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