Radio Free Albemuth

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So, I’m reading this book by Philip K. Dick (he’s the one that wrote the stories that Bladerunner, Total Recall, and Mimic were based upon), Radio Free Albemuth. There’s this brain-dead President that somehow ended up in office. He has very aggressive campaigns that are basically worthless. He is chasing after nonexistent terrorists, for example. A terrorist group that, it turns out, has the same name as some random word written into the drying sidewalk outside his childhood house. Sure, he probably subconsciously associates it with bad things from childhood (“Hey, don’t go past the sidewalk! The street is dangerous!”).

Anyway, that is not the point of my little narrative. There are two characters in the book, Phil and Nicholas. Phil is a writer. Nicholas has extremely vivid and real visions–sort of paranormal experiences that told him things. Nicholas seems pretty crazy at times. They both lived in the Bay area and moved to Orance County. The thing that really messes me up is that Philip K. Dick was a writer. He had some visions for a time pretty much drove him mad, as he was trying to scientifically figure out what the heck they were and what the heck they meant, and there were no scientific answers. As I recall, he came from the Bay Area. He eventually moved to Santa Ana. The Phil in the book wrote “The Man in the High Castle” (and won the Hugo award in 1963) and “The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch”…just like Philip K. Dick.

The book is not supposed to be autobiographical, and Mister Dick probably did not know about “Dubyeah” when he wrote the book (he died in ’82, although the book is copyright ’85), so the whole thing leaves a really creepy aftertaste…

Posted in: Books

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