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Eye in the Sky

3.74  ·  Rating details ·  5,358 ratings  ·  349 reviews
While sightseeing at the Belmont Bevatron, Jack Hamilton, along with seven others, is caught in a lab accident. When he regains consciousness, he is in a fantasy world of Old Testament morality gone awry—a place of instant plagues, immediate damnations, and death to all perceived infidels. Hamilton figures out how he and his compatriots can escape this world and return to ...more
Paperback, 256 pages
Published April 2nd 2009 by Vintage (first published 1957)
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Average rating 3.74  · 
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 ·  5,358 ratings  ·  349 reviews

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Glenn Russell
Jun 09, 2015 rated it it was amazing

“Anti-cat is one jump away from anti-Semitism.”
― Philip K. Dick, Eye in the Sky

For liberal, open-minded men and women, dealing with religious fundamentalists can be most unpleasant. From my own experience, I recall several nasty cases: a Sunday school teacher giving us kids a pep talk on the virtues of racism and segregation; accompanying a college buddy to his church, listening to the minister browbeat the congregation with threats of hellfire; having to deal with aggressive bible thumpers at
Jul 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Beyond Belief
(Or How The Fascist Senator Joe McCarthy Inspired Silicon Valley)

No religion comes out unscathed from Dick’s satire of spiritual belief. Judaism, Catholicism, various Protestant sects, Pentecostalism, Islam, Mormonism, Scientology, all share his ire and his pointed wit. He has created a fundamentalist’s dream come true - a society united by faith in its rigid beliefs, in which science and religion are merged into the quest for the most efficient channel of communication to God.

Jul 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Gregg Press Science Fiction Series, was created by David G. Hartwell & L. W. Currey as Editors.

The PKD Gregg Press Editions were largely distributed to libraries, and their print runs were typically around 500.

A new introduction by Sandra Miesel. Frontispiece illustration by Hannah Shapero.

Eight visitors to a Bevatron site in Belmont, California have an accident when a scaffolding collapses, and they fall sixty feet to the floor below, passing through the beam of the particle accelerator
Susan Budd
I’ve only read five PKD novels so far, but that’s enough for me to notice some recurring themes. Like The Cosmic Puppets, Time Out of Joint, and Ubik, the world in Eye in the Sky is not what it appears to be. In all four of these books, what the characters take to be reality isn’t reality at all.

In The Cosmic Puppets and Time Out of Joint, the illusion is imposed from without. In Ubik and Eye in the Sky, it is imposed from within. This is the theme of the world as a creation of the mind. It is
Jul 30, 2020 rated it really liked it
A fun Sci-Fi-Lite book, Eye in the Sky is the story of what happens when one person's inner world becomes reality for others.

On the day Hamilton is fired from his job because his wife "might" be a Communist (she signed liberal petitions and attended a couple left leaning political meetings), he goes to visit the Belmont Bevatron. 

A freak accident shoots a bolt of radiation at him and the others on the observation platform. When Hamilton regains consciousness, he quickly learns he is in another r
Jan 01, 2013 rated it liked it
The Eye in the Sky by Philip K. Dick is a smart, satirical, absurdist and brilliant allegory on Conservatism and McCarthyism.

It could also be a theological spoof with a psychological twist. Or a psychological comedy with theological themes.

It is also vaguely reminiscent of Heinlein’s Job: A Comedy of Justice. Not to be taken too seriously, it is PKD approaching his best: imaginative science fiction with religious undertones. In this case the religion is a central element, but used in such a wa
Apr 06, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: scifi
An accident at a tech plant. leads to the merging of the consciousnesses of Jack Hamilton and 7 others and appears to have propelled them into fantastical fantasy worlds! Hamilton seeks to lead the group through a number of these cray cray fantasy worlds, each more nuts than the previous! Is there a way out? Another piece of innovative out-there wonderment from Dick, who plays with the English language to better describe the otherness of these realities. 7 out of 12.
Feb 12, 2009 rated it really liked it
Whenever I meet someone whose world-view is really different from mine, I tend to think of this book. You know, they still believe that Saddam was behind 9/11 and hid his nukes in Syria, or Al Gore made up global warming for political reasons, or the Grand Canyon was formed a few thousand years ago during Noah's flood... that kind of thing. Read it and you'll see why. It's fun!

Next time you come across one of these people, they'll notice you're smiling rather than snarling, and probably they'll
Don't think sorry's easily said
Don't try turning tables instead
You've taken lots of chances before
But I ain't gonna give anymore, don't ask me
That's how it goes
Cause part of me knows what you're thinkin'


Like most of PKD's novels, 'Eye in the Sky' has several things going on at once. It is a not-so-subtle Anti-McCarthyism tract (written in 1957, close to the end of peak Red Scare), showing the absurdity of prosecuting and persecuting people for what they think. After that it is a rather interesti
Jan 23, 2017 rated it really liked it
Back in 1954, newspaper headlines announced the recently completed construction of the Bevatron at the Berkeley Lab, California. This device, a particle accelerator so called because it could impart billions of EVs (electron volts) to supercharge its manipulated protons, made the news again the following year, when scientists employed it in their discovery of the antiproton. And it was this news story, in all likelihood, that gave young author Philip K. Dick the inspiration to write his novel "E ...more
Jan 22, 2016 rated it really liked it
Imagine a world formed by your very own points of view. By your very own fears and insecurities. Now, imagine a world made by a religious, patriarchic war veteran's personality. Or a conservative, insecure, unmarried, neurotic, man-fearing woman's hang-ups. These, among others, are the main themes of this novel by Philip K. Dick.

After an accident, eight people have to survive through four different realities in order to come back to the real world. These realities are products of the minds of t
mark monday
"I am the eye in the sky
Looking at you
I can read your mind
I am the maker of rules
Dealing with fools
I can cheat you blind
And I don't need to see any more
To know that
I can read your mind, I can read your mind"
Dec 05, 2015 rated it it was amazing
4.5 stars. I'm rounding it up to five because it was really quite brilliant.

The story is about 8 people who are involved in an accident. While they're unconscious, they live through a series of worlds that trap them in the worldview of the mind of one after the other of the unconscious or semi-unconscious people. These are often hilarious and I laughed out loud several times. But they're also fascinating because it shows how our perceptions of the world are really quite different from one anothe
Hertzan Chimera
Feb 25, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Jack Hamilton, his wife and six other tourists visit a science institution and fall into the particle accelerator. They fall right in. Who is maintaining this institution, we may want to ask. Are the eight people killed in the fall? Are they burned to death in the electric fire?

These are questions that Philip K. Dick initially sidesteps completely.

The eight hapless individuals end up in another world. Dick loves this device; it’s something he used in his novel A Crack In Space (aka: Cantata-140
Eye of Sauron
If anyone needs more proof of my existence, look no further than this book!

PKD must have been a wizard. There is simply no other explanation for this “novel,” which is clearly just an excuse to publish his fiercely insightful visions of different universes. The first one the characters inhabit, which is notably characterized by A GIANT EYE IN THE SKY (*cough*cough), must be a vision of the future of Middle-Earth. Men will be the dominant species, which does not surprise me - they reproduce so
Let's get one thing out of the way, because this will be important to people soon: This is not the story that the new movie starring Helen Mirren and Alan Rickman was based on. Please do not think that Alan Rickman's final role was in a science fiction story; as cool as that would have been, this is just not the case.

Sorry to break your hearts.

This novel, written in 1957 by Philip K. Dick, is kinda sorta like a lot of Dick's novels in that there's always this paranoia of McCarthyism throughout,
Nate D
Our beliefs color how we see the world. We know this, but how far does this go in shaping our reality? Can we know for sure? Typical PKD theme, handled here in a very early incarnation of 1957: Eight people are caught in a scientific accident and discover their circumstances mysteriously altered by it. Sounds like Ubik, perhaps, and like that novel we're dealing with perception and reality in a kind of absurdist horror mode. But this quickly diverges into breakneck shifts in tone and context as ...more
Charles Dee Mitchell
Jan 28, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mid-century-sf
Dick wrote this novel in 1957 and set it in 1959. That's not much of a leap as things go in sf novels, but it allows Dick to keep the society he describes, that of Northern California with its combinations of defense contractors and university types, contemporary. When I read the novel, I thought the slight time alteration also allowed him to create the fanciful Bevatron, some sort of particle accelerator whose malfunction propels the plot. But it turns out UC Berkeley did have a genuine Bevatro ...more
Stuff I Read - Eye in the Sky by Phillip K. Dick Review

I have to admit, when I picked up this book I kind of assumed that it would be about some sort of satellite watching people or threatening people, some sort of Big Brother-type thing. I was not incredibly prepared for what really happened, for this book to be about privilege and trust and how each person makes the world. Basically, eight people are part of an accident at a particle collider, and get sucked into a series of dreamworlds that a
Jonathan Briggs
Like many pulp writers, Philip K. Dick wrote very fast and sometimes under the influence of substances that helped him write very fast. I'd guess that "Eye in the Sky" was slammed out in a couple of frenzied hours while Dick was out of his freakin mind on a dexedrine binge. One day, missile tech Jack Hamilton gets called before his employers, who are concerned that Jack's wife, Marsha, could be a commie sympathizer. They present Jack with an ultimatum: Lose the wife or lose the job. Full of indi ...more
Apr 08, 2012 rated it liked it
An accident in a research facility leads to eight people being exposed to a powerful radioactive beam. When they awake they find themselves in a world determined by the cracked psyche of one of their group. But on their escape they find that – terrifyingly – they are now exposed to the fears and whims of another member of their party. What lurks for them next and will they ever return to the real world?

This is science fiction very much of its time, with the concerns of 50’s America writ large. T
Nov 27, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
If you had godlike power, what could possibly go wrong? What do you do when you are forced to live in a world where you totally disagree with all of the backwards, nonsensical rules but have little power to change anything? Dick explores these ideas and more, complete with an ambiguous ending that he seemed to love using.
Sean O'Leary
May 05, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Easily one of PKD's best funny books Eye in the Sky creates a perfect satire of how people view reality since it takes place inside people's minds. The book shows how people can have such different perspectives of the same reality. I'd have to say the first two parts of the book are the funniest but later it starts to die down and become more serious.

It also has everything you'd expect from a PKD book; Alternate Realities, Love Complications(Much less than his other books though), Paranoia, Rel
Joanna T
Feb 08, 2018 rated it liked it
I was hoping for more. This book is packed full of odd scenarios and a bit of comic relief but I just didn't care for the way the story portrayed women. It is from 1957 and feels like it, culturally speaking. I tried to keep this fact in mind the entire time I was reading. The author is writing in 1957. His writing reflects the way women were treated then by men and society at large. I tried not to expect too much and kept getting disappointed in the portrayal of the future as dark as this one p ...more
Dick's portrayal of what life might be like if it were as imagined by a religious fundamentalist extremist, or a "wholesome," "prim and proper" 1950's perspective, or a paranoiac view, or a world run by gangster-capitalists. It's more a commentary on mistaken / delusional views of the world than exploration of the real world or possible worlds. ...more
Cam James
Apr 11, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I hate to admit it has taken me so long to get around to reading Philip K Dick, but I have to say that I can understand the fervent enthusiasm his fans display. Charming and completey believable, this is a beautiful blend of speculation, religion and philosophy.
Niki Chataljdkian
Sep 19, 2013 rated it it was amazing
amazing, I loved it
I want more
Jun 09, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Corny at times, but exactly what I needed to help jumpstart my reading for the year. Also it's nice to have Alan Parsons Project in your head the whole time. ...more
Kat  Hooper
Jul 02, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: audiobook
3.5 stars Originally posted at

Jack Hamilton has just lost his job as an engineer for a government defense contractor because his wife Marsha is a suspected communist sympathizer. Having nothing better to do for the afternoon, he accompanies Marsha to the viewing of a new linear accelerator. An accident at the accelerator beams the Hamiltons and six other unsuspecting citizens into a parallel universe that at first appears to be their world but soon starts to evince subt
Michael Perkins
Aug 08, 2016 rated it really liked it
As other reviewers have noted, we get a heavy taste of fundamentalism in this story. The first alt-world that the characters are blown into reminded me of a cross between Scientology and Mormonism.

But if one knows a bit of history and has been paying attention, you can see this quest for certitude expresses itself in many ways, not just in religion. For some, it's politics, believing that your candidate is somehow significantly more virtuous than others and clinging to political ideology in a bl
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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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“Anti-cat is one jump away from anti-Semitism.” 4 likes
“Norbert Wiener,” Tillingford said. “You recall his work in cybernetics. And, even more important, Enrico Destini’s work in the field of theophonics.” “What’s that?” Tillingford raised an eyebrow. “You are a specialist, my boy. Communication between man and God, of course. Using Wiener’s work, and using the invaluable material of Shannon and Weaver, Destini was able to set up the first really adequate system of communication between Earth and Heaven in 1946. Of course, he had the use of all that equipment from the War Against the Pagan Hordes, those damned Wotan-Worshiping, Oak-Tree-Praising Huns.” “You mean the—Nazis?” “I’m familiar with that term. That’s sociologist jargon, isn’t it? And that Denier of the Prophet, that Anti-Bab. They say he’s still alive down in Argentina. Found the elixir of eternal youth or something. He made that pact with the devil in 1939, you remember. Or was that before your time? But you know about it—it’s history.” “I” 2 likes
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