In an otherwise intriguing analysis of the writings of the science fiction author Philip K. Dick Blows Against the Empire
The return of Philip K. Dick
, Adam Gopnik writing in the New Yorker comments:

In “Clans of the Alphane Moon,” he had already glimpsed the possibility that normal governing might be the work of paranoids. This Nixon-era vision becomes, in the VALIS books, a metaphysical truth. “The Empire is the institution, the codification, of derangement; it is insane and imposes its insanity on us by violence, since its nature is a violent one,”

This description of the “Clans of the Alpine Moon” as a “Nixon-era” vision annoyed me since, as Gopnik had already pointed out earlier in his article, this story appeared in 1964. As I recall, in 1964 Lyndon Johnson was President. Nixon didn’t become President until January, 1969. So how, exactly, is this a “Nixon-era” story?

Aside from that rather puzzling bit, I thought the article was an interesting overview and analysis of a very important and influential science fiction writer. Non science fiction fans are more likely to remember the movies based on his stories. “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep” became the movie Blade Runner, while “We Can Remember It for You Wholesale” became Total Recall.

Send to Kindle

About R.P. Nettelhorst

I'm married with three daughters. I live in southern California and I'm the interim pastor at Quartz Hill Community Church. I have written several books. I spent a couple of summers while I was in college working on a kibbutz in Israel. In 2004, I was a volunteer with the Ansari X-Prize at the winning launches of SpaceShipOne. Member of Society of Biblical Literature, American Academy of Religion, and The Authors Guild
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *