more
Sean Leas
I loved the premise and core story but this book I could not get into. Characters either I could not relate to or was just not interesting. The drug induced time shifting was the reason that I decided to read this volume and the cabbies of the future was an added plus, everything else in the book was a drag. The first half was waste of time then the second half seemed to pick back up to the point where I thought it had some promise, by the time the end came I felt that the plot was as lost as it ...more
It took me a while to get into this one, and it wasn't until almost the halfway point that I started to enjoy it. It touches on a number of PKD's favorite subjects - time travel, hallucinogenic drug use, alternate realities, human simulacra, alien political intrigue - and it contains some pretty cool ideas. However, I think it tries to do too much, and there are times where it feels like a bit of a jumbled mess.

Overall I liked it well enough, but it is far from one of my favorite PKD novels. Rec
Christopher Roberts
To many people this is classified both as one of the "junkier" PKD novels and one of the better. I concur with that assessment. There is no reason that this book should work so well, but it does. The plot involves a futuristic intergalactic war, drug addiction and time travel, and that doesn't even begin to describe the weirdness. Dr. Eric Sweetscent is more accomplished then the average Dick protagonist, but he gets roped into reality warping events beyond his control nonetheless. The usual Di ...more
Mad Dog
Jan 22, 2010 Mad Dog rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people that have read PKD before: Don't make this your first PKD
Great title. The book should be rated highly for the title alone. I read this book ten months ago and for some reason I just don't have much recollection of it. Its as if I read the book 10 years ago. I wish I could travel back to last year when I read it. The book existed on Earth in a future (at the time the book was written) alternate reality that seemed 'almost apocalyptic'. But there was time travel, space travel, and other weird stuff in the book. There was stuff going on in San Diego, Tij ...more
I'm on page 114 of this book, which I feel may turn out to be one of PKD's very best. It's one of his least well-known, interestingly enough. The story starts out at kind of a crawl, in relation to other works of his, but don't let that deter you. It's not a criticism. It's simply that he spends a little longer building up his story before he reaches down from wherever he is these days and hooks you in the brain with the talons of his mind. In some of his books, that happens on the very first pa ...more
Shawn Garbett
I awoke and a strange pen lay upon my nightstand. It must have been put there by my wife, finding it and thinking it was mine. Pushing aside the morning fog, I went to get my shirt from the closet and noticed it was blue, not green. I swear it was green. It's either the lighting or I'm developing Alzheimers. I head to the kitchen and get a cup of autobrew, and sit down to check my emails. What's this, a Philip K. Dick book is held for me at the library. I never placed a hold, besides I read all ...more
This book is a mind bender, but one with more hope than seems to be generally customary for a Philip K. Dick novel. The war between the reegs (large insect aliens) and the 'Starmen (from the planet Lillistar, the original home planet of the species that would eventually become to be known as "humans") has enveloped Earth (now called Terra), and Eric Sweetscent is about to be dragged right into the center of the whole thing. He has a new job keeping the Secretary General of the UN alive while at ...more
This book seemed rather slow to get going. A lot of the ideas of the future world had been repeated from earlier novels, and while it was nice to start a philip K. dick novel in something other than a state of absolute confusion, it was also slightly dull.... Part of the problem was that I just didn't like the main character's wife very much. While her drug trips and addiction was described (unsurprisingly) very well I just couldn't care about her problems because she seemed so unpleasant. Howev ...more
Glenn Schmelzle
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
I'm a big re-reader of books I like, but this is my first time re-reading PKD. Now Wait For Last Year was the first of his sci-fi books I read - oddly, I read two of his non-sci-fi "literature" novels first (Confessions of a Crap Artist was great, but then I came across Puttering About in a Small Land -is that the title?- which I found odd and oddly off-putting) so then it was some years before I read this- I was 30, I think, and I've since read an amazing amount of PKD books, considering it has ...more
Felix Zilich
2056 год. Последствия первых контактов с другими цивилизациями стали для человечества фатальными. Могущественная Лильская Империя втянула Землю в войну с расой ригов, и теперь вся промышленность планеты работает исключительно для нужд фронта. Вдобавок к этому земляне терпят поражение за поражением, и любой возможности выйти из этой бесмысленной войны у них нет.

Кардиолог Эрик Арома становится личным врачом генсека Земли Джино Молинари и буквально сразу же оказывается вовлечен во все хитросплетени
Jack Stovold
My Philip K. Dick Project

Entry #28 - Now Wait For Last Year (written Dec. 1963, published May 1966)

From the back cover:


Now Wait For Last Year is one of Dick's funnest and most exciting novels yet, but also one of his most melancholy.

Tonally what excited me most about this story was its pulpiness, highly reminiscent of Dick's strange, early stories of adventure, with aliens, time travel, and the like. I mean, this is just kind of a coo
Sweetness. Hanging out in my conapt reading PKD again after a break and after reading Adam Gopnik's elitist and clueless slam of PKD (2004?): "A magician with the same three mangy rabbits." I don't know why I let crap like that affect me, when Dick so obviously belongs to American letters, where you find the same themes of fake vs. real, con-job vs. reality in Melville, Twain, Gaddis, Pynchon, etc. Okay, finished. All in all a nice little jaunt, with time travelling drugs (every hippie's dream) ...more
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  • Bring the Jubilee
  • The Rediscovery of Man
  • The Child Garden
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  • Non-Stop
  • Behold the Man
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  • I Am Alive and You Are Dead: A Journey into the Mind of Philip K. Dick
  • A Case of Conscience (After Such Knowledge, #4)
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Philip K. Dick was born in Chicago in 1928 and lived most of his life in California. He briefly attended the University of California, but dropped out before completing any classes. 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 Memo ...more
More about Philip K. Dick...
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“Human has always striven to retain the past, to keep it convincing; there's nothing wicked in that. Without it we have no continuity; we have only the moment. And, deprived of the past, the moment - the present - has little meaning, if any.” 15 likes
“...that thing that's taken refuge there in that zinc bucket, without a wife, a career, a conapt, or money or the possibility of encountering any of these, still persists. For reasons unknown to me its stake in existence is greater than mine.” 3 likes
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