What could an omnipresent and seemingly omnipotent entity want with a humble pot-healer? Or with the dozens of other odd creatures it has lured to Plowman's Planet? And if the Glimmung is a god, are its ends positive or malign? Combining quixotic adventure, spine-chilling horror, and deliriously paranoid theology, Galactic Pot-Healer is a uniquely Dickian voyage to alterna...more
I wonder if Philip K. Dick was familiar with the Q & A:
Q: Why do ducks fly over Cleveland upside down?
A: There's nothing worth crapping on.
I ask since this novel opens in dystopian Cleveland in the year 2046, a futuristic city where absolutely nothing is worth crapping on - it's totalitarian with a vengeance: state officials utilize sinister mind control techniques and a ruthless, intrusive police force maims, brutalizes and otherwise inflicts itself on the city's inhabitants at every tur ...more
Philip K. Dick’s writing makes me smile. He’s like a weird, unorthodox friend who has a loud, goofy laugh that you cannot help joining in laughing yourself.
One of the most endearing themes of Phil’s work is his propensity to cast as protagonist an ordinary guy or gal. Small appliance repairman seems to be the occupation of modal frequency, but Galactic Pot Healer joins The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch as a novel that features a ceramicist as the hero. A pot healer is one who rep ...more
― Philip K. Dick, Galactic Pot-Healer
The idea of this book at first reminded me of the concept of Kintsukuroi (金繕い or golden repair). Kintsukuroi, essentially, is the Japanese art of fixing broken pottery with a lacquer mixed with gold, silver, or platinum. I was first exposed to this idea and unique art form years ago when I was reading about Wabi-Sabi. I hav ...more
Unexpectedly, he meets Glimmung, an ancient being endowed with almost boundless powers. Joe is offered to join him and partake in a massive-scale enterprise : help in restoring a flooded cathedral lying at the bottom of an otherwordly abyss, so as to restore order and harmony in an alien planet.
Arguably the most dismay and disconsolate poetical ...more
The meaning of life is one of the underlying messages that stood out to me the most. Joe is contacted by Glimmung a flawed ...more
There are so many persistent themes in Dick that I really enjoy... and a few that I don't:
-His fascination with decay and the destruction of form has taken so many different shapes in his novels. There seems to be a personal obsession with death, particularly suicide, embodied in many of his characters.
-He approached failure in a peculiar way - it seemed something of an expectation for him, and he makes it in to an entertaining spectacle in so many novels. In fact, hi ...more
Observe the success of Glimmung's aspirations. Emulate him, who in his Undertaking fought and destroyed the Book of the Kalends and thus the tyrannic rule of fate itself. Be creative. Work against fate. Try. (176)
Maybe that quote from the end sums up the novel, maybe not. Sometimes I think PKD's vision of each novel unfolded as he banged away at the typewriter for 36 hours straight, which is why so many loose ends simply drift off rather than get tied up. I'm coming to the conclusion that PKD in ...more
This is not a lighter nor saner version of Hitchhikers’ Guide to Galaxy. The psychedelic laugher hovers in the margin, but this story is a serious and high-brow one. Several themes intertwines in this brisk tale.
The first is the meani ...more
In retrospect, Dick seems to have looked into a fairly accurate crystal ball. In a "throw-away" society, nobody appreciates good craftsmanship anymore. Joe Fenwright, an itinerant war veteran, is one ...more
78 sherd - shard
99 'my tools' has two spaces between the words
Neat to see the Lies Inc ideas of Thingisms pop up for a paragraph, along with "The Book" which is updated everyday with what's about to happen in the near future
Glimmulg made for an interesting antagonist/protagonist. In a way his alien nature made his motives opaque enough to give controversy to build plot over the conflict of raising Heldscalla
Great Hardovax commercial, "Gosh, everyone's noticed." thro ...more
One day Joe gets a mysterious message offering him a job on Sirius V. The message turns out to be from an all powerful entity known as the Glimmung who is launching a project to raise a sunken cathedral from the ocean bed.
Being a Dick novel, things are not as straightforward as this synopsis would imply.
I'm rereading this preparatory to this weekend's discussion with the SFFaudio podcast gang. I have to say the book definitely warrants two readings. The first time through I was rather overcome by the depressing world of Dick's creation. This is leavened somewhat by Dick's use of humor of all kinds, even wrapped in the depressing details of a life micro-managed by the government. However, the second time through, knowing the basic plot and resigned to the depressing world, the humo ...more
For some reason, I love this book. Maybe I believe God is art; maybe I believe God is broken, I'm not sure, but at a dark moment in my life this book got on a transatlantic flight with me and helpe ...more
Joe is a regular guy trying to use his talents as pot healer (and by that, he restores ceramic pots; that's it, nothing else to it) but there just isn't any work these days. His office day ...more
There's an engaging adventure in there somewhere but its hidden amongst his drug enduced pseudo-scientific ramblings. And at end I was left thinking, what was the point of this book?
This is what I think of when I typically think of PKD!