Friday, May 23, 2008

Friday's Forgotten Books

This nice lady asked me to tell you about a book I think needs a little attention. Sounds like a good idea. Listen up.

When I was approached about doing this, I was right in the middle of watching the film Blade Runner -- one of my all time favorites. I have the new neato-keen 5-DVD set, complete with "the making of" etc. Blade Runner, as most of you know I'm sure, is based on the Philip K. Dick novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? But this isn't the forgotton novel I want to talk to you about. The enormous cult following of Blade Runner has made many familiar with the PKD novel, but the simple fact is that Phil wrote a lot of damn books. A lot.

One of the somewhat overlooked novels is a gem called Clans of the Alphane Moon. This is the novel in which PKD out LaSalles Emerson LaSalle. Clans of the Alphane Moon clearly demonstrates PKD's willingness (eagerness?) to toss reality and plausibility out the window in favor of a great yarn. Also, PKD's brand of science fiction deals far more with themes than it does with the extrapolation of technology. Clans revolves around a mental assylum planet that was abandoned by Earth during an interplanatery war. When Earth authorities return to the moon decades later, they discover that the loony-toons who were left behind have formed themselves into clans. (For example, the paranoids form a clan that is obsessed with building their defenses to fend of all the attacks they imagine.) Back on Earth, our hero (with the help of an intelligent slime mold) uses a remote control robot to spy on his wife.


Die hard PKD fans will already know about this one, but those only familiar with PKD'S more glamorous work might want to take this crazy, pulp sci-fi side trip.


Bill Crider said...

I loved this when I read it long ago. One of my favorites of his work.

pattinase (abbott) said...

Wow. This is one Dick book I've never heard of. Thanks for helping me out.

Randy Johnson said...

One of my favorite PKD novels.

John D. said...

That sounds like a cool book. I checked Amazon, and it's still in print. I wish I'd read this post before I went to Borders today, I'd have looked for it there. Instead, I bought some book about medicine, or something. Guess I'll look for it next time.

Graham Powell said...

I remember the slime mold! Wasn't he actually the hero's next door neighbor, and he would come around to just shoot the bull?

Victor Gischler said...


Yeah, he started as the neighbor than rapidly made himself part of the hero's business.

A really kooky good read.


Mike Cane said...

So THAT"s the book with the slime mold! Is that also the book where the guy didn't pay his rent and the door won't let him open it? And when he tries to pick the lock, the door threatens to sue him?