An alternate-history lark at first glance hides a hidden message of racism. Philip K. Dick would have us believe that he’s written a book about a scenario where Franklin Roosevelt was assassinated in 1933 leading to a weak USA government. From there he speculates that Nazi Germany would have conquered the Soviet Union without the involvement of Americans, Japan would have taken control of Hawaii, Australia, New Zealand and the rest of the Pacific, all of which would lead up to a surrender by the Allies in 1948.
Sounds interesting. Just seem friendly ruminations about the massacre of millions in just a slightly different way than the millions were actually massacred in reality. I think we could all get behind that kind of novel, maybe a few sweet battle scenes, a couple of heroic figures shooting it out with bad dudes and a sick and/or nasty cliff-hanger ending setting up it for a sequel. But, no – that is not what this book is.
Dick goes on a racist rampage as he lets his subconscious loose on these pages. His barely concealed obscene views dominate the text and his complete failure to include a plot can only mean that the only reason that he put pen to paper was to glorify the slaughter of his least favourite ethnicities.
The book does have a sweet alternate history map for all of us to view and enjoy:
Here’s a list of atrocities for you to consider:
There is no plot to speak of. The characters remain unconnected from the beginning of the novel to the end – a ‘climax’ which involves the reader being treated to the god-like presence of the author’s self-insert character.
The entire experience is an exercise in the glorification of the potential achievements of the losers of World War II, who would have made a great fist of being wonderful overlords of Earth if only a few rolls of the dice went their way. This book is an abomination and a hateful piece of work.