The World Jones Made by Philip K Dick
Nice book. Easy read. Gripping start to finish. Dick’s 1956 book is full of the neuroses of the Cold War, the references to the Communists and the War, but like all good books, there’s an element of general truth in what he writes. In the book the Relativists overthrow the fanatics and the fanatics overthrow them back and I guess that sums up human civilisation, the swinging back and forth between opposite poles.
Humans it seems have trouble dealing with duality. They like names and labels to be fixed, unchanging, easy. They like to believe fairy stories. They categorise themselves and the categorisation somehow becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. Be it microsoft vs. open source or capitalism vs. well, anti-capitalism, nobody wants to look any deeper than the most generalised principles, and then they want to stick their loyalties to that one cause, however badly it might fit their world view. And of course, loyalty to more than one idea is anathema.
Dick writes well, and he generalises enough about the future that his books don’t date easily. And really, this isn’t a sci-fi book is it? It’s a novel about humans which happens to be set in some distant future. 1997.
Buy it here
Fabmall rocks by the way. I got the Book of Illusions from them a few days ago and like everything else that I’ve ordered from them, it arrives with stunning efficiency. Remarkable.