The Man in the High Castle : Philip K. Dick :Long-term readers of this series on the Hugo awards may recall that it started by raising the question of why critics sneer at science fiction. Now that I've read up to the ninth award-winner, Philip K Dick's The Man in the High Castle, I'd be tempted to put the question a different way — largely unprintable, but definitely containing the words "so-called" and "fools". Before anyone accuses me of setting up straw men in the form of these doubting critics, I should admit that I was once among their number. I know the ignorance of which I speak. I also know the cure: to read the Hugo award winners from The Man in a High Castle is better still. It has helped shape an entire field of modern fiction: alternate history.
The Man in the High Castle
While this story creates an alternate reality, the fact that it takes place in when Dick wrote the book serves to blur the distinction between science fiction and the present reality. The story revolves a few central characters who are in different situations. Juliana Frink lives in Colorado, the buffer zone between the Germans on the east coast and the Japanese on the west. It is a fascinating dichomoty that makes readers think twice about what is real and what is not. Her husband Frank Frink is a craftsman who makes cheap imitations of old American artifacts in a Japanese occupied California that demand high market value. Frank also faces moral choices in the book that challenge his artistic values. The series of events takes place in a world where Japanese are the most respected members of American society.
Set in , fifteen years after an alternative ending to World War II , the novel concerns intrigues between the victorious Axis Powers —primarily, Imperial Japan and Nazi Germany —as they rule over the former United States, as well as daily life under the resulting totalitarian rule. Beginning in , the book was adapted as a multi-season TV series , with Dick's daughter, Isa Dick Hackett , serving as one of the show's producers. The novel features a "novel within the novel" comprising an alternate history within this alternate history wherein the Allies defeat the Axis though in a manner distinct from the actual historical outcome. The Nazis then, with help of their allies, conquered most of Africa. By , the US and the remaining Allies surrendered to the Axis, ending the war.
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