Dick began Deus Irae in 1964 and collaborated on it with Roger Zelazny on and off for the next twelve years before it finally was published in 1976.
A religion called the Servants of Wrath springs up after a nuclear war wipes out most of the planet’s population. The followers worship the destroyer who has come to Earth in the form of Carl Lufteufel, the man responsible for the bombs.
Tibor McMasters, an armless and legless man very similar to the phocomelus Hoppy Harrington from Dr. Bloodmoney (except that Tibor’s cart is pulled by a cow), is hired to paint a church mural featuring Lufteufel for the Servants of Wrath. He sets off on a pilgrimage, followed by Pete Sands, across the post-apocalyptic wasteland in order to find Lufteufel and take a photo of him to reference for the mural.
Cast of characters
- Father Handy – father in the Servants of Wrath church
- Tibor McMasters – limbless artist who paints the SOW church mural
- Pete Sands – Christian church member
- Dr. Jim Abernathy – Christian priest in Charlottesville
- Lurnie Rae – SOWer who decides to join the Christian church
- Carl Lufteufel – Deus Irae. The God of Wrath. Former Chairman of the Energy Research and Development Administration who was responsible for the nuclear war
- Jackson and Earl Potter – lizard-like mutants Tibor meets on his journey
- Jack Schuld – a hunter who says he is tracking Lufteufel but turns out to be Lufteufel himself
- The Great C – a computer out in the post-apocalyptic wasteland that captures passerby and dissolves them in underground vats of acid