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Martian time-slip (SF master series) [Hardcover]

Philip K Dick
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)

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Book Description

1976 SF master series

Mars is a desolate world. Largely forgotten by Earth, the planet remains helpless in the stranglehold of Arnie Kott, who as boss of the plumber¿s union has a monopoly over the vital water supply.

Arnie Kott is obsessed by the past; the native Bleekmen, poverty-stricken wanderers, can see into the future; while to Manfred, an autistic boy, time apparently stops. When one of the colonists, Norbert Steiner, commits suicide, the repercussions are startling and bizarre.

--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

Product details

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: New English Library; First Hardcover edition (1976)
  • ISBN-10: 0450029786
  • ISBN-13: 978-0450029783
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,970,481 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Amazon Review

One of the stand-out novels in Philip K. Dick's career of wildly reality-bending SF, Martian Time- Slip (1964) convinces by placing its insanities in a quiet, even domestic context. Here colonised Mars has a flavour of grubby, struggling 1950s suburbia, where money (not to mention water) is in short supply, jobs are insecure, the humour's mostly black, and small tragedies like one minor character's suicide cause far-ranging ripples. The good old human comedy of lies, power-play, real-estate deals and extramarital naughtiness continues as ever--all distorted by the real SF factor, an autistic child's dislocated sense of time. In one memorable scene he sketches the glorious new Martian housing project just being planned ... but as it will look a century later, a decayed slum. So powerful are this boy's visions of nightmare futures that they suck in other people and infect them with sick images of the "gubbish worm", an appalling symbol of entropy. Gubbish devours beauty and reduces language itself to meaningless gubble-gubble. The very human and occasionally even likeable villain Arnie Kott plans to exploit this time-twisting ability, whereupon things become very tangled indeed. Another worthy reissue in the Millennium SF Masterworks series, which has yet to pick a single dud. --David Langford --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

Book Description

Philip K. Dick is the bestselling author of MINORITY REPORT and BLADE RUNNER --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Madness on Mars 2 April 2002
Arnie Kott (the head of the plumbing union), Jack Bohlen (the schizoid repairman), Manfred (the autistic child), Norbert Steiner (the black market goodies man), and Doreen (Arnie's mistress) are just some of the people who inhabit PKD's dystopian vision of Mars, where economic stagnation is complemented by the spiritual stagnation of the residents, who shun and marginalize the native population - the Bleekmen.
Martian time - slip is relatively slow moving compared to 'Ubik' for example, but there is perhaps more rich symbolism here as PKD explores the issue of the fallen state of schizophrenia in his own inimitable fashion. Overall the tone of the novel is one of reflection and comprehension, even sadness at times.
I particularly enjoyed Jacks encounter with the malfunctioning teaching machines (Kindly Dad is especially humorous). This moment is full of humour and fear and is typical PKD. The 'Jack' character is complicated and full of pathos having more in common with the autistic Manfred (gubble, gubble) at times as he attempts to contain the madness inside himself.
On the downside is that PKD employs some dubious 'Sci-fi' ideas, including the canal-network (in which futuristic Mars is criss-crossed with a network of water-bearing canals), and the slow motion chamber (which is supposed to help the autistic Manfred, who 'only' suffers from an accelerated sense of time). The existence of highly evolved life on Mars could also be criticised, but one should not let these minor points stop you enjoying one of PKD's best works.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Quiet and compelling work 21 April 2001
Those who prefer the pulpier, pacier Dick novels, and I am one of those, might find Martian Time Slip slow and unexciting on a first read. Infact first time through it made no impression at all. I returned to it later though, on the back of having read most of PKD's output, and found a compelling novel hidden beneath the slightly bland veneer. The main fascination of the book is that it deals with at novel length, a theme that would consistently recur throughout Dick's later fiction - that of the 'tomb world' - a fallen state, entered into through depression, illness (autism in this novel) or some form of mental shock, in which human contact and empathy is no longer possible. In later works, including the exceptional Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldtritch and Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep, the tomb world recurs as just one theme or plot strand amongst many. Here it expands to fill the whole.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
The book offers a more placid side to Dick's writing, it is no where near as dark as some of his some of his more famous novels such as A Scanner Darkly (a must read). and more accessible than than his later novels (Valis). Some may find this book slow of the mark but if you stick with it, the novel becomes gripping and the reader is soon lost into the throws of ever distorted time sense in the mind of Jack Bohlen. Unusual for Dick, mind bending drugs have no feature in this novel. Instead Dick uses the Schizophrenic boy Manfred Steiner, whose distorted time sense means he can see far and wide into the future as his medium for the chaos that erupts around the life of the key characters. Jack Bohlen was just an ordinary repairman on Mars until a unpleasant encounter with the head of the plumbers union Arnie Kott leads them both down a dark road of despair and desperation. Arnie wants to exploit the child Manfred possible time seeing ability, but to do this jack has to build a machine to communicate with the child. Jack now has a very high paying job but will the close proximity with this withdrawn kid spark off a second Schizophrenic episode.
A amazing novel one of dicks best, easy to read and yet will have the readers mind doing loops as they try to untangle the martian time slip. A must have in any Phillip K Dick Collection.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars One of PKD's finest novels 9 Feb 2009
Martian Time Slip is a very downbeat story, albeit with touches of typically quirky PKD humour, and has his usual themes of isolation, drug-use, and mental ailments. It also concentrates, like a lot of his stories, on distorted perceptions of realities, corrupt corporations, conspiracies and time travel. It's a real slow-burner of a tale, the story unfolds very gradually but it draws the reader into it's world and the plights of the various characters, Dick paints a fantastic vision of mars, in fact I'd go so far as to say this is the best novel written about Mars with the exception of Ray Bradbury's Martian Chronicles. The book is certainly the most haunting and atmospheric of the PKD's novels I've read, and has a troubling, dreamlike feel to it. Dick's examinations of autism and schizophrenia relating to it's effects on time is a fascinating concept, and the various characters are all well realised and believable. Overall, I found this to be a very satisfying and stimulating read, one of the finest sci-fi novels I've read and a real highpoint in Philip K Dick's output. Highly recommended.
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3.0 out of 5 stars A mixture of his writing themes 28 Mar 2000
By A Customer
Philip K. Dick wrote about many things but he does have some larger recuurent themes , one is madness , the other time travel ( or other dimensional transformations) , all tied together with drug taking and a vision of a very capitalistic society , usually with a failing personal relationship to add salt to the subject wounds. Wounds that the main character will have to find the will to endure and fight against.
A Martian Time Slip does not do sufficent justice - in my opinion - to these themes. For example in 'Now wait for last Year' time travel ( or time distortion) is induced by drug taking and is a better book as it explores these themes. Certainly 'Clans of the Alphane Moon' covers madness , in all its ramifications , as no other book. Try them as well.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Not his most cheerful book
Am working through PKDs novels at the moment. This book is probably his most dour. Can almost feel the weight of the Martian atmosphere lying heavy on the pages. Read more
Published 7 days ago by Lord Agrostis
3.0 out of 5 stars Anachronisms aside....
I do like Phillip K Dick's work, and I appreciate that at the time of writing he wasn't to know that cassette tape would soon be consigned to the betamax hall of technological... Read more
Published 18 months ago by Knightology
4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyed this.
Reminded me of the film total recall and red faction. Liked the character and the concept of living on mars.
Published 21 months ago by Rich M
5.0 out of 5 stars One a strange frontier tale on the red planet
This book is one of the highlights of the rich selection of books that Philip K Dick wrote. Where his insecurities about technology merging seamlessly into the human experience... Read more
Published on 24 Aug 2011 by J. W. Burton
4.0 out of 5 stars A Fine PKD Novel
"Mars. A desolate place, forgotten by Earth Isolated homesteaders huddle along the lines of the great canals, in thrall to Arnie Kott and his plumbing Union which controls the... Read more
Published on 12 Mar 2011 by M Jenkins
4.0 out of 5 stars Still cutting edge
Although written in the mid-60s this novel feels, in many ways, as if it could have been written just yesterday. Read more
Published on 3 April 2009 by J. H. Bretts
5.0 out of 5 stars Possibly my favourite PKD
Great book, and certainly Jack Bohlen is one of my favourite literary characters. It IS more slow-moving than other PKD's, but I like that - it makes it easier to slip in and out... Read more
Published on 9 Mar 2008 by Voldermania Voldernia
4.0 out of 5 stars Mars oh Mars. we see you in our Nightmares we see you in our Dreams
This is a bit like a soap opera set on mars. with spooky marshan folk alongside the humans. i dont want to give anything away, its just a really good read.
Published on 5 Feb 2008 by B. J. Crossley
3.0 out of 5 stars Certainly not his best
I'm a big fan of PKD and would usually defend his books to the hilt. I have to say though this left me a little cold. Read more
Published on 16 Dec 2007 by Mr. John Melvin
4.0 out of 5 stars One of Dick's better books
It is a strange exploration of a bizare explanation for what autism could be and how it could be helped. Read more
Published on 5 Nov 2007 by plot hound
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