Tuesday, 15 July 2008

Nearly Forgot

I finished Philip K. Dick's The Cosmic Puppets. It's not bad at all, and has a surprising (to me) metaphysical twist. Without giving too much away, the story introduces nothing less than a deity. Or indeed two deities. Even more surprising, one of these deities has a beautiful daughter. I suppose this kind of thing was all quite commonplace in ancient Persia (there's a hint) but I found it refreshingly strange. The actual denouement was familiar in  a good way - a rancid, vile force of evil shlobbing around, slimily absorbing friend and foe alike. This looks forward to the visions of pure evil in other PKD stories, the best perhaps being in The Man in the High Castle. So, all in all, a solid B minus for this inventive and entertaining short novel. 

There's a good article here about the various cover designs for the book, which have misled many readers (me included) into thinking it is sf. Most of PKD's work does fall into the rather roomy category of science fiction, but some of it is fantasy (see the remarkable 'Upon the Dull Earth' in the Ramsay Campbell edited Fine Frights) and a fair amount is hard to classify. I'll be intrigued to see what the forthcoming movie of Ubik is like. 


Todd T said...

I like PKD a lot but have never read this one. Sure will now though. Thanks.

valdemar squelch said...

Glad I pointed you towards a new PKD. I read most of his stuff as a teen/twentysomething. Every few years I rediscover his work, which I suppose is the mark of a real writer - he/she is with you all your life.