Vintage, Mar 2004, 12.00, 202 pp.
To control the aggressiveness of citizens living on top of one another in crowded file cabinets like anthills in overpopulated urban regions, Lies Incorporated uses computer software to keep people sublimely quiet. A metropolis is simply an industrial work zone with contented “prisoners”. The only escape from this drab existence is through the services of Trails of Hoffman, Inc. which can teleport a person to the paradise colony planet Whale's Mouth, but this is a one way ticket.
The Lies Incorporated SubInfo computers perform an unnatural act for them by transmitting a ton of data on the Oakland, California rat population to Rachmael ben Applebaum, who knows something is not right. Rachmael begins questioning “truths” now that he sublimely has become the rat expert. He wonders about the Utopian alternative and soon has evidence that the happy crowds are a sham, a galaxy con game. He plans to become THE UNTELEPORTED MAN and illegally take a spaceship to the planet to ask who wants to come home.
This futuristic dark vision that is mindful in many ways of 1984 is actually a rewriting of Philip K. Dick's 1960s novella. THE UNTELEPORTED MAN. The deceased author paints a future with little hope except for the utopian colony that proves to be even more dismal than the hopelessness on earth. The vivid descriptions such as bits of a cheeseburger not a whole cheeseburger provides quite a landscape. Rachmael is a terrific champion while the intergalactic con game is brilliantly done. Fans of exciting but bleak science fiction thrillers know that Philip K. Dick has been one of the greats and that is no lie or computer generated “truth”.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner
New Whole Germany attacked People's China in 1987, and then the two made an alliance. By 2014, Germany controls the nine planets of Sol System, as well as the UN. The first inhabitable planet besides Earth turned out to be in the distant Fomalhaut System, and has been dubbed "Whale's Mouth." Immigrants are encouraged to go to this supposed paradise by 15-minute teleportation, but there's a catch: they can never return.
Rachmael Applebaum, the heir of the company whose conventional rocket transport service to Fomalhaut was ruined by Dr. Sepp von Einem's Telpor electronic mechanism and rival company Trails of Hoffman, figures out that the cheery reports coming from Whale's Mouth have been faked, so he decides to make the 18-year journey to the planet to investigate for himself. Meanwhile, magnate Matson Glazer-Holliday, owner of Lies, Inc., and his mistress Freya Holm, decides to take a more direct route: telport to Whale's Mouth with 2,000 soldiers to investigate and take over from Trails of Hoffman and its directors, Theodoric Ferry and Dr. von Einem -- who may or may not be in league with Horst Bertold, the German-born Secretary General of the UN. Dick originally titled this 1964 novel, which plays with reality and perception through paraworlds and LSD darts, The Unteleported Man.
This report prepared by David Loftus