The Secret Ascension: Philip K. Dick is Dead, Alas

Michael Bishop, Author Tor Books $0 (341p) ISBN 978-0-312-93031-8
SF author Dick has been dead more than five years, but his influence continues to be felt. Bishop's intriguing new novel is patterned on the work of Dick, mirroring the late author's characterization and styleand Dick himself is also a character. The book is set in an alternate 1982 during the fourth term of President Nixon. It's a dark time: civil liberties have been stripped away, protest is dangerous. Pet shop worker Cal Pickford is one of many Americans who have little love for ""King Richard,'' and he lives in fear that his dissident ideas will be detected. He foolishly mentions to an Americulturated Vietnamese bookstore clerk that he has a secret cache of forbidden Philip K. Dick novels, and so sets in motion malignant government forces. On Cal's side is the disembodied and amnesic spirit of the recently dead Philip K. Dick himself. This is a wonderfully inventive novel and a lovingly crafted homage, by one of the best of the younger SF writers. (November 23)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1987
Release date: 01/01/1987
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