The Ganymede Takeover by Philip K Dick and Ray Nelson

This is just silly.

You can try making it something else – I notice a blog interpreting it as an allegory for the war in Vietnam – but it isn’t worth investing meaning into. Dick’s co-author, is in fact quoted as saying:

Since we were “only practicing” for “the big one”, we wrote the book we did in a spirit of almost hysterical hilarity, enclosing weird newspaper clippings and Beatle bubblegum cards in the installments of the ongoing story we mailed back and forth. When we met –first at his place in East Oakland and later at his other place in Marin County near the water, we often spent more time smoking grass, dropping acid and flirting with each others’ wives than working.

Maybe if they’d practised properly, they would have come up with the ‘big one’, instead of which Nelson is virtually unknown and Dick is – well, less than he might have been. And the readers are left, rather insultingly, with something that should never have been published.

Having said that, it’s easy to read and if you care enough about Dick to read his stuff, you can see bits of what’s good about him in it.

So what’s the antidote for a book like this? Christina Stead’s The Man Who Loved Children. Haven’t read it for a very long time indeed, but it surely won’t disappoint.

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