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The Cosmic Puppets by Philip K. Dick
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The Cosmic Puppets (original 1957; edition 2012)

by Philip K. Dick

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454922,953 (3.23)6
Member:ronchronchronch
Title:The Cosmic Puppets
Authors:Philip K. Dick
Info:Mariner Books (2012), Edition: Reissue, Paperback, 144 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:***
Tags:sci-fi, fiction

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The Cosmic Puppets by Philip K. Dick (1957)

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» See also 6 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 9 (next | show all)
My reaction to reading this novel in 2005.

An adequate and rare novel length Zoroastrian fantasy by Dick. The use of a Virginia milieu was interesting. By coincidence, this book also uses the idea of buildings that are either fake or mutable in their temporal identity just like Dick's Ubik which I just read.

I note that, even in this short of a novel, Dick seemingly couldn't resist having a protagonist with marital troubles. ( )
1 vote RandyStafford | Apr 23, 2014 |
I put this effort right up there with VALIS. I love philosophy and theology and the theme of Good versus Evil runs through this book and reminds me that is the battle we all find our selves in. And Good is going to triumph and everything will be fine and dandy at the end. ( )
  Arten60 | Nov 12, 2012 |
This is Dick's first really good novel (and has a lot of similarities to his first great novel, Time Out of Joint). Ted Barton goes back to his hometown of Millgate, Va., to find it totally changed, with a history where he died at 9, and impossible to escape. This was written in 1957, which feels like a surprising milieu for PKD with its rundown small town and Ted driving around in a Packard. In a much cooler alternate universe, this would have made into a movie in 1957. With Dana Andrews as Ted and directed by Jacques Tourneur. The culture would have had a total freakout. ( )
  rameau | Sep 23, 2011 |
This is a true oddball of a book from Philip K. Dick. One of his earlier, minor works, it manages to cram into its short span a truly wild ride of a tale. The story starts with Ted Barton, driving through Baltimore on vacation, deciding to make a quick visit to the small town in the Appalachian mountains where he grew up. except when he gets there he finds that it is a town he has never been to before - nothing is as he remembers it. A quick check of old newspapers tells him that the Ted Barton who was born in this town died at age 9 of scarlet fever. So does this mean he is not really Ted Barton and his memories are false, or is something even stranger going on?

So far we are in fairly standard PKD territory, its when odd kids with magical powers, ghostly apparitions drifting through town and a cosmic battle between Ahura-Mazda and his eternal adversary, Ahriman get thrown into the mix that the book acquires a breathless, breakneck, schlocky B-movie flavour. Its entertaining, if unexpected, though would probably not be everyone's cup of tea. Its probably also not the best place to start if you want are making a first acquaintance with PKD. ( )
1 vote iftyzaidi | Oct 4, 2010 |
A fairly straight-forward (as far as Dick goes) shorter novel that touches on a lot of Dick's more familiar themes, though perhaps a bit more shallowly than his more acclaimed work. Written in the '50s for one of Ace's double-novels and Dick's 2nd or 3rd published novel, it shows in both the prose and plot which is schlockier, pulpier, trashier, more B-movie like —choose according to preference— than the works Dick produced once he was more established.

It's enjoyable enough for what it is, but it's hardly great fare. ( )
  g026r | Jun 5, 2010 |
Showing 1-5 of 9 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (6 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Dick, Philip K.primary authorall editionsconfirmed
Crisp, StevenCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Emshwiller, EdCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Valigursky, EdCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Peter Trilling watched quietly as the other children played in the dust by the side of the porch.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0425062767, Paperback)

Yielding to a compulsion he can’t explain, Ted Barton interrupts his vacation in order to visit the town of his birth, Millgate, Virginia. But upon entering the sleepy, isolated little hamlet, Ted is distraught to find that the place bears no resemblance to the one he left behind—and never did. He also discovers that in this Millgate Ted Barton died of scarlet fever when he was nine years old. Perhaps even more troubling is the fact that it is literally impossible to escape. Unable to leave, Ted struggles to find the reason for such disturbing incongruities, but before long, he finds himself in the midst of a struggle between good and evil that stretches far beyond the confines of the valley.

Winner of both the Hugo and John W. Campbell awards for best novel, widely regarded as the premiere science fiction writer of his day, and the object of cult-like adoration from his legions of fans, Philip K. Dick has come to be seen in a literary light that defies classification in much the same way as Borges and Calvino. With breathtaking insight, he utilizes vividly unfamiliar worlds to evoke the hauntingly and hilariously familiar in our society and ourselves.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:33:50 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

Science fiction. Yielding to a compulsion he can't explain, Ted Barton interrupts his vacation in order to visit the town of his birth, Millgate, Virginia. But upon entering the sleepy, isolated little hamlet, Ted is distraught to find that the place bears no resemblance to the one he left behind - and never did. He also discovers that in this Millgate Ted Barton died of scarlet fever when he was nine years old. Perhaps even more troubling is the fact that it is literally impossible to escape. Unable to leave, Ted struggles to find the reason for such disturbing incongruities, but before long, he finds himself in the midst of a struggle between good and evil that stretches far beyond the confines of the valley. Winner of both the Hugo and John W. Campbell awards for best novel, widely regarded as the premiere science fiction writer of his day, and the object of cult-like adoration from his legions of fans, Philip K. Dick has come to be seen in a literary light that defies classification in much the same way as Borges and Calvino. With breathtaking insight, he utilizes vividly unfamiliar worlds to evoke the hauntingly and hilariously familiar in our society and ourselves.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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