Denver Science Fiction & Fantasy Book Club

Man in the High Castle 1990s tp The Man in The High Castle (1962)
1963 Hugo Award Winner

1992 Vintage Books trade edition
259 pages, cover design by Heidi North
cover photograph by Digital Art/Westlight (left)

1964 Popular Library edition, 50 cover price (right)
Man in the High Castle 1960s pb

From the back cover of the trade paperback:
       It's America in 1962.  Slavery is legal once again.  The few Jews who still survive hide under assumed names.  In San Francisco the I Ching is as common as the Yellow Pages.  All because some 20 years earlier the United States lost a war -- and is now occupied jointly by Nazi Germany and Japan.  This harrowing, Hugo Award winning novel is the work that established Philip K.  Dick as an innovator in science fiction while breaking the barrier between science fiction and the serious novel of ideas.  In it Dick offers a haunting vision of history as a nightmare from which it may just be possible to awake.

Read for group discussion on September 9, 1998

Amy's Short Summary:  The Man in the High Castle - Philip K. Dick

This alternate history, science fiction book is set in the 1960s in a world in which the Allies lost World War II.  America is occupied, in the east by Nazi Germany, in the west by Japan.

In San Francisco, in the Pacific States of America, Mr. Nobusuke Tagomi of the Trade Mission is going to host an meeting between the mysterious Mr. Baynes and an old Japanese gentleman.  Mr. R. Childan of American Artistic Handicrafts is hoping to sell items to the rich Japanese, and Frank Frink is an Jewish artisan.

Meanwhile in the Rocky Mountain States, Juliana Frink, Frank's ex-wife, hooks up with a truck driver.

Most characters seek the advice of the old Chinese oracle, the I Ching, and are reading a controversial SF book, The Grasshopper Lies Heavy, in which Germany and Japan lost the war.

summary written by

Man in the High Castle 1970s pb The Man in the High Castle
more book covers

1974 Berkley Medallion paperback (left)
253 pages, cover art by Powers

Cheri's hardback (book club edition?) (right)
Man in the High Castle BCE

How we each rated this book
Dan 9 Amy 8 stack of books 10   Wow! Don't miss it
8-9  Highly recommended
7    Recommended
5-6  Mild recommendation
3-4  Take your chances
1-2  Below average; skip it
0    Get out the flamethrower!
U    Unfinishable or unreadable
-    Skipped or no rating given
Cheri 9 Barb 9
Aaron 10 Cynthia 8
Lars - Jackie 7
Kerry 7    

Our book group has also read the following book by Philip K. Dick:
-- Blade Runner / Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep   in July 1997
-- Ubik   in October 2002
-- Valis   in September 2006

Philip K. Dick (1928-1982) was an important US science fiction writer.  He was born in Chicago, but lived most of his life in Berkeley, California.  His middle initial, K., stands for Kindred.

Complexity, paranoia, and drugs feature in many of his works.  His first publication was a short story in 1952, his first novel appeared in 1955.  Between 1950-1970 he was a very productive writer.  After 1970 metaphysical questions dominated his life.  In 1974 he had a life-changing, religious experience.  There are many books written about the author Philip K. Dick.

1963 Hugo Award for novel The Man in the High Castle
1975 John W. Campbell Memorial Award for Flow My Tears, The Policeman Said

Movies based on Philip K. Dick books and stories
Blade Runner (1982) was based on the book Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?
Total Recall (1990) was based on the story "We Can Remember it for you Wholesale"
Confessions d'un Barjo (1992, Canada) was based on the mainstream novel Confessions of a Crap Artist
Screamers (1995) was based on the short story "Second Variety"
Imposter (2002) was based on story "Imposter"
Minority Report (2002) was based on the short story of the same name
Paycheck (2003) was based on a short story
A Scanner Darkly (2005) animated film based on the novel of the same name

Philip K. Dick story collections
At the beginning of his career, Philip K. Dick wrote numerous short stories.  They are collected in a variety of books, including A Handful of Darkness (1955), The Variable Man and Other Stories (1957), The Preserving Machine (1969), The Book of Philip K. Dick (1973), The Best of Philip K. Dick (1977), The Golden Man (1980), The Dark Haired Girl (essays, poems, letters, a speech, and a short story, 1988), I Hope I Shall Arrive Soon, The Philip K. Dick Reader, and the five-volume Collected Stories of Philip K. Dick.

The Collected Stories of Philip K. Dick
all collections published in 1987
Volume 1: Beyond Lies the Wub -- 25 stories, written 1947 to 1952
Volume 2: Second Variety -- 27 stories, written 1952-1953
Volume 3: The Father Thing -- 23 stories, written 1953-1954
Volume 4: The Days of Perky Pat -- 18 stories, written 1954-1964
Volume 5: The Little Black Box -- 25 stories, written 1964-1981

Reprints, The Collected Stories of Philip K. Dick, with some stories interchanged:
Volume 1: The Short Happy Life of the Brown Oxford (1990)
Volume 2: We Can Remember It for You Wholesale (1990)
Volume 3: Second Variety (1991)
Volume 4: The Minority Report (1991)
Volume 5: The Eye of the Sibyl (1992)

Philip K. Dick books
Some notable PKD books are The Man in the High Castle (1962) in which Germany and Japan won WWII, Martian Time Slip (1964) set in a schizophrenic world; Dr Bloodmoney, or How We Got Along After the Bomb (1965) set in a post holocaust USA; The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch (1965) which features strange new drugs; Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? (1968); A Maze of Death (1970); and Valis (1981) a search for meaning.

His first novels include Solar Lottery (1955), The World Jones Made (1956), The Man Who Japed (1956), The Cosmic Puppets (1957), Eye in the Sky (1957), Dr. Futurity (1959), Time Out of Joint (1959) and Vulcan's Hammer (1960).

In the 1960s he wrote We Can Build You (1972), The Game-Players of Titan (1963), The Simulacra (1964), Now Wait for Last Year (1966), Clans of the Aphane Moon (1964), The Crack in Space (1966), The Zap Gun (1967), The Penultimate Truth (1964), The Unteleported Man (1966, alternate title Lies, Inc.), the Counter-Clock World (1967), The Ganymede Takeover (1967, with Ray Nelson) and Ubik (1969).

Later books, many influenced by his theology, include Galactic Pot-Healer (1969), Our Friends from Frolix 8 (1970), Flow My Tears, The Policeman Said (1974), Deus Irae (with Roger Zelazny, fixup 1976), A Scanner Darkly (written 1973, 1977), Radio Free Albemuth (written 1976, 1985), The Divine Invasion (1981), and The Transmigration of Timothy Archer (1982).

Nick and the Glimmung (written 1966, 1988) is young adult SF.

Dick also wrote a number of mainstream novels, most of which were published posthumously: Mary and the Giant, The Broken Bubble, Puttering About in a Small Land, In Milton Lumky Territory, Confessions of a Crap Artist, The Man Whose Teeth were All Exactly Alike, and Humpty Dumpty in Oakland.  These were written 1953-1960, and published 1975-1988.

Our book club's page for Blade Runner by Philip K. Dick
Our book club's page for Ubik by Philip K. Dick
Arrastra SF: Philip K. Dick - The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch
Arrastra SF: Philip K. Dick - Martian Time Slip - web site devoted to sci-fi author / philosopher Philip K. Dick
Philip K. Dick Bibliography - features book cover art
Big Bill's Philip K Dick (PKD) Stuff

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This page was last updated October 16, 2008