The Ganymede Takeover published 1967

The Ganymede Takeover is a forgettable collaboration Dick wrote with Ray Nelson in the mid-60s.

The Ganymede Takeover
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Worm-like, telepathic Ganymedeans have invaded Earth, and one of the few groups of humans still putting up a fight are the stupidly-named Neeg-parts, led by Percy X, in the hills of Tennessee. These Neeg-parts get ahold of some mind-warping technology designed for the U.N. and they finally fight off the Ganymedeans in the end.

Cast of characters

  • Mekkis – a Ganymedean civilian administrator who takes control of the bale of Tennessee
  • Koli – Military Administrator for the Ganymedeans. In control of the bale of Tennessee until Mekkis takes over
  • The Oracle – a precog Ganymedean creech
  • Percy X – leader of the Neeg-parts on Earth. A telepath
  • Lincoln Shaw – Percy X’s second-in-command
  • Joan Hiashi – intends to infiltrate the Neeg-parts on behalf of the Ganymedeans
  • Paul Rivers – a psychiatrist with the World Psychiatric Association
  • Gus Swenesgard – feudal baron of a plantation area in Tennessee
  • Rudolph Balkani – Chief of the Bureau of Psychedelic Research

Rating:

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Nick and the Glimmung published 1988

Nick and the Glimmung is Philip K. Dick’s lone children’s book. He wrote it in the late ‘60s, but it wasn’t published until 1988. After reading so many of his dour mainstream novels I forgot how deadpan and funny he can be.

Nick and the GlimmungBecause there isn’t enough food to go around on Earth, it is illegal to own pets after 1992. Young Nick Graham owns a cat named Horace, but after it slips outside and gets exposed, Graham’s family decides to emigrate to Plowman’s Planet with the cat rather than let the cat be taken away.

Once on Plowman’s Planet the Grahams have to deal with the various local creatures who are fighting a war amongst themselves spurred on by the evil Glimmung. Horace gets snatched up several times by werjes and trobes, but in the end, Nick fends off Glimmung and is reunited with his cat.

Plowman’s Planet, with a similar group of alien creatures, is also the setting for Galactic Pot-Healer written shortly after this one.

Cast of characters

  • Nick Graham– our protagonist
  • Peter Graham – Nick’s father
  • Helen Graham – Nick’s mother
  • Horace – Nick’s cat
  • Miss Juth – Nick’s teacher on Earth
  • Mr. Deverest – a newspaper reporter on Earth writing about Nick and Horace
  • Reg Frankis – a human colonist/scavenger on Plowman’s Planet
  • Jack and Doris McKenna – neighbors on Plowman’s Planet

Other things to know

  • One Summer Day –  Glimmung’s book that lists the weaknesses of every creature on Plowman’s Planet and can also predict the future. A similar book shows up in Lies, Inc.
  • The Last and Final War – Glimmung’s book of propaganda
  • wubs – a different sort of creature than the one in Dick’s short story “Beyond Lies the Wub.” This one can’t speak and communicates through the use of pre-printed cards
  • The Grand Four – the printers, nunks, spiddles and humans united in a war against the trobes, father-things and werjes who fight on the side of Glimmung

Rating:

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Puttering About in a Small Land published 1985

Roger and Virginia Lindahl, a generally unhappy couple living in Los Angeles, decide to send their son Gregg to a boarding school several hours away. Roger meets one of the other mothers at the school and ends up having an affair. Like most of Dick’s mainstream novels that weren’t published until after he died, this one is cynical and downbeat. It’s likely the best of the bunch, although the bar is awfully low… don’t get too excited.

Puttering About in a Small Land
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Dick often borrowed from his other mainstream books, probably raiding them for ideas since they had remained unpublished. Modern TV Sales & Service (with a repairman named Olsen) first appeared in Voices from the Street and was again repurposed in Dr. Bloodmoney. 

Cast of characters

  • Roger Lindahl – owner of Modern TV Sales & Service in Los Angeles
  • Virginia Lindahl – Roger’s wife
  • Gregg – Roger and Virginia’s seven-year-old son
  • Edna Alt – owner of Los Padres Valley School
  • Liz Bonner – mother of two boys who attend Los Padres
  • Chic Bonner – Liz’s husband
  • Pete Bacciagalupi – salesman at Modern TV Sales & Service
  • Olsen – repairman at Modern TV Sales & Service
  • Teddy – Roger’s ex-wife
  • Van Ecke – the math teacher at Los Padres
  • Mrs. McGivern – the science teacher at Los Padres
  • Marion Watson – Virginia’s mother
  • Jules Neame – owner of the garden supply store next door to Modern TV
  • Herb Tomford – floor manager of L & B Appliance Mart