On an arid Mars, local bigwigs compete with Earth-bound interlopers to buy up land before the Un develops it and its value skyrockets. Martian Union leader Arnie Kott has an ace up his sleeve, though: an autistic boy named Manfred who seems to have the ability to see the future. In the hopes of gaining an advantage on a Martian real estate deal, powerful people force Manfred to send them into the future, where they can learn about development plans. But is Manfred sending them to the real future or one colored by his own dark and paranoid filter? As the time travelers are drawn into Manfred's dark worldview in both the future and present, the cost of doing business may drive them all insane.
©1964 Philip K. Dick, © renewed 1992 by The Estate of Philip K. Dick. (P)2014 Brilliance Audio, all rights reserved.
"The writing is humorous, painful, awesome in its effect on both mind and heart.... There are few modern novels to match it." (Rolling Stone)
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"Autism, schizophrenia, and Martians"
“Everything wears out eventually; nothing is permanent. Change is the one constant of life.”
― Philip K. Dick, Martian Time-Slip
Martian Time-Slip may not be one of Dick's BEST novels, but it is almost my favorite. There is a huge energy and vitality in it. Dick is painting with his usual themes (loneliness, madness, drugs, pre-cognition, time, artificial intelligence, the other, corporatism, love, etc), but there is nothing usual about what he extracts. The only thing missing from this book is GOD, but Dick will delve into that later in his career. He is starting to flirt with the surface with the mystical practices of the Bleekmen (Martians).
I was especially taken with the time he spent on autism and schizophrenia. This book was written in the 60s just as Autism was starting to be distinguished and separated from schizophrenia, (due to some poor phrasing in the 40s). Dick who suffered from his own mental health issues was probably VERY aware of autism since he was deeply curious about mental health. Anyway, he says it best:
“Purpose of life is unknown, and hence way to be is hidden from the eyes of living critters. Who can say if perhaps the schizophrenics are not correct? Mister, they take a brave journey. They turn away from mere things, which one may handle and turn to practical use; they turn inward to meaning. There, the black-night-without-bottom lies, the pit. Who can say if they will return? And if so, what will they be like, having glimpsed meaning? I admire them.”
6 books into this wonderful author, this has to be my favorite so far. slowish start but once it gets going it grips you to the end, gubbish gubbish gubbishgubish
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