Review: Dr Bloodmoney by Philip K. Dick

Dr Bloodmoney by Philip K. Dick

Dr Bloodmoney by Philip K Dick

This novel by P K Dick is a bit of a change of pace for the author. The setting for the story is just before and after a Nuclear Apocalypse. There are some familiar Dickian elements: the Gnostic vision of a world ruled over by a false demiurge with a distant, helpless Deity looking on from beyond the planet. In this case the demiurge is the phocomelus Hoppy Harrington and the deity is an orbitting astronaut, the witty radio voice of Dangerfield that people all over the world tune into every night when the satellite he is stranded on is within range.

After the Nuclear anihilation, the novel follows the survivors as they first escape the city of Berkeley and then head into the countryside of Northen California. All of the small towns have a doctor and a handy. A handy is someone who can fix the old technologies that still remain, such as the refrigerators or the radios the towns use to tune in the orbitting Dangerfield. One such handy is Hoppy Harrington, a man without arms or legs who can fix technology with his mind. He is also a brilliant impersonator who often entertains the town by imitating dangerfield and others.

The title character Dr Bloodmoney, or Bluthgeld, is the nuclear physicist responsible for the nuclear armageddon. Afterwards he escapes from Berkely and becomes a sheep farmer in the town of West Marin, a town he shares with Hoppy. Bluthgeld suffers from paranoia and in West Marin believes he is able to fire off another volley of nuclear weapons. Before he is able to finish this task he has a confrontation with Hoppy whose powers of telekinesis are increasing, he and this leads towards the end of the novel.

I quite enjoyed Dr Bloodmoney, is satisfied my thirst for paranoid Dickian stories and post-apocalyptic tales. Highly recommended.