Monday, February 8, 2010

#6: The Penultimate Truth by Philip K. Dick

In the far-flung future of 2010, the Earth has been devastated by nuclear war; below ground, humans continue to build robots to keep fighting on the surface, cheered on via video screen by the patriarchal leader Talbot Yancy. But Yancy is a robot, and the pleasant surface of the planet is now being held by a handful of clever marketing execs, in Philip K. Dick's post-apocalyptic outing The Penultimate Truth.

Longtime readers of this blog know I am a fan of Dick's trippy sci-fi; but though still worth reading, this ragged, raging story would probably be in my second tier of his work. Others fans of Philip K. Dick will find his usual interests in alternate histories, precognition, time travel, faceless corporations, belligerent robots and shrewish spouses all on display.

Dick never runs out of ideas, and The Penultimate Truth is no exception; though I don't think all of the details hang together quite as tightly as some other works. Good food for thought, as always.

I snagged this one off of and carried it with me everywhere until I finished it.


  1. John,

    I seem to enjoy watching Sci-fi more than reading it, I don't know why. After reading your first blog post about consuming 50 books in a year, it got me to wondering how many books I go through a year. So I started counting. I was a little shocked to discover that I logged in at 50 books in just 3 months. With those kinds of numbers it sounds like I'm reading all the time, but I only read maybe 45 minutes, at the most, a day--30 minutes at night, 15 in the am. Of course, I'm the first to admit I'm not reading deep intellectual novels, I like to be entertained and mysteries are my posion of choice. Best of luck in your reading challenge, it has inspired me!

  2. The #6 book you read last year was by PKD. Coincidence? Or is late Jan/early Feb just the right time for a PKD novel. The plot of this one sounds cool. Too bad it's not up to his usual standard.

  3. Jill, knowing how hard it is to read basically one book a week, I can't imagine how it is to read a book every few days! What are you reading?

  4. Troy, a decent PKD is better than most other sci fi, if you are a fan. :)