As my readers know, this blog is my attempt to read through the American tradition, searching for left-libertarian themes and highlighting my home country’s radical traditions. People in the U.S. do not need to look far (or even to self-proclaimed anarchists) to find support for radical alternative visions. My method has been to read systemically through the Library of America, which to date has published around 250 volumes. Included in this series is three volumes of Philip K. Dick, containing thirteen of his novels.
I intend to go a little farther and write one post on each of his novels that I can get a hold of. I want to focus on the following two questions. What was Dick’s attitude toward technology, post-scarcity, transhumanism and posthumanism? In what ways was Dick a libertarian writer?
The cliche about PKD is that he was interested in the nature of humanity and the nature of reality. I suspect this is too limiting. He was also profoundly interested in the nature of power and human freedom, so while not bracketing the commonplace PKD questions entirely, I do want to focus on his analysis of power.
I will put in the internal links when I complete the posts. My plan is to read and comment on the following novels. This series should take me through April. Due to the necessity of using my local lending library’s inter-library loan for many of his earlier novels, I will not do these in order.
The Cosmic Puppets (1957)
Solar Lottery (1955)
The World Jones Made (1956)
Eye in the Sky (1957)
Time Out of Joint (1959)
Confessions of a Crap Artist (1959)
Dr. Futurity (1960)
The Man in High Castle (1962)
We Can Build You (1962/1972)
Martian Time-Slip (1964)
Dr. Bloodmoney, or How We Got Along After the Bomb (1965)
The Game-Players of Titan (1963)
The Simulacra (1964)
The Crack in Space (1966)
Now Wait for Last Year (1966)
Clans of the Alphane Moon (1964)
The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch (1965)
The Zap Gun (1967)
The Penultimate Truth (1964)
The Ganymede Takeover (1967)
Counter-Clock World (1967)
Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? (1968)
A Maze of Death (1970)
Deus Irae (1976)
Flow My Tears, the Policeman Said (1974)
A Scanner Darkly (1977)
The Divine Invasion (1981)
Lies, Inc. (1966/1984)