The Man in the High Castle by Philip K. Dick
For some insane reason, I thought that my final finals season at Agnes meant that I would have tons of time for reading. This was not only a lie, but a damned lie. I checked out every book I could only get at my college library and a handful of books from the local library. Fines piled up on the school books and the local books went home, unread, save for one: The Man in the High Castle. I’d only known Philip K. Dick by reputation, and I had confused The Man in the High Castle, the “Nazis won World War II” story, with another “Nazis won World War II” alternate history short story that was much more dour and depressing. Well, not that this isn’t…
My brother-in-law turns 50 this weekend. So, in his honor, please pick up your nearest book or whatever book you’re currently reading, and turn to page 50 and then share the first 50 words with the rest of us.
From Philip K. Dick’s The Man in the High Castle:
The bottom was a Seven, and so was the second and then the third. The bottom trig in Ch’ien, he realized. That sounded good; Ch’ien was the creative. Then line Four, an eight. Yin. And line Five, also eight, a yin line. Good lord, he thought excitedly; one more yin line and I’ve got Hexagram Eleven, T’ai, Peace. (50)
I find alternate history endlessly fascinating, and the genre lends itself to plot-focused works rather than character-focused. While I prefer both in my reading, I do like things to happen, especially to characters I like. (This is my problem with the recent film adaptation of Thor; the characters are great, but the story is kind of… eh.) So, in any case, today we’re looking at a venerable piece of alternate history and a newer piece.