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A soldier or officer in metallic uniform protecting a girl from the chaos.

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It perfectly expresses some of the classic tropes of the genre, yet revels in a Cold War era fear of chaos and destruction. Along with Jones, perhaps the ego of the young SF fan can only find true freedom when the impositions and constraints of order collapse, and joy is found in apocalypse and destruction.

Philip K Dick | The World Jones Made | Kelly Freas

Reading such an early novel of PKD's proves very interesting if you have read any of his later works, all the hallmarks of his writing style are present but in a much rawer form while his voice is much subtler. The usual quirky characters are evident and none more so than Floyd himself who is quite far removed from the hero, being a fascist, xenophobe and not really a nice guy who just happens to have precognitive abilities that elevates him above others.

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This idea that it's not always square jawed, all American heroes who get superpowers - or at least a super-human that the reader can bond with and relate too - was way ahead of it's time and a mark of the authors talent to think outside the box, to do things others weren't doing. The policeman Cussick could be be seen as the real protagonist, working for "FedGov" he is a dogged employee of the system, determined to stop Jones at all costs.

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This loyal but world-weary attitude is off-set by his cynical and sometimes estranged wife who despises his husbands career and the establishment he is committed to. The interplay between this husband and wife is the real highlight of the novel, genuinely touching in places. There are some very interesting ideas here - not least the political system that arrests people for subjective opinion and yet allows drug filled dens of iniquity and public sex acts with little care.

Cast of characters

If all this wasn't enough there are a number of sub-plots going on too - a heck of a lot to cram into PKD's usual slim books. The chief of these is the mutants that have been specially engineered to survive the atmosphere of the planet Venus with a grand design of colonising that planet. There are actually two different type of mutants in the book, those that have been twisted by the cataclysmic war and those who are deliberately altered such as those designed to become Venusians.

Spool3 - The World Jones Made

He had precognition for one year ahead. And when he got within the last year of his life, he had a precognition of being dead, so it really was not a talent that gave him any options. To understand the future totally would be to have it now.

The World Jones Made

Try that, and see how it feels. Because once the future is gone, the possibility of free, effective action of any kind is abolished. By being a precog, Jones ultimately lost the power to act entirely; instead of being freed by his talent, he was paralyzed by it. First, the unsympathetic review, on the "Jones" book.

The World Jones Made | notes on the novels & short stories of Philip K. Dick

One other thing, in connection with this book. Happens that the whole idea is a sort of transformation of the situation in Germany after World War One. Jones, as a person, is based on what I've read about Adolf Hitler. I tried to catch what I imagined was the zietgeist of Weimar and translate it into s-f terms.

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This essay, with others, can be found in FDO 2 , Bound in dark red paper boards with gold lettering on spine. No date on the title page. Le Masque SF, pb, 41, ,?