Philip K. Dick: Dr. Bloodmoney, or How We Got Along After the Bomb (1973, Ace Books) 3 stars

Dr. Bloodmoney, or How We Got Along After the Bomb is a 1965 science fiction …

Review of 'Dr. Bloodmoney or How We Got Along after the Bomb' on 'GoodReads'

3 stars

The blurb on the back cover is a poor summary to the unusual slice of post-atomic life Dick has served up as a snapshot of dystopian life. There are mutants, but not in the ubiquitous way contemporary fantastic science-fiction and urban fantasy tend to saturate their stories with. And the mutations are more considered and implicit as part of the narrative convention as opposed to characterisation or some sort of "super/magic power". Dick has been selective on the mutant/human ratio for greater affect. Like most of Dick's writing, he has the unrivalled talent of marrying offbeat nuances within the most mundane of circumstances. The story is a snapshot of several communities during the aftermath of an atomic accident. It's an easy, relaxing read with only a slight authorial parable at the end but mostly it focuses on how people interact with each other under the circumstances of having to put their society back together again. Amusingly, Dick concentrates on eye-wear, cigarettes, alcohol, and vermin traps. He manages to create a claustrophobic world without too much intensity and if highfalutin sci-fi puts you off, you won't find it in this novel. Dick writes with a penetrable, if at times unfathomable, penmanship that achieves a bizarre sort of synergy.