Tuesday, March 8, 1994

The Zap Gun

by Philip K. Dick

This was like a lot of PKD books - many names; many characters, almost all with Dick's education and interests; some bad writing; some good writing; a demented, convoluted plot.  This book was even more convoluted than most: (a) there are weapons designers for East and West, who get weapons from trances; (b) the weapons are not real, due to a secret agreement; (c) a real nut, a weapons fanatic (who like all civilians thinks the weapons are real) is appointed to the government; (d) alien satellites begin to take Earth cities; (e) an obscure comic book contains East & West's weapons' sketches (this phenomenon never explained); (f) an ancient "war vet" is found who seems to be from the war with the aliens, which just started.  Anyway, I enjoyed it for what it was, familiar as I am with Dick's themes and obsessions.  It contained passages clearly the same as some PKD stories: "War Game," "War Vet" and "Beyond Lies the Wub."

two stars

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