The year is 2041. All entertainment is contracted to the White House (television is only educational/informational now), where the First Lady, lovely and youthful Nicole Thibodeaux, has ruled with a succession of simulacra (robots) unknowingly "elected" by the voters for 73 years. The government is quietly planning to dump the big corporation that has been building its presidents in favor of a very small company. Nicole and her team have also been using a time machine to alter the past and future, and currently have plans to import Hermann Goering from the Nazi Third Reich to the present. Bertold Goltz, a radical protestor who leads a white supremacist group, turns out also to be doing some time travelling and alteration. One of the top artists of the era is psionic but mentally paranoid pianist Richard Kongrosian, who has been largely in retirement but music companies are trying to record. Finally, drug companies have gotten psychotherapy outlawed, but the White House allows one doctor, Egon Superb, to continue practicing in order to fail with one particular patient. Also tied into the complicated plot are a woman who dumps her husband for his brother, and a pair of musicians who play classical music on jugs -- one of whom also runs a floating vehicle franchise. Dick manages to tie all these threads together in one weird, dislocating story, first published in 1964.
This report prepared by David Loftus
THE SIMULACRA has been published in 1964 by Philip K. Dick. The novel described, in a near post nuclear war future, the reactions of several different people during a major political turmoil in the U.S. government. Nicole Thibodeaux, the charismatic First Lady, is worshipped by a population who impatiently waits for her next TV appearance. Why doesn't anybody notice that she hasn't physically changed a bit for the last 50 years ?
A Philip K. Dick novel full of simulacras, mentally ill people, strange alien animals and time travels.
This report prepared by Daniel Staebler