You're running through a forest, it's early and dew runs between your toes, navigating through a complex arrangement of dense ferns. Gradually you reaYou're running through a forest, it's early and dew runs between your toes, navigating through a complex arrangement of dense ferns. Gradually you realise the collection of orchids dead ahead are forcing you to slow your pace, ducking, weaving, passing through walls of green by sheer pressure alone. Slipping on a moss covered rock you graze your knee on a passing cactus - in that moment you realise; the forest is beautiful. It is alive - a variable cornucopia of life - it breathes... Breathing... on-and-on, unhindered by outside troubles, recurrent and uniform, your reverie continues - vapid - dead.
A novel that's briefly soulful, briefly yearning; lacking that big punch.
Some have called me odd but I feel like a tiger who wishes to be in the head of a snake....more
You know that warm fuzzy feeling you get when you're sitting in the sunshine drinking good coffee? A Maze of Death is just that, contained neatly withYou know that warm fuzzy feeling you get when you're sitting in the sunshine drinking good coffee? A Maze of Death is just that, contained neatly within 190 pages... with sides of psychosis, murder, and monism. But of course, we expect nothing less from Philip K. Dick who James Lovegrove (Pantheon series) captured perfectly saying:
"Dick's plastic realities tell us more than we'll ever want to know about the inside of our heads and the view looking out. In his tortured topographies of worlds never made, we see mindscapes that we ourselves, in our madder moments, have glimpsed and thought real. Dick travelled out there on our behalf. It is our duty to read the reports he sent home."
And my god (Spectowsky - not the sh*t other ones) does this 'tortured' reality excite. First of all, I think there's a real market for a religion that could be described as spiritualised-science, especially one with its go-to-book called 'How I Rose From the Dead in My Spare Time and So Can You.' Secondly, it takes a whole bunch of talent to keep a book with a punch like this below 200 pages. And, a special kind of brilliance to connect an audience to sociopaths whilst ensnaring them in a religion that's so simple it could be surmised on the side of a cereal box....more
“What a great burden, the luxury of the way we live. Since no one makes us suffer we have elected to volunteer.”
Imagine two polarising societies who i“What a great burden, the luxury of the way we live. Since no one makes us suffer we have elected to volunteer.”
Imagine two polarising societies who inadvertently work for each other, extending the pain that comes with each separate class, each believing they work towards a common goal, each of them wrong in every way.
It is clear that both Douglas Adams and Terry Pratchett were both heavily influenced by Philip K. Dick and the first chapter of The Penultimate Truth (TPT) reads in a similar tone, if not a slightly more sarcastically political one, to the novels Adams released 20 years later on.
In the world of TPT, everybody knows their roles. It is sinisterly clear that nobody lives for themselves, except for perhaps the one man at the top, but the Yance-Men don't mind because they get to flapple about and work and acquire shit they don't want. The rest, you ask? Well, they get the pleasure of surviving without the Stink of Shrink don't they!
Who is freer? The man who is in chains; or the one who felt he had to chain him?...more
Sometimes there is a reason nobody has written a story before... over 350 pages of Unquenchable Fire testify to that.
Sit back and imagine if NietzscheSometimes there is a reason nobody has written a story before... over 350 pages of Unquenchable Fire testify to that.
Sit back and imagine if Nietzsche wrote religious fantasy... Well if that's your cup-of-tea then look no further. Here before you lies an imaginative, speculative, and extremely ditsy story about a girl who gets pregnant from a dream. But, I knew all of this from the meandering synopsis on the back of the book - however, I began. I began because I WILL FINISH THE SF MASTERWORKS (24/170ish), even if they insist on throwing in the utter trash like this from Rachel Pollack. I'm sure I'll ALMOST take that last thought back when I find myself more open-minded, accepting, and tolerant to new ideas and people somewhere down the line due to being exposed to the unique weirdness that is Unquenchable Fire....more
First of all, I actually like the idea of interweaving a cleverly scripted play into a novel, especially when it acts as social propaganda to keep a sFirst of all, I actually like the idea of interweaving a cleverly scripted play into a novel, especially when it acts as social propaganda to keep a society in line. This novel, however, did not do it well - and I say this with as much restraint as possible. Sadly amongst this is a long list of poorly written scenarios that play themselves out throughout the rest of The Gate to Women's Country.
It's not that I have a problem with playing out possible future scenarios - I actually love doing so both through my own imagination and that of the authors' I read - I simply don't think this book plays with remotely relevant societal constructs. Tepper manages to reduce every single character to a two-dimensional idea that in reality just doesn't sit right. There is such a gaping chasm between what I know of humanity (and yes ALL it's horrific evils) and how this novel describes them....more
Oddly this was my first foray into Stapledon's works. I had intended to start with the classic duo 'First and Last Men' and 'Starmaker' but alas my inOddly this was my first foray into Stapledon's works. I had intended to start with the classic duo 'First and Last Men' and 'Starmaker' but alas my intentions were running along a different path to reality, as they so often are.
I'm struck by the similarities 'Sirius' has with Capek's 'War With the Newts,' of ten years prior, but also astounded by how starkly different the two novels are. The character Sirius is alone, he has no species, so naturally from the outset, it must be a tragedy. There are, however, more than small triumphs, his self-awareness and ability to implore self-criticism are traits that most humans lack. But ahh god - his artistic mind, his fluid creativity, and his vices - these are truly what make him a genius. These are what make trudging through 200 pages of biographical Welsh farming from the 40's worth it!...more
Riveting and funny from the from the first page, 'A Fall of Moondust' is brilliant because it doesn't try and be something it's not. It doesn't spendRiveting and funny from the from the first page, 'A Fall of Moondust' is brilliant because it doesn't try and be something it's not. It doesn't spend chapters trying to interweave some great philosophical or religious dialogue and avoids the fluff that political diatribes often invoke. It's a straightforward story about man's insufferable will pitted against the crushing reality of how quickly things go wrong in space....more
A melange of science-fiction, crime, and horror and whilst most of the six short stories read like first-draft concepts for future books there were aA melange of science-fiction, crime, and horror and whilst most of the six short stories read like first-draft concepts for future books there were a few gems hidden amongst the fray. What subtlely resides below the exterior of each story are imaginative explorations of human interaction concealed behind a flashy visual trope.
In a strange roundabout way, Philip K. Dick represents to our society what the drug Can-D represented to the good folks on Mars. MaYOU DARE READ THIS!
In a strange roundabout way, Philip K. Dick represents to our society what the drug Can-D represented to the good folks on Mars. Maybe a comparison to the highly addictive Chew-Z would fall within a more accurate scope... You start by picking a notable one off the shelf - it's okay, has its moments; you're not entirely sold. You have a childish thought; 'maybe Philip K. Dick (PKD) just isn't for me?' - oh how beautiful, how small your thoughts are to merely indulge the possibility that you're done with him. Two days later, it's late and you find yourself alone... 'maybe that book was better than I thought? Did I miss something? Come to think of it, I actually quite enjoyed it.' This time, you pick a PKD at random, it appeals to you, 'but, why?' you think. Just like pulling a band-aid it disgusts and repulses you, but you're doing it now, alone, because it itches that dark part of you; the side of your soul you keep hidden. A month further on you find yourself halfway through his collection and you begin to realise the addiction will never stop, you delve deeper, more often. The times you're not reading begin to develop a hazy state - you need this; like waking from a dream. You find yourself in a threadbare armchair, by the fire, in a cheap nursing home your children palmed you off in. It's okay though because there's alway more PKD to read. He is your god; the truth. Then, all of a sudden, it hits you. You're still reading that first book.
"For everyone lost in the endlessly multiplicating realities of the modern world, remember: Philip K. Dick got there first." - Terry Gilliam...more