Wednesday, 26 August 2009
The Man in the High Castle by Philip K Dick
Philip K Dick has been and remains one of my all-time favourite writers. He wrote novels that on the face of it were clearly science fiction, but on closer examination were clearly a genre of their own. He was most preoccupied with asking what it that makes us human and more to the point, what is reality anyway?
The Man in the High Castle is regarded as one of his best books and won the Hugo award when first published in 1962. It describes an alternate America that lost WW2. America is divided into three separate entities. The East cost is under German control, the West coast is under a more benevolent Japanese influence and in between are the Rocky Mountain States that are semi-autonomous.
Then there is a book within the book, a banned novel called The Grasshopper Lies Heavy which describes a world where Germany and Japan the war.
Most of the events in the book take place on the West coast and as normal with PKD concern the "little" people who are just trying to make ends meet and get on in life.
Last year Amazon UK put up the cover of a new "masterworks" edition for publication in 2010. I loved the artwork and emailed the artist Chris Moore (see http://www.chrismooreillustration.co.uk/index.php) to thank him for doing such a good job. I love the depiction of the German supersonic transport, much like Concorde but just different enough to clue you in to the alternate world.
At the moment the book has a publication date of 17 September 2009.