>Science Fiction – "Ubik"

>“Ubik” is a short novel by Philip K. Dick. It’s very weird. I had read it long time ago and all I remembered was that it was weird and confusing. This time I think I understood the story, but I keep wondering what else I missed.

The plot of this book concerns members of a company, which specialized in neutralizing the influence of pre-cogs, telepaths and other psi-capable individuals. They anti-paranormals are called “inertials”. In the beginning of the story the company’s president and his top intertials are summoned to a lunar base to try a find a telepath. When they get there, an attempt on the life of the company’s head is attempted – via a bombing.

This is where things start getting weird. In “Ubik”‘s universe, if you are killed but are placed in “cold-pac” quickly, your mind can be preserved in a state, referred to as “half-life”, where your body is kept in suspended animation and you brain waves continue. People in the outside world are still able to communicate with you via some specialized devices.

In the second part of the book, once weird things start to happen, you begin to realize that some of the characters are in fact dead and in “half-life”. The plot revolves around people discovering who is and who is not alive.

What is Ubik? Beats me. Maybe I’ll know better after our SF book discussion group meets.

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